Monday, November 19, 2007

Why I Can't Afford A Winter Coat: The Disappearance of Mid-level Retail.

My friend Emme and I often get into very heavy discussion about a very fluffy subject: the fashion industry. And we've been chatting about the cost of clothes more than ever. I am obsessed with two winter coats this season, both of them terribly trendy, and both of them upwards of $700. Now, I would certainly justify buying a pricey coat if it was a long-lasting piece. After all, you wear it daily and it's a necessity. My handbag, for instance, was a little pricey but I've worn it nearly every single day for the last three years (it's a Jas MB, if you're wondering).

But neither of these coats are lifers. My decision? A very fashion forward coat from H&M at a very doable price: just $90 (with a 30% coupon).

As high-fashion costs skyrocket, prices at mid-level retailers are creeping up as well. A winter coat at APC, which ran $300-$400 dollars a couple of years back, is now upward of $600. Urban Outfitters is selling dresses for $400. And an approachable designer like 3.1 Phillip Lim, lauded for being affordable, is now selling dresses at $1,000+. Heck, even H&M's prices are going up. With the threat of recession, will retailers bring the prices back down?


Anonymous said...

great post. i've struggled with winter coats the past 5 years...this past weekend i FINALLY find a nicer one at a discounted shop called Winners(in Canada...the equivalent of Marshall's in the US). It originally retailed for $400 and is by hot label Soia & Kyo...managed to get it for $130!

If not, then I'd still be wearing my cheap but doable Smart Set peacoat(think Forever 21 but for professionals).

Finding a decent winter coat was a long and frustrating journey.

Marilla said...

Great post! We feel exactly the same way at Flat Broke and Fabulous!

Anonymous said...

i found a fabulous coat by soia & kyo at marshalls this past weekend. i only paid $129. discount shopping is definitely where its at. also, if you're really determined, you can make nice with your favorite discount retailer and call in advance to see if they have your favorite designer labels in stock. granted, you may be getting last season's designs, but most won't know or care. good stuff overall!