Now that blogs exist, I hardly ever buy magazines anymore as there’s so much to read online, but when I did, I noticed something they did a lot was these ‘steal, spend or splurge?’ articles where they picked a product and found very similar options to suit different budgets. Anyone else remember those (is it a British thing)? I was usually most interested in the ‘steals’, but particularly if something looked like occasionwear – I’m quite careful about weighing up cost-per-use.
So when I came across this Collectif hat
, I knew I was never going to buy it. As lovely as it is, £25 (not including the shipping) could buy me e.g. a top that I’d wear regularly. But I really, really loved it… I scoured vintage shops online to find something similar, but everything I saw was even more expensive and not the cute shape this one had that I’d fallen for.
So I gave eBay a try, and I’m so glad I did! I found one that was virtually identical, came in numerous colours (I was after ivory, which Collectif do make but is hard to get hold of) and when you’d added in shipping, worked out to be £12.50 cheaper. So I’ve done my very own ‘steal or splurge?’!
The shape of the hat is basically identical, along with the bow placement and if anything I’d say the eBay one has a fuller, bigger veil. It also has those little pom pom things which are quite adorable. (They do also make red with black veil like the Collectif one, I just couldn’t get a good picture of it here.)
As I mentioned, I wanted an ivory hat to go with a wedding guest outfit and the eBay seller didn’t let me down. It arrived in under a week (somehow, from China) and was under the £15 cut-off for China -> UK customs charges, so I didn’t get stung by extra taxes (always do your research when shopping like this!). I’m surprised by the quality and am so pleased with it generally I wanted to share it here, as it’s such a good alternative. Of course, as with many of these things, I don’t know the ethics around how the cheaper hat was made, but saying this, I actually don’t know much about Collectif’s either (however, I’ve got a feeling their goods aren’t locally manufactured as they’d probably mention it if so). I’m a bad, bargain driven shopper… It’s worth mentioning that if you’re similar to me in this respect, eBay is a great place for finding felt pillbox hats of any shape, size and colour for great prices.
Here’s a sneak peak of it on as part of my wedding guest outfit option B (if you remember A). More on that soon…
Anyone got their own examples of a bargain version of a more expensive item? I’m thinking about doing another post like this on hair flowers, for example…