Be Classy, Not 'Brand Ki Dukaan'

Chanel, Dior, Burberry, Prada, you name it and the duo, Saba Qamar and Irrfan Khan are wearing it in this 'Suit Suit' song. Of course, I am not criticizing their fashion sense here. It was what the script had demanded. However, I have seen people in real life who are just loaded with brands and end up looking gaudy instead of looking stylish.

A scene from the movie- Hindi Medium starring Saba Qamar (L) and Irrfan Khan (R)

Brands are extremely popular all over the world and the love for wearing and showing off your branded items is spreading like an epidemic, especially if you are that new rich kid on the block. For some people, it could be competition while for some shopping is just a habit. In the process of showing off, most people forget that looking fashionable doesn't necessarily mean wearing more brands. Sometimes, less is more. So friends, here are some tried and tested fashion advice on how to look classy without ending up looking like a fashion disaster. 

You need not necessarily follow trends

Most of our fashion cues either come from movies, bloggers and influencers, and fashion magazines. The first and foremost thing to do is to make sure that the fancy item will complement your appearance. This is important because most of the time we end up buying something just because it is currently 'trending' without realizing how it will look on us. Possessing a fashion item should not be the main objective here unless you are a 'collector' or a 'reseller'. The main objective of any luxury item that you buy is to make you look graceful. And, if that can be achieved with unbranded stuff, just go for it. 

Less is more

Limit to wearing two-three designer pieces at the same time. Going icon-heavy is a big No. This rule is applicable irrespective of whether you are wearing two different brands or two different items belonging to the same brand. A little of it cries out "rich," but too much of it cries out "poseur." A few designer pieces can make you look elegant and not tacky. Moreover, there is nothing like wearing some discreet brands. 'Dressing down' can also make you look stylish.

Brand coordination is a must

It can be tricky to pull off multiple logos especially if the brands that you are wearing are emblazoned with logos such as a blown-up Nike Swoosh or some piled on Louis Vuitton's. Brand logos should be considered as any other graphic design and not just brand signifiers. Therefore, just like you would mix up patterns and prints, the same rule applies to brands, especially if you're dealing with popular symbols. 

No fakes please

If you cannot afford designer pieces, then don't even opt for their dupes. Counterfeit goods are illegal. My husband keeps telling me that all the money from the grey market is used in financing activities like human trafficking and terrorism and I definitely do not want to contribute to this. Secondly, carrying a fake designer item it is a signal to others that you are the kind of person who cannot afford a real Gucci, you are phony, a liar, a hypocrite, you are pretentious and an impostor. Keep it real. You are fooling no one.

Put a cap on your designer pieces

Unless you are rich and have a steady flow of income, please refrain yourself from turning in to a shopaholic. Rather, invest your time and money on items that have higher functionality, resale value and what you will value and cherish for a longer period of time. This can be true with diamond jewelry knowing that they do not have a great resale value and have limited functionality. You might not have very many occasions to wear them. Moreover, you might not want to repeat wearing the same jewelry on every occasion. In this case, it would be wiser to buy certified lab-grown diamonds, Moissanite or other kinds of gemstones. Costume jewelry can also be a wise alternative. Likewise, you can spend on a few designer items, and then spread them out with a variety of cheaper clothes to make different outfits. For instance, if you can get high-end jeans for a discount, you can combine them with simple items to round out your wardrobe. 

Wear expensive attitude, not brands

Being informed about the world around you is important. If you want to act classy then you need to practice good manners and etiquette as well. If you cannot do charity then at least volunteer in some public service. Invest in making friends with interesting people from whom you will learn something and do put in the effort to maintain long-term friendships. Be confident and not egoistic. Know that you cannot hide a bad attitude by covering yourself from head to toe with branded items. Sooner or later it will come out from the cracks of your mouth or body language. 

To summarize, luxury items are an excellent example of what Thorstein Veblen defines as "Veblen goods" i.e. goods that defy the normal economic rule of increased price leading to decreased quantity demanded (Read this book: The Theory of the Leisure Class). The increased price creates more desire- possibly because it may indicate scarcity and exclusivity. In his book, Veblen further described that once the masses found ways to emulate or achieve the garb of the rich, then the symbol substantially decreases in value. The rich people will always need to develop new ways of signaling status with their money. Therefore, you need to decide what matters to you, whether you want to look like a shopping mall or be classy?