I am not a materialistic person. I have not always been this way. Many years ago, I cut the ties of materialism and became the beater of my own drum. This is not to say that I don’t like or buy nice things because that is not true. But I know they are not necessary for my happiness. Sorry if I lost you there, let me explain.
When I was in middle school anyone who was anybody wore Levis jeans. I did not own a single pair. My mother refused to pay almost twenty dollars for a single pair of jeans when she could get me two pairs for that price at Kmart. Man, how I loathed Kmart! My older sister, Peg, knew the importance of fitting in. She bought me my first pair. I would wear them for three days straight. I know, disgusting. Then I’d wash them and repeat the process. I saved my money and eventually got a second pair. At some point, I finally convinced my mother to give in and buy me another pair. So, I guess maybe you could call it peer pressure that brought name brands to my attention.
Now Dirt Man was the opposite of me. He was a rebel. I remember when I first started dating him all of his shirts had a small tear in his upper left chest area. He had actually cut off the Izod alligators on all of his shirts. He did not want to be like everyone else! I was drawn to his individuality and self-confidence. Or maybe opposites attract!
Today, I still wear Levis but not for the reasons I wore them then. Now I buy them for comfort and quality. I wear other jeans as well, but they were not bought because of name brand, but because they made my big butt look just a teensy bit smaller in my mind.
When I shop, I do take price into consideration, but quality is more important. I enjoy a bargain, but if the quality is poor then I don’t consider it a good deal. I like things that are not only nice looking but durable. Point is if I like it, I will buy it regardless of the label.
I do buy certain name brand cars, appliances, clothing, and accessories. But not to be like other people. I buy them because the quality has proven to be good in past experiences. I’d much rather pay top dollar and have something last than to buy something cheap and have to turn around and replace it.
Now, I’m thinking that I do wear certain name brands, and I’m wondering if I have contradicted myself. I do not by any means limit myself to these brands nor bring attention to brand name items. Now, I don’t profess to know what constitutes middle class, but that’s what I consider myself to be. I am comfortable. I just checked my clothing labels on what I am wearing at this exact moment: Shirt – Dress Barn, Jacket – Cold Water Creek, Jeans – Gloria Vanderbilt, Panties – Warners, Bra – Maidenform, Socks – ah ha, no brand! Shoes – Keen. However, in my own defense none of these labels are visible. Does that still make me a Designer Label Slut? Really everything is made by some company, so they’re all branded. But I guess what I was talking about was the trendy-see-how-much-money-I-have-labels that are soooo obvious. I’m talking about showing off and throwing stuff in peoples faces like we did in middle and high school., but in the adult world.
I feel it’s a tremendous difference in buying quality products and wearing designer labels as a status symbol. You know the difference. And you can tell it the second you meet the person. Their attitude says it all. They’re like name droppers, but they bring reference to their labels. I know people like that. Heck, I’m related to them. They’ll ask me what brand it is ,and my response is usually that I don’t know that I bought it because I liked it. Then they’ll start pulling the collar of my blouse to see the label. Seriously, isn’t that just crazy?! And I really don’t notice what brands other people are wearing either. It’s just not important to me. In recognizing the symbols of company brands, I’m probably limited to Nike and Reebok. But I’m just weird like that. Please tell me I’m not the only one.
I think most of us shop in relative terms of our economic status. Most of us frequent places that we can afford. Most of us do not sacrifice our first born to buy a name brand purse or other luxury item of sorts. Most people who can afford designer labels do not show them off. So when I use the term “Designer Label Slut”, I am not referring to you. I am referring to people who go to great lengths to get their hands on items that are brands that they most likely can not afford, and then make sure everyone within range knows they are sporting said deisgner label. I’m talking about the people who in a normal conversation must bring up designer lables constantly. The make sure you know what they own and want to know all about your possessions.
Now, if I did not mention my love for Coach purses, I’d be a total hypocrite. Yes, I do splurge on purses, but I always have. That is one thing that must look nice, be functional, and be of excellent quality. This not to say I’ve always bought Coach. I’ve been through many brands (and nonbrand) of purses. Coach just fits all of my needs at this time in my life. Now, if I find another type of purse that fits my needs, whether or not it’s a designer label, I won’t hesitate to switch. There, I said it. Apparently, I am not as unmaterialistic as I thought. This post is taking a twist I didn’t expect, but it’s ok because I’m all about telling the truth even if it comes back to bite me in the @$$!
I have to admit to you that I once bought Dirt Man a gorgeous tie. (Never looked at the brand.) We were teaching Sunday School to eighth graders at the time, and he happened to wear it to church. One of our students asked him if it was a Louis Vuitton. He looked dumbfounded and explained that I’d bought it. So, then she asked me. I actually had to flip the tie over to look. Yeah, I am that stupid. She told us that she could spot Louis Vuitton a mile away because he was her favorite designer. Maybe, I should have someone young and in the know with me when I shop. Or maybe sometimes my fashion sense is fashionable as well as sensible. But then again who knows what fashion faux pas Dirt Man and I are sporting!
Now, I am picky about name brands when it comes to food. Yeah, I am. It’s not to say that I won’t try a store brand. I will try it, but it must meet my expectations to be bought a second time. When Dirt Man and I were first married, we’d fight over which brands to buy at the grocery store. He’d want whatever his mom used to buy, and I’d want what mine used to buy. We’d take turns. Eventually, I won that battle since I am the one who does the majority of the cooking.
But there are some items neither of us will budge on. I must have Charmin toilet paper. Sorry, no cheap one-ply scraping across this bum. Heinz ketchup…don’t even suggest another brand. The mayo must be Kraft, and the mustard is French’s. Food is more than sustenance to me; it is comfort. I am a nurturer, and this is the one area I will not compromise.
And there are things I refuse to purchase. Such as I will never buy Colgate toothpaste. It’s like having my mouth host the Ice Capades juggling fire torches. It is that painful to me. Burns the living crap outa me. I will never buy “I Can’t Believe It’s Not Butter” because it’s not butter. And I have to have the real stuff! Nor will you ever catch me buying fake Oreos. They have no place in my house!
And I guess by materialism I mean that I don’t shop just to have things. I shop when I need something. Most of the time anyway. I am still guilty of wants, but I’m not nearly as bad as I used to be. Does that make me superficial?
If I can find a clothing label that meets my expectations, I will reconsider becoming a Designer Label Slut! These are my requirements:
1. Enables me to buy a size smaller.
2. Makes me look 2 sizes smaller.
3. Is of good quality.
4. Fits my taste, looks good.
5. Doesn’t cost me an arm, leg, and both front teeth!
So, how about it, folks, how important are food and clothing labels to you in your every day life?