The Benefits and Pitfalls of Brand Loyalty

As I’ve mentioned before, I am brand loyal. I love Tsubos, I love Fluevogs, I love Prairie Underground long cloak hoodies, I love Karen Kane jeans and Desigual everything. As someone who knows firsthand how frustrating it can be to search for a perfect item, and how marvelous it can feel to find it, I am more than happy to trust certain manufacturers based on past experiences. Good experiences. It makes shopping easier when you rely on brand loyalty: Doing so narrows the field and increases your chances of quick success.

BUT! We all know there are pitfalls, too. The dark side of my own brand loyalty stems from something I’d call “love of routine” on a good day, and “laziness” on a bad day. Confining searches to known brands means overlooking potential new sources of great, affordable, flattering, interesting garments. As I’ve said before, I believe broadening search boundaries and casting off potential source discrimination can lead to great discoveries. And brand loyalty can work against that.

Furthermore, some brand loyalties are founded upon less-than-pragmatic ideas. The brands listed above may earn your loyalty over years, as you learn of their histories and design aesthetics, learn to love their attention to detail and unsurpassed quality. Or they may earn your loyalty because they carry cachet. You may be loyal to certain brands because your friends or family laud them, because they worked for you ages ago but no longer seem to yet you just can’t quit them, because they’re local and you’re wary of shopping online.

And yet the mere thought of opening your search for perfect black pants to the entire universe of brands is … dizzying. Why not stick to the shops and manufacturers that you know and love?

What are your thoughts on brand loyalty? Are there certain brands that you trust 100%? Brands that you’ve had constant success with over the years? Would you describe the attachment as emotional? (I feel emotional about some of my brands. I’d totally defend them in a bar fight.) Or are you willing to look any- and everywhere for what you want, brands be damned? Do you have other constraints like sizing or availability or ethical concerns that limit your loyalty? Do tell.

Image via luxefashion.us

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  • Lucy

    I’m guilty of this – all my jeans are Levi’s, all my casual sneakers/trainers are Converse, most of my t shirts are Uniqlo or Tesco (UK supermarket a bit like Target), all my bras are Wonderbra or Ultimo and so on. I find that, because I’m a bargain and outlet shopper, it’s easier to look for certain brands on sale than give everything a try because it’s just overwhelming when everything in an entire outlet mall is in your price range, or near enough.
    I’m also a brand loyal coveter. I can’t afford Desigual and actually I think it’s a little expensive for the quality but I’ll stand in the store for hours trying on their coats.

  • http://shareacokewithlaura.com Loz

    I found one particular style of boots from Sportsgirl in an op-shop for $5 that fit my wide calves perfectly. I’ve been doing weekly eBay searches for the same boots & now have five pairs, because they’re so comfortable, fit my style perfectly & they FIT.

  • http://www.eudoxiafriday.wordpress.com Eudoxia

    I used to be pretty open to everything in terms of sources of clothing, but I’m starting to try to be much more focused and brand loyal, basically as a response to the ethics (or lack thereof) related to garment manufacturing. Because labelling can be unreliable (I don’t know about this for clothes, but for example a handbag that is mostly made in China or wherever but has its handle stitched on in Italy can be labelled “made in Italy”), rather than having to research every single purchase and weigh up what I can find out about it’s provenance, it’s easier to decide whether I trust a brand, and then if I do, to stick with them. Of course, there’s also the option to go second-hand for everything, but I like the job-creation aspect of buying new ethical clothe.s (plus the charity shops near me aren’t great for clothes).

    At the moment there are so few brands that I’ve found that (a) are conceivably within my price range and (b) meet the ethical standards I’m looking for that loyalty is pretty much enforced by default! Unfortunately, my favourite ethical clothing brand (People Tree) is doing a colour palette this year that really doesn’t suit me … if I really need something I guess I’ll look in charity shops. I do have my eye on knickers from whomadeyourpants and pants to poverty – hope to purchase from them in the next few months. I am slowly finding more brands online that I’m interested in, but it’s tricky as selections are limited and it’s so hard to tell if things will fit if buying from somewhere online for the first time.

  • VAMarcy

    My version of brand loyalty stems from ‘shopping disinclination’ and the fact that once I figured out what size I am with this brand, I can safely order online and skip all the shopping stuff I don’t like. I buy almost exclusively from Lands End because 1. I know what will fit, 2. I never pay shipping either way (returns to Sears!), 3. They offer well made quality, and 3. Their customer service is unsurpassed. So–that’s why I love Lands End.

    • Anna

      Here’s another Lands End loyalist. The clothes fit and are well made. They last and last through many launderings. Once, when I finally took a Lands End item to the consignment shop, the owner said, “I can always tell when an item is Lands End because of the quality.”

    • KL

      I love Lands’ End quality, too, and especially that the same attention to quality carries over to their younger Canvas line. For my small doses of prep, I much prefer LEC quality over J.Crew. Unfortunately, I’m petite and my true size is XXS in Lands’ End Canvas, so I’m sized out of the main Lands’ End line (where petite XS runs significantly larger) even when I want to pick up some classic basics.

  • Valerie

    Living in a retail-challenged area (no shopping for 60 miles, no real shopping for a 100 miles) I rely on brands that I know will fit and are quality for online shopping.

    • Halo

      This is me, to a tee. The nearest real shopping for me is 150 miles away. Add in that I’m plus-sized and try to buy from as ethical companies I can, this shrinks the pool of retailers I consider.

  • RM

    I have been loyal to a few brands because of quality. I am willing to pay a little more for a long-lasting garment. Therefore, it breaks my heart when brands (I’m looking at you, Frye and LL Bean) start manufacturing their goods overseas or start using cheaper materials, resulting in shoddy construction. I am still seething over the poor quality of the last pair of Fryes I bought–within 2 months the fake wood coating started wearing off the plastic heels which are now misshapen.

    That said, it’s great to know a brand lasts and fits well (Lands’ End, Clarks) –it makes online shopping so much easier.

  • http://www.dresswithcourage.com Elissa

    This is a really interesting post, Sal. Over the years I’ve become less brand-loyal, probably since I thrift so much, and my wardrobe is comprised mostly of vintage pieces. While I used to be focused on wearing certain labels, such as those that were specific to designer jeans and logo handbags, I’ve become more focused on buying things that make me feel good and flatter my body. Ultimately, that’s much more important than remaining loyal to a specific brand.

    I will say that there are a few stores I return to out of habit, finding it difficult to overlook the fact that their clothes just don’t do my body any favors. Old Navy, for example. I have become increasingly disappointed by the quality and fit of their clothes, but I find myself returning back every month or so. I suppose I do so out of the hope things will improve, that the store will return to the aesthetic and quality standards that made me a loyal customer in the first place.

    • http://thehardestbitisthetitle.blogspot.com Erika

      I agree with most of Elissa’s post – like her, I buy mostly second hand (bless ebay and consignment shops). Having said that – there are some labels I love for their style, quality and fit, and I will ALWAYS look at those. Off the top of my head – Custo Barcelona, Sabatini, Ted Baker, Trelise Cooper for clothes, Barkins for staples, Dianna Ferrari, Melissa and Tony Bianco for shoes and boots (much harder – wide feet, high arches, orthotics and wide calves. Gotta love boots you can lace up!).

      As a side to that last comment – I bought a gorgeous pair of 2nd hand Frye boots. Feet fit perfectly but the calves are too narrow. Attempts at putting in side zips didn’t make enough of an difference and one of the zips promptly broke – they’re now having a leather “tongue” put in and lacing so that they are infinitely adjustable. Guess what I’m saying is that there are always options and it helps to have a friend who is a miracle worker with leather.

      • http://thehardestbitisthetitle.blogspot.com Erika

        forgot one. Vivienne Westwood…. even secondhand, it’s stretching my price range, but sometimes I get lucky. Mostly I just drool.

  • Celeloriel

    I wear a size 20-24 depending on the brand or cut of clothing. I’m not loyal to brands like Lane Bryant or Avenue because I necessarily like them – I’m loyal because I’m stuck. I’d definitely shop more variety if I could.

    Hey, Loz? I’ve got wide calves (17″) too. What style of boot were you extolling? ;)

  • http://1000oysters.blogspot.com 1000Oysters

    Like Valerie, I live in a retail-challenged area and do most of my clothing shopping online. When I travel to cities with shopping, I tend to try stuff on like a mad woman so I can order online later. I tend to shop the same few sites because when I find a site with lots of views of the items and reliable reviewers, it helps a lot. The other thing I appreciate when shopping online is actual measurements. It’s a weird thing to look for but not all stores provide them. So I guess my brand loyalty is less about the brands but the stores/sites I trust.

  • http://smiletexysmile.blogspot.com D

    I used to be more brand loyal than I am now. I didn’t do much thinking about my sartorial choices, and so I usually just went to the same sources for clothes over and over again. I’m not sure that there is a brand that I trust 100%, though like Lucy, I am a definite brand loyal coveter.

    I suppose I practice a type of brand loyalty when I go thrifting- I’ve noticed that I’m more likely to try on and buy brands like Banana Republic or Loft secondhand.

  • http://cwhf.livejournal.com Ericka

    I tend to be pretty brand loyal, and it has increased as I have gotten older and busier frankly. I have limited time to shop to find what I want/need and knowing my key retailers and their cuts, fits, styles helps tremendously. However that having been said, my loyalty has evolved. When I was in high school, college, and grad school, I was all about the Gap. I haven’t shopped there regularly though now in 10-15 years. I grew away from their aesthetic (I think they also changed a fair bit as well). BR was my next big loyalty because they sold the professional and casual wear that fit my life at the time but again, I grew away. For shoes, I discovered Fluevogs 6 years ago and was an immediate convert. A big part of loyalty is quality and service for me; when I was a starving med student I splurged (for me) on a top from Express that fell apart after 1 wash following the instructions; when I brought it back they said tough luck. I did not step foot in an Express for 15 years and honestly am still very jaded about the brand. I unfortunately hold fashion grudges apparently. It’s interesting to look back through my wardrobe which is a history of my loyalties, all which fit me at the time. Kind of like a series of yearbooks of fashion.

  • http://playingcloset.blogspot.com/ Claire

    I think I have an interesting version of brand loyalty – I’ve always shopped TJmaxx and Marshall’s (and thrifted) so while I would consider myself very consistently loyal to these shops, they obviously offer a hodgepodge of brands that can change every season. I have identified some “best-fitting” brands this way that I keep an eye out for, but I don’t seek those brands out at their specific stores. I would add Target and Ross to that list in recent years. I was ecstatic when I discovered petite pants at LOFT and they remain a staple.

    However, currently I am breaking all boundaries on the quest for white pants. I am sure I have tried on around 70 pairs in the last few weeks! I have walked into stores I NEVER patronize (Guess, Banana Republic, J Crew) and am reminded of why I don’t (too thrifty at heart!). I think maybe I am brand loyal to “clearance”, does that count? :)

  • http://seamstress-stories.blogspot.com poet

    There is a type of brand loyalty (not the one you describe!) that is about status symbols and prestige rather than about quality or fit; this type I hate with a fiery passion. But I cannot deny that some brands are better quality than others and I’m always happy when I can get a garment from one of those; I watch out for them in my thrifting and freebie-ing adventures too…

    • Roxy77

      I so agree with you Poet! My sister-in-law thinks she’s the best dresser in the world because all of her clothes are covered in logos. She also brags about a “Chanel” purse that she purchased on-line for $50 (“can you believe that someone sold a Chanel purse for $50!”)…..I didn’t have the heart to tell her that it’s obviously fake (I don’t think
      Chanel makes purses with plastic linings).
      I, on the other hand, recieve compliments everyday on my outfit choices…..90% of my wardrobe is trifted and refuse to wear anything with a visible logo.

  • Mrs.M in MI

    I do a lot of thrifting, and while I have learned that certain brands generally produce garments of good quality, I generally go by feel, looks, and construction.

    That said, when I need specific items of clothing that I wish to buy new or can’t find secondhand, I do turn to certain brands. Land’s End is always first on the list, followed by the Gap Inc brands (because my sister is an employee and I use her discount), and then usually the department stores.

  • http://www.ohtobeamuse.com Oh to Be a Muse

    I do not have brand loyalty and that actually makes it a lot easier to shop, at least for me. But it would be nice if I did have a brand that I knew made the perfect pair of jeans for me so that I would never feel wary when shopping for specific items ever again.

  • GingerR

    When I look for a branded item I’m looking for consistency. If I get something and it falls apart quickly or turns out not to fit that’s a black mark. With the rise of online shopping that’s really important because it’s a pain to have to send something back.

  • http://www.meganmaedaily.com/ Megan Mae

    This is the thing I love about thrifting. Yeah you eventually check the tags, but I start by feeling a garment for fabric content, checking the quality with my hands, the seams, the weight, the drape. I’ve bought stuff that are “old” old navy or gap that is so cool or perfect with my style I don’t hesitate to spend two dollars on it.

    Yes I have brought home some Free People or LOFT stuff that I just though I had to have, but it went back to donation.

    I trust the fit on All Saints because about half of their stuff can easily be altered, by me, for a great fit.The other half is full of draped knits which are fairly forgiving, and while some people cringe at a small size range, I know that almost anything can fit or be made to fit me. And while their designs are often similar versions of things like Rick Owens, McQueen or Westwood, it allows me a (slightly more) affordable way to wear these designs.

  • Mar

    Like 1000Oysters above, I too am not really brand loyal, but loyal to a few online sites with good item selection, good descriptions/images of items, customer reviews, and good customer service, including easy returns. It’s mainly to save time and maximize convenience (for me). I don’t live in a retail challenged area, but I really don’t like shopping in real stores, so most of my purchases are made online. I do tend to gravitate towards brands I’ve bought and had a good experience with, but this is mainly because I don’t want to deal with unnecessary hassle with returns if things from brands I don’t know don’t fit – if the reviews tell me the new brand is worth trying, I will.
    The only brand I could say I am loyal to is a local specialty outdoor gear/clothing shop – all locally designed and made (locally as in my city). They are very high quality and very expensive, but I’ve saved up for a few things (I am heavily into outdoor sports) – mainly because I want to support a local business, but I also like the cost-per-wear/use I am getting out of those things.

  • Karen O

    As a devoted thrifter, the brands in my closet are all over the place. However, as I’m looking through the racks, if I spot something by Eileen Fisher, Jones New York or Banana Republic, I’m quite likely to try it on. I can depend on those labels for fit and quality.

    Thanks to two quarters of textile classes (many, many) years ago at the University of MN, I can spot good fiber content quickly and those items get a longer look too. I can’t believe how many cashmere sweaters wind up at thrift stores. I suspect people are afraid of washing them and don’t want to run up the expense of dry cleaning. Thoughts?

    • Shaye

      Sometimes I just run my hands over the racks in search of the distinct feel of cashmere or silk. :)

    • Roxy77

      I hand wash all of my cashmere….it’s actually better than dry cleaning as it doesn’t break down the fibres like dry cleaning does.

  • http://corpgoth.blogspot.com/ Trystan (the CorpGoth)

    I’m totally NOT brand loyal! I’ll buy anything, anywhere, any time. A few reasons for this… I’m a grazer by nature, I enjoy the thrill of the hunt. OK, I used to enjoy it more when I was younger &, oh, more spry & suited to chasing down the quarry. But even now in my dotage (heh), I hunt online & I’ll look anywhere for that certain something that suits my style & whim.

    This suits my aesthetic too, bec. I’m more likely to have to buy a little from a lot of different places. Black knit tops from Old Navy, black skirts from Coldwater Creek, black dresses from Newport News. The same store/brand is unlikely to have enough dark-colored clothing for me or a variety of interesting clothes in dark colors.

    Also, whenever I’ve thought that a certain brand is The One True Thing (say, the perfect jeans), it eventually changes fit or style to no longer be suitable for me. This happened with Gap jeans & really pissed me off. Finding jeans that fit is, of course, horribly difficult, & for a half-dozen years, Gap curvy fit ankle-length jeans were like magic for me. Then they changed their curvy fit & ankle lengths were nowhere in stores & the ones I ordered online were *longer* by 2″. Wtf??? That wasn’t the only brand to do this to me, but it was the worst.

    • linnet

      I hear you on the Gap curvy ankle jeans disappearing! If I was rich I’d take my much worn, much loved pair to a tailor and get them to duplicate the pattern…sadly this is an unaffordable dream. Sadness!

  • Cat

    Great question Sal,
    I’m loyal to Betsey Johnson [does it count as loyalty if you have a sum total of 2 dresses because the brand is cost prohibitive?] and am heartbroken she’s closing up shop. Other than that, not loyal – more disloyal to brands like American Apparel, Toms, and H&M for political reasons.

  • http://www.churchsexy.blogspot.com Caroline

    Hmmmm, interesting. I’m not really interested in the cachet of a brand, and I don’t love to shop just for the recreational value of the hunt, so when I do have to find a specific thing (black dressy pumps for example) it can be very frustrating. When I do find something that works well and lasts, and is reasonably priced, I tend to return again and again – for example, Clarks for shoes. I sew more and more of my wardrobe so brand loyalty for everyday clothing is becoming less and less relevant.

    However, for sports clothing … I’ve run in Saucony shoes for over 20 years, and the few times I’ve tried another brand it has been very disappointing in either durability, comfort, or leading to injuries. I’ve changed models (as is inevitable as my favorites get discontinued !) but stuck with the brand.

    Another story is sports bras — I used to love Moving Comfort bras – they were comfortable and durable and lasted FOREVER. When I finally had to buy new ones after several years I’ve found that that particular company doesn’t make them at all the same as they used to – lots of bells and whistles and uncomfortable seams. So I had to switch brands.

    So I would say where performance and durability really matter, finding a brand that works can give you more consistent results. And if you don’t really love the thrill of the hunt, it helps there too.

    • http://www.alreadypretty.com Sal

      I think specialty items can create little pockets of brand loyalty. Maternity wear, sports clothing … anything that needs to do something other than look good!

  • shannon

    I’m constrained a bit by sizes offered (on the cusp of plus size is not a place with a lot of options), so I do have some loyalty to brands simply because I know they will fit, and some I don’t give a second glance to because I know nothing they offer will fit. But I’ve also noticed as I get older, my brand loyalties shift toward more durable brands with clothes that survive many washings (I used to wear a lot of Gap, but with several disappointing garments strewn in my wake in the past couple years, I will only buy from them on ultra clearance because I know it won’t last more than a few months…I do have a nice little collection of Land’s End pieces accruing, though).

    Also, I’ve noticed the more I learn to sew my own clothes (been sewing for about a year now, and still learning tons), the pickier I am about quality construction, good fabric, and fit…if I can make a reasonable version in better fabric with better construction, you can bet I’m spending my cash at the fabric store instead of the department store.

  • Anonymous

    I am very loyal due to fit and availability issues. Along the same vein: I am slow to let go of a grudge when a certain label or store has let me down. If I made purchasing mistakes in the past (e.g. impulse buys or poor quality) it takes me a few months to return to the store. But this is probably because I don’t want to remind myself of the mistakes and less about the brand itself.

  • http://www.khinky.wordpress.com Osprey

    I am loyal due to availability and quality issues. Along the same vein: it takes me a few weeks to return to a store or label after I realise that I’d made a poor purchasing decision (e.g. impulse buy or poor quality choice.) It’s less about holding a grudge and more about not wanting to be reminded of my mistake…

  • http://NoOneWatching.com Grace

    I’ve noticed that I am very brand loyal when I thrift shop. In part, I think it’s b/c I don’t try things on, so it helps to gauge size when I know how a given brand will fit. I also have higher expectations for certain brands to hold up over time.

  • Rachel

    Well, some companies are just EVIL (even more than the usual) and participating in that is a definite downside for me. For instance, on the illustration above, Hugo Boss is listed. Hugo Boss designed and made the Nazi uniforms. DKNY (also on the illustration) is known for its horrific labor practices (even more than average), both in China and in New York, where it’s frequently busted for illegal and exploitative activity. Alexander Wang? Sweatshops in TriBeCa. Buying that stuff new participates in that economy, whether we like it or not. It might be unavoidable, but we should try. And we shouldn’t be loyal to those companies. We shouldn’t talk about loving them. We shouldn’t fall in line. We COULDN’T if we actually had to see the people who make those things.

    • Shaye

      I absolutely agree that ethics is as an important part of shopping. My question about Hugo Boss is whether it’s appropriate to judge a company for something they did 70 years ago. Are they still engaged in ethically questionable practices? Are they still benefitting from the unethical practices of 70 years ago? Collaborating with Nazis is unquestionably a huge, gross blemish on their history, but I’m not a believer that a company must be forever blacklisted because of past wrongdoings. What are they doing today? Any company that stops their unethical practices, and if appropriate, makes amends or reparations, ought to be given a chance to be judged by their present actions. That’s not to say that someone couldn’t personally be against the brand because of past wrongdoings, even on the part of people long dead, but I can’t see branding the company as forever, unquestionably unethical, even if that wrong was something as disgusting as collaborating with Nazis.

  • http://www.ayearwithoutmirrors.com kjerstin

    I’m a huge fan of brand loyalty because this is one of the only ways I can expedite finding clothes that combine my “style” with a predictable fit. Different brands have different size standards (and are based on different proportions!), so I have learned to avoid some brands and gravitate towards others, simply so that I don’t experience dressing-room shame when the fit is horrid. That said, I am usually willing to try new brands if I’m attracted to the look.

  • Anne

    You know it’s funny, this spring when I set out to buy some spring clothes I made a point of trying to break out of my usual shopping haunts. I even made a list of places to check out. I didn’t buy a thing from those stores. I found in some cases the quality was poor, some just no longer had clothes that suited my lifestyle, some had really lovely things but I just couldn’t justify paying the prices they charged. I tend to stay with both stores and brands that have fairly durable clothing for what I consider reasonable prices. I also choose brands or stores that stand behind their merchandise and value their customers. I try to stay away from stores that I know engage in poor labor or environmental practices. Finally I shop in places where have a good track record for finding clothes that fit and flatter my body. I would love to branch out but we just don’t have a ton of options in the “Burbs .

  • http://shareacokewithlaura.com Laura

    I’m also addicted to Doc Martens. I know I can buy a UK5 without trying them on & they will always fit comfortably.

  • Veronica

    No particular brand loyalty here. I buy what fits and feels and looks good. I’ve found, through Goodwill, that BR items are great! I recently gave a friend a pair of BR jeans I’d gotten there because I lost some weight. I asked how she liked them and she LOVES them. They’re her favorite pair now and she’s tried searching online for more but she can’t find them, that’s when I told her I got them at Goodwill.lol I’m also wearing a BR shirt from there too and it’s very nice, it’s 60% silk and 40% cotton. I’ve been doing more shopping there recently and come home with good brands, recently a VS skirt and a JCrew skirt. I always check the quality though because I know a name isn’t everything.

    • KL

      I think BR quality has declined recently… my Goodwill thrifted BR items have held up much better than new purchases from Banana Republic itself, even (or specifically) the retail store.

  • Kate E

    I have an extreme brand loyalty because every single piece of clothing I own comes from American Eagle. I have been shopping there exclusively now for 10 yrs (since I was 18 years old). The reason is that I have been the exact same small size (0 in juniors sizing) and their sizing is extremely consistent and fits me perfectly. I have shopped there exclusively online for the last couple years and have never had to return anything. I like their style of clothes and they sell a range of items from purses to sneakers and bathing suits and even workout clothes. I kind of like having the extreme brand loyalty because I can get my items at a good discount with my membership card and it also restricts by shopping habits because they only sell so many clothes. The only thing I worry about is that I feel like I’m slowly leaving their target age group.

  • Shaye

    I too buy a lot of thrift and vintage items. I used to be a lot more brand loyal before I started thrifting and wearing vintage, and thrifting has both opened up options for places to check out if a particular thrifted item worked, and revealed or confirmed brands that just never work for me.

    I’ve also definitely broken up with brands! When I sized out of Express jeans, I stopped shopping there even though their shirts still fit, because if they didn’t want a size 14 in their store I wasn’t going to give it to them. I did the same thing when LOFT stopped carrying size 16s (my current size) in store. The lady tried to tell me I could just order online and bring my returns back to the store, but I’m not going to pay for shipping just to return 95% of the pants I buy, since I have about a 5% success rate of any given pair fitting me, no matter the brand. Haven’t been back in a LOFT since, even though the shirts would still fit. (I do occasionally thrift LOFT pieces, though. I’d have broken up with Express eventually anyway because I’m not 25 anymore.)

    I feel like most brand loyalty comes out of knowing where to find things that fit your body, taste, lifestyle and budget, and not having a lot of time to devote to exploring other options. For example, I used to get all my bras at VS, but recently made the leap into Chantelle bras. They cost 50% more per bra, but damn if they’re not the best bras I’ve ever owned. The cost fits my budget now, but at a time when I couldn’t dream of paying almost $80 for a bra, VS did the job.

  • http://wendybrandes.com/blog/ WendyB

    I like brands that have reliable quality and fit for me. I know nearly any Prada shoe in 36.5 will fit me, for instance. So if I need a pair of basic black shoes, I’ll go there before I go anywhere else. I got my first pair of Prada shoes in the mid-90s and I STILL wear them.

  • http://anjeladancer.com Angela

    Late to the conversation here, but wanted to add my two cents. I never met a Pucci scarf that I didn’t like. I don’t love *everything* Pucci, but for me, Pucci scarves have a magical ability to transform my outfits and my moods. True, they are insanely expensive–more than I’d have ever thought would be reasonable for a rectangle of fabric–but now that I’ve been collecting them for a couple of years, I’ve learned that they are the accessories I reach for the most, so the cost-per-wear is probably more favorable for them than for many of my other less-costly purchases. Could I be using my Pucci scarves as a crutch? Perhaps–sometimes I rely on Pucci exclusively to liven up an otherwise uninspired ensemble. But often, I feel like they inspire me to create outfits out of color combinations that I wouldn’t consider otherwise.

    My other fierce brand loyalty is for Cole Haan. I just love them for their beautiful, well-made, classic, comfortable shoes.