I know the music is mad loud and the aisles are filled with packs of teens roving for Kardashian bodycon and Rihanna bling but don’t let that stop you women of a certain age from venturing inside. I am of a certain age and the only limitations I allow myself are when something doesn’t fit right or enhance my look. I have found some very nicely priced goodies on brief outings. You have to get over the fact that sometimes the material is cheap but fairly frequently H&M collaborates with a real designer and if it’s not Balmain or Versace you may actually get to buy something. When Isabel Marant worked her French mystique , I acquired a gorgeous cotton sweatshirt and similarly with Martin Margiela (apparently most folks in Boston had not heard of either) I bought this incredible gray wool pants/skirt combination. Most recently the collab with Kenzo yielded this astonishing coat (shown below at an event with Bae). I’ve only rocked it in Boston so far but folks have been known to cross intersections to inquire about it.
When the Kenzo collab was announced, I knew I couldn’t stand in line to buy anything from the collection. (These events are always on Thursdays for some reason and that is a teaching day. Some of us do need to work in order to acquire these trinkets.) So my modus operandi was to just stay online. I stayed up to midnight and entered the website, thrilled as if I was in the actual store. Each time I got the no-go sign I’d exit and sign back on, like I’m not taking no for an answer, H&M. I heard they caught flack during the Balmain rush when the site kept crashing so maybe they fixed some thangs (not a typo). In any case, I finally got through and clicked on a bunch of items, all of which I sent back except this fierce coat. Moral to this tale: don’t get scairt by the real lines or the virtual ones.
Whether you cop something great or not depends often on where you are located. Some cities like Pittsburgh are totally dissed when it comes to designer H&M joint ventures and others like Boston and DC (my regular spots) only put them in certain stores where they think the taste buds are sufficiently discerning. Kind of an insult but it works for me. I’d hate to only have New York to work with where people act like H&M is selling Yeezy Boosts or something. As it was even in DC during the Balmain event, I waited in line for close to 3 hours and never got in. I heard about someone who spent the night and still only picked up a few items of interest. Most of the front runners bought up the good stuff and then immediately headed to eBay with their wares.
Not fair but that’s what they do with Hamilton tickets so who am I to complain?
In any case, once you get inside H& M (or Forever 21 for that matter), expand your mind and look for what attracts your eye. Pay attention to the details and the fabric and of course, the price. I saw this fringe number on somebody’s Instagram (a true source of sartorial inspiration) and went straight to the website where I picked it up on sale. (Poshmark.com also good for picking up H and M items that have disappeared from the racks – except for the Biggie leggings I regret not buying more than one pair of). I have worn the green fringe three times now and each time to rave reviews from random strangers. I wear it backwards because I’m not one for the low cleavage (you gotta know your body) with a belt and cute shoes. That’s all you need and it looks like a luxury item. Fierceness rules and so does mixing high/low (the sandal boots are from Paris).
And the biggest tip of all is don’t sleep on the men’s section. Their fabrics are often sturdier and the more unisex the fashion world gets, the better this is for those of us who don’t mind a little gender blurring. Note this plaid shirt from men’s that I paired with a funky Sofistafunk skirt. (Check back for uplifting interview with Sofistafunk founder/owner coming on blog soon.)