The Psychology of Designer Labels and “High End” Products

It’s a psychological fact that wearing expensive designer clothes, carrying handbags with designer labels, and driving luxury cars has a dynamic effect on how we feel about ourselves as well as how others perceive us. For many, the feeling of elevated status is strong. For some, feeling self-conscious is not uncommon. I’m one of those who feel self-conscious behind a designer label. I achieved my dream of owning a Jaguar several years ago only to end up feeling uncomfortable behind the wheel, which had nothing at all to do with the car’s comfort. I didn’t like the way I felt others perceived me.

Designer labels should not define who you are.

Yes, the Pink logo is upside down on purpose. I’m not a fan. 😛

Vanity and insecurity lead to over-spending as one attempts to keep up appearances. A vain person doesn’t only want to look good to impress others but also for themselves. It’s possible to dress impeccably and not go broke doing so. People don’t need to know “who” you’re wearing.

In downward social comparison, you make yourself feel better by viewing yourself as more fortunate than others. The converse process also applies. In upward social comparison, you feel far worse about yourself if you see (or believe) that someone is outdoing you. {source}

Poor woman with Louis Vuitton bag.

Social comparison theory states that we determine our own social and personal worth based on how we stack up against others.

The present data suggest that luxury consumption can be a profitable social strategy because conspicuous displays of luxury qualify as a costly signaling trait that elicits status-dependent favorable treatment in human social interactions. {source}

Teens in hand-me-down expensive cars.

Many children with wealthy parents grow into teens who desire designer labels and high end products. Too often, they don’t have a full appreciation of what it takes to afford such luxuries. Parents need to teach their children the importance of working to earn the money it takes for their desired material possessions. If they don’t teach this, they are doing a huge disservice to their children and setting them up for failure when they move out on their own and end up in debt attempting to maintain their parents’ lifestyle.

What it looks like when a rich girl goes shopping.

Stick thin wearing tight jeans, which emphasise their ridiculously skinny legs, a pair of suede high heeled boots, a clingy T-Shirt, a designer bag resting on their elbow joint and dark glasses covering their black eyes. Each coming out looking chuffed with their purchase. ~a people watcher across from a Hugo Boss in England {source}

Then we have a highly privileged and very well-known Royal, The Duchess of Cambridge, who shows us that it’s not important to always wear designer labels. The dress Kate Middleton is wearing in the photo below is one she ordered online herself for $63. She’s pretty amazing for many reasons, and her savvy shopping is just one of them!

Duchess of Cambridge Kate Middleton Maternity Dress ASOS

Is our choice of clothing and other material possessions a class (upper vs. lower) thing? Is it a desire to appear as something we’re not but think we want to be? Is it a desire to fit in or be treated better than others?

Leave a comment below to tell how designer fashion and/or expensive cars make you feel.

Words by Zachner

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