The High Price of Fashion: The Upscale Boutique.

Published February 19, 2016 by AntiqueMystique1

More like the “Oh, dear– this is one of those ‘high maintenance’ women’s clothing stores.” But it was also a good place to get a free sample of Vera Bradley perfume, and a generous freebie at that. I believe the one I sprayed on a card had rose-scent to it. The little sample I was given was apple-champagne scented. Hey, at least I smell like a million bucks and the kind sale’s woman was very encouraging when recommending to do try on garments which frankly, surprised me. I say this because I’ve never shopped in one of these places much less stepped foot inside one in over a decade. I had a negative assumption and presumed all upscale clothing shops were the same when it came to trying on clothes for proper fit.

Upscale independent clothing stores (not counting the mall chain stores) used to display this snooty attitude, “Know your size!” and “Pick it out, pay for it, and leave.” I was quite amazed to see this negative impression I clung to for many years didn’t exist in this certain clothing store.

And yep, I also read countless dressing room horror stories about women being belittled by salespeople for trying on garments either one size too small or one size too big. Hey, we all got to find that happy medium somehow. I don’t know about you but I didn’t like the pair of Daisy dukes I wore that day suddenly turning my bikini bottoms into crotch floss. It was a pain, literally… but anywho–

I can’t ever (and don’t) see myself spending three–maybe even four paychecks just to purchase one ‘made in China’ boho-style garment from this upscale store. I will admit I was impressed with one or two articles the saleswoman encouraged me to try on. I really didn’t want to overstay my welcome and it was near closing. I still had several miles to cover on foot to make it home before dark. And looking at it in terms from a ‘retail world’ viewpoint, the hours are long. Sometimes the hours drag on. Salespeople have lives outside of their stores. As a customer I do understand this and I don’t think other customers are so mindful of this aspect. Why? Because we linger, we see something else that catches our eye or there’s so much too look at given the few short minutes before closing. I’m always the type that will come back when there’s more time in the day. Plus it gives me time to research the clothing brands and see if they sell for below what the local asking price is. To my surprise, no such luck. They’re still very pricey even on Amazon. I haven’t tried flea bay and since most of these garments are ‘here today, gone tomorrow’ mass-marketed it would be difficult to find them on there.

And there’s something about stores in general that will make you lose track of time. And just when you think you’ve seen everything, you discover something else that catches your eye. And that was so in my case. I was asked if I had ever heard of Vera Bradley. I answered politely with an amused smile, “No, I haven’t,” and before I could finish, the saleswoman was all smiles and told me all about this line of hand bags, cosmetic bags, small cute over-the-shoulder cell phone purses that can also hold credit cards. But can it pack a water bottle and a full course vegan meal as well? I didn’t think so.

I’m sure Vera is laughing all the way to the bank. I think to myself while curiously looking at the price tag first, not so much at the hand bag or the design thereof. I reviewed the price which was $58. Well, that’s not the most shocking price I’ve seen here. There was a boho long fringe poncho for $95-104. Now, that’s outrageous. 😮 And then there was the other crocheted fringe hippie vest by either a brand Cherishh or Others Follow for around $75-85. And the Blu Pepper fringe vest that did appeal to me was $40. Nope, I shake my head in private when in the dressing room. I love the cut, style and flower pattern. The price turns me off automatically without a second consideration. Cami’s were priced at $28 for one. I was encouraged to try on a red extremely OS (one size fits all) cami and before I could politely decline, it was whisked off to the first dressing room. I was directed into the first dressing room.

First thought that crossed my mind; “Cooper’s ligaments are going to hate me in the morning for this.” And then, “Oh, no– no, no. Way too constrictive!”, “Gawd, the Chinese sure do love us long time.” :/

I didn’t care at this point if I had a man in my future or if he would even love to see me trying to master the art of getting said cami off without taking my Swiss Army pocket knife to it just to extricate myself.  For the asking price of this cami I could very easily have five or ten in many different colors for about five bucks and still have money left over to treat myself to some chia seeds, organic corn chips or more fresh fruit and call it good. After some struggling like Houdini extracting himself out of a straight jacket, I had the cami off and back on the hanger in the same nice condition. Even though it was made of spandex and acetate I believe, I still rejected it. It wasn’t designed for comfort. It was more for looks.

I tried on the fringe vest (similar to this one, only the one I tried on had blue flowers on it) after I donned my shirt, and although the vest looked awesome 🙂 , the $40 price tag was an automatic “No” in my mind. Bummer! 😦

You’d have to be a stripper, super model, CEO, or married to a wealthy man in order to shop here. Not even with all my paychecks combined would I return simply because I know I can find similar boho garments and cami tops elsewhere for a lot less money. And all three clothing lines are very secretive about their prices if you try to find them online. I looked them up when I returned home. I believe it was Blu Pepper I discovered won’t even let you open an account with them unless you can submit proof that you’re an actual clothing retailer and have a license and other documents before you can even buy direct from them. On the other site, I believe it was Cherishh or Others Follow you had to log in to see those prices.

Why so secretive and picky about prices for garments that are sweat-shop produced and will likely fall apart if you look at them wrong? I think if I want some beach-looking, boho apparel I will be looking no further than my thrift stores. But one thing I find amazing is that I have never come across any of these off-brands turn up in thrift stores. A very good reason for this could be is they are very cheaply mass-produced and seldom, if ever, manage to last a year.

I thanked the saleswoman for staying open late to wait on me. I realize it’s no fun being in the retail world. I’ve heard both good and bad and downright horrible experiences from those that do have to work in retail. Everybody has to earn a living, but I think even if I ever won the lottery, I still wouldn’t throw away my money at any upscale women’s clothing store simply because the garments are no less better made. In fact, it seems they are worse. They sure won’t last one summer, at best. And the earrings sold for $16 per pair, and the necklaces were $24-$93. And their Hanky Panky sensible thong underwear sold for $22 each!! Only in Victoria’s Secret could I fathom high-priced underwear, but a small independent clothing boutique?! Give me a break.

And that wraps up my critique of entering an upscale woman’s clothing store. I do see where the term ‘high maintenance’ comes from now.  As always thanks for re-blogging, liking, tweeting, commenting, sharing, etc. I truly appreciate it. 🙂

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2 comments on “The High Price of Fashion: The Upscale Boutique.

  • What I bemoan most is the dearth of well made garments made in GOOD 100% cotton fabric. Ten years ago it wasn’t all that hard to find, and if one went into Talbots or Coldwater Creek (the original, not the pathetic excuse for the brand now owned by some offshore company) there was a halfway decent selection to choose from. Not anymore.

    Nowadays the fabric is either so thin that my mom wouldn’t even have used it for a dust rag (e.g., Lucky Brand) or so stiff it could be used for a kite (e.g., Ralph Lauren.) If it’s a decent weight, then the “hand” of the fabric is awful, either before or after washing. Not long ago I went into a Brooks Brothers store just out of curiosity to see if their long sleeve cotton blouses/shirts were still as nice as I remember them being in the 1970s. Not even close… but they cost 7-8x as much now as they did then.

    • Yikes! I can’t imagine… well, yes I can see how the cost of clothes has increased and the quality of the garments has decreased. I so agree with you on the cotton! 🙂 I haven’t found a shirt, tank top, underwear, or even cami yet that turns soft as rose petals after repeated laundering. The only thing close to it would be an old pillow case I held onto since I was growing up. And although the tag is long faded, I have no idea what the pillow case was made from, but the material is so soft I don’t use it anymore. Its one of those old things that has kind of stood the test of time even though the pattern has faded. I also tend to steer clear of the polyester and am trying to break myself of being a repeat offender. Sure, the top I seen today looks great, but seeing that it was made of 70 % polyester made me re-think whether or not I want to suffocate my sensitive skin in the summer or not. In fact, I just finished going through all of my clothes and downsized what no longer fit and was made from polyester. I do go all cotton whenever I can. I even donated a crocheted top that was 100 % Italian pima yarn, and the top was made in China, yet the yarn has a stiff, unpleasant sensation that never softened. In fact, it reminded me of wearing a one-size-fits all doily. So that top wound up in my donation bag. Thanks for commenting. I truly appreciate it. 🙂

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