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Sunday, July 4, 2010

Frugality And Destiny: Jeans and Elm Edition

Yeah, so I'm obsessively frugal. Whether this is a matter of nature or of nurture, I do not know. The other child in my family is obsessively NOT frugal, which does not settle the matter one way or the other.

It is a sad truth that every time I TRY to splurge or even depart so slightly from the frugal path, I am thwarted. Two recent examples serve to reinforce this truth.

Jeans: I love thrift stores because I can test drive items or brands that I would not otherwise. I just got my first pair of Not Your Daughter's Jeans, a brand aimed at the middle-aged. The previous owner had cut out all labels (ERGHHHH. Hate that), but I knew the brand from the embossed button and they seemed to fit OK, though perhaps a bit big. When I got home, Mr. FS (who seldom notices anything I have on) said Those look nice. Are they new?

A few days later, the elegant and witty blogger Deja Pseu wrote in praise of these jeans.
I decided I wanted some straight legs too, so I hightailed a half-mile downtown to a local boutique that carries the brand. I rationalized: I am helping a local business. Blahblahblah.

I tried on several styles and several of the same size within each style--and NOTHING fit as well as my thrift store model, which is not--obviously--of the current season. Even jeans of the same style and the same size fit differently. Perhaps the quality control is not so good? Farewell to the $100.00 jean.

ELM Design: This is an Icelandic line praised by the elegant Metscan of Finland. Amazingly, my favorite liquidation store, the super chic United Apparel Liquidator, sent me an email announcing a shipment of this very line. Also, amazing, my fashion consultant (my daughter) had just gotten home from her summer job, so we hightailed the 1 1/2 miles to the local outlet.

Anything you buy from UAL is technically frugal, because the prices range from a few dollars to way up there, but all is about 75% off retail--before further markdowns. We spied the ELM rack. The clothes are absolutely beautiful. They are made--so they say--for the over-40 woman. And they looked abysmal on me. Every last thing. So bad that I felt tears of horror in my eyes: who is that ungainly being in the mirror?

All was not lost, however. We found another Scandinavian line--Odyn jeans. My daughter had bought some a few months ago; they are long enough for her almost 5'11" height. The few remaining pairs were marked down to $2.50. So she bought some. Perhaps frugality is her destiny too.

8 comments:

hostess of the humble bungalow said...

Sounds like quite the shopping adventure!
Great that you got some new jeans...I have never tried that brand...and wow ELM at 75% off!
But if you don't love how it looks on you'd never feel good even if it is a bargain...
Happy 4th of July!

metscan said...

What type of models of ELM´s did they have? I have a hard time believing, that if they looked ok on the rack, that on you they did not? What season was in question?

Shelley said...

If you like the fit of the NYDJ other than say the style of the legs (are the wide and now the fashion is narrow?) what about taking them to an alterations place to have them fixed? I did this a couple of times with brand name suits that I loved but didn't fit properly and whilst it wasn't thrift store price in the end, it was still far cheaper than full price.

AlphonseH_Va哲維 said...
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AlphonseH_Va哲維 said...
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Duchesse said...

$2.50 for jeans, gasp! I find what's supposed to be great is not always so for me, but it's worth checking out.

Frugal Scholar said...

@hostess--This is really an amazing store. They get lots of high fashion brands--leftovers, samples, overstocks. They used to get the leftovers from Bergdorf Goodman in NYC!

@metscan--They had last year's pants--black microfiber in several cuts. They had some beautiful long scoop neck dresses with full skirts--looked great on my daughter. Some beautiful jackets--white and beige--straight cut, some with ruffle at bottom. Some white tops...I think most were from past collections. Some items were sample sizes...

Frugal Scholar said...

@Duchesse--The cheapie jeans were markdowns of markdowns of markdowns. They also had a See by Chloe dress for a lot. Most of the really high end stuff goes to New Orleans and, I assume, to Nashville.