I will go to my grave telling people this: it is better to buy fewer items of higher quality that you can have forever than it is to buy more items of lesser quality that you will throw away next year.
There are always exceptions. For me, this would be uber-trendy clothes and shoes. When you ask yourself, “Will I be wearing this next year?” and the answer is a resounding “No, but I’d like to enjoy wearing this now,” then it is time to find less expensive options that still allow you to have fun with your wardrobe.
Here are some things that I would not pay a premium/designer price for:
- Shabooties (a la Katie Holmes)
- Neon jeans
- Platform color blocked pumps
- Smoking slippers
Why? You probably won’t be wearing them next year. And, worse than that, the consignment stores probably won’t accept them.
Enter JCP. (That would be the new moniker for JCPenney. I guess the name Jacques Penne was taken out of the running.) JCP has gone and hired themselves some good designers. Here’s how I know this:
Having seen a couple of pairs of shoes and a blouse on friends that literally turned my head, I asked the logical question, “Where did you get those?” JCP was the reply. You read it here first. Yep, those shoes and the blouse that looked like Kate Spade or Lilly Pulitzer were actually from JCP.
With this knowledge, I decided it was time to play secret shopper…
Walking in at 10 a.m. on a Monday, I discoverd that JCPenney’s shoppers are exactly what you’d picture them to be. Older. Women. Definitely older. The salon was bursting at the seams. (Who knew they had a salon?) I guess Monday is wash-and-set day.
Here’s what else I learned making a quick perusal the store: the average ticket price is around $40. You will be surprised what you can get for $40 at JCP. (Click on the pictures that follow for purchase information.)
After making a tour, I meander back to the shoes and looky, BOOTS for fall!
And shoes that are on trend, as well.
Let me be absolutely clear, these shoes are inexpensive for a reason. They are not real leather (I shudder when I type Pleather). They are not real suede. They are all man-made. Matters not, they are cute and you cannot tell the difference.
Next, I wandered over to the clothes.
There was a lounge. (It felt like Bittner’s had come in to design the Liz Claiborne section.) White lounge area with fashion magazines and a chartreuse wall. Where am I??
Get ready to hunt. I was astonished to find so many cute things hanging up humbly on the racks, and so many not-so-great things displayed with prominence on mannequins. Someone could quit their day job and style the mannequins over there. (I smell a consulting job out there for some chic StyleBlueprint reader.)
Never fear, though. Just when you think you have entered an alternate universe, you will encounter this:
All better now.
Whew, I was starting to get a headache surrounded by so much change.
I’m headed back to the salon with her to see all the action.
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