Wealthy New Yorkers Make Shopping a Virtue

"Do I look smug in this?" Photo: Nytimes.com

Welcome to the Thursday edition of the New York Times' style section. It’s time for another one of those “the rich are different from you and me” articles complete with unironic quotes from ridiculous people who are so far removed from society that they fail to recognize the hilarity of their own statements. But that’s what we’re here for!

Today the Times examines how wealthy New Yorkers are going green by buying their clothes from high-end resale shops like Michael’s and Ina instead of designer boutiques like Escada and Armani. Buying and selling to consignment shops has become a platform to recycle.

It is difficult, as we sit here in our Abercrombie skirt from tenth grade and H&M tank top (which we have already worn twice this week — now that's recycling) to find sympathy for Elizabeth Marvin, the self-described “major environmentalist” who is feeling ashamed about the Marni jackets, Chloé bags, and Jimmy Choo shoes bursting out of her closet. “How did this closet become so massively overstuffed?” she frets. “From my green perspective, part of me feels guilty about being such a major consumer.”

Throw us in that briar patch, girlfriend. It’s kind of sweet, though, how the wealthy are trying to do their part. We picture them lovingly tying up their Choos in clear plastic bags and putting them in the blue recycle bins along with the empty Dom bottles used to fuel last night's round of rich-people hate sex.

The article’s money-shot quote comes from lawyer Linda Kenney Baden who, five years ago, didn’t think twice about paying full retail for an evening dress she was unlikely to wear again.

But in the weeks approaching a recent gala, she bought a Chanel gown at Ricky’s on eBay for one third of its original $10,000 price. “I was going to wear it to just one function,” she recalled. “To spend that kind of money — I couldn’t justify it.”

But $3,500 for a one-time dress is a steal? As our parents are so fond of reminding us, we’re in the wrong business. —Noelle Hancock

High-End Consignment Shops Report Surge In Sales [NYT]