Tuesday, April 20, 2004

Bad Clothes Cheap!

Recently I had a chance to speak with Pamela Klaffke, author of Spree: A Cultural History of Shopping, for a business article I was working on. We eventually strayed off topic, discussing Cargo and H&M, the new disposable fashion clothier. We stumbled into the H&M versus Zara comparison debate and, Klaffke noted that Zara clothes represent good value for the money while H&M is much less good. "More like Le Chateau?" I asked. She agreed.

Having my expectations thus downgraded, I was better prepared to enter H&M a couple of Saturdays ago. And forget Le Chateau my friend, those cheap bastards are closer to Old Navy in the style and quality department. They had passable stuff – even a few pretty good things for men, mostly pants, but there was an equal amount of grossness. The women’s section was better, but the very good mixed with the very bad quite freely. Tonnes of accessories at pennies a pound – I got a great metal bracelet (for men, thanks very much, or at the very least, metrosexuals) for under $10 and my girlfriend found a great purse for $8 or something ridiculous like that. So if these accessories last 95 minutes before disintegrating, that’s OK. But as for some of the clothing, well, ecch.

The day we were there, H&M was, of course, packed. Which proves, once again, how little I know about shopping.