Shopping tip : Don’t run after brands only

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I was walking down Durbar Marg with my friends on a recent day when one of them excitedly announced, “Look this shirt I’m wearing. It is one of my favourite brands. It’s worth Rs. 6,000—I bought it in Sherpa Mall.” He told us all about his other favourite stores, like John Players and U.F.O, to name a few.  He also pointed out the new pair of Adidas shoes he was wearing. He complained that he wasn’t wearing Nikes, to him a better brand. He then went on to show us the other accessories he was wearing. All, we were told, were very expensive.

He looked me up and down and asked, “Where did you buy your shirt?” I looked at my shirt and replied “Last night, I brought this at Sundhara, along the footpath.” Needless to say, he was in shock that I don’t buy my clothes exclusively from Sherpa Mall and City Centre, though that’s not to say that I haven’t visited those places.  He asked me why I didn’t do my shopping there. I replied sarcastically, “Because Sherpa Mall doesn’t have the clothes of my favourite brand. As soon as they my brand, I will surely go there.” He continued talking about different accessories and brand-name items.

For many people living in the metro, wearing branded and high-priced clothing is the only way to look fashionable.They visit many malls and even order items from abroad. Going to high-profile malls and shopping for brand-name clothing is not bad, but it’s worth it to explore the rest of the city’s offerings as well. Let’s visit our tiny shops and footpath markets. Who knows, they may have the style of clothes that you are looking for and you look comfortable in.

With these other options available, is it necessary to wander through the expensive racks of pricey stores and order from abroad? Clothing bought on the street may not be expensive, but often the quality of these items can be just as good as those with a brand name.  Along the walk, my friend pointed out KFC and said, “I often go here for lunch. I don’t like eating at other establishments.

Have you been to KFC? Their foods are hygienic and top class, you should visit here more often,” he suggested, as if any restaurant without an international name were far inferior.

Is this obsession with brands and high-priced items the only way of living the high life and looking fashionable? If so, then I prefer not to be fashionable. Fashion is a form of self expression—wearing expensive clothes doesn’t ensure a sense of style, and eating at expensive restaurants doesn’t ensure the best tasting food. As for my friend that I mentioned, I prefer to call him ‘a brand and a price tag’, not someone in tune with fashion. It’s not all about shopping for brand-name clothes and going to expensive cafes. We can look good and fashionable in low priced clothing and nothing is better than a delicious cheap meal.

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