I'm not really sure if it's infatuation or not, but I cannot stop thinking about a pair of stockings I saw in the window display at MaxMara today. I know it sounds absurd, but please hear me out.
My family went to South Coast Plaza
to check out the sales. It was really just a chance to explore and walk into ridiculous stores like Valentino (the sales clerk there was super rude, like, "well the sale rack is over there"
), or go into Burberry
and try on this brown, gray, black, and blue monstrosity of a fur coat that originally cost $10,000 but I would not take if you gave it to me for free because it was so ugly.
I passed by the window of the MaxMara store and caught a brief glimpse of these beauties and thought, those look interesting. I did not know anything about MaxMara or where it stood on the totem pole of Italian fashion houses. I did not even know it was Italian.
I went straight to the clerk and asked for the stockings. She got very excited and ushered me to the back room and plucked out a little package and placed it in my hands. "That's the very last pair I've got!" she said, and I felt a little thrill run down my spine. I flipped it over and my face fell. They cost $70. I mean, I was bracing myself for a high price, but this was crazy! The most expensive tights I've ever seen up till now were $30. I opened the package and pulled them over my hands--they were even more beautiful up close, made of some top-quality stuff, and I could see the full effect of the gorgeous diamond weave pattern.
I'd never seen tights like this in my life. I didn't know stockings could be so lovely--they even had this sweet gray velvet ribbon trim at the top, a detail that was not lost on me.
I stood there in a store surrounded by 50% off items and had fallen for the one thing that was not on sale. $70 is an absurd price to pay for a pair of glorified socks, I understand.
But when you think about it, $70 is a relatively modest price for a piece of pure, unadulterated luxury. People spend much more than that on jewelry, coats, handbags, shoes, and on and on. This is the one time I was not driven by practicality or necessity of any kind, but only by an appreciation for something that was beautiful and well-made, unique, distinctive, and difficult to find. I figure, I do not buy expensive jewelry, or handbags over $50, and the one pair of boots I have cost $40 at freaking Shoe Pavilion!
I asked about the return policy--you may know of my bad habit of buying things up and then returning them weeks later when I decide not to keep them--the lady said, no returns on hosiery or perfume. It was a moment of truth, a black-and-white choice, and I was at a complete impasse. My mom was with me and looked almost as if she was going to let me buy them (with my own money of course), but then she started to talk me out of them. What if they run, she said. What kind of skirt are you going to wear with them. Your calves are too fat. You're going to abuse them, etc.
But what really let me walk away today was thinking, I will try to find them online for a lower price. Fat chance! MaxMara doesn't even have a website. And the only place to buy their hosiery online seems to be a bunch of UK retailers. And it is certainly impossible to find this particular style/model.
Of course. Meanwhile I have not been able to stop thinking about them since I walked out of the store. So now I am seriously considering calling the MaxMara store tomorrow and asking them to hold the stockings until I can drive all the way down again and claim them as my own.
Annie: For 70 bucks they'd better be sprinkled with diamond dust!
<after I sent her the picture>
Annie: OK from what I can see they are awesome...love the ribbon too...but if they are glorified socks...I cant say I'd have been able to fathom spending 70 for 'em.
Me: I know
Annie: But yes-- i can see why they'd haunt your thoughts...I once found these adorable amazing plaid ankle booties that buckled up by Betsey Johnson at Nordstrom Rack and R____ swore up and down that he could not let me get them, especially since they were $200. But I dream about them all the time...cause they were so unique! and can't find them anywhere online
Annie: so--if your sock/tights are anything like those booties....you should totally just get them cause it'll KILL your subconscious
me: i know! i've let things like this go before. You know what happens, is it'll eat me up and i'll lose a lot of sleep searching online for them. And then i'll find like a deficient version of them (like the wrong color or a differenct size), and I'll get it and sometimes pay even more for it.
me: and then i'll regret it
Annie: oh yeah....especially if you know an HM knockoff will not suffice
me: I even started looking at other luxury hosiery brands online, and nothing comes close
Annie: I even went back the next day and the booties were gone...Steph--these were the most ugly sounding kickass gorgeous shoes. hehhee
me: tragic love story.
me: i wonder if it is morally wrong to lust after inanimate objects like this?
me: there is no lack of gorgeous things in the world. if I give in to this, when does it end?