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Tomilola Adenuga: How Expensive is Your Fashion?



dreamstime_m_33780731I had been waiting for over an hour at the reception area in an office for a meeting. Although I had been engrossed with my work, I was open to have some “small-talk” with the receptionist who had been nothing but friendly to me since I arrived.

As we got talking, she asked for my Instagram handle, which I obliged and after some few scrolls, she looked at me and burst out laughing.

“You can’t be serious”. She said with a straight face, I thought we were acting out a movie script. I couldn’t make out the emotions she displayed but I could sense some sarcasm.

She was shocked that I introduced myself to her as a Fashion Blogger and Beauty enthusiast, but there was I tagging and representing in my photos some very cheap and high street retailers namely H&M, PRIMARK or NEWLOOK e.t.c.


I tried to educate her on my beliefs, but I knew I could not win the argument with someone who had a myopic mindset. I continued my job till I was ushered in for my meeting.

As I left the building some 30 minutes later, our eyes met and she kind of looked remorseful. I bet she had spotted my “red soles” as I walked in for my meeting. I dared her to ask me if it was the original version.

My opinion- I would rather wear a “very cheap” or should I say “affordable” high street retailer than try to feel among whilst adorning a knock-off “Gusci”.

The question I get asked most times which I would like throw open is does spending a lot of money give you a pass mark as a fashion enthusiast or as we would say it a fashionista?

I love fashion, I write about Beauty and Fashion. Not just about myself or what I wore but I am even more interested in what others are wearing and how they do it with so much creativity. Regardless, if you spent a quarter of a million on a pair of Sophia Webster or a Manolo Blahnik or Zara, I should be able to applaud your creativity whilst admiring your sense of style.

I confess that I sometimes splurge and buy some expensive items- for three major reasons, the quality, making a statement and because I particularly love that item but on many occasions, I think of many other ways I could spend half a million Naira rather than spend it on a pair of shoes. I know with far lesser amounts, I can also get quality and beautiful items, which will make me, be all shades of confident if I was to have lunch with the Duchess of Cambridge.

There are many sides to the argument. Some people argue that despite some folks adorning themselves with the most expensive luxury items, they don’t look like the investments they have made. Yet many patronize the boutique sellers who import from Turkey and China and look like a million bucks.

As much as I see myself as a fashion enthusiast; quality, beauty and overall style count for me – not calculating the amount spent as the first criteria.

I am a firm believer that I can find rubies amongst thorns if I am very patient. A fellow blogger once asked me about my decision making when purchasing some fashion items and I advised her not to break the bank in order to look good. A 5k top if accessorized properly and worn with the right apparel should make me stand out.

Her argument? The top fashion, wedding, beauty sites won’t give her a mention if she does not tag the Manolo Blahnik, Rupert Anderson, Anya Hindmarch, Aquazzura or BCBG Luxury stores. I was gobsmacked. Really?

I think to every man his one and need I say, I have the most wonderful and surprising friends.

My friend, Ifeoluwakite, just had the sweetest baby girl ever. Her pregnancy food cravings were soooo weird. She called me one day and told me she was craving UNILAG’s DCC “ewa agonyin”. I bought some for her on my way from the Island one certain afternoon not minding the quizzical looks I got from the students as I carried the big 3 liter bowl of Supreme Ice cream converted solely for ewa agoyin.

You won’t imagine my shock when she called me two weeks later informing me she was in London and if I needed to get anything. What? We had not even done her baby shower, she was not close to travelling yet and I knew she was definitely not having her baby at the United Kingdom.

“So what is happening in London?” I queried. In her very cheery voice, my friend replied she was craving airline food and before anyone could stop her, she bullied her husband to buying a return ticket for five days. She had not informed any of her friends prior to making the trip because like my mother would say, “Omo Onigbese”.

I couldn’t believe my ears. This was someone who always complained about how crappy airline food was anytime we went on a trip. I could not process the amount, time and stress she went through just to satisfy her cravings.

As I imagined the length people could go to stay happy, I also reflected on this same friend who had complained to me that she would never pay a tailor or fashion designer up to 15k to make a dress. For what? She had a tailor at Ojuelegba who made very nice pieces. All she did was to borrow some very nice styles from asoebibella and show them to Mr. David. Even with their frequent fights, she always managed to look very nice despite paying between 3-5k for her outfits. As much as I abhorred and reprimanded her, I have also secretly nursed the idea of visiting Mr. David at Ojuelegba.

Let’s not start another conversation on how one needs to be prudent in this present economy, all I will say is “Wisdom is profitable to direct”.

Photo Credit: Hongqi Zhang (aka Michael Zhang) |

Tomilola is a hopeless romantic, lover of Fashion, Style and Beauty. She portrays this through her blog- You can also reach her via:- Facebook:- tomiscolourpavilion Instagram:- tomiscolourpavilion Twitter:- tomiscolour


  1. Jo!

    July 28, 2016 at 9:09 pm

    I need a Mr David in my life. Jesus be a provider of “Mr David”

    • Oyindee

      July 28, 2016 at 9:27 pm

      Baby girl, please share if you find ‘Mr David’,he will be a life saver
      Ps:people who use Asoebibella as their catalogues say Hi’lol…

    • Jagaban

      July 29, 2016 at 10:20 pm

      I have a Mr David but he’s in Ikorodu….if you’re willing to come all the way.

    • missnk

      August 1, 2016 at 12:21 am

      i have a mr david but his wahala no be here. He wants to be a tailor, actor, movie director and musician. He makes very good dresses for cheap but the fight for him to focus and make the dresses is not easy

  2. Spirit

    July 28, 2016 at 9:23 pm

    Prudent aside, if your buying and wearing high end fashion does not increase your bank account, i.e you are not paid to look good, it makes no sense. Putting the right pieces together, wearing what flatters your body type and is comfortable is key. Dressing up should not be a competition by cost.

  3. jules

    July 28, 2016 at 9:57 pm

    In dis same country dat am living in, the harsh economy, a woman goes all d way to london so she can eat airline food n satisfy her pregnancy craving! Idonblivit! God abeg, pls bless ur pikin!

  4. Tutu

    July 28, 2016 at 10:54 pm

    It’s not a lie though. All these style sites celebrate folks that wear high end designer stuff. e.g Style Vitae and Derin of Isaleeko. She’s quite basic if you ask me. No biggie to her fashion style except that she wears loubs and Sophia Websters etc some times. Dass all! Even Bella Naija is very guilty. Anyways, I wouldn’t want to spend that much money and go unnoticed. Like they must to see it!

  5. Edith

    July 28, 2016 at 11:30 pm

    Hello pple pls can someone tell me where to get a good shoes zara shoes to be precise I will be grateful to get a reply

    • Meah

      July 29, 2016 at 12:04 am

      Order from Uk or USA through a trusted friend or relative
      That is the only way I can guarantee you not buying fake

    • Ibinabo

      July 29, 2016 at 9:09 am

      Hello Edith .. Check out uniquepersonalshopper1 on IG she will be able to sort you out real good

  6. Vee

    July 29, 2016 at 1:19 am

    I used to be a fashion blogger, the more I wore designer labels the higher my views were and when i wore basics I had less views. Blogging is a business for some and when you identify what your public wants you strive to give that to them and thats why there’s so much importance on wearing labels. Truth be told designer names get peoples attention.
    P.S : Who has a Mr David in their life I’m currently on the search for one!

  7. susa

    July 29, 2016 at 5:15 am

    *rupert sanderson.

  8. Ezinne Osuagwu

    July 29, 2016 at 12:30 pm

    I believe everyone should shop as much as their budgets can carry them. There’s nothing wrong with Louboutins or nine wests, I always advocate for buy what you can afford. Luxury shoes are an investment, to some it makes them feel good about themselves, to others it’s a waste. A receptionist was laughing at primark? Oh well, to each his own.

  9. Booboo kitty

    July 29, 2016 at 2:09 pm

    Hmmm…. Serious food for thought. That’s how I spent 12k on black up powder. Wanted to get foundation too but I no get mind. The clarins cream I wanted to get is all of 17k. Sigh! This economy ehn! One needs to start looking for alternative products that deliver. Pls, beauty buffs, help a sister. Also I need a Mr David in PH. I’m so done with expensive tailors that fail to deliver.

  10. The Cake Lady

    July 29, 2016 at 3:42 pm

    I am my own Mr. David. Lol! One of the best decisions I made a few years ago was to learn how to sew.
    Personally, I buy what I can afford. I’ve never been a brand whore. The only designer items I have are perfumes. I really don’t see any reason why I should spend my hard earned money on already rich designers and corporations (some of these old design houses are owned by corporations). The key sha is to live within your means.

    • A.M

      July 30, 2016 at 12:10 am

      Abeg my sister where and how did you learn. I’ve been thinking of doing the exact same thing. It would save me a lot of money in the long run!

  11. @Booboo Kitty

    July 29, 2016 at 3:50 pm

    I actually know a good and affordable tailor (Mr David) in Phc around St Johns. I was introduced to him by a friend. You can give him a try.

  12. Jagaban

    July 29, 2016 at 10:46 pm

    i think fashion is subject to change(trends and all). What you need is to cultivate a style for yourself…long lasting and what fits your body type,structure,comfortable and not above your budget. Also learn to thrift(2nd hand as we call it). Also try DIYs and also a good tailor is needed(thank God for mine). Also look for cheap alternatives to almost everything(cheaper doesn’t mean bad quality). Also don’t be fooled by brand names…especially “luxury brands”. But most importantly don’t hesitate to splurge on yourself once in every while. if you see what you like and you can afford it…go ahead.

  13. Rayva

    July 29, 2016 at 11:22 pm

    @jagaban can I try your Mr David? Am ready to go all the way to ikorodu. Email: [email protected]. Thanks

  14. Jagaban

    August 1, 2016 at 5:58 pm

    @Rayva i sent you an email a few moments ago. Have a great week

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