Monday, 14 September 2009

Brands and Bling part two - doing it properly

another one from cheekbone magazine.

It doesn’t look like I’m going to be turning pro any time soon – I’m pretty sure I came in second place in the “vitamin water” competition! (out of 7, and I used the Burberry frock picture, which can’t have helped, the eventual winner was very good (but already known to the water people) and had amazing legs.) there were very strange things going on with the voting (at one point 3 entries were virtually tied on 1987, 1986 and 1985 votes, and then after I’d totally given up to them, they whipped all their dubious votes away, and I was back in second place, but had no time to re-ignite my campaign) and I’ve let them know I ain’t happy, but ho-hum, they might send me some posh squash.
I spent a proportion of my last blog entry slagging off designer labels (which may also have not gone in my favour), or – more specifically, slagging off the way certain sections of society wear certain brands of clothes, and the way those brands overdo it, because they realise the brand is the important aspect – not the actual item of clothing.
Since then, I’ve been shopping, and I’ve bought the most expensive pair of jeans I’ve ever bought. In fact – at face value, (and we’ll come to the question of value over cost later) I’m now kind of having a go at being exactly the sort of person that I was so rude about the other day. I could go into scientific reasons why I’m experimenting with this, trying to learn something from my previous ravings, but it would be lies. I love these jeans.
I’d been after a pair of black jeans for ages, since moving to blue about 5 years ago from only doing black for a long time as I was allowed to wear black jeans and not blue when I was in the sixth form at school. Doing my usual scouring of TKMaxx (where I got my nice blue French Connection jeans for about £25) and having spent £60 each (full price) for my current “best” jeans (Duck and Cover and SuperDry) I’d drawn a complete blank on any black ones. Diesel came close with some nice grey ones, but they never quite fit, and certainly the ones in TKMaxx were never in my size. I had some old Cyberdog ones too, but they’d faded badly and I’ve lost so much weight since then you could have fit the wife in there too.
As I may well not have a job in a few days (another story) I decided to spend spend spend in case I couldn’t justify spending any more being one of Brown’s 9million, or whatever the final second great depression figure comes to. If I’m going to be in the dole queue, I might as well look awesome while queuing.
Justifying the expense by going out to by a £350 coat (Hugo Boss) but discovering it wasn’t as nice as it looked in the picture, I glanced at the shiny (they weren’t actually shiny, that would have been nasty) piles of jeans at the Armani concession in Selfridges, and went for it.
Being in Selfridges at about 5pm, wearing my best (Tommy Hilfiger – another TKMaxx bargain) suit and being as beautiful as I think I am (confidence is a great substitute for being genuinely good looking – ask David Tennant) left me getting knowing nods, and the occasional “good afternoon sir” from the polite and probably quite bored staff. The other great thing about trying on clothes in the Armani bit is you get to use their secret changing rooms. Where Hugo Boss have a velvet rope you have to ask permission to cross, at Armani they have secret doors behind the full length mirrors. I felt proper special.
Being able to fit in a pair of designer jeans was good enough, (I’ve gone from a 38” to a 33” waste with all the marathons) and being able to afford them was the clincher. £135 later and I’m getting even more respect from the staff, as not only do I look awesome, but I look rich enough to buy something substantial enough to warrant the enormous yellow bag I was presented with.
I then proceeded to abuse Debenhams one day sale (which I think is into its third month, although that might just be how often I go to Debenhams) for a couple of t shirts and a semi formal shirt, and completed a busy week for the bank card with a few more TKMaxx bargains on Saturday (Bench hoodie, a couple of loud ties, a work shirt, and a stunning Calvin Klein jacket – all heavily reduced – not least the jacket – from £325 to £69.99 – superb).
Based on how often I buy casual clothes (I’ve been more excited about suits and ties for a few years, give or take a healthy smattering of football shirts – I really should lay off the chavs!) I think I can justify this particular £250 splurge.
As for the jeans themselves – they are, as I said, more beautiful than a baby’s first smile and an autumn sunset put together, and I feel pretty amazing when I wear them. The branding is subtle (all in black, with a matt black whatever their logo is on the butt pocket (which is also going to make sure I don’t sit on the leather sofa in them at home as there’d be an Armani shaped dent in addition to my usual groove, and no-one wants that.
So yes – as well as the fact that I love them for being a really nice pair of jeans, I also love them for being a really nice pair of Armani jeans. Don’t judge me.
At least I didn’t go to Armani Exchange – the shop for people who want to wear Armani, but can’t quite afford to.