Sunday, October 26, 2008

On the Clothing Issue

A commenter at Salon makes a Larger Point about thrift, even better than Pretty Lady could have done:

As for Palin's clothes, I think it's worth noting (as at least one other poster has) that the issue isn't whether she needed or was entitled to a somewhat better wardrobe. Palin's income level (which is higher than mine, but not by an order of magnitude) means that she should be able to shop in the kinds of places I can afford -- Ann Taylor, Coldwater Creek, etc. What's noteworthy is that the same campaign that sneers at the idea that people who make "only" $250K can afford a tax increase really is so full of truly rich people that they have NO IDEA that you can get nice enough clothes at places other than Neiman Marcus. It's not that McCain's professional handlers don't "get" a working class lifestyle (they obviously don't); it's that they don't even "get" an upper middle class/professional lifestyle.

Pretty Lady's idea of a Clothing Splurge is paying full retail markup at the Gap, instead of plumbing the Clearance rack. This is what she does when the party is this evening, and when literally none of the clothing in her closet will meet around her middle. She supposes that, were she to be campaigning for Vice President or interviewing for a job downtown, she might go so far as to purchase a nice little suit at Ann Taylor. But everyone, even a Texas Heiress, knows that Neiman Marcus is exactly what its initials declare--Needless Markup.

It is time that Success, in the United States, became defined as something other than being able to casually drop the price of a house on clothing and accessories. Pretty Lady has shopped at both Neiman Marcus and the Salvation Army in her time, and she has to say that the Salvation Army days were a lot more fun. She hates to sound like an old blowhard-ess, but really, it's time for a recession.


Roque Nuevo said...

Hey There, Pretty Lady,
It's me again, Roque. I read and responded to you over at C11 if you're interested in what I have to say on that topic. If not, I understand. It's boring as hell for me too.

Chris Rywalt said...

The nearest shopping mall to my house is Garden State Plaza. That's a highfalutin mall -- no Sears, but there's a Neiman Marcus and a Nordstrom. (I love the Needles Markup joke, by the way.)

I only go through those stores because sometimes I park outside them and need to to get to the mall itself. It's given me a lower bound for my art career: I never want to be the kind of painter who sells work to Nordstrom for decorating. Although I image those artists are doing pretty well for themselves financially.

I can't shop in those stores. For one thing, I can't even come close to affording it. For another, they're pretty clear on the idea that rich people are not in any case fat people. If fat people cared what they looked like and could afford nice clothes, THEY WOULDN'T BE FAT. Right? Of course.

I sometimes am surprised they even let me walk through Nordstrom. By rights I should be stopped at the door and forced to walk around the long way.