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Are Cheap Clothes Really Worth It?


fast fashion

There’s a jewelry company that makes really gorgeous stuff for incredibly low prices. This company is masterfully branded and packages their orders beautifully ¬†– when you shop with them, you feel like you’re getting a full experience as opposed to just buying an accessory.

But is all of that any good if the products suck? I’ve ordered from this company three times, and two out of three pieces I’ve bought have broken absurdly quickly. One, a bracelet, literally snapped off my wrist a few minutes after it arrived. A pair of earrings lost a huge gem after one wear.

Cheap fashion is undeniably appealing. Why pay $100 for something when you could get something that looks pretty similar for $15? The issue, however, is with quality.

The quality of my purchases wasn’t always something I¬†considered. It was barely even on my radar in college – I mean, sure, I realized that the nice black dress my mom got me showed fewer signs of wear than any of the LBDs from fast fashion stores did, but it wasn’t something I paid much attention to while shopping. And honestly? I wish I had because it would have saved me cash in the long run.

I think we all spend so much money on items that seem like a bargain initially, only to find that when they fall apart, we need to go out and spend that money again. Online shopping makes cheap fashion especially dangerous – I mean how many times have you ordered a $20 dress that looks amazing onscreen, only to find that the fabric looks weird, the fit is bad and there’s a hole under the armpit? You never get around to wearing it but returning it seems like too much work – and since you only paid $20, it doesn’t really stress you out too much. I mean, that happens to me all the time. Sometimes I wonder how many nice, high-end items I could buy if I hadn’t ordered any of these cheaper things I’ve only worn a handful of time.

Your taste will definitely change over time but here’s my advice: Identify the things you’ve always loved and invest in those. If you’re into dresses, get yourself a beautiful one that fits you amazingly. If you live in jeans, splurge on high-end denim because they will never stop making your butt look fabulous. When it comes to trendy items, think long and hard about whether you actually want them. These trendy items tend to be the ones we try to save cash on….except it backfires and we end up with closets full of cast off jumpsuits and wedge sneakers that we never wear.

So is cheap fashion worth it? Sometimes. But should it make up your entire closet? My vote would be no.

    I'm a Chicago-based writer and graduate of the Medill School of Journalism who has written for sites like,,,,, Racked, Thrillist and The Huffington Post.