Monday, 10 August 2015

Bags at the Market

Closet Content Analysis: Market Bags

My Choice: A bag from Madagascar

Choices: Market Bags For Sale. The prices of market bags being sold at the market, particularly in July and August, tend to be pricier than in the off season. Bien sur. That makes sense. 

Photo taken by JoyD at Ste. Foy La Grande Saturday market, Gironde, July, 2015

More Choices: Everyone carries a bag of one kind or another. Some rely on the vendors to give them plastic bags - in the south-west of France it is "poche", not "sac" but most bring their own to carry their purchases. For the most part, you will see bags similar to the one the man in the purple shirt is carrying.

Photo taken by JoyD at Ste. Foy La Grande Saturday market, Gironde, July, 2015.

Photo taken by JoyD at
Ste. Foy La Grande Saturday
market, Gironde, July, 2015.

Photo taken by JoyD at the Perigieux Market, Dordogne, sometime in the past.

Made in Madagascar Shopping Bag. Photo by JoyD, August, 2015.
Purchased in La Périgourdine, Pineuilh, Gironde, France.
Nice & New: I was pleased to find a bag made in Madagascar at the local La Périgourdine, a regional co-operative. It was just under 10 Euro, about half what you would have to pay at the summer market. Bags of this nature are used in the grocery stores as well as in the open air markets to cart your food purchases.

The blue and yellow bag I found was produced by a small independent group of producers under the title of "Lekelygasy". The distributor in France can be contacted by email at The Madagascar contact information is I couldn't find out much about them online because my search words kept on defaulting to "likely gay". Sometimes the anticipated default is not exactly what one might be actually looking for. Nonetheless, I believe that this type of organization is worth my support.

Friday, 7 August 2015

How do the Rich Shop?

Closet Content Analysis: In Response to a Television Documentary

I suppose when your income is 50 billion per year, spending 15 million on a shopping trip to Paris is considered a tad overboard but nothing that couldn't be handled. But maybe not, because King Abdullah (deceased since this occurrence) would not pay Maha Al-Sudairi's bills, and so she has developed quite a reputation for "flamber sans payer" - "a blaze without paying", particularly in Paris. Considering that King Abdullah had 30 children from approximately a dozen wives, I imagine his daily budget would be more than what I make or have made in an entire year - probably in an entire career. But that's strictly speculation. Keeping track of all those children, in-laws and wives could have been a tad annoying especially if they were partial to shopping trips.

So how do the rich shop? Apparently Maha Al-Sudairi walks into her favourite designer boutique, orders one in each colour (another speculation) and then hands the sales associate a lovely engraved card reading, "payment to follow" with her benefactor's contact information. Nice. But then she has to arrange for (or rather a staff member arranges for) a storage unit to keep everything organized until she has the inclination to use it. Hmmm?

I can't even wrap my head around daydreaming about such a predicament.

As it is I am thinking I have too much and I am being wasteful. Everything is relative I suppose. So after watching the documentary and reflecting on how the rich shop, here are some of those ideas: 

One woman, who is both rich and famous, doesn't like to spend her own money and expects designers to give her freebies. After all, if she is seen wearing something, others will want to buy the exact same thing and so this is considered helpful to the designer and her commission is haute couture. The rich get richer.

Others, like the Saudi princess, go on elaborate shopping trips to exotic places, dodging in and out of luxury brand store fronts taking great pleasure in the hunt and buying everything that appeals. Some hide the sums from their benefactors or set a budget, although budget may not be the most appropriate word, if shopping on their own dime.

Others, buy one in every colour or 30 of the same thing because the fit is perfect or they only wear a t-shirt once and then it is done. OK, next.

Some never look at the price tag but then will take their clothing to consignment shops after two or three wears. Even the rich recognize re-sale value. If something goes on sale, and they have that item, it's time to send it off to the consignment store or give it away. Heaven forbid someone might think they bought something on sale. 

And then there are those who, like the two cowboy brother ranchers in Alberta, Canada, were worth more dead than alive. They came into town once a year to buy a new shirt and a new pair of jeans.

So what constitutes rich? And how do the rich shop? How do the very rich shop? Relatively speaking . . . as many different ways as everyone else, except that there are more digits behind the dollar sign.

Sunday, 2 August 2015

End of Sale Month in France

Closet Content Analysis: Sale Shopping

NEW Choices: A bag, blazer, iron and linens

NICE          NOTE-WORTHY           NO THANKS

The two months the French anticipate for sales - soldes - are July and January and I fortunately have been and will be here for both this year. Presently,with July done, storefronts entice us with further and final reductions. Last week, Marques Avenue in Romans-sur-Isere was a sale destination for me and "up to 70% off" in the name brand shops inspired me to replace basics at "grocery store" prices. 

Red linen Caroll blazer. Photo by JoyD.
Note-Worthy: One still has to be diligent even when it comes to sale prices. I bought a red linen blazer in the Caroll store at Marques Avenue while in Roman-sur-Isere. It was 70% off the last markdown, which happened to be 110.00 Euro. I paid 30.30 Euro. Great - I was happy. Then, while shopping in Valence, I went into the Caroll store. The advertisements announced further reductions based on the colour coded percentages. I found the blazer I had purchased in Romans. The final markdown was to be 40% off the last markdown which was 150.00 Euro (note: 40 Euro more than the marked down price in Romans). 70% off 110. or 40% off 150.? OMG, my previous purchase was my deal of the decade. Roman is only 17 km. away from Valence. Of course I understand local loyalty but Marques Avenue must be very tempting for consumers in Valence. There must be a difference you say . . . well . . . yes . . . selection is limited in outlet stores but in my case the colour choice was the only difference. The linen blazer at the Marques Avenue location was red and the blazer in the regular retail outlet in Valence was a hot pink. I guess red was not the "tendance" this year. However red is a basic colour that I needed in my blazer collection and it was a better choice than the hot pink for me.

Purple Wrap Dress. Photo by JoyD.
No Thanks: I also broke one of my No Thanks rules while in Bourg de Péage. The price was that good! 19 Euros could buy me a three course lunch but instead I bought a dress that was marked down several times; albeit a dress that was 2 kg too tight on me. I did go for lunch anyway. The way I figure it, I will hang it on my fridge, inspiring me to lose weight and remind me about the choices I need to make when opening the fridge. It might be a tad big as a fridge magnet but I believe it will serve a functional purpose as well as a conversation piece.

Nice & Note-Worthy: For my linen closet, I decided to buy some Anne de Solene linens. I have been a Yves Delorme advocate for years but this year the outlet store in Marques Avenue was rather . . . unwelcoming . . . it was hot and there were no lights or air conditioning on in the store - there was a fan and lights on in the back room . . . there were several things that were "not done" by the sales associate that I took slight offence to and so I never bought. I may regret it in the big picture but at the time, I was miffed enough that I chose not to buy. The woman at the Anne de Solene store was amiable, knowledgeable and accommodating. In this case, service was as important as the quality of the item; although I am starting to regret my choice of not buying a particular flat sheet at Yves Delorme. My weakness is that the name, the brand, is what keeps me loyal to Yves Delorme.

Note-Worthy: To keep my clothes in perfect form, I found a Rowenta iron, made in France, that was a bargain. The regular outlet price was around 180. Euro and was on sale for 114. A friend informed me that he had purchased a Rowenta iron of the same calibre for 150. Euro almost 10 years ago now. This purchase was a "no-brainer".

The Best NiceI bought a Lancel bag to add to my collection - at 40% off the outlet price. If I factor in the tax rebate for foreigners, I bought a great bag for 250. Euros that will carry me into the winter. I'm happy! There's a post here so I'll take some photos and let you analyze the purse later.

I've written about sale shopping before:
July and August Summer Sales
Summer Sales Welcome Return to France
End of July/August Summer Sales
Clothing & Accessories to Buy on Sale
Sale Shopping for Clothing
Shopping in Factory Outlet Stores