I’ve been meaning to write this post for some time now. “Hey, retail stores in the flesh! You’d better start putting those price tags in visible areas lest you want to be swallowed up by the Internet,” – and I’ve been wanting to say that for a while.
Here’s the thing. You walk into a highbred retail store – not H&M; more Holts, TNT or Intermix and don’t even get me started on Gucci – you see something you like; a little delectable treat, perhaps. Bags are the number one worst for this. Modesty, or a tight budget, a shopper’s natural reflex is to look at the price (or, in this case, try to find it).
These goddamn retailers engage us in a cruel game of hide-and-seek. The more we seek, the more pathetic we look. In fact, the only way to avoid embarrassment is to know exactly where the price is – and even then, the fact that you know, instinctively, to flip around a shoe in order to find the price nestled on the arch between the heel and the toe, is also kinda pathetic.
It’s like, why else would you be flipping a shoe upside down if not to check its price and concurrently declare to the whole world that you can’t afford them, really. As my mom says, “if you have to ask how much it costs, you can’t afford it.”
Handbags are the worst. I mean, at least with a shoe you could arguably be looking to see if the sole is vero cuoio - but with a bag, there is no reason for you to go into the glove compartment, as I like to call it, unless you are on the hunt for that stupid price tag. Unzip the main zipper, god bless the tote, look for the inside pocket (if it’s an Alexander Wang bag, good fucking luck; he is the King of compartments), and then surreptitiously pull out the price tag – glance at it, even. I usually go by zeros. Oh, what’s that? 4 zeros? Don’t mind if I don’t. But it’s too late, you’ve already gone in for the kill. The only way out? Bow your head down and exit stage left.
I was in Chanel a few months ago. Saw a gorgeous, wallet on a chain in silver. I estimated its price in my mind because there was no way in hell I was going to start opening up little zipper compartments of a little zipper bag in a practically empty store with the security guard heaving down my neck – and I knew exactly what he was thinking: “you can’t afford it, muhahahahahahahahaha” with that little sinister grin bidding me welcome upon my arrival. Welcome to Chanel? Welcome to shopping HELL!!!!!!!!!
You leave, hoping no one has noticed you come and go, empty handed. You plan for the next time when you’ve clear out your savings account; walk in with cold hard cash. Stacks of it. Point to the bag you want – without even touching it. Second-guess Chanel? Who am I, a pauper? And then you do a little laugh just to lighten the mood, perhaps feign disinterest here and there. You know he’s trying to gauge whether you’re going to cop the bag or not, so why not fuck with him a bit?
Then the moment, THAT moment when you DON’T look inside the inside pocket and just hand over the cash like it’s coffee money, a trifle, and declare, “I’ll take it!”
You walk out with your lifesavings in an ostentatious shopping bag and the entire thing has been the most strategic mind-fuck you’ve ever pulled all because luxury retailers have an inside joke about price tags.