Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Luxe For Less: White Hot Summer

New York has had multiple weekends of 90+ degree weather so for me, summer started a while ago, but alas, I’m told it just OFFICIALLY started this past Friday. (Who makes these rules anyway??) And so this week’s Luxe For Less is a celebration of summer and the heat that will be, and nothing says summer like stark, clean, cool white.

I’m jumping right in and suggesting this lovely 32cm Hermès Kelly:
I know the world of Hermès is befuddling and intimidating to the uninitiated. I won’t lie to you: the learning curve is steep. But suffice it to say, I don’t recommend this Kelly lightly. Firstly, I do believe it to be authentic, and have confirmed this with other Hermès fanatics. Secondly, the leather is outstanding. It’s called ‘Ardenne‘ and is no longer produced by Hermès, and not due to quality issues. It is a heavier leather than most other Hermès leathers, but wears well and is less susceptible to water damage. In addition, it is the Goldilocks in the age old question of slouch versus structure: it’s firm, with a casual slouch over time, but never to the point of messiness. Thirdly, it’s a retourne type Kelly, which means that the seams are turned inwards with a rolled effect on the edges; the other option is the more formal sellier, with stitching on the outside of the Kelly. Fourthly, the size is the larger of the two most common sizes, and transitions nicely from day to evening. Fifthly, this Kelly is from 1995 – ‘old’ by any other standard, but in its prime by Hermès standards. And lastly (don’t want this to turn into an Hermès tutorial now, do we?)… the price is great for a Kelly in this condition, being about a full $1,700 less than current retail for a similar leather. The BIN for this item is $5,300 but there is a Best Offer option. *wink*

If that sticker is a little too steep for your pocketbook right now (gas prices being what they are, after all), try this Coach Large Madeline Leather Tote in Parchment.
The shape is elegant and timeless, and Coach leather is always quite durable. With the 7 inch handle drop, you have the option of carrying the Madeline over the shoulder, making it a great option for running errands and everyday wear. And that lavender lining is a perfect compliment to the subtle white of this bag. At $340 Buy It Now with a Best Offer option, the price is at least $88 less than retail. And yes, this bag passes the authenticity muster.

And for those days when you just want to be a little bit cheeky, try this Betsey Johnson wristlet.
It’s white patent leather adorned with crystals, lined in leopard, with a fun chain detail. Aside from the fact that the inside is thoughtfully constructed with compartments for your credit cards and some change, what else is there to say about this fun, cheeky item? Starting bid is just $49.99.

Check back next week for more Luxe For Less. Happy shopping!

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