Hot Button Issue

The chicken or the egg--did retailers follow what's in the magazines, or did the fashion magazines take their cues from the stores? Or is it somewhere in between?

The latest issue of Lucky magazine shows sweaters without buttons. The styling involved putting a belt across the front of the sweaters. It looks cute, but with an open front, it's hard to stay warm...isn't that the point of wearing a sweater? So it was to my great annoyance when I went shopping for sweaters that many of the styles had no buttons.

I do have a few thick sweaters for work, but they're anywhere between 6-10+ years old. Wearing the same zip-up sweater and the same black button-up sweater-coat does get a little old, particularly when the holes I've patched up are starting to get bigger and bigger. I'll keep wearing them of course (since I love them so much), but clearly I needed newer sweaters for a more professional look. I was hoping for something in a different style. After looking at various sales sections and finding nothing, I was willing to pay full price for something that will last as long as the sweaters I already have. That's when the buttonless snag came in--even though I was willing to pay for a good sweater, a good sweater was hard to come by. Feeling defeated, I had to settle. I wasn't willing to shell out too much money for something that wasn't perfect. And I needed the new sweaters right about now.

What ended up happening was this: I got 2 sweaters, both are $30. They have their own pros and cons, but they serve their intended purpose of keeping me warm, each in its own way.

The first sweater came from Forever 21. Since LA weather ranges from warm to cool on any given afternoon, I wanted a sweater that I can layer with. The quality isn't the greatest, but it does have buttons that go all the way up and the cut is really cute. Because I had such a hard time finding the right sweater, this is one of the rare times when I'm willing the make the trade-off with regard to quality. The short sleeves make this sweater perfect for a warmer Fall day (yes, we had an 85-degree day a week ago), when a long-sleeved sweater would leave me cooking during the day. I layered it over a long-sleeved shirt and it works just fine.

The second sweater was purchased from Target. I found one in a larger size hung on the wrong rack, then I went off to find where the rest of the sweaters were. Even though this one doesn't have buttons, the belt does keep it wrapped pretty well. It is surprisingly warm given how light it is, and the color looks great. Unfortunately, there's a huge minus that I didn't discover until I went to work with it. The angora-blend sweater not only sheds--it molts. Clumps of fibers were left behind on my chair, and all over my black pants. I took it home and gave it a good hand wash, and the shedding dramatically decreased. The shedding should stop after another wash, but for now it's good enough.

Not the best shopping experience for sweaters, but I did find a couple of other things that made the trips worth while. I bought the Charlotte Russe shirt with brown piping and puffed sleeves at (gasp!) full price as well. I wanted the shirt on first sight, since it's a nice work staple. I knew that I can afford to buy it, but it was weird to let myself to go ahead to buy it. After all, my first instinct is to ask if something is on sale, so I felt like I was doing something wrong. It was far more natural to buy the red hoodie off the clearance racks at Target. It's very much like my Mike & Chris hoodies, and I don't have to go to a sample sale for it.


Anonymous said...

as always, cute, cute outfit! yes, i found a lot of great pieces at target yesterday that were marked down to clearance prices including those mike&chris look alike. i treated myself to a devi kroell bag for $10 (from $39)! good things happen to people who wait! haha


Sales Rack Raider said...

Thanks, Mars!

I saw the Devi Kroell bags on sale, too. I was tempted.

Eli said...

I cant stand sweaters without buttons, they make me anxious. Like when I wear a sweater with pockets and I get so used to it that I keep wanting to put my hands their for other clothes!

ambika said...

I really like all of your recent purchases but especially that first cardigan. I was thrift shopping for that something very similar not too long ago.