Most people probably don’t obsess over nearly every clothing purchase, but we here at the Brooklyn Gal have been known to over-think even the most off-the-cuff pick-me-ups. Sure, once in a blue moon we give in to the Gilt-y urge or snap up a must-have or two at cheapy cheap joints like Joe Fresh, but we don’t buy on the fly or on impulse as readily as others seem to. Still, with fall around the corner and our inbox overstuffed with sale notices and bargain offers, it’s hard to resist what seems so natural: buy a shirt there, boots here, all for a song, end of fashion story. And yet, we hesitate, largely because we are wary of winding up with a closet full of nothing.
All of this comes to mind because of a quote we came across in The New York Time’s Style Section about boutiques doing bang-up business online. While talking about her loyalty to a cool-sounding Seattle boutique Totokaelo, a Web customer in the piece stated that the store’s owner helped her “build a wardrobe as opposed to buying clothes.”
Bingo! We can totally relate. A stack of clothes, whether bargain-priced or investment-worthy, gets women nowhere, but a wardrobe, well, it kind of makes us feel like we’re in control of our style destinies, like we’re dressing our aspirational selves.
And it made us remember one of our favorite dream boutiques in Brooklyn, which sad to say, recently closed shop. Years ago, when it was known as Butter, we used to slip in for a dose of cool, rarely buying, unless it was sale time. Most of the merch was geared towards that urbane woman with limitless funds, but every once in while we scored a gem or two.
One day our inner demons put the kibosh on a dress we really wanted. It was perfect but we had no real need for it. As we stood before the mirror, the owner told us when you fall in love with a special item you need to buy it, because it won’t come back around again. And she was right. Sometimes when we’re on the fence about some closet-changer or another, we can still hear her preaching those wise words of retail wisdom.
Would that black beauty of a dress still be a workhorse in our wardrobe today, nearly a decade later? It’s hard to say. After all, we’re still trying to build one, garment-by-garment, and season-by-season…