Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Cheapness made easy

Ever since Kei invented the idea of a "wanty list," I've used this concept in my own life and spending-or-lack-thereof. At any given time, there's a list in my head of things all of which I'd own if money were no object, but it's kind of more fun staggering them according to my budget (or so we tell ourselves). But even more fun is when a pricey, unrealistic wanty proves undesirable upon in-person examination. Such was the case recently when I decided to see once and for all if A.P.C. jeans are as fabulous as they say. (I did once have a $5 thrifted pair, but they weren't the style I wanted, and at any rate long ago succumbed to the inevitable shredded-inappropriately problem of preowned pants.) 

What instigated this latest revival-of-wanty was, I'd tried on these, also all-cotton, deemed them almost perfect, and started wondering if almost-perfect exists for $112, maybe perfect costs $185. All of this, to be clear, was highly theoretical, what with the actual jeans I wear being a $30 pair from Uniqlo and another $30 pair from Levi's, neither of them purchased within the past year or close. But eh, I've stopped growing, and if I were to find the perfect pair, maybe I'd... try to find them on eBay or something. $185 is almost comically too much for pants. $112 comes close, but these at least claim some labor superiority to the $30 variety to which I'd grown accustomed. 

But what if these A.P.C. ones were the most beautiful jeans ever? I had the compulsion not so much to buy said pants as to know. So I was running errands on campus and figured what they heck. I entered A.P.C., said hello to the guard (because this is Designer) and the various gamine and gamin store employees, making my way to the back of the store, where I confirmed that I was interested in "denim." I first heard the sales pitch for the denim, but had come in knowing what I wanted to see, and off to the dressing room I went. But before this even got to the point of, a) will I fit into these, and b) if so, will they do me any favors, I couldn't help but notice that they were made out of some incredibly thick canvas-type material, like a sail or tarp or something, such that they could basically stand upright on their own. I maybe half-tried them on, before deciding that even if I could get into them and they looked amazing (both unlikely, although sizing up may have dealt with the former), they were just awful. Pretty but awful. Fine, jeans are better if not all-out stretch pants, but they shouldn't be of a texture more suited to the Arms and Armor Division at the Met. 

And I was thrilled. OK, pleased. No $185 jeans, not now, not at some unspecified date three years from now. I not only can't afford them but don't want them. This freed up a slot for another longtime wanty: holographic nail polish.


Miss Self-Important said...

How is this holographic? It just looks glittery to me. Also, slightly cheaper at, plus free shipping over $25. (Ahem, not that I own 20 Ulta nail polishes...)

Phoebe Maltz Bovy said...

I promise it's holographic in person. In the bottle, at least. Writing the ol' dissertation plus compulsively checking comments to/tweets about that post have gotten in the way of making my nails sparkly.

And, I totally did try to find holographic nail polish at the Ulta in one of the strip malls here, and... nothing. But this is reminding me, cheapness-wise, of my latest discovery: sister sites beauty- and It's great because you can get whichever nonsense (mod pale-pink lipstick)and reach the free shipping limit with something frugal and sensible like soap refills. It's revelations like these, I realize, that prevent WWPD from becoming a draw for its titillating overshare.

Phoebe Maltz Bovy said...

Update: it's holographic and wonderful.

Miss Self-Important said...

Ooh, I had never seen this. These are pretty good prices. Good, b/c I was running out of Ulta cart stuffers like 200-ct bags of cotton balls. Probably toothpaste is a better alternative.