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Critical Shopping

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Experimenting with Out of Africa chic—"a look that connoted an eagerness for adventure and a checkbook for ready retreat should things get hairy"—Critical Shopper Jon Caramanica ascertains that "It's easy to feel alive with possibility, or delusional, at the new Hermès store for men, which welcomes wealth in all its glory and repugnance." From this week's column, it seems like reviewing Hermès is much like selling Hermès, you just have to describe it and back off, because "there’s no way to hard-sell a $10,000 jacket," and if a person is in the market for one, a shopping column probably won't sway him one way or the other. The prices at the Hermès men's store go up with every level one ascends, and Caramanica investigates them all, including the annual-salary jackets, before returning to earth and summarizing the experience thus: "Let's face it, you're mostly here for the ties." [NYT]