Designer vs High Street

There is something about touching a designer outfit, examining it let alone wearing it, that gives a feeling of deep joy and appreciation. Catwalk has always been a little beyond me, but the translation of it into wearable beautiful garments is an art and given a bottomless pit of £££s it would be glorious to slip into those private and sumptuous designer houses three or four times a year to do some investment buying. Most especially in middle age when physical form can possibly do with a little help from a great cut of a jacket, or quality jeans. Not forgetting those forever purchases, fabulous bags or shoes.

The key word has to be investment. You know it will last, that it looks good, and it will suit you perfectly for many moons to come.

Then the flip side of the fashion coin. Primamarni mania. Cheap, quick fix, 500 hundred paces, a dark night and less than 20/20 vision you could probably see some resemblance to the original designer idea. Rather than just have one good blouse, you can have a couple of dozen, they look fine once or twice, then the buttons fall off or the seams split. Jumpers are never warm like natural wool, and bobble after the most precise setting on the washing machine. So it gives us the opportunity to have lots of up to date gear that we just dump and replace. Size 10’s can be 14’s and 14’s can be 10’s, pink looks washed out, and jeggings bag. All safely excused because they were cheap.

Taking the decision to become a non drinker is comparable to the above. Do you just try the quick fix, read a couple of books, listen to some podcasts, and become addicted to Dr Google and other stories that litter the internet, or do you make an investment for wellness, liberation and long term guilt free living?

High Street shopping takes the same view as drip feed drinking. The odd fiver or tenner there is unremarkable, slips out of the wallet unnoticed, and justifiable in terms of reward pathways that have been entrenched over decades sometimes of easy fixes and quick buzzes. When the fourth decade looms, does it really make any sense at all to keep up with the short cuts or temporary highs that seem to have taken on a very sinister twist that is not remembering them? A bit like a cropped jacket bought for £20 and now sits lamely at the bottom of a wardrobe, never being able to be revived for the next season let alone remembered as a good buy or even where it came from. Cutting labels out of high street brands is always a good idea, their scratch and are meaningless.

There are also the cheats that is buying designer buttons perhaps to sew onto a suit, just so it pretends to be something it never can be.

A piece of work we like clients to do when they are over the initial fear of becoming a non drinker or controlled drinker, is an honest appraisal of all those fivers and tenners spent over the years of heavy drinking, and seeing more or less how much those cheap little numbers in bottle form really cost. The average, including some wild online shopping after a glass or five, taxis and other associated costs, financial that is, not emotional, comes to over 5k per annum. Over only ten years we are looking at a decent sum, a deposit, wonderful holidays, deeply meaningful quality outfits or just a nest egg. None of the money was spent wisely or with care, just a sod it button moment, of I want it and I want it now.

Spending on becoming well has to be seen as a good investment. If I had had access to appropriate care back in the day, potentially, it could have saved me a fortune, quite literally. I would have moved heaven and earth to find it, as would my beloved.

So take a view, do you really expect high street to give the same reward as designer when you are not at an age of being able to get away with cheap and cheerful anymore? Do you keep going in the hope it might work, one day? If you tweak and twirl, diet or change your hair? It doesn’t and if it did, this epic problem would never have surfaced, and keep growing year on year. We are unique, and deserve to value ourselves in a much more considered way.

Author: Sarah Turner

Founder of the Harrogate Sanctuary.