01 September 2011

The problem with "high-low" fashion

I was reading this article the other day, about Michelle Obama and Kate Middleton.  They both wear beautiful clothes that appear so relatable, so wearable. Until you see the price tags.

This article talked about how Mrs. Obama, in particular, wears a mix of "high-low" fashion.  Now, at least the writer had a slightly more realistic idea of "high-low" fashion than most fashion magazines did right after the economic implosion of late 2008.

Photo spreads would feature $6500 Armani jackets with $1200 Louboutin shoes and $2400 Chanel pants, with a $300 Moschino Cheap&Chic t-shirt thrown in for the "cheap". Seriously.

Which takes me to a story Tim Gunn has told, about day one of a new class of students at Parsons School of Design. He was talking to the new students about "exotic fashion", and a student from a small town in middle America raised her hand. She said that in the town where she grew up, The Gap was considered exotic fashion.

Which brings me back to my point, and then my rant.

When media items talk about "high-low" fashion, and then they call a dress costing several hundred dollars "low", they are overlooking a large part of America, especially since the economic implosion.

I most certainly cannot afford to go to Talbot's and pay $200 for a dress. The only reason I can wear the labels I wear is because I have learned how to shop so smartly that I can find name brand for less than I would pay for a WalMart item of clothing. It takes tons of patience and oodles of time to go from store to store and sort through clearance rack after clearance rack.

I also spend a lot of time searching through clearance sales on the internet. Certain sites allow me to find Armani and Malandrino pants made of natural fibers for less than I'd pay for a pair of mostly polyester pants at Macy's or Dillards.

That's right, Armani and Malandrino pants for amazingly reasonable prices. And the pants are not ready to wear, either. I must have them hemmed, because the legs are unfinished.

I also shop consignment and vintage from time to time. I have found DVF silk wrap blouses in the Goodwill store, for fuck's sake. Also, Bruno Magli shoes. I paid less than $10 for each. I once got an entire silk Magaschoni suit (new twith tage, to make it sweeter) at Goodwill for exactly $10.

But back to my point. These idiot fashion writers are so out of touch with so many women in America who would like to look like a million bucks yet cannot afford the shit they tout in fashion magazines.

Seriously, if you want to talk about "high-low" fashion, at least be reasonable about what is "low". Even Stacy London and Clinton Kelly understand that the average woman in America can't afford that shit. They teach women how to shop in places they can access and afford. Those two make great style accessible to everyone, and that is worthy of my respect.

As for all you fashion writers and "experts", go fuck yourselves.


  1. I LOOOOOOVE you even more now!!! I hate when fashion people are all "it's so affordable at only $150!" for a shirt. A shirt! I can sew that same damn thing for $5 worth of materials.

    I saw an article somewhere blasting Gwyneth Paltrow (sp?) for this same thing. She has a blog, where she talks about her "affordable" fasion: jeans for only $400! a blouse for only $600! It's easily affordable for everyone! KISS MY ASS! I don't get paid millions of dollars for a couple months work.

    Ok, my rant is done. Back to regularly scheduled programming.

  2. Amen. Some of the fashion crap I read starts out like this, "Here's what I bought to refresh my wardrobe for those tricky weeks in between summer and fall." Seriously? Refresh your wardrobe? For a few weeks? Huh? Fashion, to me, is something like this: you find a pair of jeans that you love and you spend as much money as it takes to bring them home with you. And then you buy, like, five tops that you kinda like. And you just alternate the tops with the jeans until it's time to wash them. Then you sit in your undies and wait til they're done. The end.

  3. OK, both of you totally crack me up. Paltrow does indeed make me sick, only $600 my fucking ass.
    And I do the same thing with pants, wear them til they really really need washing, then wonder what to wear while they are being laundered.

    Thank you both for understanding me!