Tuesday, September 29, 2009

The Mill's New Clothes

I’m not really one to pray at the satiny, slim-fit altar of high fashion. I likes me some Old Navy shirts and some blue jeans from Target. But at the same time, I can’t help but occasionally splurge on a high-fashion, well-tailored, perfectly proportional suit of clothes. – so long as it’s a bargain of epic proportions.

And so it’s been that I’ve recently frequented the Gilt Groupe’s website, looking for a new fancy dress suit. They offer brand name European and American designer clothes, at Bangladeshi garbage dump prices. The only problem is, you can’t get your cash back. So if you order something, and you don’t like it, you’re stuck with store credit.

Not a problem if you spend 30 bucks on a pair of Ralph Lauren pants or, 50 bucks on a Vera Wang cummerbund. But if you drop a few hundred on a new suit – well, you’re stuck with a buttload of store credit if you don’t like the fit or finish of the garment.

And it’s taken a few tries for me – of ever more expensive suits – to finally find one that not only fits, but doesn’t look like something Deion Sanders would wear to church.

It was getting to the point where if I didn’t find a suit I liked, the Gilt credit would have lasted for 5 years worth of Calvin Klein underwear, and Marc Jacobs dental floss. And I was beginning to think that Gilt’s great prices are mostly due to the fact that every goddamn garment they sell is irregular to the point of being comical.

I swear one of the suits I ordered was about 3 inches shorter in one arm versus the other. And at the same time, the tightness of the armpits and the suffocating, intestine-strangling cut of the pants made me feel like I was stepping into my Bar Mitzvah suit – which, after 20 years, may have actually fit me better than the piece of crap I was trying on from Gilt.

But again, you can return whatever you order, no questions asked, for store credit. So I kept my head up and soldiered on, ordering any suit that looked halfway decent on the website. But the pictures and sizing of the models can be very misleading. No normal human is 6 foot 2 inches tall, with a 30-inch waist, and wears a size 40 jacket.

If they do, then there’s something wrong with the jacket – and/or they probably have some genetic disease like Klinefelter’s syndrome, or some other type of hypogonadism. That’s what I’ve learned through this whole ordeal. I feel sorry for these models, because they can only get their clothes from the limited assortment of irregular leftovers sold by websites like Gilt.

That being said, I’m happy with the final result of my Gilt Groupe adventure. According to the label, it’s a size or two larger than what I’d normally wear, and yet it fits just fine. I look like a million bucks in my new suit, and I got a screaming bargain to boot. Gilt is a great site, if you have a lot of patience, and are willing to gamble like you’re at the MGM Grand.

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