The Devil Shops at Macy’s: Cheap Accessories at Department Store (Over) Prices

So I’m in Macy’s looking for accessories to wear with my outfit for the book party (very punk rock meets ghetto supastar). My goal was to put together my entire book party outfit—including shoes and handbag—for less than $50. Here’s what I got so far:

- A dress, $25.62. A Vivienne Tam knock-off. Off-the-shoulder drop-waist, light yellow jersey knit dress with a Japanese inspired Geisha print on the front from Macy’s.

- shoes, $17.99.  4-inch espadrille-like wedges with black straps that lace up my leg.

- purse, Free. Black vintage clutch that I “borrowed” six years ago from my grandmother.

I got all the basics for the outfit and still had about $7.00 left for some accessories. Channeling the spirit of Patricia Field (for those of you who don’t know who she is, Ms Field, one of my imaginary best friends, is one of the first and by far the best stylist to ever touch a piece of clothing—she created the looks for ‘Sex and the City’ and ‘The Devil Wears Prada’. Rachel Zoe wished she had just a tiny ounce of her style.), I decided that a few “jade” bracelets would complete the vibe.

So, while walking through Macy’s, I spotted the perfect accessory, green plastic “jade” bracelets. Spotting these bracelets, filled me with the type joy you can only experience when you’re looking for something specific AND you actually find it. This joy lasted until I saw the price—the plastic “jade” bracelets cost $36.00. Now, maybe it’s just me, but paying $36.00 for two thin green plastic bracelets is crazy. Especially when I can put an extra $13 to the price and buy a REAL jade bracelet, from jewelry designer, Kenneth Jay Lane

You know, It never fails to amaze me how department stores continue to slap high prices on accessories that you can easily find at your local H&M. No wonder they’re doing bad. And Macy’s, which can, at times, have a few good deals, is perhaps the biggest accessory gouge around. It’s like they’ve become the Neiman Marcus of lower end accessories.

So, this is what I did . . .I switched channels (Patricia has a permanent spot on my fashion TiVo) to another one of my favorite fashionistas, the Village Voice’s Lynn Yaeger, and headed to the Payhalf store next door. I purchased a bunch of gold bangles, a geometric gold necklace, and pair of hoop earrings for $9. Total outfit cost – $52.61.