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Where did you get that?!

8 years ago by

Where did you get that?!

“I love those pants! Where did you get them?”

I know! It’s Zara. – Garance

These? Ummm, H&M. – Alex

Oh that? Well, it’s from this random place in Chinatown. – Brie

Do you ever find yourself being complimented and hounded about something you wear and it’s always that thing you bought randomly/after work/while drunk at Zara/H&M/in Chinatown? It’s never that designer skirt, or those amazing wedges that cost you a month’s rent. The things you really really want to tell people all about.

We were talking about this at the Studio yesterday after I asked Garance where her pants were from and she told me they were…drumroll… Zara.

What does it all mean? Does this happen to you?


Add yours
  • Cécile July, 10 2014, 2:00 / Reply

    OUi, et je me rassure en me disant que c’est justement ce qu’on porte avec qui le met en valeur! ( Même si la dite-pièce est ce qui nous a couté le moins cher de la tenue!) Tout est une question d’association ;)

  • Bien dit Cécile! c’est ce qu’on fait d’une pièce sans charme de prime abord qui la rend intéressante qui fait qu’on la remarque sur une personne et pas sur une autre!

  • DONZALLAZ July, 10 2014, 2:15 / Reply

    Ça veut dire que ça ne sert à rien de dépenser des sommes folles pour une étiquette !!!

  • I love your blog and personal style!


  • Samantha July, 10 2014, 2:28 / Reply

    The things that we save up all our money for are usually items that, in the back of our head, we are buying because they may impress others (typical ‘It’ items).

    Those random, on-a-whim things are bought because they really speak to us… they have a certain something that compels us to make an unplanned purchase (a new kind of ‘It’ item).

    Both types of things have an ‘It’ factor… but the first ‘It’ is generally trendy and already receives acknowledged praise. The second ‘It’ is slightly more genuine and magical because its discovery follows a love-at-first-sight storyline… you lay eyes on a pair of shoes in the corner of the store and before you know it you’re trying them on and exclaiming, “I HAVE to have these!”

    If you have good style, then the same items that speak to you will probably speak to others. They compliment you on the things you bought randomly because it compels them in the same way it compels you.

    And so their compliments are always followed by… “Where did you get that? Do you think they have more?” And they will then make their own unexpected purchases.

    (And here lies the difference between fashion and style… Fashion is out there and everyone has access to it, whereas style is the sixth sense that pushes you to make those random purchases that eventually draw in all the compliments.)

  • Marrikka July, 10 2014, 5:20

    Samantha, this is so very true! Thanks for articulating it so well.

  • So true!! The way you say it, it is suddenly so clear to me! I used to be surprised by some compliments on things that felt so basic, while wondering why some others, which seem “fashionable” barely attracted one compliment…
    Anyways, just wanted to say i love your comment! :)

  • Amazingly well said! Thank you!

  • Karolina July, 11 2014, 9:04

    I was just about to attribute the tendency Alex noted to the fact that we are told to buy something simple, classy and pretty much basic, when shopping for expensive clothing and then (if we follow this tip) we tend to complement them by buying more “hip” or characteristic items cheaper (as we’re afraid they’ll soon be out of fashion or we’ll get bored with them). We’re then left with fewer classy items of really good quality (which no one will notice we wear three days in a row) and many more “noticeable” items that will get all the OHs and AHs.

    I like your explanation much better though, Samantha!

  • I used to shop at a department store that no longer exists- Daffys.
    Man that place was awesome, they carried italian brands of great quality clothing for
    such lowlowlow prices. Most of their stuff are still my favorite items. R.I.P. Daffys.

    These days, quality and cut are not exclusive to high brands. Especially in NY,
    a keen eye can find high quality basics like cashmere, cotton tee shirts, jeans, silk,
    linen without breaking the bank.

    Vive le Common Sense.

  • Tout le temps… des petites pieces pas chères et achetées en coup de vent…
    Mais les gens font plus de commentaires aux USA qu’à Paris… Les parisiennes ne font pas si facilement des compliments…

  • Haha it sounds really familiar but maybe that’s also because I don’t own so much designer clothes. And when I do wear those I get compliment but I guess that’s because they are pretty stand out pieces most of the time. xx


  • Katherine July, 11 2014, 7:21

    I second that.

  • Alana Veira July, 10 2014, 3:39 / Reply

    Even though the high end items are beautiful and well made you can always get really great pieces that won’t cost a months rent. High street clothing has come along way you can look just as chic in a pair of gap jeans as you can in a pair of rag and bone

  • Natalia July, 10 2014, 5:26 / Reply

    That’s better when it’s local fleamarket/Zara/whatnot. I find myself in just opposite situations, when people grace you with an ass-cold smile and a fortiori “Oh, Miu Miu, ok”

  • Zara …..and all the others are a perfect copy of designer we Love …so we shouldn’t forget it,they manufacture in far away countries where condition ..of work are not always respected…
    It’s true sometimes the copy is even better than the original…
    The Process of Design takes time and money ..but that is the only way to make sure we can go farther and create something new…
    Yael Guetta


  • YES!! I have a purse and a messenger bag that have been complimented by friends and strangers on multiple occasions, and I got them both from Marshall’s… Hahaha

  • Honestly, I really dislike when people ask me “Where is that from?” or “Where did you get that?” It feels intrusive somehow, and that they might go get the same, and I hate when I have the same as someone. I want to be original. Maybe I’m a bitch- I do not like this question!

  • I don’t like that question either! Too intrusive. But I’m also guilty of asking it sometimes (only to total strangers).

  • Mauimermaid July, 11 2014, 4:11 / Reply

    I bought the most gorgeous and unusual Dries mermaid skirt on my birthday a couple of years ago – I saw it in a window, fell in love and bought it on the spot, I spent more on this piece than on any other and made the decision to buy it in a heart beat. I have received so many compliments on this fantastic skirt.

    I think that one of the reasons that high end purchases sometimes do not elicit the squeals of joy we want or expect is that because if we save for a while to purchase a piece, we usually make sure we will get value per wear/use and so it tends to be less daring and a much safer fashion choice.

    I think if you see a piece, it speaks to you and you love it, no matter the price, high or low, others love it too and the compliments will flow.

  • Oh, yes! Sounds very familiar! :)

  • shopgirl July, 11 2014, 5:44 / Reply

    Hm, obviously design teams of these massive productions companies really know what most people like. It s like IKEA. ;-))

  • ça me rappelle une anecdote: une fille que je voyais tous les jours sur la ligne 1 à Paris. J’ai fantasmé sur son manteau pendant des semaines, elle le portait super bien, jeune femme absolument élégante avec un super birkin au bras et sa 1ere au poignet…J’ai fantasmé sur le prix de ce manteau avant d’oser me lancer et lui demander d’ou provenait ce superbe manteau. Adorable et dans un rire complice elle m’a répondu “Camaieu, 2eme demarque d’il y a 2 ans”….Je suis resté scotchée..Elle le portait tellement bien, avait su l’assortir de pièces chics….

  • I was wondering about the real price of a piece of clothes or shoes the other day when I got a pair of all-leather ankle boots at H&M for 25 $. I know that what makes the difference is the quality and the design after all. So why would those non-leather Stella McCartney shoes of season 2012 cost 15 times more than those I bought? Both are made in the countries with cheap workforce. Also, there is this exclusivity that we pay for, but why are some Jimmy Choo’s or Louboutin’s more expensive than the ones of the same quality and comfort if they are also mass produced?

    I get compliments on the items I bought for a dime/in second hand shops/in outlets… from people who spend lots of money on brand items. Couple of days ago a colleague asked me discretely where I got the dress I was wearing. I told her it was from a second hand shop. She was blunt. The reaction seemed like the mixture of surprise and embarrassment because she liked something that was way beyond what she’s used to.

  • Simply because we can guess a designer clothe by the cut or the details or because it is an “it”clothe/accessorie. Each designer has a signature… while Zara, Hm, etc just copy without having the edge of a specific designer. And still they can make a “good” copy. I use ” ” because I have always found that the fabric seems really cheap (giving the price, it makes sense), and for me the lack of quality is a deal breaker whatever the design. I prefer to build a wardrobe with quality items rather trowing away cloths every six months because I can’t wear them anymore or they are outdated. And please don’t think I am mad and I only wear designer clothes because to me, Gallerie Lafayette and Monoprix make the best cachemires (compared to Bompard for instance).
    Have fun this summer! xxx

  • Moi aussi j’ai quelques trucs très cool qui viennent de petites marques . C’est chouette de pouvoir se dire qu’on peux encore être “bien habillé” en allant faire ses achats mode dans les petites enseignes pas trop cher. Et je pense qu’on peux encore y trouver des choses très sympa parce que beaucoup de ces petites marques “copient” les plus grandes. Donc on retrouve des modèles qu’on aime.

  • Leanna July, 11 2014, 7:37 / Reply

    Is it sometimes because the clothes don’t look so good? Sorry for the negativity but i have to admit that does cross my mind when someone asks me ‘where did you get that?’ and it was from the uber discounted rack in h&m/zara/random little cheap’n’cheerful store….

  • Ladyjane July, 11 2014, 7:44 / Reply

    Je me parfume souvent à l’Eau de Cologne Bien être aux bourgeons de figuier qu’on trouve en supermarché… J’ai des tonnes de compliments : “tu sens bon, c’est quoi ton parfum ?” et je me pose souvent la question : faut-il avouer ? C’est finalement plus facile avec un vêtement qu’avec un parfum, non ?

  • flanellerouge July, 11 2014, 7:49 / Reply

    Dear Garance !!!
    C’est grâce à un Post de toi que j’ai découvert les tee shirts loose “parfaits” en LIN de Zara !!!
    Et que continue à en acheter : même pas soldés……
    Les formes et les couleurs changent, en fonction de l’air du temps – de la mode……
    Bizoux ( reconnaissants !!!)

  • Frequently, and it’s usually Target or TJ Maxx/Marshall’s/Ross.

  • Bien sûr, de toute façon Zara et compagnie copient énormément les créateurs, normal qu’on soit attirées par une pièce nouvelle mais qu’inconsciemment on connaît déjà !
    Ce sac est d’ailleurs très beau, et il me fait penser aux besaces Valentino ou Gucci dans l’esprit un peu western !


  • More and more, I’m getting turned off by exorbitant clothing prices. I’ll make an occasional splurge – mainly shoes or an investment dress – but otherwise, there’s no sense in paying full price for anything. In Boston, we have amazing Runway sections in many TJ Maxx locations. You’ll pay a fraction of the “true” retail price if you have some patience. And with so many options like Zara and H&M, as you mention, why waste a month’s rent? Even if I technically have the money, I don’t like being swindled. My philosophy: invest in your health and stay fit and you’ll look good in anything.

  • This happens all the time! Especially with things I found at the thrift store, so funny.

  • Bien au contraire ! Je suis toujours hyper fière de dégotter des trucs délirissimes dans des magasins super high street ! It’s not about the money, forget about the price tag baby !!!

  • I agree with most of the comments above but I also think you are less likely to have people ask “where did you get that from?” about a designer item because they probably already know it’s Celine, or Isabel Marant, or Valentino. Nobody is going to ask about an “it” item!

  • therese July, 11 2014, 12:09 / Reply

    I used to get that with Target clothes. They used to hire straight from design schools so the looks were fresh and new. Unfortunately they know lean more towards guest high end designers with not well made reproductions. I like design school lines better. They were made well with better fabrics. I think Samantha is right. We need to follow our instincts and buy what speaks to us.

  • Well, I happen to own that very Zara bag in the photo! And yes, it’s always the inexpensive / quirky / fun pieces that get the shout-outs….almost always from Zara. Funnest / chic-est store on earth.

  • Yes, allll the time! But it doesn’t make me feel bad or embarrassed or anything. But the best thing is when someone compliments you about some heritage piece you are wearing, from your mom’s or grandmother’s wardrobe… love it!

  • I love when that happens actually and what I most enjoy is when people compliment the things that were from seasons ago and I know no one can run to the store and buy them. At least that way you know you made a good investment. I guess this is why IT bags are so successful because then everyone knows what you paid for your bag (usually 1/4 year rent). Awesome article guys ….. love your studio discussions. With love from sojustnice.com

  • I actually feel more comfortable talking about a piece from the high-street. I don’t really want my friends to know how much money I’m spending on my wardrobe. HAHA. Maybe it’ s just me.

  • Kristen July, 12 2014, 1:54 / Reply

    Yes, all the time! Sometimes I don’t even know where I got it from, just found it in the house and decided to wear it. Most of my vintage comes from my grandmother’s house, and so many people have asked about those clothes that now they just say, “Is that from your grandma’s house too?” (but not in an insulting way)

  • Rarely happens to me – means I’m not chic I guess ;) But for a few particular items – an umbrella with a great print, say. But when I overhear it said to other people I notice it’s about striking things – something bright, fun, kitschy usually. Something fun. Not about the exceedingly well-tailored black designer skirt on sale that makes you look ten pounds lighter. Maybe really nice things just make us think a person is too perfect to approach, but something cute or fun or quirky means the person is approachable – a conversation piece. The one wrong thing that Vreeland recommended.Sometimes people, especially older people, will deliberately dress so that everything is, well, unusual – which seems a bit much for me, but they usually care more for life than clothes, and people over style, so they are a conversation-starter and it works for them!

  • Maria Ruth July, 13 2014, 11:17 / Reply


  • tatite July, 14 2014, 4:25 / Reply

    On me demande souvent des étoiles dans les yeux “vous l’avez acheté ou votre sac ?” Euh, c’est du made in China, mais vraiment, je l’ai acheté sur un marché à Pékin…pour 10 euros.

  • Michaela Anna July, 14 2014, 7:37 / Reply

    En fait, ca m arrive tout le temps – surtout avec des trucs de Zara. A mon avis, ca veut dire que je suis finalement capable de porter/choisir/acheter les choses qui me vont bien. Et au moment ou vous arrivez a ce point la, peu importe quelle marque vous portez.

  • If you wear something outragous you never get compliments on the basics. I get the most compliments on my handbags from 1920 and my Margiela items.

  • Hélène July, 15 2014, 7:58 / Reply

    Ca m’arrive hyper souvent !
    J’ai des escarpins noirs de chez H&M qui “marchent” hyper bien, souvent je désacralise le truc en répondant “30 euros chez H&M”. Idem avec une jupe que j’ai eu à 10 euros en soldes à la Défense..

    Sinon j’ai rapporté des hauts/tuniques d’Inde, certes c’est beaucoup plus atypique mais rinn qui ne m’aie couté plus de 10 euros maximum, les réponses sont assez drôles du coup !

  • Oferta de torturi pentru copii e spectaculoas? ?i ai de unde alege: buburuze, ursule?i, g?rg?ri?e sau arici. Dar ce ai zice dac? – aflat fiind în c?utarea unui tort aniversar sau a unui tort personalizat – ai face cadou ceva dulce care reprezint? ceea ce vrei tu .

    Intra pe http://www.ladolceria.ro

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