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Big box retailer or boutique? Is it a class issue or pure finances?

Updated on June 3, 2014

Designer prices or affordable prices?


Boutique or Target?

I have a boutique on one corner and a big box retailer on the other; I need to buy school clothes. Where do I go?

I believe that shopping is much more than just dropping your money at the cheapest place in town in order to get the most for my money. That is because I understand that the little bit extra that I might pay for quality merchandise is well worth it when compared to the replacement and waste involved with sub-par goods. I also think that you should buy the best you can afford, AFFORD is the key word. When my oldest child was born Tommy Hilfiger was very popular and I wanted her to be dressed in Tommy from head to toe, until she started growing and I was left with barely worn clothes that were to small and a maxed out credit card. That is when I learned that I could by quality clothing and accessories by shopping at boutiques and big box retailers.

Be sensible

Tank tops, underwear, under shirts, pajamas & socks for example do not need to be expensive name brand items especially for a child. The life of those items will be just about as long as they are wearable and in one piece. Besides buying from Target or Wal-Mart does not mean you are stuck buying Garanimals, they carry brands such as Carter’s that are good quality clothes for the price. Totally acceptable for buying the essentials that nobody see’s anyhow.

Customer service is almost as important as price

Now when it comes to coats, jeans, dresses & shoes the boutique offers many options in a variety of price points that will be well made and stylish pieces. I find that boutiques are often more willing to take returns or make good on a snagged article of clothing; they value your business and work hard to keep it. Sales people at boutiques are more likely to know your name and what your child’s taste in clothes is, so during the holidays they can be a great help in picking out the latest fashions and guiding you towards a look your child will love. I love how boutiques usually have all the pieces to one look that can be worn different ways. If you want to match every outfit from head to toe you have all the options available to do that, without having to search for pieces that will go together. Shopping boutiques is also a great opportunity to teach your children that buying local and supporting small businesses in your hometown is what keeps your area vital and withstanding. It is much more rewarding to spend your money at a store where your business is valued and you get the most for your money.

There is a rightful place and use for both ends of the spectrum, designer down. I love to maximize my dollar and the more I save on the boring stuff like underwear and such it gives me that much more to splurge at the boutique on the outfits that my daughters love.

Do prefer boutiques or big box retailers that sell clothes?

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© 2014 Karen Ranoni


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