A blog post that isn’t a last-minute gift guide and/or 2012 fashion round-up?! You’re welcome. Here’s a 2013 resolution to mull over: Let us vow to look beyond labels when determining material merit.
I hauled ass to the Bronx the other day to scope out Unique Thrift – a behemoth of a store endorsed by many in the NYC thrifting scene. Ultimately, I spent an hour on the 1 train only to find myself drowning in a putrid sea of Adrianna Papell and Coldwater Creek. More on that later.
Onto the aforementioned T by Alexander Wang sweater:
Had this generic debacle of an effort had been tagged in the $7.99 – $9.99 range a la Unique Thrift’s other winter offerings, I wouldn’t have looked twice. But my thrifting radar is highly attuned to monetary irregularities: A $39.99 tag at a Salvation Army-esque store always requires an explanation.
In the early days of my thrifting career, finding a T by Alexander Wang Sweater – an item boasting a retail value of $285.00 – might have been grounds for celebration. Fashion makes suckers of us all that way. It tells us Alexander Wang is one of the haute-est designers in existence; it uses words like “reasonable” to describe the $1200 price tags attached to his cocktail dresses; it puts his $895 Rocco Duffle Bag in the hands of as many stylish celebrities as possible.
Then it goes batshit crazy over the relative “affordability” of Wang’s casual T line - The deity will now design for the commoners! Praise the Fashion Gods! Sooner or later, the notion that we should covet all things Wang wheedles its way into our brains. Suddenly, we’re at his sample sale against our better judgment, and a $500 handbag doesn’t seem so unreasonable in comparison with its $900 retail price. Right?
I don’t effing know. The man does make ridiculously awesome handbags.
He also occasionally draws inspiration from the GAP.
Even if the Wang sweater had been marginally attractive, I’d be a little miffed by the price. Yes, this makes me kind of an asshole, because $39.99 is still a lot less than its retail value, and why shouldn’t Unique Thrift use its knowledge of labels to make a bit more for charity?
Because everything you find and buy at thrift stores carries an additional cost: It’s called time. A “designer” item at $39.99 isn’t a deal if I have to spend an hour pilfering through fugly shizzz just to find it. If I wanted my forty dollars to buy me only one thing, I’d get it at Buffalo Exchange or Beacon’s Closet and get on with my life. Capeeeeesh? Mmkay.
I’m Jewish, so Santa will not be bringing me a Rocco Duffle.
Happy Holidays, beotches :P