Friday, November 19, 2010

Piperlime: Style?

Dear Piperlime,

I like you a lot.  Your free shipping, your customer service, the fact that you carry brands like Frye, Hunter, Clarks, Diesel, Sperrys, Pink Studio, Puma, and that you gave a $500 gift card as a contest prize.  You have a good heart, you do.  Also, ever since I began watching Project Runway, I have my own Tim Gunn in my head who says, "Use your wall of Piperlime accessories, people," whenever I shop on your site, which is fun.  But...listen, that I have my own Project  Runway budget, I've taken a step back from the trees to take a look at the forest, and I am having second thoughts about our relationship.  Like, what is your style aesthetic, exactly?  I spent ages shopping around Piperlime and, I don't mean to harsh the buzz on our blooming relationship, but most of your products are, well, haphazard.  Did you ever notice that you have, like, 17 very slightly different versions of the same item?  Now, don't look at this as a heartless criticism.  Look at this as me trying to make this relationship work, and since I was not accepted for the hour long Dallas "chat" about how to make Piperlime better, this is the only way.

Essentially, to get to the root of the problem, I've been trying to figure out who the Piperlime Woman is because if that woman is not me, we can call this is a mutual break-up.  I know what the J.Crew woman is, the Anthropologie woman, the Gap and Banana Republic women, the Abercombie and Fitch (and I'll stop here before I start to pretend I have any familiarity with high end designers), but tell me, who is the Piperlime Woman?  I mean, it's almost all bland neutrals, droopy shapes, and seems to have the style sensibility of a woman in dire need of some sleep and maybe a gin and tonic who nonetheless has a lots of money she wants to spend on looking schlumpy.  Actually, at the moment, Piperlime seems to be in the style version of the Bog of Discouragement and ran out of Prozac several weeks back.  I don't know how to say this, so I'm just going to say it: it looks like your only directed demographic is...Season 8 Project Runway winner, Gretchen.  And look I don't mean to mindlessly join the rabid dog pile of Gretchen critics since she's beat my favorite, Mondo.  Her style does have some value, and she's a good designer, sure but her look is mostly avoidant of shape, allergic to color, and sort of, well, frowny face-ish and Piperlime's current selection is likewise.  The aesthetic just befuddles me.  Unrelated words and phrases just jostle each other to attempt a full, coherent sentence, and all that's happened so far is: Camo-Drab, Pretentiously Inaccurate Attempt at "Granola", here comes Current Global Economy Chic: Depressed!, But Still Mystifyingly Expensive.  Example:

This is ugly and synthetic. Why does this cost $132?
This says: "I'm trying to save money, so I dug up my old toddler clothes to see what would work and look how great this still is on me!  Would you guess I haven't worn this since Kindergarten?"  Even for a busty girl, this is flattening and it has a little dust ruffle for your hips because everyone wants to add another ten pounds there.  Plus, there are tons more clothes like this.  The Liberty Bell shape has never been widely desired in Fashion for a reason.  Just because our economy sucks, and our country is growing more antagonistically polarized by the day doesn't mean we should wear nothing but sackcloth to reflect our sombre mood...unless you're doing an Old Testament inspired sacrifice for the sake of our country and the world, in which case, OK, but you shouldn't spend $400 for your sackcloth outfit as that sort of defeats the purpose. 

I am firmly of the mind that when you buy something, buy nice somethings or nothing at all, and when I can find really good quality somethings for a bit cheaper, I'm in retail nirvana.  You are so close to this, Piperlime!  I bought Frye sandals for like $45 + a rewards card which I will wear for the next decade or until they fall apart, but lately you have had pricey items made of synthetics and just :-(.  I know how we can solve this: I will let you hire me as an assistant buyer to help you out, because I care.  Until then (or until I spend my gift card) I will continue doing this, but with more illustrations and possibly charts, because this is fun. 



2012fashionfencer said...

Haha! Nice letter. Totally agree with you. Found you through the Vogue Gone Rogue autumn blogging contest :) nice blog!

P.S. I'm hosting a Marc Jacobs giveaway, you can enter it here if you'd like :)

Black Mona said...

Definitely so true. =) MISS you so much, Megs. I could totally hear your voice when reading this: tone, inflections and everything! I could even imagine your facial expressions, which, frankly....kind of creeped me out. =) Have a lovely weekend! SMOOCHES!!!!!

Moni Rose said...

Thank you Meg.
you put words to the trepidations I feel browsing through Piperlime lately.
Yes I was sucked in by the shameless plugs during PR (damn them for not picking Mondo...) Besides the fact that if Gretchen is on the cusp of the new clothing revolution -in which case I am abandoning all hope of ever finding trends I can like/love - their selections are repetitive and pricey. like you, I say, meh.

However, I think is simply SMASHING that you've won such a grand gift card and hope that you can find some awesome awesome items to use it up! let us know if/when you do!