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Addicted: Chanel Vest Edition

There’s not a shopping-related addictive behavior in existence that I don’t exhibit now and again. Sure, I’m an editor at a shopping magazine, so it’s no surprise that I’m out there doin’ what I can to stimulate the economy. But this little problem of mine has brought me far too close to being the most well dressed homeless person you’ve ever seen.

“You know, you can just go into a store to look around. You don’t have to buy everything in it,” John Jannuzzi will say in preface to our weekly trips to Opening Ceremony. But for me, that’s not true. I’m not even fully equipped to walk into a 7/11 without leaving with every type of chip on the shelf.

And I can’t seem stop by a Kmart for some plastic bags without seriously considering a NuWave oven. (Guys, you can cook an entire turkey to perfection in this thing! I haven’t tried it yet, but it sounds magical.) And if there’s an infomercial on TV—please hide my phone and my computer. I’m the proud owner of an “Ab roller” and the financial backer of several small children in various third world countries. That one gets me every time....

So, quite obviously, when I can conjure up some semi-real reason to walk into a store, I’m be there faster than you can say American Express. This time it was a friend who asked me to pick up a World War II bomber jacket covered in Swastikas from my very favorite vintage store What Goes Around Comes Around. (Before you freak out, it’s a pro-US jacket, featuring one Swastika for each Nazi plane they took out. Seriously, what would a nice half-Jewish girl like me be doing comingling with a racist?)

When I arrived on the WGACA scene, I became plagued with an overwhelming desire to spend an hour going through a stack of dirty vintage t-shirts. There was no shaking it. I’ll admit that I have a closet full of some very covetable items, but my most prized possessions have always been and will forever remain my used t-shirt and sweatshirt collection. From the Parisian markets to the Lower East Side, my life consists of one long hunt for the perfect tee. By the looks of many of my purchases, some very bad things must have happened to their original owners. Every “collector” knows that the more holes and stains there are, the better. No matter how much Prada or Dries Van Awesome I manage to acquire (and I’m not so terrible getting my hands on some of that stuff either) I’d rather be dressed in something from this stack. Which, by the way, is impeccably maintained in a very “I worked at the Gap one summer” manner.

I walked into WGACA planning on relegating myself to that one small area of unaffordable, formerly owned by a person who attended a lot of concerts in the ‘70s, t-shirt aisle until I met a very pushy sales woman that had convinced herself—and me—that I needed to own everything in the store. (Stacy—I love you, but you really are PUSHY!) We even walked downstairs to the area that’s closed off to everyone but stylists and special people. I’d only been once when I was styling an Edie Sedgwick inspired look book for Reece Hudson. I knew the second that I walked down there that I was going to max out my credit card. I didn’t even try to talk myself out of it.

Then I laid eyes on a rack of recently arrived vintage Chanel. I was the first to see it. Don’t you think it’s a strange coincidence that a very petit Asian Texan who just happened to be my size, just happened to part ways with her collection of rare Chanel pieces the day I turn up in the store? THIS IS REALLY CRAZY. RACKS OF VINTAGE CHANEL GROW ON TREES JUST ABOUT AS OFTEN AS TREES ACTUALLY GROW IN BROOKLYN. I don’t know if she is really Asian or from Texas for that matter, but who cares, girl has got STYLE. And she didn’t know it yet, but she was giving it to me.

When Stacy slipped a tiny quilted leather vest with leather logo buttons on me, we both knew it must be mine. I can’t say what she actually said because her sentences are full of curse words. But it was something along the lines of “You should go $%#& yourself if you don’t buy this vest.” I was able to justify this purchase because every girl needs some Chanel in life at some point. And I’m not the little Chanel bag carrying kind. So this vest will forever serve as my nod to the house that Coco built. (She was one chic lady. Did you know that before she was a designer mogul she wore misshapen pearls because she couldn’t afford smooth ones? Now they’re an iconic part of the Chanel empire.)

Did I experience buyer’s remorse? Only for a second. Did I get a ton of compliments in the office today (the true test of any purchase)? Uh-huh! It also got me this assignment, to which I’m grateful for because every addict needs to take a moment to reflect. It’s part of that step program. And buying way too many expensive things that you can’t really afford is a way better look than being addicted to most substances, right?

Interlocking back-to-back C’s for life y’allz! What are you addicted to?


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