Tag Archives: Week 5

Triumph or Tacky?

31 Mar

This week’s edition of Triumph or Tacky? is going to be a double-header! It will focus on the ring from the Week 5 challenge and the fedora from the Week 6 challenge.

If you recall, I bought this rose quartz-style ring from Aldo to wear on my trip to Mexico:

Aldo

 

Overall I’m quite happy with this purchase and everyone I showed it to also seemed to like it! Here’s the big question though, how did it hold up to sun, sand, sea water, and sunscreen (say that three times fast!)? Well, given that it’s a plastic ring some degree of wear and tear was to be expected:

Honestly, my original thought was that it would melt in reaction to the sun and sunscreen or it would end up completely scratched/destroyed by the sand. I was pleasantly surprised that with the exception of some scratches it held up really well and even has a more vintage vibe to it now! It has survived well enough to be worn again another day! I’d say this qualifies as a triumph!

 

Now what about the fedora?

Old Navy

 

As much as I love this fedora not everyone felt the same way. Some people I polled thought that it looked too masculine. Also, after having some friends over one night we discovered that it looks awesome on my husband! I wanted to post a picture of him in the fedora but I think that he’s a little shy about being featured in my blog so I don’t have a picture for you unfortunately. Trust me though, it looks really good on him!

Although it is a masculine hat (and again looks better on my husband) I still happily wore it down south:

The Aldo ring shows in this one, it's a little hard to see with my pasty skin though...

 

Over the course of our vacation, and after perusing some local shops (did you really think that I wouldn’t do at least some shopping?), I actually came across the cutest hat! This one is definitely ultra-feminine and has more of an old-school vibe to it:

My husband was sweet enough to purchase it for me and we came up with a compromise: I got the new hat and he got the fedora!

Here’s the hat on me:

Attempting my best 50's catalog model pose

 

Even better, the new hat actually came in at $15 US so even though it isn’t technically part of the SpendThrift Experiment it still follows the rules. I think that this is definitely a triumphant purchase!

What do you think?

Week 5 Results

13 Mar

I have done my shopping for the week and now it’s time to show you what I bought! If you recall, this week’s challenge was inspired by rose quartz rings that I found online. I was particularly interested in finding one with yellow gold. So here’s what I found:

 

I got this ring at Aldo and it came in at a very affordable $9.04! That leaves $10.96 for the SpendThrift Savings Bank!

 

 

In terms of rose quartz rings I didn’t find that much out there. There was one at the Bay that was way out of my price range ($120) and another at Ardene that was very affordable ($4.50) but definitely looked cheap. I would recommend looking online if you want something similar that is more high-end or  is made of actual metal and stone (the one I bought is pretty much all plastic). All in all though I’m happy with the ring that I found and I hope that it stands up to the sun and surf of Mexico 😮 I’ll let you know. I think that I’ll wait to do my “Triumph or Tacky?” post after I get back from my trip.

All things considered even though I didn’t find many rose quartz rings I did notice a lot of pretty yellow gold costume jewelery out there in rose tones especially at Aldo:

 

Aldo

 

 

And these aren’t even the best pieces that I saw! Unfortunately, they don’t sell all of their products on their website but if you like the look of yellow gold with natural stones in soft pastel tones they have some really beautiful products right now.

So now it’s time for your opinion! How do you think I did in this week’s challenge?

 

 

 

Flattery or forgery?

11 Mar

I read an interesting article from CTV news the other day:

“Burberry, Louis Vuitton sue companies over knock-offs”

Three Canadian companies have been caught selling knock-off Louis Vuitton and Burberry bags and are being sued by the fashion houses for up to $3 million in damages for trademark and copyright infringement. According to the lawyer representing both Louis Vuitton and Burberry this could be the largest anti-counterfeiting judgment in Canadian history.

A shop assistant displays a fake Louis Vuitton bag at a store in Beijing Wednesday April 19, 2006. (AP / Greg Baker)

A shop assistant displays a fake Louis Vuitton bag at a store in Beijing Wednesday April 19, 2006. (AP / Greg Baker) CTV News website.

 

Reading this article and speaking to friends has really gotten me thinking about knockoffs in the context of this experiment. I myself have never bought a fake bag but I almost unknowingly bought a pair of fake Louboutins once on eBay (I know, I know, I should have known better. $200 for “new” Louboutins should have struck me as sketchy from the get-go, I did cancel the transaction once I figured it out though!). I have friends who have bought fake Prada wallets, Burberry bags etc. One of my friends even had a coworker who would go to New York periodically to buy knockoff bags and would then set up shop in their office selling them to other employees!

So how do I feel about knockoffs? Well, it’s a tricky and complicated subject. I personally do not agree with purchasing blatantly fake products. Not only are you not compensating those who made the originals, but knockoffs can be of very low quality and can even come with health risks. The CTV article mentioned how knockoffs are unregulated and  that especially those coming from countries like China don’t follow the same consumer product safety standards as legitimate goods. For example, fake perfumes have been found to contain high urine (seriously? yuck!!!) and alcohol levels  and some clothing items have been found to contain toxic dyes and flammable materials. Just reading about some of this stuff has definitely made me rethink ordering that bag from China for the Week 4 challenge!

The other side of the issue deals with the accessibility of fashion to the masses. Unfortunately, not everyone can afford a $1000 bag or pair of shoes and can you really categorize something as “luxury” if everyone can afford it? Part of the whimsy of fashion, especially high fashion, is related to the exclusivity of products. Does this mean that the ordinary Jane or Joe is not allowed to follow trends or that they just have to “save their pennies” until they can buy the real thing?

Of course everyone should be able to follow whatever trends they want but I think that it has to be done in a way that is respectful to those who come up with designs in the first place. Accomplishing this can be tricky though. Every season stores come out with their own versions of the popular trends. You may not be able to purchase a designer dress made of the finest silk or a hand crafted bag but you can usually find a similar product inspired by the original.

When does a product cross the line from being inspired by a trend to being a complete forgery though? Some products out there like those mentioned in the CTV article are of course obvious fakes but what about products sold by stores or websites like ASOS that capitalize on recreating the most popular designer styles out there? ASOS has received some flak for its very-faithful-to-the-original recreations but they are constructing the items themselves from higher quality materials at least. I think that sometimes it’s a tough call.

In terms of the SpendThrift Experiment I would like to make it clear that I am not out to find fakes or knockoffs. I’m looking for pieces inspired by the trends that I like. I like to think of it this way: when I was in Amsterdam I went to the Van Gogh Museum. I love Van Gogh paintings and I bought a beautiful bag (sold by the museum shop) with a print of Almond Blossom San Remy 1890:

 

Obviously this isn’t the same as buying a real or knockoff Van Gogh painting. It’s more a way of enjoying something that I could never possibly afford in a respectful way. That’s what I hope to accomplish with this experiment.

I’d love to hear your opinions though. How do you feel about fakes and knockoffs?

Week 5 Challenge

6 Mar

After last week’s disastrous challenge I am ready to move on (for the time being at least until I revisit the PS 1 bag challenge, sigh). I have to admit I’m feeling a tad beaten down after the last two challenges so I am going to be a bit kinder to myself this week. This week I am going to focus on finding a ring.

Why a ring you ask? Well I have a little secret to back up my reasoning for choosing such an item (of course if you know me this is the worst kept secret ever, lol): I am going to Mexico! Yay! I don’t want to wear my engagement or wedding rings and risk losing them in the ocean or pool so I figure that this is a perfect opportunity to find a fun little piece of costume jewellery.

Wait a minute (I can hear your thoughts right now), how can a girl who professes to be so broke possibly afford a trip to Mexico? Has she been lying to us this whole time? Did she finally get a job? Win the lottery?

Well, I cannot under normal circumstances afford a trip to Mexico, no I haven’t been lying about my meagre funding, unfortunately I haven’t gotten a job yet, and no, I didn’t win the lottery…BUT I did win this trip!!!! I entered a contest that a travel agency was holding through Facebook and I won! Don’t worry, it’s completely legit, I did all of my homework of course 😮 We leave in 2 weeks and I’m so excited!

Now, enough with the gloating (sorry!) and back to the challenge! Since I am in a much sunnier mood these days I finally feel prepared to welcome spring. I have been dreaming of everything tropical and jewellery with tropical-inspired stones has been catching my eye. The stores are also now stocked with spring clothing and I have felt myself drawn to khaki greens, bright oranges, blues, and soft pinks. For some reason I really seem to have an eye for the soft pinks these days so I have decided that I would like a rose quartz ring.

I haven’t decided the exact style yet. Here are some inspirational pictures though:

 

Moonlight Mining $48

 

Georg Jensen €160

David Yurman $1700

Normally I’m drawn to silver/white gold settings but I actually feel like I’m in the mood for yellow gold . I think that the contrast of pink against gold is really beautiful. Quick disclaimer: I fully realize that I will not be getting real gold for under $20, the best I can hope for is a ring that won’t turn my finger green!

Joolwe $329.99

Marie-Hélène de Taillac $2050

I know that these rings aren’t pink quartz but I really like the style of them:

Ariella Collection $72

I’m not sure how yellow gold will compliment my skin (it will probably look much better with a tan). I’m also not sure about the actual size/weight of the rings. I have skinny fingers so really chunky rings just look ridiculous on me. We’ll see what I find though!