Is It OK To Buy A Dupe?

Martha Jane Edwards wearing a grey longline boyfriend coat, a plain white tee, blue jeans and leather sock boots with a Gucci belt dupe and a Saint Laurent Kate tassel bag dupe | marthajaneedwards.com


ARE YOU BEING DUPED?


I feel like 2017 has been the year of the dupe for high street fashion. If you’re unsure what a dupe is, it’s short for duplicate, and although it was a term originally used by beauty bloggers, it’s recently become more commonplace on fashion blogs. Designer bags, shoes and accessories are quite often statement pieces which cost upwards of £300, usually sitting somewhere closer to the £1000 mark. However, as I’m sure you know, most people don’t have the disposable income to splash on a luxury bag that they might not like next month, and fast fashion retailers like Mango, Zara and Primark are well aware of this. Drawing in consumers who want the look without the label (or the price tag!), brands create dupes of these designer items, ranging from vaguely similar to outright copies, but where should we draw the line? What distinguishes high street duplicates from dodgy counterfeits flogged on beach resorts? Why are we so angry about Zara plagiarising a small independent designer, yet we’ll happily throw our cash at them for a Gucci knock off? By opting for fast fashion, are we undermining fashion design and devaluing art? Put simply, is it really OK to buy a dupe?


This post contains affiliate links marked by a ‘*’. See my about page for what this means.



IMITATION AS FLATTERY


You might call me a hypocrite, because obviously, I’m wearing not one but two dupes in this post. Firstly, a double circle belt clearly “inspired” by the Gucci belt with its famous double G. Secondly, a tassel crossbody bag which is definitely an imitation of the Saint Laurent Kate or perhaps the Blogger Bag. My bag was £15, in comparison to the £1050 price tag on its predecessor. These items certainly lack the craftsmanship, the luxury experience and the quality of their designer label counterparts, but they’re great low price alternatives. So why do I feel a tiny bit icky about them?

Martha Jane Edwards wearing a grey longline boyfriend coat, a plain white tee, blue jeans and leather sock boots with a Gucci belt dupe and a Saint Laurent Kate tassel bag dupe | marthajaneedwards.com


‘INSPIRED BY’


Perhaps it’s because while dupes are technically legal, they’re a bit morally dubious. Most of us like to think we sit on the side of ‘inspired by’, which is why we prefer the term ‘dupe’ over ‘fake’, ‘knock off’ or ‘counterfeit’. Whereas the latter terms are dirty words which suggest illicit activity, ‘dupe’ remains fairly neutral. But are they really that different? Like in any creative endeavour, I don’t believe it’s possible to create something entirely original any more, and high street fashion will always be inspired by the catwalk. However, I think it’s important to draw the line somewhere.  So is it OK to buy a dupe?

Is It OK To Buy A Dupe? | marthajaneedwards.com
Martha Jane Edwards wearing a grey longline boyfriend coat, a plain white tee, blue jeans and leather sock boots with a Gucci belt dupe and a Saint Laurent Kate tassel bag dupe | marthajaneedwards.com

Martha Jane Edwards wearing a grey longline boyfriend coat, a plain white tee, blue jeans and leather sock boots with a Gucci belt dupe and a Saint Laurent Kate tassel bag dupe | marthajaneedwards.com


BUYING RESPONSIBLY


In short, I think so. At this moment in time, I’m nowhere near being able to afford to deck out my wardrobe in mid to high end gear, so I’ll continue to make my ASOS hauls and get the look for less. Dupes, as long as they err on the side of ‘inspired by’ rather than ‘complete knock off’ are OK. However, I don’t think it would hurt if we were all more aware of what our consumer habits imply for the wider world, and that goes for every industry. As I mentioned in my post about personal style, I still struggle to resist the lure of fast fashion, particularly as a fashion blogger who feels a certain amount of pressure to wear the trends. However, I like to think I’m becoming more aware of the problems within the fashion industry. I think as long as we’re willing to take a long hard look at the implications of fast fashion and recognise why dupes are successful, then we’re free to go ahead and make our purchases with that knowledge in mind. £3 Primark Gucci loafer dupes galore!


OUTFIT DETAILS


COAT – ASOS*
T SHIRT Boohoo*
JEANS – ASOS*
BOOTS – New Look (similar)*
BAGASOS*
BELT ASOS*
SUNGLASSESASOS*

Martha Jane Edwards wearing a grey longline boyfriend coat, a plain white tee, blue jeans and leather sock boots with a Gucci belt dupe and a Saint Laurent Kate tassel bag dupe | marthajaneedwards.com


SHOP THE POST*



Click the arrow for more options. This widget features affiliate links.


Martha Jane Edwards wearing a grey longline boyfriend coat, a plain white tee, blue jeans and leather sock boots with a Gucci belt dupe and a Saint Laurent Kate tassel bag dupe | marthajaneedwards.com


 

What’s your opinion on dupes? Are they OK or are they plain plagiarism?

 


Is It OK To Buy A Dupe? | www.marthajaneedwards.com
Follow:
Share: