Welcome to Should I Buy This, where noted anti-capitalist Joan Summers betrays her values and encourages participation in the consumer culture destroying our planet.
As is common on Fridays, the Jezebel Slack was overrun with desperate staffers seeking some much needed retail therapy. (Can we please have one week where rape monster Harvey Weinstein isn’t, like, slithering around New York bars?) As my colleagues have done so much for me already, I’m once again betraying my morals and encouraging them to spend, spend, spend. Sure, a pricey snakeskin bootie or designer dress might not be a practical option when we’re swimming across Manhattan to work, or fighting off motorcycle raiders during the upcoming Water Wars, but who cares! (And honestly, snakeskin sounds like an exciting outfit choice for the apocalypse. Mad Max would be proud.)
Alexis Sobel Fitts asks:
I browse the consignment sites ENTIRELY to buy solid basics that I will wear for many many years (currently looking for cashmere knits, and a white blazer) but then I always find fucking statement dresses. That I can’t not buy. Too bad The RealReal did not exist when I got my first journalism job. Anyways, Joan—Should I buy this?
When I was fresh out of community college, and pondering what was next in life, I took a job at a grocery store unloading boxes and lining shelves with questionably priced cans of tomato sauce. It was grueling work, and my shoulder has retained a semi-permanent injury from all that heavy lifting (and the time a stack of vegetable crates fell on top me.) Eventually, a friend told me of a company they’d applied to. It was tangentially related to my a few of my interests—mainly, photography and fashion—and the pay was decent enough to motivate me into doing the same. I got the job, and for a year I sat in an extremely dark room, endlessly retouching photographs of very expensive clothes I could not afford, sold to the company by celebrities and rich tech wives who did not need the money. And then, an editor from a publication I loved asked me if I would like to leave behind the world of tech and cover those same celebrities, rather than pick through their unwanted clothes.
I’m not saying that I worked at The RealReal, but I’m not...not...saying it either. It’s the mystery of storytelling! Anyway, please buy this dress, Alexis. It’s exciting, the draping is impeccable, and you’re right to be entranced by its color. I’d also love to experience you in this dress in one of our many editorial meetings, where you gently inform me I need to tighten up my argument and drop an unnecessary paragraph. This is a dress for a power editor, who’s out to hone her writer’s skills and fight back against corporate oligarchs. (I used to think those only existed in movies, before I joined the staff at Jezebel.) Also, it’s red. Everyone looks good in red, even those who lie and say they don’t!
If you’re still looking to snag some cashmere and blazers, Nordstrom has a cheaper alternative in Fraiche By J’s Ruffe Sleeve Faux Wrap Dress, or this Maggy London Pleat Twist Long Sleeve Dress. I’m also sort of obsessed with this Ted Baker Origami Dress, which retains the spirit of the Stella McCartney midi, albeit with a twist.
Verdict: Please buy this and edit all my commas out while wearing it, Alexis.
Megan Reynolds asks:
I have been infected by looking at countless fashion blogs and websites screaming at me that snakeskin is in. Also, an Everlane store recently opened in my neighborhood. The confluence of these two events has led me to these boots—the Boss Boot—which I tried on a few weeks ago, and loved. However, $235 for a pair of boots feels disgustingly expensive and also impractical for a city where snow and garbage and slush blankets the streets for months. Help! Me! Bitch!
Did you know that I’ve never been to the snow? I’ve never even seen in it person! As far as I know it exists specifically in Hallmark Christmas movies, where joyful children roll it into balls that their dead fathers reanimate to teach them about love and buying toys. As such, I am woefully underprepared for what exactly constitutes a proper winter bootie. But, a few things: These are genuine leather, which holds up extremely well in the elements. (And whose enduring popularity as a premium choice for boot-makers is a testament to that.) Also, is it safe to wear heels in the winter? Who knows, but these are shoes for bad bitches—albeit their Everlane origins—and I’m reminded of Cardi B’s enduring mantra: “A hoe never gets cold.” Similarly, bad bitches don’t give a fuck about whether or not their boots will survive the winter! (But if these are dangerous for clomping about in the snow, please ignore me. I’m not trying to get you killed!)
Regardless, leather seems like a smart move for winter shoes, and if anything, you can wear them for select Lyft-sponsored ventures and know that, come springtime, New York will be your playground. I love that Everlane shows them in with a jean—my choice for styling. And if you do choose to purchase them, some tips: Avoid tans, denim is an excellent compliment, and black leather jackets or skirts would look sick when complimented by these! Free People has a “vegan leather” option, which also comes in black! (However, I don’t support the “vegan leather” agenda, as its literally just plastic. Which we need less of!)
Verdict: Why the hell not!
Molly Osberg asks:
On one hand, I cart my dog around a lot and the little bed I made for him in the back of my truck isn’t catching all his stupid hair. On the other, these seat covers are significantly more expensive than a plastic tarp. And honestly, perhaps most pressingly: If I drive a pickup with Carhartt-branded fucking seat covers—particularly the camo ones—will I finally have become a parody of myself? Is this cool or dumb? I legitimately have no objective reasoning skills left. Please help!
I wasn’t expecting Molly to have a full-on crisis over whether or not she was becoming a Car Guy, but I have to say I’m loving it! As someone who has also owned a truck in my life—shoutout to all my fellow farm girls pumping toxic chemicals into the atmosphere—I strongly, strongly suggest a good seat cover. Despite being canvas, their something so luxurious about it? You get into a car with seat covers and think: “This is a woman who does things, who makes it happen for herself.” Also, I know that a looming post-apocalypse has infected my blogs as of late—but in the event of total societal collapse, at least you’ll have carseats to keep the vehicle in slightly operable condition! Although, we’d likely need to build it an electrical engine, as gas will become extremely hard to barter for or steal (or steal, supposing those oil companies employ private militias.)
More than anything, a comfy car seat will make your dog extremely happy. I know this from experience! And a happy dog, as far as I know, is one of the three things worth living for.
Verdict: Please make your dog happy, Molly!
So—what have we learned today, everyone? Don’t wear snakeskin unless your a bad bitch ready to endanger her own life, beware the pull of vegan leather, statement dresses are perfect for terrorizing your writers with, and nothing makes your dog happier than a comfortable car seat. If you find yourself drowning in shopping quandaries—fashion or otherwise—don’t forget to leave them in the comments below!