February 1, 2020

Designer handbags in 2020

, , by MARCY CARMACK | Edit


For my first post of 2020 I looked back to see how far we have come in the last decade in the designer market. The dynamics are changing at a faster rate than ever before. We have seen a dramatic shift in how business is done and a shift in the perception of consignment. As designer goods became more and more unattainable, the proliferation of the secondhand market boomed. Consignment used to be dusty cramped shops for the intrepid. When we started the RealReal in 2011 the elevation of secondhand goods began. Today designer consignment while less than brand spanking new, still commands a hefty sum. Gone are the days of getting a steal on a secondhand Chanel bag.

A statistic that I stumbled on when doing this post was too compelling not to mention. thredUP reports that secondhand fashion is growing at a 21x faster rate than retail.

For those that don't want to pay for a new or used Chanel bag, there is the hush hush market of designer fakes. The replica market gets bigger and bigger every year with our voracious appetite for anything designer. The difference is that yesteryear the bags were bought in person on Canal St in New York City or somewhere else in a semi-secretive way. If the suppliers were caught there were hefty fines. Today they are bought online and you can get advice from a subset of Reddit.com called the RepLadies. They are a self-described "happy place" and discussion page about replicas and fashion at any level. This group has grown exponentially with their online presence to 71.9k members.

Elle.com says a fifth of all luxury buyers have a fake and they probably bought it using social media.  I started to wonder how every woman in O'Hare airport had a designer bag—I kind of forgot about the fake market for a second. The demand for this status symbol is at an all time high. Now that every woman has one no matter what iteration do you really want one? I think the answer is still yes. Designer or consignment is more than I want to spend but I haven't really been interested in fakes which are referred to in air quotes "Chanel bags".  Nothing wrong with it and never say never but I just don't scour the internet for bags. I recently bought a couple of high quality leather handbags the old fashioned way in person. Each company finding a great niche in the market because of the high prices out there. 

Is it safe to say that we are awash in handbags of all types? Maybe that means the prices will come down with all that supply. Not yet—not until the next recession. Oops another hush hush topic.
December 24, 2019

Merry Christmas to You

by MARCY CARMACK | Edit
As you may of noticed I have been having fun with a puffer I got in Paris this fall. I haven't seen many big ones out there and I wonder if it's because women just don't want to look puffy. Perhaps they think it makes them look fat. I think quite the contrary. The sheer exaggeration actually makes you look smaller. Your legs smaller. In any event I encourage you to try one because they are fun and different. Different is always good in my book.

November 14, 2019

Sparkle for Day

, by MARCY CARMACK | Edit
I don't know where all the time has gone. The holidays are upon us! When I was in Paris for Fashion Week, I saw sequins everywhere--even for day. There used to be a lag between what you see in Paris and what you see in the states but not any more. In large part due to fast fashion. I try to stay away from it because of the environmental impact but the prices can't be beat. And I don't know about you but I don't like to spend a lot on holiday clothes because the cost per wear is relatively high.
This is my go to bag for the day this holiday season. It perks me up no matter how I am feeling and is such an easy inexpensive ($50 at Zara) way to give you some daytime glamour.
First frigid day in Chicago but with the sun and a little sparkle it was awesome. I purchased my puffer (fashion forward to some) in Paris at H&M--part of their eco-conscious collection. I've started to call it #michelinchic .
August 26, 2019

Black is back?

, by MARCY CARMACK | Edit
Nope it never went away. People like to put black down but the truth is you are never going to be chic without it. Do you want to wear it all the time? NO. And I guess it may not be good in the suburbs but I haven't lived in the suburbs for a very long time. I personally don't like to wear the avant garde black looks of say a Yohji Yamamoto but I sure can appreciate their talent. I like to see the female form or a hint of it. 



Use black to your advantage. It is so versatile--it can be worn day and night. People can't tell if you've worn a pant, top or shoe in black so you can wear them again and again in different ways. It's perfect if you want to travel light. It doesn't show the soup you spilled on yourself last night. It is slimming. Those are the big takeaways. But most importantly if used correctly it is the first step to chic.



I posted this outfit on Instagram today @unapologeticallygrownup and it got some interest. I'm not 100% sure why but I'll tell you why I like it. Mainly because I repurposed and styled it. That's the fun with fashion for me. Making something new with something you have. Last summer I wore the Tomas Maier for Uniqlo dress just as it was. I wore a neckerchief and some lace up shoes. The dress was really too sheer so this summer I wore leggings under it. I have to mention the espadrilles I recently purchased and LOVE. I have never worn classic espadrilles because the back never fits my narrow heel. Anyway whether you have narrow feet or not you will love these because you can walk for miles and miles. Email me at mc@marcycarmack.us if that hyper link isn't enough.



See you soon! x
June 13, 2019

My Lessons: fashion and otherwise

, by MARCY CARMACK | Edit
I can't believe I have been out of touch for 3 and a half months. I fell playing badminton in the beginning of April and really banged myself up. I won't get into the boring details but I was in the hospital for 2 weeks and just finished a day rehab program. I am so happy to be back in action for the most part but I still have to wear the brace until the 4th of July. Doctor wants to do surgery on my ACL but I don't want to. I'll let you know the outcome.
The show must go on as they say so I am back to photographing some outfits even though I am wearing a brace. Dresses or leggings are the uniform du jour these days. This Michael Kors dress was in style last year or the year before with the off the shoulder trend but that doesn't mean I stop wearing it if it is flattering. I like it this way with the neckline up and Aquazzara lace up ballerinas that he did several seasons ago and everyone knocked off. So I guess they are dated by fashionista standards and need to be chucked but that doesn't always show an understanding of style or attention to sustainability. So I encourage you to continue wearing old favorites for those two reasons.

Here I am taking a break in the shade and changing into some little Sam Edelman slingbacks to go day to evening. I posted this photo on Instagram (@unapologeticallygrownup) today and I love a couple of the comments, "The Unsinkable Marcy Carmack". I have to say every little bit helps when you are having challenging moments.
And here it is off the shoulder which I see people wearing day or evening but I would probably only wear it in the evening because I don't like to go braless and I can never find a strapless bra I like.  How's that for a run on sentence? And about the strapless bra dilemma, does anyone have one they recommend? Please email me: mc@marcycarmack.us .
I love this photo with the cute little Jewish family. There is a well attended synagogue down the street from me. Question: why are Jewish places of worship typically better attended than Christian? I am going to end this post with a little thing I've discovered. It took my health to realize and really see the hardship people go through on a daily basis. Today I have more compassion and awareness of their day to day lives. Thank God or a higher power for my blessings.



March 21, 2019

Mixing PRINTS

, by MARCY CARMACK | Edit
It's spring and I look pretty happy--who wouldn't after a winter like Chicago's. Truth is I'm still wearing layers and my coat is just feet away. Spring is no where near the marker of warm weather in Chicago. We will get a cold snap or two before the end of May. The yellow is a pick me up as are the prints. I've never worn a lot of prints because they don't go the distance. Some here and there to mix it up. Now that the mixing print trend hit the scene a year or more ago it doesn't make each print as recognizable because you can mix them in different ways. I mixed last summer when I did a post on Tomas Maier and again in an Animal print and plaid post. Both times I mixed only two prints and that's what I recommend to start out. For this post I am mixing three prints and using one of them in three different ways. I had fun and I think you will too.


I'm wearing a knit jumpsuit by Reformation which is a fun way to spice up your wardrobe and doesn't break the bank. So comfortable and perfect for travel is what I'm thinking. We won't talk about it's drawbacks cause you probably already know what they are. I am definitely going to take it on my trip to Paris in May. Two or three outfits in one. I'm always looking for ways to travel light.



PRINTS are a Versace scarf, a Proenza Schouler t-shirt and Sam Edelman sling backs.

February 8, 2019

SHEER

, by MARCY CARMACK | Edit
I've been wearing Wolford tights for years and yes they are expensive but they last for years. Sheer hosiery has been out of style for those years because it looked kind of dated and old lady-ish. Now I feel like sheer is new again. I felt sexy and feminine when I put them on.
Be careful what you pair them with so you don't look old lady-ish. Here I wore them with a charcoal window pained skirt and Alexandre Birman boots.
We found that museum lighting was not good for showing the fine details of an outfit because you can't use a flash. The whole outfit is charcoal gray except the black cashmere sweater with a gray trim. Don't you love this Rauschenberg?
Love love Lichtenstein!
Here is one with a flash that went off by accident and you can use see the outfit a little better. These pieces have all been in my wardrobe for many years (charcoal chalkstripe blazer, black cashmere s/s sweater and a charcoal gray window pane mohair skirt) only the boots are new. Oh and the sheer Wolford hosiery too. Anyway I am excited to add sheer hosiery back into my wardrobe and I love Wolford. They are the best.