If I can’t get to England then I’ll bring a piece of England to me…
These were the thoughts echoing in my mind as I stood waiting in line for half an hour outside the Burberry flagship store in Sydney, on a grey day about a month ago. It wasn’t supposed to be this way though… I had the grand plan of purchasing the iconic Burberry check scarf during my first ever visit to London in May – but as we all know now, Coronavirus had other plans. So, what makes anyone in their right mind drop AUD$780 on a scarf?
A great item to start your Burberry collection
As any aficionado of timeless style will know, the Burberry check scarf is considered to be a wintertime wardrobe staple for the sartorially inclined. Practical and instantly recognizable by the Burberry House’s “Haymarket” check print, it’s certainly a luxury piece which adds a touch of polish to any outfit. I’d had the scarf on my wish list for quite a few years now as I knew not only would it be a statement piece but I’d also get a lot of use out of it. I’ve always adored wearing scarves during the cooler weather. But is it worth it and why does it cost so much?
For many of us, it’s the purchase of particular products which facilitate our entry into a luxury brand. Most will initially buy into a label through acquiring a pair of shoes, costume jewellery, small leather goods or accessories. And whilst Burberry is well-known for their classic military gabardine trench coats, I’d hazard a guess that a large portion of their customers actually purchase a scarf when buying into the brand for the first time. It’s a cost effective way to enter into the chic world of Burberry without having to drop thousands of dollars in the process.
The reasons why it’s so expensive are…
When considering the cost, a few things come to my mind which support the very high price tag. These include manufacturing & production processes and marketing. The Burberry scarf I purchased is 100% cashmere and this fabric is expensive. For those not in the know, cashmere is produced by goats where the fur from their underbelly is used – and thankfully no goats are harmed in the marking of these scarves. Their fur is softly brushed to collect the cashmere fibers as naturally as possible and then sent on to be woven in 200-year-old mills located in the Scottish countryside.
Burberry report that their production process for these scarves involve a jaw-dropping 30 different steps – once arriving at the mill the fur is woven on their traditional looms. Then the cleaning process begins by using Scottish spring-water, purported to be some of the cleanest water in the world. After being dried, the fur is carefully brushed, which gives these scarves a sort of “blurred” appearance. In fact, this is a very simple way to determine whether a Burberry scarf is genuine or not. Fake Burberry scarves will have clear demarcation lines within the check print, whereas a genuine scarf will have a blurry brushed appearance, where the check pattern colours seems to almost “blend” into each other.
Marketing is another heavy contributor to the price tag of these classic items. Just having the “Burberry” logo with their heritage print would be sufficient to add costs on top of the production process. There’s also extremely high advertising and promotion costs involved. Considering the extensive amount of time required to collect a sufficient amount of cashmere fur, the 30-step production process, plus the price paid to market this item… we start to understand why it’s so pricy to purchase. It’s already apparent this item needs to have a price point which not only covers the costs it takes to manufacture and promote, but also meets the brand’s operating costs, as well as returning a profit!
What to consider before purchasing
Now we know why it’s expensive, the question then becomes, is it worth it to you, to part with this much money? I think this is obviously a personal question which depends upon so many varying factors… including your lifestyle, financial situation and whether you are a fan of Burberry and their iconic check print. For example, if you live in a hot & humid climate where it rarely gets cold then it’s highly unlikely you’re going to get great use out of this item. Cost per wear is always an important consideration when it comes to luxury items, so this really is something that needs to be taken into account before you purchase one of these scarves.
A rainbow of colours to choose from
If after careful consideration you still find yourself dreaming of being the owner of one of these luxe pieces, the next dilemma is which colour to purchase. Because there are a lot to choose from – 16 colour-ways to be precise! With all colours of the rainbow when it comes to their cashmere scarves, it’s fair to say I must’ve spent over half an hour in store at the scarf bar just deciding upon which colour to purchase. I’d always had my eye on the classic colourway “Camel” – which has the main camel background colour mixed with the black & red print. However – I also found myself in love with the navy, white & red, pink & white, and the white “Stone” options as well.
Cleaning your scarf, packaging & service
When it comes to caring for one of these beauties, it’s important to keep in mind that these scarves are not designed to be put into your washing machine or even hand-washed. The care tag notes “Specialist Dry Clean only” – so if you don’t want to be taking it to the dry cleaner regularly then obviously you need to be very careful about keeping it as clean as possible. Some people don’t want to have to worry about where they place their scarf or the potential for makeup transfer, and that’s understandable.
The packaging is as luxe as the price tag, coming wrapped up in its own Burberry box. I was also incredibly happy with the service in the Sydney store too. The Sales Assistant was lovely and patiently waited whilst I took my time to decide upon which scarf colour to select!
Why it’s ultimately worth the price tag…
Ultimately no matter which colour you choose, I don’t think you can really go wrong with one of the Burberry classic check cashmere scarves. They are so soft to the touch & truly warm to wear. As long as you take care of it, one of these truly will last you a lifetime. Considering this, plus the obvious quality and how the cost per wear will inevitably decrease throughout the years, the price doesn’t seem so much of an issue. In fact, once you’ve made your first purchase of one of these, you may soon be thinking about which colour to buy next!
I hope you have enjoyed this review of the Burberry camel classic cashmere scarf! Are one of these on your wish list or have you already invested in one? Let me know your thoughts in the comments section below.