Why Are Designer Clothes So Expensive? (And Where to Find Cheap Designer Clothes)

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Ever find yourself asking: why are designer clothes so expensive? We are going to look beyond the price tag, decode the high cost of designer clothing and share where to find cheap designer clothes.

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why are designer clothes so expensive

Why Are Designer Clothes So Expensive? (And Where to Find Cheap Designer Clothes)

Ever wander through your favorite department store, perusing for the latest piece of fashion loveliness to add to your ever expanding closet, and notice that you can’t help but gravitate towards the most expensive items? There is just something so luxurious about the way expensive fabrics, laces, and embellishments feel whenever they are up against your skin. Ahhhh! Perfection.

Shopping without a clear budget in mind can wreak havoc on your bank account, so you have to think some purchases through, especially when they are spontaneous. AND expensive. But, have you ever stopped to wonder why a garment that is bearing a designer tag has such a high price? I thought that it might be educational to break apart different aspects of a designer garment, and consider every factor that makes up these extravagant prices. And extravagant pieces we wish we had!

Why are designer clothes so expensive?


  • Fabric. Overall,  designer pieces are fabricated from the highest quality materials that money can buy. In addition, these pieces aren’t being mass produced, so designers aren’t buying the fabric in bulk the way brands like Forver 21 do, making them more expensive per measured unit, ie. yards. In the long run, purchasing these high quality pieces will keep these treasures in your closet, and even your family, for generations to come because the fabric will hold up and retain its shape and texture to wear. (I won’t say wear and tear, since you know you won’t do that to one of THESE!)
  • Construction. Garments with a high price tag are typically made much better than a garment that you would find at perhaps… H&M. You may come across hand stitches and expert sewing techniques that are constructed by highly skilled seamstresses. Everything is finished, the fabric has ample seams, and the lining is given as much attention as the outside of the garment.
  • Where its made. Most of the time, you won’t see a designer tag reading “Made in China.” Which typically means that it isn’t mass produced.
  • Type of clothing. The clothing industry is broken down into different categories (most expensive to least expensive): Couture, Haute couture, Designer, Ready to Wear, Bridge, and Budget. These different categories are a great indicator of the price range that your favorite garments will fall into.  Through further examination, you will begin to develop an eye for what to expect in terms of style and quality within each category.
  • Mark-up. Regardless of all the other factors that cause a garment to be expensive, there is ALWAYS a huge mark-up.This enables companies to pay the people who work hard to put together the collections that they produce each and every season. That said, there is usually no need to pay full price for a garment unless you are in a time crunch for when you need the garment. Wait until things go on sale and get marked down a little bit. The exception to waiting for sales is often in the most popular, ie. most common, sizes, and you KNOW who you are if that is true for you.  (What size do you need in these boots, dear? Oh…size 7.5?  Well, could you wear a 9?)
  • Exclusivity. The more exclusive a garment or designer, the more expensive the garment is going to be. If a designer puts out a limited collection, you better be ready to pay a pretty penny to be able to say that you own this exclusive item.  But then, you can be pretty darn sure that no one else at the soiree will be wearing what you are! Or look more fabulous…

Now the flipside of the problem: where do you find cheap designer clothes?

Who is your favorite designer? The one that makes you want to indulge?  Or, tell me about a designer purchase you made that you never regret.

Want to make sure you are always “in the know” whenever it comes to the fashion industry? Every Friday at 5pm our Project Motherhood Insiders receive an exclusive email with tips, tricks, deals and even a FREE COPY of our ebook “Style is Everything!” Don’t miss your chance for an extra weekly dose of FAB – SUBSCRIBE HERE!

Fashionably Yours,


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