In Which Barneys Sends Me Into Shock . . .

On our last trip to New York City (we’re going again this week – yay!) we did a stealth foray into Barneys to see how the Other One Percent lives. Wows. We’re not little church mice but one could get to feeling that way in Barneys. The purses that surrounded us probably cost more than my four years of college. The one-liner we still quote around our house is “The Sweatshirt”: we were stopped in our tracks by a perfectly nice, ordinary looking men’s sweatshirt. For $1,195. OK, it was silk.

Similar, by Yves St. Laurent. Photo via Polyvore

I seek some balance in my wardrobe budget. You probably do too. I love to thrift for the thrill of it, and to keep the overall cost of my wardrobe reasonable. We thrifters all have our glory stories, (I’d love to hear yours) so here’s two of mine: I once found a Chanel sweater for a quarter, and a black Versace suit with tags on for $100. End of brag   : >

My first-line items to acquire at thrifts are purses and totes, belts, jewelry, skirts and outerwear. Never: undies and workout clothes. Most knit tops/tees, unless still new, don’t look too appealing to me at the thrift.

I also like to shop at “nice” retail stores, to touch and try on the new arrivals. I add a few new pieces every season, although I am a Team Bargain shopper and I wait for sales. I usually pick up some button-down shirts, fresh tees and a pair of shoes or boots. Sometimes a lust-worthy purse or a pair of jeans that promises to change my life.

It beckons me.

The end result, I hope, is a mix of frugality and “I deserve a some new things.” Nowhere in that mix is there room for a Barneys sweatshirt. After all, we’ll need a roof repair soon (Five Sweatshirts!)

Please let me know:  do you mix thrifting with retail? Do you have any great thrift brags to share? Have you ever had a Barneys sweatshirt-shocker??

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  2. Pam – I so agree about the prices in the magazines. Sometimes I pretend that my monthly salary has to equal *one* item on a page — I usually come out ahead of real life!

    Anne – Love your honesty! And hey, I didn't get any free samples, so cheers to you. : >

  3. You're a braver woman than I. I'm too scared to even go into Barney's! (Well, ok — I went into the Boston store. Once. After I'd had a couple of glasses of "courage," just between you and me. And they gave me free samples of Kiehl's products! So I can't have been TOO much of a disgrace. But I'm still too chicken to go back).

  4. I find myself drawn to retailers and their close out sales more than thrift…but I have had thrift success…more so with accessories! I always marvel at the prices of clothes in fashion magazines..I guess people really do pay those prices..but it is not the world I usually live in!

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