Thursday, July 31, 2008

Is it cheap? Inexpensive? Or just both?

Good afternoon fashion-forward friends. After a lovely shopping trip at the Mall of Millenia in beautiful Orlando, Florida, I've decided to address a very provocative topic - the difference between being "cheap" and "inexpensive".

The dictionary defines "cheap" as "costing very little; relatively low in price; of little account; of small value "

The dictionary defines "inexpensive" as "not expensive; not high in price; costing little."

With that said, items in the world of fashion can be inexpensive, cheap, and can be both inexpensive and cheap.

Example 1 - catching the "Final Call" event at Neiman Marcus and buying a fantastic Michael Kors blouse at 90% off the original price would classify the Kors creation as being "inexpensive", as the price was relatively low. However, the quality of the garment's production was not indicative of the new, reduced pricing.

Example 2 - eagerly running out to your local Coach store and spending $700 on a handbag made in China, of lesser quality materials, under a poorly regulated ethic, would classify the bag as "cheap", as the bag cost very little to produce in terms of design integrity, investment, production, and, quality.

Example 3 - On the eve of a formal event at a hip new club, Ms. Stern searches the local "Wet Seal" shop to find a "great flirty top" for the evening. Ms. Stern buys a top made of rayon and viscose, that was manufactured by an unkept machine in Burma, and more than likely will fall apart immediately after being worn. This garment, only costing $7,99, would be considered both cheap and inexpensive.

Now, when expanding your fashion horizons and furthering your ensemble, it's important to remember that "cheap" isn't a bad thing. I recently saw the most beautiful hand-knit Ralph Lauren shawl collar sweater in a local department store, originally priced at more than $250, yet reduced during a summer clearance event to just $75. This would classify the well made sweater as "inexpensive", but certainly not cheap.

So the next time you're shopping for a bargain, no matter who the designer, or where you may be, remember to think "inexpensive" and not "cheap".

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