No matter how many clothes I own, I like to always update with a few things each season. The only problem is that I don't take my own advice and get rid of things that I haven't worn in years or more importantly dispose of seasonal, cheap stuff I wore the heck out of and enjoyed but aren't really investment pieces worth taking up coveted real estate space in a closet.
I used to make a few bigger purchases each season and then do some filling in with some trendy, cheaper items. Some great investment items have been my Prada wool trenchcoat, a Katayone Adeli lace dress, a Jil Sander navy wool and cashmere skirt, a Dries van Noten cotton blouse, a Chanel spring tweed jacket and a YSL gray wool tunic. All of these items still remain in my closet and are in full wardrobe rotation at all times (well, except for the Jil Sander skirt which honestly is a tad small...but I am hopeful to fit into it again by next fall/winter!). My favorite "filling" stations back in NYC were Strawberry's, J. Crew, American Apparel, Club Monaco and one season, Bloomingdale's flagship's second floor. I often didn't have much luck at Zara or H&M though I definitely own a few items from both (and based on my advice, should have gotten rid of these items long ago as I don't really wear any of it anymore). The remaining items in my closet are sample sale purchases, gifts from the designers and stuff I bought while on vacation or business trips.
On my current budget, I can't afford to buy the high-ticket items and while I do miss, at times, the beauty of really well-made and well-designed items, I must say that I am really happy to find some very fashionable and inexpensive finds at my not-so-secret retail therapy "boutique." That place is called Target. Have you heard of it?
All joking aside, I really have replaced Prada and Barneys with Target and Kohl's. And I have to say, my wardrobe hasn't really suffered too much from it. The other day I went to Target to check out the new Gaultier collection. Unfortunately, that Target didn't have it so I took to the phone to call around and finally tracked it down to another location closer to my home. Hurray! as I thought about adding a fun, navy and white nautical stripe top or dress or something else to my spring wardrobe. I had heard about a leather motorcycle jacket (for a whopping-for Target $200!) as well as his signature "tattoo/grafitti" patterned items. With full anticipation I entered the Target and....disappointment! Honestly, it was all so bad but I couldn't just leave so I decided to at least try on the navy and white striped dress. As I was making my way to the dressing room, a dress against the wall caught my eye. It was a black tank top style with a long skirt in a shimmery silky taupe with a double stitched cuff-like hem. I loved it but the only ones left were a XL and XXL. Feeling fat these days, I took the XL and thought maybe it would work. Along the way, I grabbed a floral tunic top in lavender and some drawstring cotton sweatpants in a pretty wisteria color. And off I went to the dressing room.
"Disastrous," is all I could sum up for that JPG nautical dress. Maybe on someone who weighed less than 100 pounds. The horizontal stripes, the weird extra material that looks like a diaper and goes between the legs and the totally 100% polyester material = Totally NOT Tubular. More like I looked like a tube.
The Mossimo tank dress, on the other hand, was splendid! Absolutely perfect...except for the size. I had to have it; it was very minimalist and had a Dries-like quality but at a Target price ($24.99)...so on my MUST DO TOMORROW ASAP LIST was stop at one of the other nine hundred Targets in Omaha to track down the dress.
And as already predicted, the floral top and sweatpants were comfy, sweet and definitely something to lounge around in at home on the weekends. And the top paired with a skirt and cardigan could work outside the home as well. (Who am I kidding, I'll be wearing the sweatpants with the shirt with heels and rocking it at the Troc! In comfort!)
Needless to say, I became obsessed with my Mossimo dress and finding it so it became priority numero uno. There were three Targets on my list and I went to the first one and...voila, my dress was hanging on the wall in a S and a M. I grabbed both and en route to the dressing room I found myself in the Liz Lange Maternity section and then the store went quiet. Or, more appropriately, I stood there silently but mumbling in my brain, "I mean, really Alice, c'mon, I mean, can you really? No. ALICE! Really? I know you think you're kind of chubs these days but you can't really shop from the maternity section of Target! But I know, it's really cute. I mean, R-E-A-L-L-Y cute. Looks totally like your Marni khaki cotton trench.
But, really, Alice...it's effing Liz Lange Maternity. Says so on the freaking label on the back of the coat! It just doesn't seem right. But not like you really care..." and with that last thought, I looked around me and stealthily grabbed the Small and Medium and headed off to the dressing room.
"OMG. I love it!" was all I could say but my mind was still in that purgatory known as "I'm not pregnant, can I really get away with buying something from a maternity line?" But it fit, the empire waist was very chic, I loved the belt, the length was perfect and the olive green looked fresh. I tried to look at myself from every angle to see if it looked like there was too much extra fabric in the middle section. And to be honest, it wasn't much different from my own Marni empire-waisted cotton trench in terms of the shape. To me, this Liz Lange Maternity trenchcoat was a winner. And at $39.99 you couldn't beat the price. I finally decided I didn't care that it was maternity and who knows? Maybe one day I will be pregnant and then I will already have something to wear! "SOLD!"