Thursday, September 18, 2014

Are You Going to Wear THAT?

A few days ago I noted on my Facebook page the following: "It's the birthday of fashion designer Karl Lagerfeld, famous for his work both alone and with such other famous designers as Coco Chanel in creating extraordinarily expensive clothes that don't look any better than the ones you buy at JC Penney's."

I was immediately called to task by my old* friend Marilyn, who said in response, "You have GOT to be kidding, Bilbo! You cannot see a difference?"

Well, it all went downhill from there.

The point that I was trying to make, with all the humorous ineptitude for which I am justly renowned, was that people (particularly women) frequently spend obscene amounts of money on designer outfits that look wonderful, but not necessarily to a degree that is commensurate with the price demanded. When you buy something that's been designed by a Lagerfeld, or a Chanel, or a Vera Wang, or a Donna Karan, or whatever, you are paying an enormous surcharge for a name and the social cachet that goes with it. When you buy the right outfit at JC Penney's and clean up well, you can look good for much less.

And it's not just the designer names attached to ladies' dresses and men's suits (can you spell "Armani" or "Hugo Boss" or "Ermenegildo Zegna"?) that are an issue in pricing. Consider also Bilbo's Law of the Proportional Economics of Garments, which states that, "The price of a woman's evening gown or bathing suit is inversely proportional to the amount of material used in the construction thereof." I've seen women's bathing attire that covers virtually nothing, yet costs the equivalent of the GNP of Burkina Faso. "Wieso das?"**, as my father-in-law is fond of asking. This is related to the factor I have previously referred to as the Degree of Gasp, which is a measure of the desirability of a garment for a teenage girl ... my daughter was fond of selecting her prom dresses based on this factor - the louder my gasp at the sight of her in the dress, the more attractive and desirable it became ... and the Law of the Proportional Economics of Garments naturally factored into that reaction as well.

So, ladies, consider your purchases well. Your men love to see you looking good ... but they also like to be able to do other things like make mortgage payments and feed the family.

Have a good day. More thoughts coming.


By which I mean, "long-time and cherished."

** German, loosely translated as, "What's up with that?"


eViL pOp TaRt said...

But men often fuss if you wear only jeans. Women note the fine points of workmanship that guys often overlook. And there's the comfort factor. Well made clothes feel better on you. Especially some garments that are often problematic to wear.

Swimwear is not that expensive!

Wedding dresses are!

Margaret (Peggy or Peg too) said... a point. The construction of a JC Penney dress compared to a Chanel piece of clothing is far different. But since I also like to eat, pay my mortgage and still be able to dress myself I end up with JC Penney's. I draw the line at wedding dresses. That is damn foolish to me for a few hours and never to be worn again. I don'it fit the female mold on this one. I'd have rent a dress if it was possible back then!

Linda Kay said...

I have to admit that I do like the better quality clothes, not necessarily the most expensive. I go directly to the sale racks at the end of the season to make my selections. But for the most part I don't know too many who would see me and know the difference. Always fun to read your thoughts and comments.

Big Sky Heidi said...

Some stores sell poorer quality clothes at outlet malls, like the one in Pigeon Forge.

Also, some communities have more relaxed standards for work acceptable women's clothes, unlike NYC or Washington.

Anemone said...

Most people are more relaxed here on the West Coast than in the Eastern cities.

Mike said...

If a $20 pair of jeans doesn't last me 10 years I'm pissed.

Meredith said...

I really like the concept of the Degree of Gasp!

Elvis Wearing a Bra on His Head said...

My lover Jennifer always looks great; I am not sure who makes her clothes.

I'm all for brief bikinis.