Thursday, February 23, 2012

Fashion Weekly: The Clutch

So you might have looked at the title of this post and instantly had one of two reactions:
Confusion and skepticism (You read my posts about Dungeons and Dragons, didn’t you?) 
Laughter and disbelief (You clearly know me in person).

Look, I get it. I’ll be the first one to admit that I am not the most fashionable of gals. I have a uniform. It’s jeans and a t-shirt and usually it’s paired with some kind of sweatshirt unless it’s 90 degrees outside. . . and EVEN THEN I am probably still wearing a hoodie. It isn’t that I don’t like nice things, it’s just that I’m not a fancy enough person to wear them. When I wake up in the morning and I’m faced with the world, all I want to do is crawl back in to the warm nest of blankets on top of, arguably, the most comfortable bed in the world. Instead, I crawl into the shower and then into the most comfortable clothing I can find which, amazingly enough, is always jeans and a t-shirt.

Occasionally, though, I have this impulse that says, “Dress up!” and when I do, I want to do it right. I just don’t really know how. I feel like I have a good eye for things that I like, but i have no idea why I like them.
Occasionally I find myself reading a fashion magazine or checking out an article online and my favorite ones are always when the author does comparisons between big name, expensive designers, and then the less expensive alternatives.What always makes me so angry is that none of those articles ever break down why something is awesome and why it was awarded page space in the magazine to begin with. I thought about it today and realized that since this is my blog about anything and everything, I could do a post like that every week. So, let’s get to it!

This week’s edition: The Clutch

Milly Ostrich Embossed Leather Clutch - $345.00

Why I love it: It comes in also blue, which is bright and pretty. I like the one pictured above because it could go with anything. I like the texture, the color, and the western looking stitching on the front. I feel like I could pair this with some boots and some jeans and it would be pretty fabulous. The metal screw-like accents on the corners and the clasp are shiny and they draw attention to something that would otherwise be fairly bland. Added bonus that isn’t pictured? This guy has a strap. This is basically a requirement for me since I hate holding things for longer than 10 seconds unless that thing is a baseball bat and you are a zombie, hell-bent on consuming my brainmeats.

Sadly, I don’t have $345.00 to put inside a wallet, and I certainly can’t spend that much on one.

What’s a girl to do?!
Alternative A:  Danielle Nicole Sway Clutch - $68
Small, cute, and it has the metal accents as well as the texture. The color is pretty close, although it doesn’t stand out the way the other one does. At $68, it’s a much better deal.  My issue with it is that I’m partial to the shiny silver details on the original and I need some kind of strap, otherwise I’ll lose this thing like 43 seconds after entering the bar. 

Alternative B:  Ostrich Print Clutch - Taupe - $29.99
Ok, so this might have been found at one of the sketchiest websites on the internet. This is such a designer knock-off that it doesn’t even have a designer listed. That said, it has a few things going for it: Metal accents, the ostrich texture, and the price. However, the color isn’t right and there still isn’t a strap. The description says it’s there but I’m skeptical.  How am I supposed to attach this bad boy to a piece of PVC pipe and swing it around like a mace without a strap? Fuck.  
The cheap price tag really shows here: Overly bright (read: probably plastic) metal, ugly stitching.

Alternative C:  Large Pleated Wristlet by Dooney and Bourke - $65
What?! A well known brand name for under $100?!
I finally found one with a strap, for a decent price and you know what? I hate it. Apparently what makes this particular piece for me really is the silver metal clasp. Go figure. It isn’t that this is bad. . .it’s just boring. The point of fashion is to make a statement and stand out, right? I think the point of this piece is to make sure everyone knows you stand out as the person in the room with absolutely nothing interesting to say.

Alternative D: MICHAEL Michael Kors 'Hamilton Large' Wallet - $148
Oh, Michael Kors. Why is everything you make so expensive? Why do I seem to like so many of your pieces? Why did you name your product line after yourself when you’re the designer and your name is always mentioned? I promise, no one is going forget which Michael made the classy, overpriced item they hold in their hands.
This wallet is fairly similar to the original object of my desire. It has a similar bright color, the silver metal accent, and it looks like it’s ready for my rough and tumble lifestyle (read: well made).I’m pretty sure I’ll look like a straight up baller when I roll up to the bar with my jeans, t-shirt, and this wallet.
The down sides: We’re still missing a strap and I really liked the trim on the original. If the price is going up, so do my standards. Sorry MK - you didn’t win the design style award on this particular piece. 

I couldn’t find a satisfactory replacement that had a strap, the metal accents, and the attractive color. It seems as though this would be a good item to splurge on since there really isn’t anything comparable out there. I’ll start saving $5 a week, and then in a mere 69 weeks (Summer of 2013), I’ll finally have this season’s clutch. YES.

First Place: Milly Ostrich Embossed Leather Clutch - $345
Second Place: MICHAEL Michael Kors 'Hamilton Large' Wallet - $148
Third Place: Danielle Nicole Sway Clutch - $68