What’s Nordstrom up to these days?

Don’t get me wrong. I like shopping at Nordstrom and The Rack as much as the next woman who’s looking to fill that hole in her soul with a new pair of jeans, cute little booties, and a cashmere sweater. I’m in.

But there’s apparently a segment of Nordstrom buyers who have lost their GD minds. My husband says his family is afflicted with the curse of the “Coffin Compromise” – that’s when you pay far too much money for something that’s really a piece of crap.

Ladies and Gentlemen of the Jury, Exhibit A – I’ve been mauled by a puma

These are called “chewed-hem” jeans. In Nordstrom’s own words, which are intended to promote these jeans for sale:

The distressing on these slouchy nonstretch jeans suggests something with large teeth has mauled the hems.

How is this a selling point for any piece of clothing?? Wear these jeans and you’ll look like you’ve been attacked by a wild animal! Is that the fashion statement most gals want to make? I spent $540 on these jeans, just had my hair and nails done, and I look like I’ve been attacked by a puma!

There’s a shorts version too, that is also “off-kilter”:

Again, in Nordstrom’s own words:

A deconstructed, asymmetrical front delivers a cool off-kilter vibe to fiercely slashed and shredded nonstretch-denim shorts.

I looked up “off-kilter” in the dictionary. It means “somewhat ill; not completely well”. Which you would be, if a puma just attacked you and your shorts. And you paid $531 for them and they don’t even button up straight. (Aside: Why are the shorts the same price as the jeans – shouldn’t shorts for obvious reasons be cheaper that full-length jeans?)

Are real women actually buying these jeans??

Exhibit B – “We meant to do this”

This “off-kilter” thing seems to be a trend now:

According to Nordstrom, it’s a “new slant” (guffaw) on skinny jeans, with an asymmetrical front closure. Or a factory error that’s been turned into a marketing opportunity. Only $414.

Speaking of factory errors:

In Nordstrom’s words, this denim jacket has more “off-kilter styling” with a “misaligned placket” and “mussed wing collar”. Isn’t this code for, we really screwed up, but now we’re saying “I totally meant to do that“, and now it’s $1400?

Exhibit C – Make up your mind

If choosing the colour of your jeans in the morning is the hardest decision you have to make all day, you need to get a job like mine.

These are “bicolour” jeans. Black jeans are great. White jeans are cool. Pick a team. Make a decision.

I initially looked at these jeans and thought, OK, kinda cute, pretty normal, but why $2K?

And then I realized – they are “pieced together” jeans:

I mean, are they horrifically awful? I wouldn’t say so. No animal has gnawed them, so that’s a plus. But I’m not digging them. Pick a team: blue or black.

And then there’s this multi-colour atrocity:

These are panelled wide-leg jeans that give you “an artsy reconstructed look”.

No, they are clown jeans.

Exhibit D – “I’ve got too much money and bad taste to boot”

  

Tulle & denim mermaid skirt. Also off-kilter, as you will see. Only $2175.

I am speechless. There are no adjectives.

And along the same lines – by the same designer – and only $3600, this denim jacquard tulle dress:

And somehow the back works two different ways (trying to figure this out):

 

Not only is it ugly as hell, but it’s unflattering. The top is about as stylish as a hospital gown. The bottom is a schizophrenic hot mess.

Nordstrom Actually Has Pretty Denim!

On the bright side, to show that I’m fair-minded, Nordstrom’s denim offerings include some pieces that I can totally get behind. I couldn’t possibly wear them, but I get why someone who’s sane and stylish would:

Super cute Ralph Lauren denim dress. $560.

Ditto this zebra-print Calvin Klein A-line. My law partner MJ would rock this. She’s sane, stylish, and super conservative. She would never pay $1400 for a dress (nor would I), but this would look great on her.

I had a jean skirt very like this in undergrad and wore the hell out of it. $440. I wish the model was wearing cute booties with the skirt – and a cashmere sweater:

Sold!

I actually wore an “outfit” to work

And it received so many unduly positive comments that I’m worried I look like a horrible slob 99% of the time. (I do wear jeans pretty much every day …)

Vince Camuto “faux-fur” cardigan. I thought I looked like a 1970s pimp (i.e., I could hang around with Huggy Bear on Starsky & Hutch and we’d blend).

Franca said it was more Prince circa Raspberry Beret. I’ll take that. But then it really should have been purple.

Hey – if Vince Camuto sold that cardigan in purple, I’d totally buy it.

I have to say I do like these Calvin Klein black & white stretch pants.

And a bold print b&w top:

Doesn’t seem particularly remarkable. I guess I need to up my game.