Monday, 4 April 2011

Designer labels: don't be fooled

I've just been blogging at - one of my paid gigs - on a new survey reported in the Daily Mail today. It seems employers are falling for the "designer label" look something rotten, giving people better jobs as a result and in some cases 9% higher salaries.

In the picture on the left I'm wearing a designer shirt I suppose - it's a Ralph Lauren with a Polo logo. I have it because I bought it in a sale at a lower price than you'd expect to cough up for an off-the-peg Marks and Sparks shirt when you're buying it new. Personally I don't think this makes me particularly affluent, any more than  visiting my mother in Dorset and swinging by the Outlet stores in Clark's Village in Street. By all means visit the place looking for bargains; you won't be disappointed and by no means should you miss the Jaeger store where you can pick up some very nice looking formal shirts indeed for about thirty quid a throw (people who're fooled by designer labels will be disappointed to note that these shirts are unmarked).

Then there's T. K. Maxx. One of my favourite shirts (until it got caught on a loose screw in my wardrobe) was a mint green thing my wife bought me; it looked great, was emblazoned with the Polo Ralph Lauren logo and - you guessed it - came in at under £30.

Designer logos, in an era of outlet stores and discount places like T. K. Maxx, aren't a sign of affluence. They're as likely to be a sign of precisely the reverse. Use them by all means to trap unwary employers, but beware - they might have twigged too, and will be listening to what you say rather than the way you look.

P. S. The other designer item I'm wearing in the picture is the suit. It was made by A Suit That Fits (affiliate link, do click, it'll cost you nothing but I get loyalty points) - and technically I'm the designer because you get to specify everything. It's the same with other tailors like King and Allen, quoted on this blog last week - and either of these companies will kit you out with something to your own spec and your individual measurements, with prices starting below £300. Designer gear, phooey...


  1. If you were out selling fashion ranges in a shirt from TK Maxx you'd be spotted straight away. If you want to impress then clothes matter they really do. Maybe not to a potential employee but cetainly to a customer.

  2. OK, but the original survey was specifically about designer labels - so a lot of the TK Maxx stuff still counts, surely?


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