Designer Doldrums

January 21, 2008 § 3 Comments

In my never-ending pursuit of clothing, I used this three-day weekend to finally take a look at two very hyped low-level lines, which I’ve been meaning to do for months, and even moreso recently, given my self-imposed ban on designer goods in Q1 (Disclaimer: I failed; I found a Marc Jacobs blouse for 80% off at an outlet, and I just couldn’t resist. Ban revised to apply only to designer prices, not the clothes). I like to think that Dr. King would be proud (he wouldn’t).

Gentlemen, please proceed to the next site on your browsing agenda.

Simply Vera
Grade: B-

In theory, Simply Vera is everything I like about clothes, be they Vera or not — muted colors, careful ruching and pretty draping. The designs are pretty, and still inventive, even for a thrify label; the prices, though, are still of the break-the-bank variety ($70 for a cardigan, $50 for a camisole). My biggest complaint — the sizing is odd, and I don’t love how cheap chic has simply come to mean unfinished hems. The fact that I got the dress below for $13, though, means I would make a return trip — it’s listed online as $53. Oops!


Grade: D

I’ve wanted to check out Sarah Jessica Parker’s Bitten line — available only at Steve and Barry’s, a store you’ve probably never heard of (I hadn’t) — since it launched. The nearest store was a haul, so we built a few other out-of-the-way errands around it. SJP’s ‘manifesto’ about Bitten is: ‘It is every woman’s inalienable right to have a pulled-together [sic] stylish, confident wardrobe with money left over to live.’ Essentially — nothing should cost more than $20. (SJP apparently only plays a writer on TV: In addition to that dropped comma, I found a number of tags where ‘wardrobe’ was spelled ‘watdrobe’ throughout the store.) I could crap all over the clothes all day but I’ll sum it up this way: Nothing I saw of Bitten should cost more than $10, and, even though everything in the store was on sale $8.99, I didn’t buy a single thing. It was all cheaply made knits, unlined pencil skirts, and lame logoed tees. bitten

§ 3 Responses to Designer Doldrums

  • jenB says:

    god bless america. you guys have consumer goods by the nutsack. it is one of the biggest reasons i visit. i like that dress…

  • These cheap chic lines are only good from afar – an online photo here, an airbrushed ad there. Unfinished hems are galling, as are the seams that are so poorly sewn that the shirts have holes even before you leave the store — which is unacceptable at any price point.

    That Vera dress is a steal!

  • stefanie says:

    i agree about bitten. i was so excited when i moved to a town with a steve and barry’s cause i could finally check out the line. i mean the clothes look so amazing in magazines and the prices border on ridiculous they’re so low but in person it’s all a pile of crap. the jeans are great but the sizing is all wonky, i tried on six pairs of the same style in the same size and they all fit differently.

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