We’re becoming the very thing we hate. Sure, we detest it when Lucky refers to something as “statement-y,” but at least we don’t talk like that, right? Wrong! This weekend, we actually used the term “suit-y.” Aloud. To another person. For no discernible reason when other perfectly legitimate words would have worked. We know, we know. Either it’s an occupational hazard or we’re subconsciously assimilating.
Anyway, for a long time, we weren’t particularly bothered by Lucky’s frequent use of the word “rich” because, you know, it’s an actual word. It popped up a few times in each issue, but it wasn’t nearly as egregious as “flea market-y” or straining to be precious like “MySpace-ish.” But a few of you wrote to us about it, because it bothered you. And the more we thought about it, the more we began to wonder. Maybe “rich” wasn’t as innocent a descriptor as we assumed. What if “rich” was a value judgment? And, really, why should it matter if our clothes look pricey (even—or especially—if they weren’t)? Style isn’t dependent on looking like you’ve spent a fortune on your wardrobe, or at least that’s what we tell ourselves every time we line up for the dressing room at H&M. Still, we decided the word had the potential to be rather insidious—especially when attached to items we couldn’t afford.
So we were eager to check out the text in the July issue. Once we managed to stop mentally adding “with a knife” to every Vanessa Minnillo quote (“…but the truth is, I always get a second opinion before I take a big risk.” A big risk…with a knife! Oh, we amuse ourselves so much!), we counted how many times the word “rich” pops up in product descriptions. Is there a correlation between the use of “rich” and the price of the items?
From “Style Spy,” page 54:
These pared-down sandals and clutch have a hard-edged-but-rich look that really works.
Perhaps rich isn’t much of an exaggeration—the chain-mail clutch is $198 and the shoes $375.
And then, from “The Season’s Best Looks for Under $100” on page 123:
Finish it all off with a rich, insanely plush bag.
Well, we don’t know about “insanely plush,” but it is only $48. It wouldn’t pass as one, but it is blatantly inspired by Chanel’s quilted leather bags, leather woven through the chain strap and all.
And the third mention, from “Night and Day” on page 128:
The perfect rich-and-glowy, sexy-yet-flattering blouse: It adds a ladylike glamour to rock-star accessories and skinny, shiny trousers.
We assume that “rich-and-glowy” here means shiny, because this whole outfit reflects enough light to attract bugs. And the price tag? $210.
So our data remains inconclusive as to what “rich” really means to Lucky. In all three of those instances, “sumptuous” or “high-quality” could have been substituted, but instead, they used a word commonly associated with material wealth. But in reading every single description in Lucky, we did find one word whose meaning—and relation to cash flow—was clear. The item in question? A $498 pair of Louis Vuitton sneakers.
A classic shape—in the most upscale satin-and-patent combo imaginable.
We were thinking more along the lines of outrageously pricey, but upscale? At least we know what that means—it’s code for “unjustifiably expensive with a fancy label attached.”
What do you think?