I guarantee you will laugh at me when you read what happened this weekend. But remember this: I am not alone!
What I am going to recap was a real eye opener and it made me realize just how much brand names and designer labels affect our purchasing power.
So here I go.
Until a few weeks ago I had no idea who Jason Wu was.
But it’s been difficult to ignore the blogs, ads and tweets talking about this designer making an affordable range for us normal folks to be sold at Target on Sunday the 5th of February.
So I looked. I liked. But that was it. I was not going to battle the crowds on a Sunday morning, wait to get into a fitting room and then have to decide what to leave behind because I just don’t have money. Anyway, that was that.
On Sunday we drove south to Williamsburg to stay with my inlaws for a week. They were going to watch the Super Bowl ( I don’t do football) and I was going to hit the target to get the Mr’s birthday shopping done.
I walked in and saw a few Jason Wu ads. “Oh yeah…” I thought. I walked over to have a look. There was an entire rack of blouses, skirts and a few dresses. I quickly skimmed the sizes. Mostly XS, S…ummm, not for me. I went around the other side and there was a cute blue skirt and a striped skirt both in L. I’m a M/L so I never know how things will fit.
Suddenly I got rush of excitement and thought “maybe I will get a designer frock after all!” I took the skirts and tried my luck with the S blouse to the fitting room. The blouse didn’t make it over my head. The blue skirt fit. A bit big, and I would have to work with it, but I could deal with that. Besides, it was Jason Wu. Who cares if I didn’t know him before, I did now! And it was $19.99. Oh this was so coming home with me.
By then, I just bursting with excitement! I STILL couldn’t believe I had snagged a designer skirt, without the crowds and at an amazing price. I was already thinking about where I would wear it, what I could team it up with and of course when I would blog about it. It was all too much.
After putting Little M went to bed and the Mr. was on the computer I slipped into the bathroom to try on my new Wu skirt with tights and heels. “Oh man, oh man oh man. This is going to be gooooood!” I sang to myself.
I pulled up my purple tights, picked up my neatly folded skirt and then… I saw it. The label. I was confused for a few seconds. Even blinked fast a few times. There were pink letters looking up at me spelling out XHILIRATION. No, it can’t be. It’s a mistake.
I looked at the label on the inside and there were the pink letters again. How could I have missed this. ME! The most careful and detail oriented person. I was in shock. How could I have been so blind? Then I replayed everything back in my mind:
It had been under the JW rack
It didn’t really look like the rest of the collection, but I hadn’t seen everything online
The material was different from the rest
I had held in in my hands
I had looked at the price more than once
I had tired it on
I had watched the cashier take the tag and scan it
By then I had broken out into a combination of laughter and cry. Even though I was all alone, I felt utterly embarrassed about what clearly had been a purchase led by the thought of owning a brand name and designer piece.
The best explanation I can give is that I had been wearing “designer beer goggles” earlier that evening and now I was seeing clear again.
Suddenly the skirt wasn’t as desirable as it had been a few moments ago. I thought, I don’t NEED it anyway. The next day it was returned. I then paid a quick visit to the scene of the crime and I realized most (not all) of the clothing under the Jason Wu sign were other brands and this time it was obvious.
However, I did see a shirt I hadn’t seen the night before. It was a grey t-shirt with a black lace like design down the front. Very cute. In my size, fit well, no adjustments needed and $19.99. I looked it over and thought “What the hell. Ok”.
This whole thing really made me think about how much power a brand can have on you. There I was, having never heard of JW and the night before I bought something that didn’t even fit very well just because of the hype.
Laugh all you want, but I know I am not the only one guilty of this, it happens all the time and not just with clothing, but with food, cosmetics, cars, services, etc. As a PR myself, this entire circus act is brilliant. They hyped it up, got into our heads, then sold out in a few short hours and we are all still talking about it. A+
Ok, so I ended up with a Jason Wu shirt. But believe me, it gave me a massive wake up call as to how and why I shop and to not be led by the name alone. Oh and I got a good story out of it.
So fess up, aren’t we all guilty of wearing “designer beer goggles”?
And if by some small miracle Jason Wu does read this, your clothing is lovely. Apologies for the mistake. I’m just a mama who thought she would be rocking a designer skirt for her man this Valentine’s Day.