Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Clothing Snob

I admit it. I'm a clothing snob.

I didn't grow up rich, and I'm not rich now - but I just cannot stand cheap clothes. I grew up in a normal suburb of Boston in a middle class family and now I have a decent job, I don't make a crazy salary. But I have a thing for really nice handbags, shoes, jeans. I like nice cashmere, leather, etc. Hey I don't have kids, so I might as well enjoy it while I can.

I can't afford super expensive designer clothes, but I can afford many of their ready-to-wear stuff at Bloomingdales, Nordstrom’s, Barney's, etc. I mostly shop at these stores now so I expect my shoes and handbags to be of a certain quality. And have high expectations for my clothes as well.

I went to a regular mall today (one that doesn't contain a Neiman's, Barneys, Bloomie's, Nordstrom's, or Saks) and I couldn't shop! I wanted to shop, but I hated everything. Clothes were cheap - the fabrics didn't feel good on most things. In Banana Republic they did have really nice feeling cashmere sweaters, but they were almost $200 - Bloomingdales and JCrew have equally as nice cashmere for $99. Unfortunately for me JCrew only had turtleneck cashmere sweaters and I wanted vneck. Handbags at multiple stores were horrible feeling fake leather. The Macy's was so jam-packed with shit I couldn't even bother to pick through the racks to try to find things.

When I go into stores like Theory they have limited stuff on the racks. It can look a little sparse sometimes, but I have now realized I like this more. I can actually *see* the clothes, I can pick through the rack. The clothes are unwrinkled and hanging nicely. And it must do something for shoppers, because I almost always end up purchasing items at Theory.

Then I go into these regular stores and they have racks and racks PACKED with clothes. So packed I can't even move items to look at them. And it's also clear they have been shipped in boxes so tightly packed they are all wrinkled. It's not very appealing to look at potential clothes I may buy and they are a complete mess of wrinkles. I don't recall ever buying wrinkly clothes from Bloomingdale's or Barney's - everything I have bought there I could wear right away - except maybe pants that I need tailored because pants are now made for amazon height women, and I’m on the shorter side. Wouldn’t the clothes be more appealing if they were neatly pressed – like dress pants, or silk / satin shirts? Even stores that are more upscale like Ann Taylor LOFT has these really wrinkled clothes. If I am paying $70+ for a pair of pants, can't they quickly steam them or something?? I mean seriously!

Plus the other issue with buying something at one of these stores that have the clothes packed in and wrinkled: everyone has them. If you wear for example a shirt you notice at least 10 other people wearing the same thing. I like to think my outfits are a bit more original. Not that these stores don’t have some things that look cute, they do, but it often falls apart so quickly it’s not worth buying. I once bought a cute shirt at Target, I wore it once then washed it and basically it was ruined. It looked like I had washed it 50 times. Stuff I have bought that is more expensive lasts wash after wash without looking old.

I would rather have fewer items that are really high quality, then 100 cheap items. I know not everyone can do this. Many people don't have enough money to shop the way I do, and I know having kids impacts that a lot. But for now.. I will enjoy my designer shopping. but it’s disappointing to spend 2 hours at a mall and be unable to find anything I liked. Like I said I admit it, I'm a clothing snob.

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