Saturday, September 18, 2010


Yesterday evening, after three days of solid teaching (and very little else, except insufficient sleep), I decided to check out the Alexa Chung for Madewell collection--or at least, what remained in store. I presumed Evan would be in Long Island with his family for Yom Kippur so rather than rushing home to the cats, I thought it was a good chance to sneak in a little window shopping.

Earlier in the day, I'd actually thought about shopping and what I really need vs what I want for the future. I'm trying to save--owning property at some point is important and I would prefer a house to an apartment so I didn't have to deal with neighbors waking up earlier than me and running around above my bed. And children are also a priority--so do I need yet another black dress?

Of course, it's easier to have willpower right now with the new Mayle collection about to be unveiled. Will I be able to afford any of it? What pieces should I go for (a patterned dress is my top priority, and I'd also like a dress with sleeves, should one exist)? It's tough to plan when you don't know what will be available and have even less idea of the price. Buying one item may be it, realistically speaking, especially with the other life goals I've set myself. But if the dresses are over $800, I may just be window shopping. Part of me wishes this wasn't happening, eager as I am to see it all.

Back to Madewell. I tried on the black velvet dress I loved. It is soft, lovely on but the length wasn't my favorite--an inch longer of shorter would be more flattering on my legs, but maybe with tights it would have been perfect. I decided to get it--it has sleeves, it fits my style, and even though I have misgivings that it would be immediately recognizable, I decided to go for it.

That was until I went to pay. Madewell are not offering the educator discount for this collection. With tax, the $178 dress would be nearly $200. So I showed some steel and passed. Maybe if I'd seen what Mayle had in store it would have been easier to pass, or easier to splurge. But I'm trying not to buy just because I love an item and I can. For the record, the quality was pretty good on all pieces. But somehow not getting the 15% discount made it cross the line. I don't necessarily consider the collection overpriced, but when you factor in NYC tax at nearly 9% it isn't cheap, and maybe is more expensive than it should be.

I'm still thinking about the dress, still half tempted to call the store and I know it has sold out online. But discipline builds character, right? And I have a lot of black dresses from Mayle and Lyell already. Just because I love something I shouldn't have to buy it, right?


erica said...

i made a list of things we need and want to buy for everyone in the family. it was astonishing seeing how much we would need to spend. i put 3 things on my list: trousers, shoes, and underwear. maybe a duffel coat if i find the perfect one, but i already own around 12 coats and jackets! needs v. wants...

i bought that silk blouse and high-waisted jeans from madewell. i liked the jeans quite a bit, but exchanged them for the trouser jean. the blouse wrinkled too easily for my taste. the quality is pretty good for a collab., but i've seen better for just a wee bit more money.

it sounds like that dress is lovely, but not perfect for you. and for $200, i think you'd be better off saving the money for ebay mayle or lyell or putting it in the pop-up shop piggy bank.

i'm trying to figure out whether a nyc visit is even feasible for the pop-up shop. i'd like to see everything even if i can't buy a single item.

Marti said...

I say skip the dress. My problem with so many f these collaborations or new designers is that they make things too short. I would rather something be longer and pay to alter it. Alison told me that Jcrew employees didnt get discounts on the collab either.

I also feel like the Alex Chung for Madewell is overpriced. I haven't seen much madewell stuff but I am assuming the quality is close to Jcrew's. I have been so angry lately when I purchased cardi's at Jcrew full price to only find them on sale less than 2 weeks later for half price.

I also assume (I know nothing) that the prices on new mayle cant be THAT out of reach - NYC is very different from Geneva where essentially everyone is fabulously wealthy - i am assuming that dresses could be around $595 or $650 similar to what wang and lim are ... you may see something you may fall in love with and are happy that you could save $200 just a thought.

joyce said...

i also say skip it. if you had really loved it you would have bought it then and there. too often i use that educator discount as an excuse to get something i really don't need/want and regret it afterward!