Tuesday, August 3, 2010

I Just Don't Understand

I'll totally admit, I've spent over $200 on a pair of jeans, over $600 on a bag, over $400 on a necklace, all my own money.  And I do firmly believe that some things are worth spending a little more on.  A $150 pair of jeans has a lot more engineering that's meant to flatter you than a $40 pair of jeans.  But even I draw the line somewhere.  There's a place where a price tag just becomes ridiculous and unjustifiable.  So today I thought I'd do a little case study on when a price tag makes sense, and when it doesn't.

Bottega Veneta Belted Slouched Leather Pants, $4,500 at net-a-porter.com, Balmain Buttoned Low-rise Flared Jeans, $2,490 at net-a-porter.com: I don't think that anyone should buy MC Hammer pants ever, really.  And leather MC Hammer pants?  No way.  But leather MC Hammer/harem pants that cost over FOUR THOUSAND DOLLARS.  That's not even bad anyone, it's just funny.  I want to know who the market is for this.  Who is buying these?  There is no way that they're worth the price.  How much engineering goes into a pair of harem pants?  Um, not much.  The same goes for these jeans.  Oooh, they're Balmain.  Are the buttons silver?  No.  Are there diamonds woven into the cotton? No.  It's just a pair of cotton jeans with a bit of stretch and way too many buttons and zippers.  Don't get me wrong, the cut is really flattering, but 7 For All Mankind makes a pair of jeans with that exact cut for less than $200, and it probably fits just as well.  Sometimes you really are paying for the name instead of the actual product.  Sometimes that's okay, as with really iconic pieces--a Chanel 2.55, a pair of Louboutins.  But a pair of jeans?  Nope.

Lanvin Ostrich Feather-Trimmed Georgette Gown, $6,720 at net-a-porter.com, Valentino One-Shoulder Silk Gown, $6,990 at net-a-porter.com: When a multi-thousand price tag is worth it to me (in the imaginary world where I have that money to spend), is when the materials used are really high quality and the construction involved is flawless.  Look at these two gowns.  It's just a coincidence that it's the battle of pants vs. dresses here, by the way.  The Valentino dress is almost worth it because of the immpecable quality of the cut and the draping.  That looks like a $7,000 dress.  The price tag isn't surprising.  It's modern, it's timeless, it's impossibly flattering, and chic and yet sexy.  You could wear it over and over again without it being dated.  The Lanvin gown gets some of the cost from all those ostrich feathers.  I feel like Lanvin is one of the brands that justifies it's prices really well.  Lanvin pieces are always well constructed, perfectly thought out, polished, and fun.  Just look at this gown!  It screams red carpet.  The materials are so luxurious, the '20s inspired cut will never be dated, and the white is such a versatile color--it could even be a wedding dress.

I know this is a really random post, but I saw those pairs of pants today on Net-A-Porter and literally almost had a mental breakdown, especially because I know that there are people who will buy those pieces because of the brand names.  Don't do it!  For $2000 you could buy 10 pairs of even more flattering, versatile jeans than those Balmains!  And let's me honest, hammer pants are always a no.

Image Sources:
Bottega Veneta pants: net-a-porter.com, Balmain jeans: net-a-porter.com, Lanvin gown: net-a-porter.com, Valentino gown: net-a-porter.com.

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