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The Can You Blow Seventy-Five Grand at Neiman Marcus Contest

In Karen's office in DC.First a confession. I own three St. John suits, plus a couple of fancy dresses that probably cost more than the two grand the St. John suits run when they were offered for sale in stores. I own these things to appear in public under certain kinds of circumstances.

I wear the St. John suits a couple of times a year, to funerals, business lunches, etc. What I like about them is that they are comfortable and hang very well without saying "Hi, I'm a $2,000 suit!"

Kathryn Cramer & Peter BeagleI bought these things in thrift stores, consignment stores, at church sales, and at tag sales. My favorite consignment store (since closed) used to be in Mt. Kisco and sold runway samples, and I am of a size that sometimes I can fit into those.  I paid $150 each for the suits at a church sale in Chappaqua.

So even though the only thing I ever bought a Neiman Marcus was a belt once, in an emergency, when I was staying at a hotel and the pants I'd intended to wear were too big in the waist and NM was up the block, I have some familiarity with the kind of clothes Sarah Palin seems to have blown $150,000 on.

Several journalists at the LA Times have gone through the exercise of trying to fill a Neiman Marcus online shopping cart with $75,062 worth of duds. It's pretty hard to do even at Neiman Marcus prices. The task is apparently made easier by Neiman Marcus's "deep St. John inventory."

The exercise seems to require going heavy into pricey accessories if you are to compose a wardrobe for the campaign trail. Yesterday, I had a brief look-through of the Neiman Marcus site. The conclusion I came to was that the RNC shopping spree was not just clothing her and her family for the campaign trail, but rather at that manic moment, they expected to win. And so they had clothed the family, or at least Sarah Palin, through the first year or two of office.

I think the RNC had no intention of auctioning the clothes for charity after the election. What the public needs is the itemized receipts.