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In this week's Critical Shopper, Cintra Wilson goes to the new Isabel Marant store in Soho and admires an $850 pair of airy harem pants. Then she stops by the army/navy store Church Street Surplus and buys an equally chic, equally weightless scarf in the same color palette for $5. That's Wilson's point in a nutshell: Marant has great taste, but she's charging a premium for it. If you believe in your own taste, which you should, she writes, then you don't need an incredibly of-the-moment label to validate you. Wilson wraps up with a parable: "On Church Street I stood underneath a tree that was having a riotous outburst of pink flowers, and I may be far from wise, but I knew that no matter how much money I threw at it, it wasn’t going to get any prettier. It wouldn’t have been prettier if I had replanted it on 86th and Madison, either." [NYT]