This I Did Not Know: Women in Seattle Spend Hella Scrilla on Threads


Gortex and wool are expensive fabrics.
Maybe it's all lingerie and fetish gear?
Incomes in Seattle are also well above the national average, and I'd be willing to be seattle is in the top 10 most expensive metro areas.
One thing I've learned, the more expensive the fabric the shorter the life. I spend a lot on clothes, but I have to because they don't last long. Maybe it's the rain...
Heh, what #1 said, but I was going to say that the blacks, grays, browns, and dark greens of REI and North Face clothes blend in to the fabric of our environment.

Where do they go? Probably to the streets, bars, shows, games, and openings that you either don't attend or, in the case of games, the sections you can't access.
New York, SF, Seattle... that's a list of the cities with the highest cost of living. Same 3 cities also top the list for most expensive housing. Try it with food and you'll find people in NYC, SF and Seattle are right there at the top.

No big revelation here except that everything costs more in places where everything costs a lot. Including women's clothes.
Also, Charles, it occurs to me that perhaps you don't know what expensive clothes look like. People with taste avoid splashy logos to advertise for "designers".
If you want to look like shit you've got to spend a lot of money!
Looked at the price of a high end GoreTex jacket lately?…
500/year???? That's like 1/4 of a handbag?!?

Since becoming a dogwalker, I admittedly spend far less than I once did, but even 500/ season is waaayyyy low
@7 Seattle is not even in the top 10 nationally in cost of living.…

I think it's been well established that Charles has no eye for quality.
What everyone else said. Besides which, can you buy a pair of shoes in this city for under $80? I can't possibly be the only person in Seattle who can rarely get more than 2 years of use out of their shoes before they start to take in water.
If I were a woman living in Seattle, I'd be pissed off at Charles right now.
You don't get downtown much, do ya, chuck?
Pulling off the shopping-cart-lady look ain't free.

I highly recommend Georgia Boot Co. Romeos: waterproof leather with Goodyear welts and Vibram soles. They're totally function-over-form, but they're also damned comfortable and I easily get two years use out of them, and that's wearing them almost everyday since I usually walk to work. Keep your good shoes in the office and just slip these off when you get there. $60 at Outdoor Emporium on 4th Ave S.
I personally know REI is hella expensive :p

Oh, and we all have fewer kids :)
That's the money being spent on wet weather gear, not fancy everyday dress.
@12, thank you - we're definitely on the Top Ten list of cities that mistakenly believe they're on the Top Ten list of everything.
I wonder what the men spend?
Is Bellevue considered part of the Seattle metro area in this sturdy? That's the only explanation I can see.
From the article linked - "(I did not include spending on sportswear — only “nicer” clothes)" - rules out REI.
Women of Seattle: we are letting the menfolk down by not dressing the way they want us to. Freak out!
#7 The point of the article is that women here rank high for what they spend on clothes, but men here rank low. So are you saying women here are wealthy but men here are poor?
At present I look dowdy as f@&k. And do every day BC I am with wet dogs at least 11 hours/ day.
Outfit today:
Paige Denim about 220.00
Hunter Wellies 120.00 ish
Lulu Lemon sweatshirt about 100.00
Rain Shell. 250.00???

Add in underthings LaPerla emereld green bra/panty set. About 460.00

Maybe all the other ladies spend it on lingerie too.
@26: Five hundred bones for underwear? And two grand for a purse?

Jeezus, I had no idea dog-walking was such a lucrative field.

Serious question: what does a five-hundred-dollar bra and panty set get you? Is it just the satisfaction of a fancy designer's name, or is it really, really worth that much for some superior engineering or something?
La Perla is definitely the best.
No doubt that many of these expensive clothes are worn to the office.
They stock up on these clothes to donate to Haiti and Cuba during disasters. Carribeans deserve to be as chic as New Yorkers in a time of crisis.
@ 26, who wears lingerie like that to work, unless you're getting it on there on a daily basis?
chuck, mrs. solomon spends FAR more than $500/year on clothes.

$500/year isn't even her budget for boots.

she wears them to work. she wears them to dinner. she wears them to concerts. she wears them hiking. she wears them to parties. she waers them to fundraisers.

being a woman and not dressing like shit costs a lot of money. a good, quality bra with some sex appeal will set you back almost a C note.
Not the appropriate use of hella. One can be hella lame, for example. You spend mad scrilla. Hella is an adverb.
@27...I wasn't always a dog walker:)
I would consider myself a tomboy...most things I like to do are dirty,rough etc. High quality lingerie is my tiny grasp at femininity. Have been w/ my husband almost 11 years and have worn lingerie sets EVERY day of those 11 years.
The handbags are more like collectables...I hunt for em the same way I do records.

And @ 28 YES the quality of La Perla, Agent Provacateur, Andres Sardra etc is UNREAL!!!
@26: I heart you. You are my hero.
@ 28 & 29: agreed.
I spend A LOT of my disposable income on clothes. They are my passion, and indeed it is physically impossible for me to underdress. But see, I would never spend 60$ bucks on a video game for example because it's not my thing. Fashion is.
@31: Who wears underwear like that to work every day? I do. I have lingerie for every eventuality. Push up bras, strapless bras, plunging bras, bras in all colors of the rainbow, and all with matching panties. The pride of my top dresser drawer is a sheer peach silk ensemble I bought in Paris and the vintage 1930s satin nightie I bought in 1883 to wow my first serious boyfriend. And I am not alone. Pretty underthings make a bad day a little bit less so.
Charles, you're assuming they're spending large amounts on few items. They also could be spending large amounts on lots of items. I.E. 500 bucks spent at Barney's vs Urban Outfitters. Heck having 10 pairs of hipster glasses, 30 hoodies, 15 skinny jeans and 5 yoga pants is pricy!
@36 You are AWESOME!!!
I like to say A good foundation starts with good foundations.
#33 Thank you. I wasn't going to say anything but I'm glad you did. Somehow, hearing a person using a slang word incorrectly is worse than an ordinary vocabulary error.
@1 is right. My daily wardrobe right now consists of an Arcteryx shell, Mountain Hardwear down puffy, and some sort of light fleece or track jacket. Total for those three new is about $650, but I use them for backpacking, snow sports, city, surf... everything. It makes sense when you think about the lifestyle around here.

Anything "fashionable" I usually get is H&M or Forever 21, because shit falls out of style about as long as those clothes last.
I easily spend $500/yr. on my clothes. But I'm sure my dad and other male relatives of mine haven't spent that much on clothes in their whole adult lives! And we live in the same metro area (but I'm in the city, they are in the outskirts).
@ 38, you couldn't articulate that thought, eh?

@ 36, more power to you. I find that to be a rather extreme way to deal with life's little disappointments, but then again my attitude about money isn't in synch with a lot of sloggers'.
A friend of mine (female) yells at her fiance for buying 200 dollars worth of silver every once in a while, but then will go out and spend 200 dollars on shoes which will be worthless in a year.

Vanity is a huge industry: clothes are just a small part of it.

@36: You must of been the belle of the ball after you purchased that 1930s lingerie in 1883. You look so young, what's your secret? Goat placenta?
Plus I think Seattle has some of the best dressed women around.
@43: I do not think there is many venues in life where the differences between men and women are so stark as they are when it comes to buying clothing.

I would feel like a total asshole if I was spending that much on clothing.
@38. No trouble at all. A good foundation (for a pleasant say/ good life/ good marriage) starts with good foundations ( foundations are what lingerie shops call bras and panties)
Still too tough for you to figure out?
Oops...meant for 43 Dipshit from Denver
your first serious boyfriend in 1883, lissa? are you a vampire?
@47: Absolutely. Undergarments can make or break an outfit. They are the framework and can totally change how a garment fits and looks.
@44: My secret? Good genes, sunscreen, and I smile a lot
@33/40, Hella is versatile. It can be used as an adjective and an adverb.
You're blind if you don't see the finely dressed women in this city. They definitely tend to be Downtown/Capitol Hill/Madrona and north, but there are a great many classically fashionable women walking around. Sure, some of that goes into shells and hiking boots, but Seattle hardly lacks for skirts, dress boots, and scarves.

Men, on the other hand...
@51 You can use it however you'd like. You'd be wrong, though. I spent 20 years in So. Cal., I know how to use 'hella' and how you don't.

Very few women. Most American women don't even wear a bra that fits properly. Julie and Lissa are far outside the norm.
A lot of this is spent on boots, based on all the pics my rich female friends post.
The one thing that has always confounded me a little is that Seattle has a Barney's. Sure, it's a tiny little boutique version of a Barney's, but it's been there since before the tech boom like some fancy little outpost.
@37 - Interesting theory. Could Seattle be a city of hoarders?
@53 Going on 13 years in the Bay Area, hella's ground-zero. It may have more restrictive rules elsewhere, but hella knows no limits here.

Being from SoCal, you should know that 'hella' is a NorCal thing. At least, I didn't hear until I moved to NoCal from SoCal in 2002. I'm sure it's spread since then. I use hella all the time, to the extreme annoyance of my Midwestern wife.

All I can add to the main conversation is that, though we're not at all rich (slightly below median), my wife easily spends $500 a year on clothes, and I wouldn't consider her a major consumer of expensive clothes. Also, this post reminds me of that one troll who always complained about how there are no sexy women in Seattle.
@56...Have you been there? I LOVED the old location but now it feels like an Urban Outfitters (yuck) with the schlocky upstairs.
Margie there is AWESOME! She lets me use my hubby's card to buy Balenciaga bags:) Or at least user to...have not gone in in ages.
That's a shame, last time at visited the Seattle store was probably the mid-90's.
Whoops, my comment was for @60.
I would have preferred "Mad skrillz" to "Hella Scrilla"
@63 - I think "mad skrillz" would mean one is really good with money.
@59, Yeah 500 bucks a year is not a lot of money on clothes. Thats only 125 bucsk per season, meanwhile you walk into nordstorms and most shirts/pants are 500 bucks plus.
@63, well obvos 'mad skrillz' is the preferred terminology. At least, that's what I always say. There's something too rhyme-y about "hella skrilla," but I agree with Blip that hella is a totally versatile word, used as both an adjective and as a synonym for "a lot of."
From Digital Underground's "Hella Bump" on Future Rhythm

Not just a nickel bag full, mayne
Give me the fat, jumbo thirty bag of bang
Watch what you slang
Cause if it sound the same I'll keep looking
Ain't putting fake music in my veins (no, no, no)
Not just a nickel bag full
Or a dime bag of bull cause I need my tummy full
Pop daddy brought a fatty, slinging that banging
But underground mommy bought me hella bump
Hella bump
hella skrilla sounds so wrong
When I look around I see lots and lots of women in good wool coats, which cost quite a bit; nice skirts, ditto; boots, ditto. Mrs. Fnarf won't spend $100 on a pair of jeans, but a lot of women will. There are well-dressed women all over this town. Maybe you should do some field research in Nordstrom, Charles. (Just a warning from personal experience, if you spend TOO much attention to the ladies' shoes, the staff will start to follow you around very closely. And no, I was NOT sniffing that size five, dammit, I was just, er, looking at it closely).
I'm the type who loves to find a great deal on stuff - I have a lot of really nice things but got screaming good deals on most. I love thrift stores and clearance sales. I only spend up for something super exciting. If you looked in my closet you'd think I'd spent a fortune, but no, I'm just crazy good at shopping.
To echo fnarf @69, Seattle is full of well dressed women. On any give day you can see hundreds of thousands of dollars in (sexy but tasteful) boots alone walking around our streets. Ditto with coats, dresses, and jeans.

Men don't seem to spend much at all, and that would include me. There's really no expectation to do so, professionally or otherwise. Perhaps it's the fact that men in Seattle spend so little on clothes that opens up household budgets for wives and girlfriends to splurge. Which is fine by me.
@ 65..there are actually only 3 seasons in fashion: Fall, Spring and Resort (winter/ vacation wear).
Seattle is a great place to find deals...Betty Lin sells previous seasons high end stuff at a fraction of standard retail
Also, to witness this phenomenon firsthand, just attend any school event - picnic, play, potluck, etc. - in any school besides the ones in South Seattle.

You'll see a few guys in suits who rushed over straight from their law firms, a bunch of men in various flavors of Seattle casual, and an army moms in snappy outfits with nice boots, or Lulu Lemon if they're in a casual mood.
@Lissa: Pretty underthings make a bad day a little bit less so.
Thank you for making Seattle, or the Seattle of my imagination, a sexier place. Knowing this will definitely make my bad days a little less so.
@72, lol I just meant a lot of people go "oh shit it's raining out, i need a rain jacket" or "oh shit it's snowing out I need an snow coat" or "oh shit it's warm out, I need some shorts".I.E. as the weather changes people buy new clothes to go with the change...Then again I guess I've moved to Seattle it's just been two season to worry about, 8 months of rain and 4 months of not rain :P
I just like being an a-hole:)
So, with respect to Seattle women's fashion sense and profligacy, there seem to be two camps: those who contend that hella is short for hellaciously alone and those who contend it is also short for a hell of a lot of. Interesting.
@59 - he's right
$500 a year? That's it? I'm frugal as all hell and def spend that. BTW women's clothes and services cost more than men's.
@ 49: Yes. I will cop to being a vampire before admitting to a typo.
@74: One does what one can!
@79 - Besides dry cleaning, like what? I mean that as an actual question, not an argument, as my main experience with dry cleaning is wishing all my dry-clean-only clothes weren't dry clean only so I could wear them again.

Apples-to-apples, I've spent well beyond my share of retail time with the missus and clothing prices seem pretty even between the sexes.
"hella" is short for "hell of". Charles uses it incorrectly here. It is not a SoCal term or a NorCal term, it is an East Bay term. Mostly Oakland.
"I think Seattle has some of the best dressed women around."

You're fucking kidding right? Not only appalling dressers, Seattle also has some of the ugliest women of any city I've lived in. Seriously, I wish someone had warned me before I moved here, half the women look like men; the other half look like men in dresses.
It's actually an interesting article
Calling a woman "Seattle pretty" isn't a compliment.
Most of what I spend is on shoes. With the amount Seattleites walk, we are lucky if shoes last a year - most are destroyed by then. I'm constantly replacing shoes and boots. I'm currently walking around in a pair of Sperry's with holes in the soles because I don't want to drop another $80.
As a man, I dont think $500 a year is much at all. Maybe its cause I am not a cubicle jockey- but I can totally destroy a few hundred dollars worth of Carhartts and work shirts in a year, put holes in 40 bucks worth of socks, and do serious damage to a pair of hundred dollar shoes- and then, after work, well, one pair of Fluevogs is over two hundred bucks these days.
Even if your goal is dressing punk rock, jeans are fifty bucks, and a Schott leather jacket starts at $570.
I wear a lot of thrift and sale clothes and even I spend a LOT more than $500 a year! I'm a total slob right now and everything I'm wearing was bought on sale or at the Rack, but I'm still pushing $400 from head to toe.

And for lingerie: Chantal Thomas and Princesse Tam Tam. American lingerie SUCKS.
@81 Haircuts, clothing, body products, shoes, underwear, even socks.
To Doug (@82). You're wrong about the meaning of "hella." I'm FROM the East Bay, I know whereof I speak. You are hella silly to make such pronouncements!
Lets say you need to buy 1 pair of jeans (60), 4 bras 4* 50), 12 pairs of underwear (12*4), a pair of work shoes (80), 3 pairs of cute flats (30), 3 tops (30), 2 sweaters (80), a jacket (60), and workout t and shorts (40), and two pairs of tights/pantyhose (20) which is the MINIMUM I can possibly imagine spending in a year without looking like a grunge hobo, that's $628 a year, and that's if you find everything at an absolute bargain. I'm a broke student and I can't possibly imagine buying any less than this. Clothes wear out, man.
@81, @89 mostly has it, but add to that the difference between men's and women's clothes. I don't get to buy 2 basic black suits, 5 or 6 shirts, a couple of ties, and a nice pair of shoes and call it a day. If I wear the same pants twice in one week, someone will notice. At a bare minimum, a professional woman needs at least 3-5 suits (depending on whether she needs to wear a suit every day or can get away with separates on some days), 5 skirts/pants, a half a dozen blouses, a couple of sweater sets if you live in a place that gets cold, and 3 pairs of shoes (black, brown, and flats; add at least 2 pairs of boots if you live in an area that gets cold).

$500 is chump change for women's clothes. A decent pair of dress pants is AT LEAST $75, and that would be a hella good sale. A good blouse is at least $50. A nice suit is $200 (if you know how to find a bargain) - $400. I've actually found that cheaper jeans are often more comfortable (and in a dark wash with a nice cut, no one really notices), but they don't last as long, so that ends up being $100 on jeans in a year for 3-4 pair. Sure, quality stuff lasts, but not forever. And heaven forbid if you gain or lose a few pounds. I'm pretty sure even my friends and family in "middle America," who don't necessarily have office jobs that require an impeccable wardrobe, spend that much. I guess I also don't see that amount as unreasonable. The median individual income for a person with a bachelor's degree across the country is about $49K. That's 1% of their INDIVIDUAL income on clothes. Not really that much.
For fucks sakes idiots!!!!!!
@81, one difference is that women's clothes are much, much shoddier in materials and construction, and are generally intended to be worn only a few times before they fall apart or stretch beyond recognition. Women's clothes follow a much more rapid fashion cycle as well. Whereas a good men's dress shirt will last for many years, and still in style as well. I have some of my dad's suits that look like they just came off the rack at Brooks Brothers despite being thirty years old or more. Women's shoes are a joke, honestly, for the price you pay; and women have more accessories to buy. all a man needs is good shoes, a good belt, a respectable watch, suit, overcoat, and you're done. A woman needs fifty bags and fifty pairs of shoes.

Before you start throwing things I am the biggest shoe whore in the world, far worse than any woman I've ever met, and for some reason I cannot explain I have over a dozen hats, all but one of which look completely ridiculous on me -- but I can't figure out which one that is (is it the beret?)
I just dropped $120 at Target on clothes - and it was like, five shirts and a $12 bra? And most of that was clearance? How is $500, A YEAR shocking anywhere? I mean, it was the first time I've bought clothes in six months, but I'm like, poverty level. If you are making a healthy salary and want to not wear the same clothes every day of the week? Yeah, $500 is pretty reasonable. Esp. if you factor in shoes (rainboots! sandals! tennis shoes! that's $200 right there, mid range, but quality stuff). Plus outerwear? Jeans? $50 for the cheap jeans and I go through at least three pairs a year. I mean, yaaaaaawn
$500 a year is alot?
A pair of jeans costs at least $30.00. Shoes that don't bind your feet costs $80-150. Multiply that by casual, dress, hiking, running and that could eat up the $500 quickly.

A 3 pack of gold toe socks costs $16.00.

Blouses and shirts are $35 if you get them at a discount store on sale.

It wouldn't take long to get beyond $500 if you were very careful and skilled at purchasing an array of clothing that you were willing to wear week in and out over and over. Most women are more relaxed about that and buy clothing because they like it, not necessarily because it fits into a weekly rotation.
hella? Where are you from? We spend our money at REI, or the Columbia store. We buy boots, jeans, cashmere sweaters if possible, we like quality socks and bras, have you priced a pair of Royal Robbins? Gortex boots? a Northface jacket? Women here will spend 25$ on a pair of socks. Yup we will and we have our reasons, move here, drink coffee, and observe for awhile and you will figure it out. If you are from California you will probably become socks and sandals guy lol