BITTEN Sarah Jessica Parker, a line of affordable clothing and accessories designed by the actress, launched June 7 to a horde of screaming and crying SJP fans.
The line is sold exclusively at national clothing chain Steve & Barry’s, with all BITTEN apparel costing $19.95 or less.
The idea behind the line and the pricing comes from Parker’s manifesto on the BITTEN Web site: “It is every woman’s inalienable right to have a pulled-together, stylish, confident wardrobe with enough money left over to live.”
More than two months after the line’s arrival, I visited Steve & Barry’s in Santa Maria to check out the line.
As a huge fan of “Sex and the City,” the popular six-season HBO series starring Parker as couture-loving columnist Carrie Bradshaw, I drove to Santa Maria with a mission: create an outfit that was oh-so-“Carrie.”
Although a “Sex and the City” aficionado, I was almost a bigger fan of Bradshaw’s fun and unique wardrobe.
Bradshaw was known for her original and eclectic style, which mixed vintage threads with designer pieces, and for a strong shoe addiction, specifically to pricey Manolo Blahnik stilettos.
If BITTEN could re-create a fashionable “Carrie” look with its incredibly affordable pricing, I would be ready to buy out the entire store.
Fortunately for my wallet, the BITTEN line had none of the bright colors, wild patterns and prints that defined Bradshaw’s enviable wardrobe.
Instead, BITTEN featured basic pieces in neutral colors that could blend in at an Old Navy store.
I disappointedly searched through sparse racks of flowing knit shirts, neutral T-shirts, basic swimwear and ballet flats to find top sizes that were way too big and shoe sizes that were way too small. The salesperson said the store had been habitually ransacked since the line’s opening, accounting for the lack of available sizes and colors.
This contributed to my disappointment with the store, but I could see I wasn’t missing anything special. In retrospect, I should have seen it coming.
Steve & Barry’s is a national chain mostly selling men’s casual clothing and sportswear. The company has made a name for itself by offering T-shirts, sneakers and college sweatshirts for low, low prices.
There’s no way a clothing line at Steve & Barry’s, which largely features basic men’s apparel, could recreate the flamboyant style of a character who once said, “I like my money right where I can see it . hanging in my closet.”
Parker was also featured in advertisements for Gap, Inc. in 2004, a company known for basic pieces in a neutral color palette.
But BITTEN did get something right.
Despite my initial disappointment with the line due to conflicting expectations, I realized the basic pieces offered were actually good basic pieces. In fact, they could contribute to a great outfit if mixed and matched appropriately, in true Carrie fashion.
Some of the fits were a little awkward, and the sizes seemed to vary from piece to piece, but overall the clothes were well-made and the prices were amazing.
I left the store with a basic blue
T-shirt ($6.98) and a well-fitting pair of jeans ($14.95).
For information about the line, visit www.BITTENsjp.com.