I’M A REGULAR READER of The Wall Street Journal’s Off Duty section (there’s almost always something I want to read, be it about fashion, food, even cars). But this past Saturday’s feature fashion story entitled “Weekday Update” made me shake my head. The idea behind the article is that pre-fall merchandise (yes, there is such a thing) is arriving in stores right about now, and the suggestion is to buy a piece or two to refresh your wardrobe. The story highlights four items whose straightforward design will have staying power (presumably to justify the cost). My beef is that even for highly paid wolves of Wall Street, the price tags for this stuff are exorbitant. A Christian Dior floral midi frock in “moody shades” is $4,600, but because of a densely detailed print you needn’t worry if a splash of vinaigrette from your desk-side salad splatters on it. Really? Only if you have a dry cleaner who can peform magic or a spare $4,600 for another Dior dress.
The story’s suggested updates from Louis Vuitton, Victoria Beckham, Prada and Dior had me pondering alternatives, which I found, a couple of them for a fraction of the price. Take note:
Louis Vuitton’s cashmere asymmetric skirt (above left) is $2,750; we found a similar look —Lafayette 148 New York’s midi pencil skirt (above right) for $398 from Saks Fifth Avenue. Save money and pair the skirt with Everlane’s white oversize shirt ($65) instead of WSJ’s suggestion of The Row’s $990 shirt. Sub a Vince Camuto cute bootie ($149.95) for Celine’s $990 mule.
Instead of Victoria Beckham‘s bold-print silk Grandad Shirt (above left, $1,240), a brightly striped cotton one (above right) from Zara. The hem is longer in the back and it’s studded with faux pearls for a feminine twist on a traditional menswear look. It will set you back $39.90.
A cardigan for overzealous AC and for coming cooler weather makes perfect sense. And Prada’s angora-blend with beaded floral embroidery (above left, $2,820) adds sparkle to a staple. But what a splurge, given that every corner thrift or vintage store has several of these gussied-up cardigans for sale. (Zoe Kazan who plays opposite Kumail Nanjiani in “The Big Sick” wears such a vintage sweater in several scenes; her mother, played by Holly Hunter, even borrows it.) J. Crew is embellishing its Jackie style (above right) with embroidered print, polka dot sequins or tulle for about $80-$100.
Fashion’s fascination with floral patterns has not quit. (I kind of wish it would, not being much of a floral-wearing person myself). Get the same idea as the Dior (above, left) for many thousands less—with an on-trend leopard print maxi dress (above, right) from Danish designer Ganni ($216, farfetch.com).