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Tuesday, March 25, 2008

This is what I'm up against. . . . .

This Saks Fifth Avenue window, seen above, is right across from the light rail stop I often use. Luckily, I'm smart enough (and poor enough) that I've never stepped foot in the store. The salespeople would take one look at my Old Navy/Banana Republic wardrobe and my old Timbuk2 bag and immediately divine the knowledge that I can't afford a $200 dress (on sale!) Even during my days of wanton credit-card use, I went for quantity over quality (not that a $100 Juicy Couture t-shirt is made in a "better" Thai sweatshop than a $40 Gap blouse. . . .)


With this kind of advertising, though, is it any wonder Americans are over-extended and under-satisfied? You might 'want' that yummy orange handbag the mannequin is holding, but how long will that (probably $500) purchase satisfy you? How long until you're on the search for the next 'must have' bag, or belt, or pair of shoes? I have a friend who is constantly on the search for the bag/shoes/thing she has to have; once she knows her target, she spends hours online searching it out, weeks tracking it down, until finally she pounces----and these things are never cheap.

She's visiting me for the weekend, so I'm curious to see what her latest 'need' is. As for myself, I'm going to try to view the inevitable shopping excursions from the perspective of an anthropologist or sociologist, rather than getting swept up in my own need for more stuff.

Tomorrow, I'll post about Affluenza, a PBS documentary about the reasons behind and the consequences of Americans' need for STUFF. Soon, I'll also write a brief review of the book, which is one of the few I actually purchased last year.

2 comments:

stackingpennies said...

You are the 3rd person in the past week that have somehow lumped old navy and banana republic into a similar category (though I don't mean to pick on you, you really just said your wardrobe)

Old navy is waaaay cheaper than BR. It just catches my eye when people do this, and confuses me.

Anyway good luck fighting the marketing!

Finally Frugal said...

Thanks for the comment, Stackingpennies!

Here's my reasoning: I can afford Old Navy, but don't necessarily prefer their clothing. Meanwhile, I crave Banana Republic, but often can't afford their inflated prices. So I troll the sales at BR, hoping for that yummy sweater at 50% off (which I sometimes find). More often than not I end up spending too much money at Banana Republic, for things that were not on sale. Yet another store I've learned to avoid. . . .

Therefore, my wardrobe is a mishmash of favorite items found at BR, and so-so stuff from Old Navy (and other low-priced stores, like Target. . .)

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