Should I stop buying cheap clothes??

This seriously goes against everything I’ve written about looking fashionable while cheaping out. I believe my definition of “cheap” is quite skewed. I consider a top cheap if it’s under $15. I consider a pair of jeans cheap if it’s under $30. I don’t own a single pair of shoes I paid over $40 for. Meanwhile, for you, it might be entirely reasonable to spend more. Maybe I never grew out of my frugal-immigrant-living-in-a-rat-infested-basement mentality. (Yes, my family did have a rat problem back in the second basement we lived in). Just yesterday, I had a wake up call that it’s time to change my habits.

I could potentially be starting a new job at Nordstrom. In fact, my interview was just today and the hiring manager followed up with me just now. I tore apart my wardrobe looking for an appropriate interview outfit last night. I decided on the only pair of dress pants I own, the nicest blouse I own, and stacked necklaces that I bought at a sidewalk sale.


Then, I looked over at the rest of my wardrobe- mainly distressed jeans, thin summer dresses, black graphic tees, and my dad’s old hoodie. I own one cheap blazer, and two studded blazers that I want to kick myself for now. The two slightly more expensive dresses I own from Nastygal might as well be shirts. The only other expensive dress I own was my convocation dress. It’s a white bandage dress from Guess that cost around $90, which isn’t bank breaking since I can wear it again.


All in all, if I were to start working at a high end department store, I’m utterly screwed for things to wear.


Maybe I need a change my shopping mindset. Instead of buying cheaper clothes, maybe I need to spend the same amount of money on fewer good quality items. I remember a quote from Oscar De La Renta about how his mom is his biggest fashion idol. He said “she did not own many things, but she wore what she owned very well.” She doesn’t strike me as the type of person to go for bargain brands.


When our bodies get too full of toxins, we detox. Perhaps it’s about time I detox my wardrobe of all the clothes that I’d only get away with wearing at home to hang out with my cat- if I had a cat. Maybe it’s time to bid goodbye to the clearance section of Forever 21 after all? I wrote a post a while back on making the simplest outfits look put together. However, when an outfit looks like it’s bad quality, there really is no saving it.




I guess what I’m saying here is that I need to stop buying cheaper clothes that wind up looking cheap after a few washes. Logically I know better quality clothes are worth it in the long run, but I keep falling back to old habits. It’s really not easy calling myself out on this habit, but it had to be done after all.



Let’s chat in the comments below

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Photos by Kane Lung

Author: Jin Cao

I am a multi-faceted designer, fashion blogger, makeup enthusiast, lover of cats, and connoisseur of ramen! Writer of Main fashion writer of Find my work at

4 thoughts

  1. Great post! In my opinion, something is cheap based on how well it’s made not how much it costs. I think it’s important to spend your money on pieces that you can wear over and over again. Plus, one that can withstand being washed all of the time. The seams, sturdy fabrics, nice details like fancy buttons are some of the things I would look for before buying anything.


    1. You make a really good point. It’s entirely possible for something expensive to not actually be good quality. Where do you like to shop? A lot of my clothes are from Urban Planet, or H&M…would really like to branch out xD


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