Monday, June 21, 2010

Pumps & Pleats: Not so cheap baubles at Urban Outfitters

Photos and story by Michèle De Meglio

Urban Outfitters is known for its hipster duds, trendy purses and alleged penchant for stealing the work of independent jewelry designers.

Many fashionistas are ignoring the scandal in favor of buying the hottest accessories, but the question is, should they?

There’s the obvious ethical issues, but let’s consider the financial concerns. Urban Outfitters prices its jewelry as high as $48, which is much more expensive than the $7 rings found at other cheap-chic retailers, such as Claire’s in Kings Plaza mall and Forever 21, which sells funky necklaces for $3.80.

Is there a justifiable reason to spend two or three times as much for fashion jewelry made out of the same cheap metals and plastic beads? Pumps & Pleats headed to Urban Outfitters’ store on Atlantic Avenue in Cobble Hill to find out.

The shop has a modest jewelry collection, much of which features goldtone necklaces with large faux gemstones.

A $28 tiered necklace with more than three dozen teardrop beads is an attention grabber, but too large and impractical for everyday wear.

For $24, you can walk away with an ornate initial pendant. It’s pretty cute but Pumps & Pleats has found similar — and cheaper — necklaces at the abovementioned stores.

An $18 silvertone chain adorned with a tiny plastic bow is quirky but not really suited for the office.

All of these pieces will definitely turn heads, but since they’re made of faux gemstones and mixed metals, they will likely tarnish quickly and probably won’t be worth their price tags.

If you aren’t interested in spending so much for cute bling with a limited lifetime, check out the affordable plastic baubles at Cool Cat in the Fulton Mall. You’re sure to find something just as funky and flashy — and save a whole lot of money.

Urban Outfitters [166 Atlantic Ave. between Clinton and Court streets in Cobble Hill, (718) 488-7143].

Claire’s [5169 Kings Plaza at Flatbush Avenue and Avenue U in Mill Basin, (718) 258-9208].

Forever 21 [5301 Kings Plaza at Flatbush Avenue and Avenue U in Mill Basin, (718) 252-2188].

Cool Cat [489 Fulton St. between Lawrence and Bridge streets in Downtown Brooklyn, (718) 797-1220].

Michèle De Meglio is a native Brooklynite addicted to all things chic. Check out Pumps & Pleats each week for more adventures as she scours the borough for fab duds and accessories.


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