Labels matter when it comes to clothes.
No matter how you feel about the world of high fashion, few people would be satisfied with the feeling of being shortchanged. If you buy an item of clothing, then you want to know that item of clothing is exactly what it claims to be.
Nevertheless, there’s now a relentless market for fake goods. Going as far to be featured on an episode of the fashionable and style-friendly Sex And The City, the “dupes” and “fakes” of this world have their – albeit morally dubious – place in the national mind. There is a whole new world of it through the internet, too; the Facebook-advertised tailors who produce clothes that look nothing like their promised appearance, for example.
While you may be open to the occasional dupe when it comes to clothing, few of us are open to being duped. If we buy something, a particular label or brand, we want to know that it is exactly what it claims to be. With all the fakes and dupes flooding the market, being assured of this is more difficult than it ever has been – so what can you do to ensure what you buy is the genuine article?
#1 – Buy From Reputable Retailers
If you want to be completely sure that the clothes you’re buying are made by the company and not a fake manufacturer, then buy from either the brand themselves or an associated vendor, such as guaranteed authentic Ruby Rd clothing at Anthony’s, or the real-deal Manolo Blahnik shoes offered at Net-A-Porter.
By sticking to these authority sites, you are going to be in good hands, as well as having access to social media and customer service should you have reason to suspect a problem. If you buy from small boutiques and eBay listings, you’re not going to have the same protection as buying from a branded store or an associated vendor. It’s nice to support small businesses, but small businesses have far less to lose than big chains or recognisable brands, so they might be more tempted to pass off inauthentic clothes as the genuine item.
#2 – Don’t Buy On Labels
If you do want to buy from less well-known stores, then you have to learn to ignore the labels. Labels can be sewn onto any item. For example, someone could buy an authentic Chanel label and sew it onto a pair of $10 pants, then list it for sale as a vintage find. If you saw that and were convinced by the label alone, then the end result would be spending a small fortune for an expensive label.
So labels don’t matter. Instead, look to verify the garment. If you’ve stumbled across a Gucci dress on eBay, for example, then go and find evidence that Gucci made that dress to begin with. The internet is the ultimate tool to help you do this. While you may still receive a knock-off item, at least you will have cause to contact the original brand and inform them someone is copying their designs. This is literally illegal, and you should be refunded through buyer protections available online, too. If you haven’t checked that the item in question was sold by the brand, they will probably just shrug their shoulders at your naivete.
#3 – Avoid The Words “Inspired By”
To get around some of those counterfeit laws, many producers of cheap knock-offs will instead choose to use the terms “inspired by” rather than imply an outright copy. For example, a counterfeit item wouldn’t be claiming to be authentic Ted Baker shoes; they’d just obviously be a copy of Ted Baker shoes that have been “inspired by” the originals.
You might think it’s worth buying these “inspired by” items, especially if you couldn’t afford the real deal. They’re not claiming authenticity, so you might think this gives them – and you – a pass. The truth is, however, that the genuine brands cost more because their quality standards are higher. You might receive a pair of shoes that sort of look the part, but which will fall apart on their third wear – that’s just wasting money, not saving it.
By following the three rules as mentioned, there is a good chance you can ensure everything in your closet is exactly what it claims to be. Be skeptical, ask questions, and always second guess before you buy anything without being able to examine it first. And remember, even if you are tempted by dupes, the chances are they won’t last for long anyway – so it might be better to save up for the real deal instead.