This week’s reader question is from the very stylish “ZZ”:
Dear Katherine: I was wondering what your thoughts were on those very trendy items that seem to come up all the same time when celebrities, bloggers, reality stars wearing them, like with Celine totes or Kenzo sweaters. Through 2006, I wore my Birkins everywhere. Though I have quite a collection, I haven’t taken any out this year because I see them so much. It’s a shame because I adore the style. It just doesn’t seem like it’s special anymore? My husband says that I’ve been wearing them for years, and spent so much that I should just use them. I can’t help but not want to match with every other woman on the escalator at Bergdorf (I live in NY). What do you think?
I thought this was an interesting question, and after reflecting deep down into my little soul I have to admit that I would be lying if the ubiquity of certain fashion items I also own didn’t bug me at times. After all, aren’t we all unique snowflakes, with different personalities? Why am I carrying the same bag as at least 5 other women at the Hong Kong airport?
Luxury throughout the years was a unique, specific shopping experience – often with items customized for each customer’s needs. These days, the act of buying a luxury good can still feel very special (although there are a litany of Pretty Woman snobby salesperson stories out there) – but the reality is, the major luxury houses are sometimes producing thousands and thousands of the same exact items at a time. If you’re buying one of the “icon” items of a major brand – chances are, you’ll end up having the same item as thousands of other women.
Even though I’ve accepted this reality, I still realized that for some items the idea of matching with everyone else bothered me, and for some others, I couldn’t care less. For me, it’s really related to the specific sentimentality of an item. Longchamp Le Pliage? I happily tote mine on my travels, knowing that I’ll be matching with at least 20% of women at the airport. A bracelet that say, my husband bought for me? I’d want it to be special, a little more individual. Doesn’t have to be an entirely unique piece that nobody has, but I would prefer not to see it on multiple members of the Real Housewives cast.
Except for the ones that Mr. Feather specifically chose for me, I’m not too sentimental about many of my clothes and accessories…so I don’t mind having “popular” items too much, as long as I genuinely like them myself. But if it’s a special item, or if it has a very nice memory attached? Then, I care more. That’s just me!
Oh, and my specific answer to ZZ? I would keep the Birkins for now…store them away for a few months, and wear something new. And at a later date, come back to them….maybe they’ll feel more fresh. And by that time, perhaps the Kardashians will have moved onto something new!
How do you all feel about wearing very trendy, or “popular” items?