First, a keep-out warning to men and those of you under around 40. At best you will not be interested and at worst you will be scornful.
It is hard for me to spend more than a pittance on clothing. That is because the Thrift Store Gods have blessed me. But only for clothing, not for neat costume jewelry or furniture. So I am the one with the Chanel loafers, the cashmere sweaters (top-quality only for me, not the thin ones so prevalent today), the St. John and Carlisle jackets. All in like-new condition. Oh, and the Michael Kors handbag I picked up. In the Iliad, there are a few characters who, like the gods, just "have it": Helen of Troy and Paris have beauty; Achilles has prowess in battle. You can't be mad at them; they just "have it." I don't have the beauty or the prowess, but I do have the touch for apparel. Don't be mad at me. Hence, my difficulty in spending more than a few dollars on anything.
Those of you who are reading, women, especially over 50, have no doubt learned that it becomes harder to buy clothing for one reason (body part?) or another. For me, it is my waist, which is out of proportion to the rest of my body, which remains a size 8.
So my summer splurge of 2009 is two pairs of Eileen Fisher stretch viscose crepe pants! These were bought from Garnet Hill, on sale, at less than 1/2 of the ridiculous retail price. Eileen: viscose is rayon, a synthetic, plus you were quoted in the Wall Street Journal admitting that your prices had gotten out of hand during the recent boom days. But I had bought a pair in wool-blend at a Wellesley consignment store ($6.00 rack) and the elastic waist was pure bliss. The wool turned out to be surprisingly useful for chilly nights at Tanglewood's outdoor concerts. With the exception of a wool coat and a pair of Uggs (also half-price), these pants are the most expensive clothing I have ever bought.
I am trying to be more French in my shopping, although any French person would laugh at my struggle here.
My final confession: I was so freaked out at succumbing to Eileen Fisher, the brand for the middle-aged woman who has given up (there's even an article called "Do not go gentle into that Eileen Fisher"), that I read the comments on Eileen offered by fellow bloggers Duchesse and DejaPseu. I promise you ladies, the pants are not boxy or baggy. Tell me it's OK.