Monday, June 15, 2009

K Mart: who'd a thought it?

Once upon a time, I would burrow through the clothes section of any store, like a pig after truffles, certain in the knowledge that I could always find something to wear in the most low rent of shops. But, as I’ve got older, the desire to hoard mountains of clothing has rather left me, and I am happier with one really good piece rather than twenty cheapo bargains.

As I wandered down to the East Village yesterday to pick up some new bike locks, I was mulling over the lack of pieces that I actually want to wear in my wardrobe. So maybe it’s because clothes were on my mind that I glanced over at the clothing section in K Mart. I have shopped in there at least once a week for the past two years, yet I always sprint straight through to the bike lock or grocery section without even registering that they sell clothes.

That’s probably because this is what the clothing section looks like:

K Mart clothingLet me point out that K Mart is not the US equivalent of Britain's Primark, where for almost pennies, the trend conscious budget dresser can pick up fashion forward pieces. It mainly sells clothes from the land that style forgot.

But yesterday I had seen a huge blow up poster of Jaclyn Smith in the store windows and was curious to see what on earth an ex Charlie’s Angel’s fashion collection at K Mart would look like.

And, you know what, it’s not that bad. So not that bad that I actually bought something. Granted it’s more of a stop gap piece, but it was pretty, inexpensive and useful,

Jaclyn Smith for K Mart top

I like the detailing,

Jaclyn Smith for K Mart top detail

and that it is made from silk, rather than synthetics, although I will grant that it’s more akin to lining material than anything else.

I just did a Wiki search for Jaclyn Smith and was gobsmacked to discover the following, "Woman's Wear Daily reported that the signature Jaclyn Smith line had the highest consumer awareness of any private label apparel brand in the country." Which is rather chastening for a fashion journalist to discover, and a welcome reminder that fashion doesn't just exist between the pages of Vogue et al.

I also rather liked this silk dress from K Mart’s main collection:

Kmart blue dress

But I needed to be at least three cup sizes smaller in the chest region to have a hope in hell of fitting into my size. Still, it hung well, the stitching wasn’t wonky, and it had these great pleated shoulders. All for the grand total, I think of $34.99.AseaW1Q`WW