Fun Stuff We Found Among the 1/10 of 1%

By Piper Bayard

Late in March, my daughter, DD, and I went to Kansas City and played one of our favorite games, the Money is No Object Game. That’s where we go to stores with $1ook items on the shelves and check out how the 1/10 of 1% lives.

We headed to Country Club Plaza, which is a gorgeous copy of Seville, Spain. Literally. J.C. Nichols, the developer, loved Seville and wanted it a bit closer than Spain.

Tiffany’s was the obvious starting point, but the guard at the door is was so serious and attentive that we were convinced we’d be talking with the police if we start taking pictures. We moved on to our favorite store, Hall’s.

Of course, we went to the Jewel Room first. This is DD in a $5k necklace made of cut crystal and gold. It’s a low end item.

The Bucellati pearls woven into 18k gold are a bit more substantial. To put it in perspective, these pieces represent a posh townhouse in Denver.

Who doesn’t need a 4′ alligator accent light for their summer pool party? Only $5.2k.

No reason to enhance the atmosphere with flowers if we’ve got the $6k for this vase.

And in case our $35k place settings need a little sprucing up, we can set out these gold and crystal turtle salt and pepper shakers. The glare in the picture is compliments of Swarovski. . . . Oops! No money left for food. *makes turtle soup*

After the pool party, we moved on to shoes. We were delighted to find that the 1/10 of 1% also has the perfect shoes for people abducted by aliens and returned with delusions of being Tijuana hookers. (And we thought it was just our local mall.)

But these shoes are Jimmy Choo and cost $785. Which makes me think they are actually designed for Colombian hookers to wear when playing Secret Service–Call of Booty.

After critiquing the high dollar dresses and debating whether $35 thank you notes actually convey more gratitude than $10 thank you notes, we split a truffle at the If You Have to Ask You Can’t Afford It brand chocolates counter. Then we exited this glorious tribute to luxury and found a rabbit on the Plaza that needed “bunny ears.”

Do you ever go to stores just to play? What fun stuff do you find?

All the best to all of you for not being blinded by the glitzy turtles.

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50 comments on “Fun Stuff We Found Among the 1/10 of 1%

  1. OMG LUV it! We don’t have “that” high end of stores around here but if we did, I’d be ALL over a window shopping trip like this…too much fun!

    • Piper Bayard says:

      It’s really better than taking the stuff home. You get to have fun with it, and you don’t have to worry about taking care of it or protecting it.

      It’s far better to use the money to get a law degree, and then everyone assumes your cheap WalMart jewelry is real. You have the education AND the wow factor.

  2. If I even went near a store like that, they’d call the police. First the fashion police at the mere sight of me, and shortly thereafter, the real police when my incredulous laughter caused a disturbance in their well-bred halls.

    I might be induced to dress up and behave myself if there was top-quality food involved, though.

  3. That is crazy funny. I’ve never done that, but now I feel a need to drive up to Rodeo Drive! Did you sample the tea and pastries? You should have.

  4. It is so cool that you do that, how fun! I love that crocodile light. I wonder if there’s a craft for that on Pinterest lol.

  5. Jillian Dodd - Glitter, Bliss and Perfect Chaos says:

    The Plaza is one of my favorite places!! I even used it as the setting for the wedding in my last book!! I love to go in stores like that and see all the expensive stuff. My daughter and I do that a lot. See the fashionable stuff, then go to Forever 21 and H&M and try to find the same thing for a fraction of the price. It’s a fun little game!! We lived in KC for 6 years. I was telling my daughter we need to get up there this summer!! It’s so pretty.

  6. donnagalanti says:

    Oh what fun! I have not done this on purpose – but now just might! Reminds though of when I moved to NJ from rural Upstate NY after college graduation. I was trying to find a Mall to hang out in and the closest one I found was The Short Hills Mall in Short Hills, NJ. I was thinking Mall – casual, frumpy, right? NOT. I pulled up in my old car in my sweats to valet parking. Really? Of course I ditched the valet parking and went in my frumpy garb to a magical place full of Gucci, Tiffany’s, Prada, polished & sleek women and fur coats! I high tailed it out of there and never wnt back. But might be fun to dress up for the day and go in my rented Rolls Royce!

    • Piper Bayard says:

      Lol. Sounds like you weren’t quite ready for that shift.

      The fancy clothes and Rolls could certainly be fun, but the 1/10 of 1% who I’ve met couldn’t care less what clothes they’re wearing, and they drive Priuses. But they do have expensive shoes. Where I live, that usually consists of the latest, most fashionable athletic shoe or some ugly fad shoe that’s made fashionable by its price. Like those Fila shoes that have neon colors on black and have separate pockets for each toe. I will say, though, that those ugly shoes are incredibly comfortable. Can you tell I live in Colorado?

      Anyway, no Rolls necessary. Just tell yourself you have every right to be there, and your attitude will keep the staff hopping. :)

      • donnagalanti says:

        So funny about the shoes! Does anyone really look at anyone’s feet? ha ha ha. Never been a shoes horse. Those shoes with separate pockets for toes are kind of freaky! :)

    • Okay Donna. I have to know where you were in Upstate, NY. I’m originally from Syracuse. And my friend’s husband is the C.F.O for the Short Hills Mall. I’ll make sure to let him know you approve of the place. ;-)

      • donnagalanti says:

        Oh that is so funny! I grew up in a small town of Westerlo, above Albany, NY in the Helderberg Mountains. I moved to NJ in 1997 after college. This story just made me think of that long ago trip to the Short Hills Mall! I worked around there for a few years.

  7. Julie Glover says:

    That was hilarious. I think my eyes would roll out of my head if I shopped at these places. Even if I become a billionaire, I am not buying those hideous Tijuana hooker shoes. Thanks for the laugh, Piper.

  8. I drag my shy friends to the Walmart and make them test out all the patio furniture on display. lol Not quite the same thing, but still loads of fun embarrassing my friends.

  9. tomwisk says:

    I window shop at the Dollar Store. Those high end stores give me a stomach cramp. Anyhow rich people sure do like strange, useless stuff.

    • Piper Bayard says:

      I love the Dollar Store. I may take DD there next on one of our fun stuff hunts. The high end stores that really give me stomach cramps are the doggie boutiques that have incredibly expensive clothing for dogs. I’m a farm girl. You can do the math.

  10. The Tijuana hooker line made me spew my tea!

  11. I can’t imagine spending that kind of money even if I were rich. And I’m sure it’d be like a scene from Pretty Woman (sans hooker wear) if I were to walk into such a place. They’d take one look at me and KNOW I couldn’t afford it! LOL My sister and I went to a high-end store in an outlet mall once where they sold only designer items. A pair of jeans were over $400 – at the outlet mall!. The tag said retail was close to $1500. I honestly can’t imagine paying that for a pair of jeans. I tried them on of course. LOL I don’t think they made my butt look any better than my $29 pair. :-) Thanks for the fun post!

    • Piper Bayard says:

      Lol. What a fun experience. I’ve never tried on $400 ($1500) jeans. Glad to know they aren’t actually butt enhancing. If you had said they were, I might have to break into my kids’ piggy banks.

      And as far as not affording the stuff, who cares? Just don’t go at a time when they are really busy, and even if the sales clerks peg your income bracket, many of them would rather talk with you than stand around and do nothing.

  12. Blimey, don’t ever tell my wife about this place or she start thinking of Harrods as the bargain store. When I go to the stores I play a game of see-if-I-can-get-out-without-using-a-credit-card. Mind you those shoes look like they would have fitted a cassette recorder for the 1980s booty spy.

    Good laugh, Piper.

    Cheers!

  13. When I don’t feel like being bothered by annoying salespeople, sometimes I pretend I’m deaf. I know, it’s wrong… but it’s fun. People say all kinds of things in front of me. ;-)

  14. Lol! I used to have this game when I had to buy higher ticket items. Or at least, what would be higher ticket for someone living on an animal trainer’s salary (which isn’t much!). I would dress down, then walk into the store and see how they treated me. If I was ignored, I walked out and went somewhere else. If I got good service, I paid right then and there. It was fun, plus, I got to know which places were customer service oriented.

    • Piper Bayard says:

      Yep. It think it’s good to test them. Some clerks can be quite snobby, but I’ve found most of them to enjoy the activity we generate. Thanks for sharing your experience.

  15. You should see the expression on their faces when a ferret asks: “Will you take cash”

  16. Tami Clayton says:

    My daughter and I love to play a game in which we find the most outrageous things on the rack and then in all seriousness go up to each other and loudly say, “Hey, I found what you were looking for!” while holding up the item. Then we banter back and forth. “Oh, thanks! Well, actually, I was looking for something with MORE sequins than this one, but we’re getting close.” The trick is to do it without laughing. People give us some interesting looks.

    • Piper Bayard says:

      Oh, how fun! DD and I will have to try that. It’s prom time. We could have marvelously scandalous conversations about those dresses. (“I don’t know. I like this hot pink, strapless sheath mini with the zipper all the way down the front for easy access. But do you think he’ll get the wrong idea?”) — Yes, we have seen that dress. We joke that it was from PromSl*t Designs.

      Thanks so much for sharing your experience. :)

  17. EllieAnn says:

    That alligator is just too cute. And yum! Truffles!
    That bunny was born with four ears? Poor thing.

  18. Catie Rhodes says:

    This probably sounds dumb after looking at expensive stuff, but I love to go to flea markets. I will dig and dig and dig through the junk on those tables, even when it’s 100 degrees outside. Sometimes I find treasure, but most of the time I just look through trash. I have fun, though, and that’s what makes it cool.

    • Piper Bayard says:

      Not at all! I love flea markets. I used to take my stuff out to sell on the weekends for gas money back in the day. Never knowing what you’ll find makes it serious fun. :)

  19. K.B. Owen says:

    LOL, Piper and DD! You guys did a great job showing the disposable wealth purchasing options. My mom and I did this once, joking as we walked into a high-end boutique that at least we could afford a belt. Guess what? That was too pricey, too! Fun post!

    • Piper Bayard says:

      Lol. I went into Gucci at Country Club Plaza back in my early college days thinking I might get something small, like a belt. Instead, it took all my lunch money for a small keychain, but I got it just to show off a Gucci keychain. I don’t even know what became of it, nor do I particularly care. . . . Ah, well. We all have to be young before we can mature. Thanks for sharing your experience.

  20. gojulesgo says:

    This is great! I always feel embarrassed about going into stores I can’t afford – like they can smell it on me.

    • Piper Bayard says:

      They can. But when you consider that the clerks can’t afford those stores, either, then changes your mindset about such things. It’s just all the po’ folk and a bunch of fancy stuff in the room. :)

  21. My husband and I often go to stores and imagine how we’d furnish our house if money was no object :)

    • Piper Bayard says:

      It’s a fun game. I think that even if money was no object, I’d still leave most of the stuff in the store. After all, once you get it home, you have to take care of it. Still, the furnishings in the store are great for high end catnapping. :)

  22. [...] Ever hit a fancy, high-end mall just to see how the other half live? I vicariously live through Piper Bayard and her daughter as they toured the Country Club Plaza. [...]

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