Learning Brands

Back when I was in college living the no-bills life, I found myself in an open relationship with all things Nordstrom and Anthropologie. $175 for a pair of jeans? But these are the ONLY jeans that fit me right! A $200 trench coat? It has a BOW!

I like to thank my parents for this predicament, as I inherited my dad’s Corporate America executive tastes with my mom’s shopping tendencies. Although 10 years out of college I can honestly say that all of my trips to the mall paid off.

Growing up in Central New Jersey (contrary to what you might be told, there most definitely IS a central part to the Garden State), there was never a shortage of malls. Menlo Park? Woodbridge? Short Hills? And for the really ambitious, a 45 minute train ride would drop you smack in the middle of New York City.

While I liked to fancy myself a brand snob, I owned very few designer anythings. My first designer purchase in fact was made while I was still working in retail. I went out on my 15 minute lunch break and came back with a Coach bag.

Although I’ve never done any actual hard research on brands, I’ve learned what to look out for when searching for inventory. If there’s one thing I can’t stress enough, it’s always, always be willing to look things up. I make sure my phone is always on me and charged so that I can easily do comp shops.

Take for example, this dress


While out this weekend I was quickly skimming through the dress racks where the blue and white tassels immediately caught my eye. And the Net-a-Porter tags? I had that rush that only comes with finding a piece you know is worth something.

Dodo Bar Or is not a brand I had ever encountered before, but it looked and felt like quality. If that didn’t tip me off then the Net-a-Porter tag was a dead giveaway. And just look at that details!

The beauty of having smart phones is having the ability to look anything up at any time. If I have even the slightest inkling that I’ve found something worthwhile, I make sure to take a moment to look up the brand. You would be amazed at what’s being left behind simply because the brand is not as in-your-face as the Gucci and Burberrys of the world.