A Rambling Post that mentions Star Trek but is not about Trek…

Well, first off, it is once again not International Bacon Day. That ship has sailed for the year.

Actually I was thinking about the show Sex and the City, which I actually am thinking of because of Star Trek. More specifically, the 6th Trek movie, which had Kim Cattrall in it which I watched on Syfy last night. (And because I didn’t post this the same day I started writing it- that’s now a few days ago, not last night. But someone could be reading this five years after it was written, so does it really matter?)

Anyway, I also watched the 4th Trek movie, the one with the whales, which in my humble opinion is better, but that didn’t have anyone from Sex and the City in it that I noticed.

And yes, Sex and the City ended ten yrs ago. But the Trek movies I watched were from 1986 and 1991. So, no this doesn’t seem like a current events post- but it will be, somewhat. You’ll see.

(OK. Now, I’m going from memory here. I haven’t actually re-watched any SatC in at least 5 years… so keep that in mind, too.)

I recall hearing several times about how Carrie Bradshaw the blogger character couldn’t possibly have the wardrobe she does… at least while she was still just a blogger.
If we mean this completely literally; and if it’s all current season bought brand new at retail- no, not likely. But could a real-life version of her have something somewhat similar? Especially if some of it is past seasons- or even gently used? Yes. Oh, and can gently used clothing look new? Yes.

Number one, on the show, her blog is apparently extremely successful. It’s not a typical blog. It got her attention enough to hang out with a lot of rich people during the course of the show, plus eventually get high-paying  jobs. I don’t recall how, exactly, the story went over time, (Did she also publish books, or am I confusing her with Bridget Jones?) but I know she ended up successful in the end.

Also- big thing here- she lives in New York City. (which means the bigger question is probably not “Could she really have those clothes?” but, “Could she really afford an apartment?” but I digress.) Now, hello, sample sales?  Also, I think most boutiques have sales and clearance just like stores in my economic class, (e.g. K-Mart, Target, Sears, or JC Penney) do. (I don’t know how many times I’ve seen shoes listed on eBay described with a variation of  “I bought these at [brand boutique] even thought they weren’t my size, because they were on clearance for 75% off. I’m selling them now because they are too uncomfortable for me to wear.”) Also, she could have clothes bought at outlets, consignment shops, thrift shops, and even on eBay.  Being in NYC probably increases the chances of finding current season dressy clothes already in a consignment or thrift- shop. They have society ladies there, and in other big cities, who won’t be seen in the same outfit twice. Or so I am told.

There are other ways. Some might have been gifts from various people. Even directly from the designers. She ends up acquainted with many well-off, or at least well-known, people.

Maybe guys she dated bought her a few of those things. Or, y’know, gift cards she used to buy them with.

Yes, we do know she paid over $700 for a pair of shoes that were stolen from her at a party. And we do see her shopping at places she probably shouldn’t be able to afford. (Again, unless things are clearance. Which is possible.)  I’m not saying she never lived beyond her means, and everything was realistic.

But guess what? Most TV characters’ wardrobes have designer clothing in them! Many designer brands actually make a lot of high quality basics. “Designer” is not always flamboyant or instantly recognizable. A lot of characters supposedly working entry level jobs on TV shows are wearing designer clothing. We just aren’t told that they are. Or it’s made to look worn and lived-in so it doesn’t look too fancy.

(And that type of quality basic is definitely sometimes found in thrift stores.  That and eBay/yard sales are generally the way I get my hands on such things.)

And oh yeah, let’s not forget… TV shows tend to be unrealistic anyway. I know its a shock to hear. Its true, though. So if it’s even remotely possible she could have half the wardrobe they depicted, there you go. Its probably closer to reality than most “reality” shows!

So, OK. It’s sort of possible. So what?

Like, why do I care? And why do I care now? Why do I currently care about this old news?

Here’s why:

Because every time there’s a discussion of poverty or low wage workers or public assistance, someone inevitably rants about how poor people can’t really be poor because they saw some woman wearing Juicy Couture sweats while paying for steak and shrimp (Because part of the narrative is that folks on assistance don’t deserve good quality) with their foodstamp card. (Or what the observer assumed, based on, ahem, certain other factors, to be a food stamp card even though they didn’t really look closely… e.g., “I mean, at a glance the card looked the same color as a Direction card, and, you know, speaking of color…”)

But, I happen to know, because I do sometimes shop at thrift stores- if you get to the right thrift store at the right time you could get a set of only-worn-once-and-still-look-new Juicy Couture sweats for less than brand new Hanes ones. But the holier than thou ranters either don’t know this, or just assume that- even though they buy their bigger-name clothes used or on clearance- the person they want to rant about had to have bought them new at full retail. Because that person has to fit the narrative. Oh, that lady from the grocery store just has to be some cheater.

And I know people do cheat. I know it is real and it happens. I’m not saying it doesn’t.

But I am going to point out,  there are also people who lost a job, but when they had one were making good money and that’s how they have nice clothes. For now.

My point is not to say who is or isn’t or should or shouldn’t be getting assistance. No.

I’m just saying, too many folks make assumptions about where you got this or that and how much you must have paid for it. (Or what you did to get it if they don’t think you could have paid for it yourself.)

 

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