Brand consciousness, specifically in relation to clothing brands, is one of the plagues of society today. Clothing brands, not even the clothing itself, exist as coveted, precious things that people aspire to for no discernible reason except for their status as expensive, and therefore exclusive, things.
Why does the brand name on a piece of clothing eclipse the importance of the clothing itself?
In large part, the answer lies in the ways these products are marketed; people see rich, happy, beautiful people in J. Crew ads and associate those emotions with the brand. When they walk into a store and see an expensive price tag, people assume it must be better; it must be special simply because it costs more.
Certain brands are not marketed that way. Despite being aesthetically similar, they aren’t predicated on exclusivity, so they are de-legitimized; they are typecast as cheap because the average Joe, someone who *gasp* doesn’t have a 6-digit salary, can afford them. Think about it: regardless of whether it looks the same or even better, if an article of clothing doesn’t have the golden seal of approval that is the Lacoste alligator, the J. Crew polo player, etc. bestowed upon it, it is automatically deemed as unworthy of value. Clothing is often deemed inferior by the very nature of it not being part of a Brooks Brothers collection or from the rack of any “high-end” clothing boutique.
This is certainly not to say that all expensive clothing is inherently bad. People seem to, however, have an unrealistic esteem attached to expensive brands of clothing. There is a notion that certain clothing is better based almost exclusively on the price tag. If your goal, when wearing clothes, is to show how much money you have, fine. Feel free to focus on brands. If, however, your goal is aesthetics, then look beyond the large Polo logos and silly alligators stamped on over-priced clothing. Pick your clothing by how it, not its price tag, looks.