This tale begins with a new, bigger and better Nordstrom Rack that recently opened in downtown Seattle. Obviously, for field research sake, I had to make a maiden pilgrimage to the new location during the week of its' grand opening. As expected, it was a mob scene- which is not my bag when it comes to shopping- but I quickly skimmed the designer racks and found that this new location had by far the largest selection of discounted bridge and designer lines in all the land. This 40' x 40' basement balagan (cluster f**k in hebrew) instantly became my new mecca.
On one of my most recent shopping missions, I came upon some particularly sacred designer finds. While they were nestled safely among the rubble that is the heavily discounted retail nightmare, they were still designer pieces, marked down from ungodly high prices. This begs the question: to buy or not to buy.
I fortuitously recorded these holy discoveries to showcase to my readers and fellow Clothing Connoisseurs and Collectors the conundrum that we have when we come across something so special and marked down, but still very expensive.
Item #1: An Herve Leger bandage cocktail dress in a beautiful sapphire blue:
So, the specs on this dress are that it was priced at id="mce_marker"350 at Nordstrom, marked down a few times at the mainline store, before being banished to the Rack, where it was further marked down to $429, taking it to 32% of it's original price. To buy or not to buy? Oh I bought! My reasoning is that it fits me perfectly, it's a stunning color, it's extremely flattering and it can be worn with a blazer, with a leather jacket or makes quite the statement on its own.
Next item: A Dolce & Gabbana (not D&G, the maker's less expensive line) sheath dress in a beautiful floral print:
The rundown on this little diamond in the rough is that it was originally priced at id="mce_marker"845- yes, there's a one in front of that eight- again passed over by the naive, Nordstrom minions, making its' way to the Rack where it was also marked down by 68% to $589. To Buy or Not To Buy? I haaaaaaaad to, it was so cute on!!! Whoops. The truth is that it reminded me of something that a real housewife of Dallas would wear but with an ironic edge to it. Like the Herve, was my exact size, I have nothing like it and its perfect for a luncheon, a shower of some kind, a garden party or worn with a sexy heel for evening. The truth is I may end up returning it (that's why we love Nordstrom) but I just feel the need to channel my GCB for a week or so, in front of my bedroom mirror!
We've come to the last of the sacred findings- a real, live Valentino silk and cashmere dress in one of my favorite colors of the year, blush.
This gift from the gods was hanging on an end cap of a random rack, out of place, but looking just angelic as it called to me. I took one look at it and felt the tan hands of Mr. Valentino himself, coaxing me try it on. It was one of those moments when I didn't even look at the tag to see the size or the price, but rather felt that it was such a unique piece, unscathed by the war-torn environment its no doubt suffered in, just to show up as a not-so-humble offering to this devout believer. I saved it for last, trying it on with both excitement and intrepidation and Lo! it fit like a glove. The details, the fabric, the color were perfection. The price tag surfaced and it seemed to be glowing. The first thing I saw was that it was marked down by 80% of its' original price...Hallelujah. The next thing I saw was that the original price was $3400...god dangit. Ironically, the fact that it was so expensive to begin with almost made me feel like I had to have it even more! So then I took this picture of it and noticed that the seam around the middle, where the silk skirt met the cashmere sweater was pulling, causing what looked like a broken seam. Alas, at $700, I couldn't justify the purchase. I can only pray that down the road, I may stumble upon something else as lovely as this Valentino dress.
The moral of this tale is when you are bargain hunting stick to a few fundamentals: 1) The item should always be YOUR size. Don't settle on something a little too big, just because it's a great find...unless its a ridiculously amazing find that you could easily tailor to fit. :) Also, you should always have in mind where you would wear the piece and if it's really expensive, figure out multiple events or occasions that you could wear it. Finally, take it home, play around with styling it and sleep on it- not in it! You can always return it if it's from ye ol' Nordys. Amen.
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