What’s the most expensive piece of clothing you own? Mine is easy; the outfit I wore for my son’s wedding three years ago, but that could be considered a special occasion. Second to that is a pair of Colorado boots I bought for almost $300—mind you, they have proved exceptionally good value for money as they’ve seen me through five winters now, without signs of ageing or need of repair.
The reason I ask, is a few days ago (for want of nothing better to do) I picked up a local shopping centre magazine, but let’s not be coy—it was the Canberra Centre Culture magazine. I call it magazine as it’s not quite junk mail (though it is chock full advertising and little else) or a sale catalogue, but is in fact a forty-something page glossy, which in my mind entitles it to be a magazine. But I digress …
Amongst all the ads for the brand and boutique shops was a small article on how you could get “the look for less”, remember those words. There were two looks, and the first that caught my eye was an outfit including a Hugo Boss dress at $899. $899! You might as well say $900 as you can’t do much with your dollar change.
Coincidentally, a colleague of mine was previously the Marketing Manager of this particular centre, and she commented that Hugo Boss was a very slow moving retailer and that’s why they pushed it in the mag. Well, I’m no expert, but here’s a little tip Hugo; maybe if you dropped your prices a tad—just a tad mind—you might actually become a faster mover.
Perhaps I associate with misers, but I don’t know anyone who would pay $900 for a dress. Even in this up-market, highly-paid, secure employment city (population around 350,000) I think you could probably count on both hands the number of people who would hand over that amount of money for one item of clothing, and most of them would probably reside in embassies or the Parliamentary Triangle.
Next up in the look was a pair of Wittner shoes—a mere snip at $189. So already you’re over a grand for your new look. Include the bag, a jacket, Hermes scarf, and various bits and bobs of jewellery and you’ve calmly shelled out close to $2,000 for your sensational new Spring look.
I could spend two weeks in a beach house on the Cook Islands for $2,000, and if I stayed across the road from the beach the $2,000 would include the airfare. I could buy a cheap run-around second car for $2,000. I could go on an eight day cruise around the Pacific for $2,000.
Shopping Centre Fashionista? Not at those prices …