Everybody knows a chick who always struts with pride. Nose in the air, without a care, and let me tell you why.  Her jeans are Seven for All Mankind, blouse by BC-BG. Shades by Fendi, Bag by LV, and pumps are D&G. Can’t tell her ish, ’cause she’s that bish, decked out from head to floor. Slave to the brands, their biggest fan, your girl’s a “label whore.”

Ok, so I certainly won’t quit my day job to pursue a rap career, but you all get the point! We all know this girl, that is—if we aren’t her ourselves. . . . She’s addicted to the finer things, insistent upon bearing high-end labels, and always making sure that we know exactly what it is that she has on, and more importantly—how much it costs. She’s never without an oversized bag, most often monogrammed so that there’s no doubt in anyone’s mind. She sees no point in purchasing denim unless the pocket design screams out a prestigious name. Shades are useless without an iconic side logo (hell, she’ll sometimes even keep the decal on the lenses, too). And her footwear of choice is a red-bottom that screams “You can’t afford me!”

And as if it weren’t bad enough that she’s decided to be a free walking billboard, she has the nerve to act as though anyone who’s not dropping the same kind of cash on their closet is beneath her, subordinate, less fashionable. Because, certainly, one can only be fly when the sum of their garments at any given time is well over two grand. Sure, mmhmm, right.

She’s been known to look others up and down with judgement, chopping them down to size without their request or permission. At times she’ll ask pretentiously, “Wow, what a nice pair of shoes you’re wearing. Who are they by?!” And if you dare answer with a name doesn’t require a forced foreign accent, you’re bound to receive a pompous glare, “Oh, um, ok. I guess they work for you.” Who does she think she is?

Why is it that women like this automatically equate style and status with expensive clothing and accessories? Sure, we all enjoy splurging on a designer bag or pair of shoes here and there, but does having a closet-full really define us as “better”? I’d have to argue—absolutely not.

High-end labels are expensive, exclusive (to a degree) and iconic. But they are not magic. They do not automatically bestow upon their wearer any more edge, sophistication or flair than items from, say—H&M or Zara. Nor do they ensure that you’ll automatically be deemed “best dressed.”  Girl, please. Anyone with a few stacks to spare can run into Neiman’s and ask for the latest Herve Lever bandage dress, Louboutin pumps, and Gucci bag. But where is the fun in that? Whatever happened to mixing high and low, switching things up, adding your own personal touch? I definitely have more respect for a chick who can go thrifting and put together a banging outfit (with accessories to match) for under $75—now that’s something to brag about. Talent isn’t even the word.

If ever you’ve been shunned by a snobby label lover, fret not—for things are not always as luxurious as they seem. Imagine how much pressure there is in knowing that people expect you to have the latest and greatest because this is a standard that you’ve set for yourself by being overindulgent. God forbid you get the new “it” bag a couple days after someone else, or even worse—it sells out. The horror! And whatever happens to these women when unexpected financial responsibilities or hardships occur? Your bills are past due and lights on the brink of being turned off, but, hey—at least your shoes cost more than the next girl at the club. So much for priorities. . . . And I can’t be the only one who’s witnessed a so-called “fashionista” wearing something that she—in her all of her expensive ignorance—can’t even pronounce! Who in the world is “Guh-vin-chee”?! For the money you’d spend on a pair of Givenchy pumps, you could fly to France and actually learn the language. But I guess that would require too much effort and cultural awareness, now wouldn’t it?

There’s no shame in wanting to be stylish and treating oneself to something extravagant. When you work hard, you deserve to enjoy the fruits of your labor. But there is a problem with shunning others with divergent obligations, financial resources, and taste. So please, the next time you run in to that girl, tell her I said: don’t be such a [label] whore.

*** Disclaimer: Use of the term “whore” is not meant to in any way offend or degrade women to whom this article may apply. It is simply a figure of speech borrowed from popular culture. ***

– Chelsea Smith

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  • Fuchsia

    I fall in love with pieces and before I buy something expensive I think of at least 5-10 outfits that it will go with off top. I believe personal style requires confidence and strategy. High Low styling is a method that can be used if you are mindful of labels and prices. I’m a firm believer in quality staples, updating accessories on a trend basis, and splurging on pieces that I absolutely can’t live without. My world is lined with fashion magazines, designer interviews, articles, websites, and store visits. After awhile a fly girl can’t help but build her own personal style. Label Whores are posers. period. Fashion is so much more than a label.