Monday, August 6, 2007

Lessons in Bargain Shopping

Since the beginning of time (well, maybe not time, but commerce, certainly), retailers have been well aware of the fact that consumers have a tendency to let loose the purse strings anytime the word "sale" is mentioned in an advert. I'm sure most people have fallen victim to sale bins and clearance corners at least once or twice, coming home with armloads of deeply discounted merch only to ruefully lament an empty wallet after discovering that the ill-fitting "deals" they thought they scored don't go with anything in their wardrobe, that chartreuse may not be their color (0r anyone's color), or that despite the salesgirl's prophecies, stirrup pants are not due for a comeback (ever, and I don't give a damn if they're Marc Jacobs).

However, once in a while you have the good fortune of stumbling across a something wonderful that other shoppers have managed to overlook. It happens rarely, but it's intensely satisfying when it does. My biggest bargain to date involved a savings of almost $500: a glorious pair of royal purple Roberto Cavalli stilettos, originially priced at $740, that I scored for $270. I've worn them into the ground, gotten them re-heeled countless times, and they continue to give me joy (and compliments) every time I wear them.

Since I've found that men are especially susceptible to bargain trickery, I've decided to illustrate the difference between true bargain smarts and foolishness.

Dior Homme arm tee, $79 @ eLuxury. Try to ignore the model. While $79 is still a bit much for a graphic tee, think of it from a cost-per-wear perspective. You're likely to get a lot of mileage out of this one, as it's versatile enough to dress up (blazer, skinny black jeans) or down (alone with your everyday blues), works day or night, layers well and the graphic is unique and isn't tied to a trend that'll go out of style (see skull or owl prints). It'll pay for itself and then some.

Rust stripe LS polo by Trovata, now $48 @ Ylli Brooklyn. Trovata shirts are quality wardrobe staples, and rust is a fun color that isn't too hard to coordinate with.

Rogues Gallery LS stripe tee with button detail at shoulder. $56 at Stel's. Plain and simple with a nice accent that doesn't dominate. I like the contrast stitching and the button detail isn't overly fussy. Not sure why the pic came out fuzzy.

Now that you've seen what a bargain is, here's what a bargain is NOT:

The Dior Homme crisscross runway top (aka masculine halter top), on sale for $119 @ eLuxury. Please don't. No matter how great your shoulders may be, they should not be highlighted in this manner.
Photo credit: 1, 4 - www. 2 - 3 -

1 comment:

  1. EEWWW on that last one. I just noticed its see thru.