If only we could peak into Carrie Bradshaw’s closet today I wonder if it would include labels from Target and H&M. These days you can browse the affordable retailers and find the same designer names you would be accustomed to seeing at a luxury department store such as Neiman Marcus or Saks Fifth Avenue.
With yesterday’s release of the look book for Isabel Marant’s affordable collection for H&M, I couldn’t help but think if resorting to name brands on nickels was the way Carrie always managed to look so fabulous all the time. Would she too line up before the sun rose to snag a highly coveted designer sweater that would probably cost less then a hundred?
In all honesty, I really don’t think so. I have gotten up before the sun rose, lined up in a line that already stretched from the front door of H&M all the way to the parking lot doors of Bloomingdales at South Coast Plaza (if you’re familiar with the mall you know how long this line actually was and in the infamous words of Rachel Zoe it was Bananas.) However, after waiting for nearly 2 hours for a pair of “affordable” Jimmy Choos that would have still cost about $100 I realized what the heck am I thinking?! Typically these pieces exude the designer look but come without the luxury of satins, silk and softness of merino wool or cashmere. Nine times out of ten you’re looking at the finest polyester and cotton. Which do’t get me wrong, I have a closet full of as well but some times it’s nicer to get the quality to accustom the label. That afternoon I skipped out on the line and went in invested $200 in a pair of actual Jimmy Choos at the closest Saks Outlet. Same name and even better quality.
I wish I could say I owned an H&M designer collaboration but typically those items sell out within the first hour, if that. Ain’t nobody got time for that. And I find waaaay too many good deals at outlets anyways. I don’t understand the consumers misunderstanding of outlet shopping. Once I was at Starbucks and received a compliment of my Prada Baroque sunglasses from a Barista. I told her I got them at an outlet and her response was “Oh my gosh they look just like the real thing.” I politely explained, “that’s because they are.” I got mine for $100, and giggle at my amazing find every time I go to a regular department store and see them for a minimum of $300.
That’s when yesterday I got to thinking, I wonder if that was Carrie’s secret as well. We all saw her slinging shopping bags from taxi to taxi in New York, but how often did she hit the sale rack? Just because you pay less then the original price tag should not take away from the fabulousness of a truly fabulous piece.
I could truthfully go on for days about the amazing deals I’ve come across bargain shopping. Hot pink bedazzled Manolo Blahnik’s originally $1200 for $200? It was like Jesus said, “Here Jessica, I made these just for you.”
True, I’ve probably spent more on a pair of shoes then I have on anything else. And yes, with as much as I’ve spent on my wardrobe I probably could own 4 BMW’s by now. Or I could be playing the stock markets. But I love my bug, and the only time I like to crunch numbers is when I’m figuring out the sale price. At the end of the day I like my money where I can see it, and that’s hanging in my closet.