You don’t need expensive name brands to look good

You don’t need expensive name brands to look good
21 May 2015

Growing up, I wore a uniform to school, as I am sure a lot of you did.

Uniforms are safe.

You don’t have to wonder what to wear every day and you don’t have to worry about wearing the same outfit more than once a week.
You pretty much look exactly like everyone else. But, the downside is, you also don’t have many ways of trying to stand out, to be different or to show your personality.

I still remember that we would have, every so often, ‘Casual clothes day’
Your school might have called it something else, but I am sure you know what day I mean. The day where everyone could show off their own style.
They could show how cool they look without a uniform on, they could wear runners and jeans… with name brands.
The popular kids looked forward to it, the rest of us found it a little bit nerve racking.

I remember being in about year 9 or 10 and heading to school in my chosen outfit. I thought I looked ok, but I was nervous as I didn’t know what everyone else would be wearing.
I arrived at school, looked around and I remember thinking that nearly everyone else looked cooler than me.
I saw Nike shoes, Roxy tops and Ripcurl tshirts! I looked down at my no name brand jeans and my hand me down jumper and cringed.
I had thought I looked good when I walked out of the house, but I realised then and there, that I did not look ‘cool’ at all.

Recess came and I noticed a few of the popular girls nearby laughing and whispering to each other and looking in my direction. I knew they were laughing about something to do with my cheap ensemble.
I immediately felt angry, embarrassed and confused. ‘What was wrong with my outfit? Sure, I wasn’t wearing Billabong clothes, but I looked ok didn’t I??’
So being the girl that doesn’t shy away from confrontation if necessary, I asked them what they found so funny.


They giggled and one of them piped up and said that my clothes were a cheap immitation of a more expensive brand.  Another asked if I had been shopping at the ‘Salvos’

I hadn’t been shopping at the ‘Salvos’, but yes, my clothes were a cheap immitation brand.
I was pretty mortified, but I responded with something along the lines of ‘Oh well, I like what I’m wearing’ and walked off.

When I got home, I begged my mum and dad to buy me some name brand clothes and shoes, but was told that unfortunately they couldn’t afford it.

Not surisingly, all future casual clothes days were a bit stressful for me. I would look at my wardrobe full of cheap clothes and hand me downs and try to work out what I could wear that wouldn’t make me stand out too much, but also didn’t make me look too uncool.


This is a pic of me at age 15 in some of my hand me down clothes. Thank god I didn’t wear this to school!! I would’ve been ripped to shreds!

For awhile there, I was convinced that I was missing out by not having name brands.
But, at the start of year 11, I moved schools and this theory that I had accepted as the truth, was turned upside down.

I just want to clarify, that I did not move schools because of anything to do with what I have discussed so far. I moved schools because I loved singing and acting and this new one catered for creative people like me. Ok, so I was a bit of a nerd that could sing and dance…

So, it turns out, my new school didn’t even have a uniform! This was a crazy concept to me and it freaked me out a bit at first, but then I got to see everyone showing off their own style. This was truly eye opening.

Do you know what… I was never made fun of again for what I was wearing. I was still wearing the same no name brand stuff, but I felt good about what I was wearing, and I knew that I looked good too. I knew that no one was going to make fun of me for wearing what I wanted to wear from the choice I had. It was awesome to see how accepting everyone was of each other. There were so many different styles from emo to surfy, sporty to fancy, and we were all just walking amongst each other, accepting each other as we were.

What a shame that the small bunch of girls at my previous school felt the need to make fun of others, instead of just accepting each person as they were. I am sad to say that those girls made fun of a lot of people, I was not the only one.

At my new school which I loved and I flourished (and I would like to think I actually became a lot cooler) I learnt that you don’t need name brands to look good.
All these years later, I still have no real name brand clothes, but I have plenty of gorgeous clothes that make me look good!


This is my Valleygirl dress that cost me $14.95
Whether you choose to wear name brands or not, or you have a mixture of both, all that matters is that YOU feel good in what you are wearing.
Our clothes do not define us, they just highlight how gorgeous we already are.


be confident in what you wear

Kellie Claire xx


Kellie Claire


  1. Love this piece Kellie Claire, I think many of us can relate to this article!!
    Love the fact that you are confident in your Valley Girl dress, coz you look amazing in it! Unless people ask you where your dress is from ( which they usually do at the tail end of a compliment), then who’s to know what your wearing! And then what a fabulous surprise to find out that you don’t have to spend a fortune to look and feel fabulous!
    Your truly inspiring Kellie Claire! Xx

    • Thank you Liz, so glad you liked it. I hate to think of how many of us can relate to the part about dreading ‘Casual clothes day’. Kids can be pretty cruel. Thank you for your kind words xx

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