Ssense is pretty much the most coolest thing to come out of Canada since maybe ever. The aesthetic is very Downtown Girl of Means, with $6000 Balmain gowns existing alongside $165 APC shifts, because that’s how fancy girls roll. I’m very, very grateful that there is no physical version of Ssense it in my neighborhood, or anywhere in my city. Because if that were the case, I might very well be digging pennies out from under the couch to make the mortgage by now.
Let’s go pretend-spend $5,000, shall we?
Michael Angel is new favorite of mine. He has a love of color and pattern that is simultaneously fearless and not at all scary to behold, which seems like a pretty tricky trick to pull off. What I love about this dress is that he keeps things fairly simple up top, thereby earning the right to let his freak flag fly with the rest. $610
Typically I’m content to stick with the poor man’s Rick Owens (a.k.a. Helmut Lang, and I say that with a great deal of affection for Helmut Lang) but for the purposes of this exercise I’d be delighted to make room in my hypothetical closet for this full-length Rick Owens number. The man really knows how to drape, and how to to make a dress look as engaging from the back as the front. And also—not nothing in my book—how to create something that looks perfectly suited to curling up and taking a nice long nap. $800
One could never accuse this MM6 Maison Martin Margiela dress of being sexy, but sexy isn’t really the endgame at Margiela. And it’s precisely the Margiela-osity of this dress—its drapiness, the way it kind of slouchily narrows at the hip—that makes it such an intriguing possibility in a category I find deeply appealing but equally vexing: the white summer dress. This one works, I think, because it’s slightly off-white (with a verrrry subtle grey pattern) and a material that feels quite silky and soft, like a nicely worn-in old t-shirt. If your mom saw you wearing it, she’d probably tell you it needed a belt. And she would probably, annoyingly, be right. $450
This DVF dress just looks so clean and throw-it-on-all-summer, and the touch of asymmetry at the hem feels like just enough and not too much. With a print like that, one might not want too much else going on, shape wise. $400
I’ve always derived a peculiar kind of satisfaction from having a very expensive and desirable piece I’ve seen in a magazine or online—or even on the rack right before I try it on— turn out to be a real dud in the dressing room. You are spared the stress of those it’s-so-amazing-but-I-really-can’t afford-it-but I-need-it moments entirely. And while I would love to report that this really annoyingly expensive Christopher Kane cardigan looked like crap in person, it actually is pretty damn great. Such a sophisticated floral print, and so well-conceived that it serves as irrefutable proof that anyone who still thinks blue and black don’t go together needs to update their hard drive. $965
Ssense is pretty predictable in the bag department: they’ve got all of the big expensive it-baggy names you see everywhere, and not much in the way of the new or unexpected. Having said that, this Givenchy leather eel shoulder bag is striking me as pretty damn glamorous, and if I was still a fancy girl who bought crazy-expensive bags whose prices ran into the four figures, I might buy just go for it. $1540
I would most definitely go for a pair of these J. Brand chinos to accompany the identical pair I lived in all of last summer. The most comfortable—and surprisingly flattering, for a lady with hips—pants you can imagine. $180
And finally, this, cute, painfully-trendy-but-I-want-it-anyway little Dannijo bracelet for a nice pop of color. $230
Total: $5175! Just a touch over the wire, but in the world of catch-and-release shopping there are no rules.