A little while ago, I saw a WAYWT post that featured a Saint Laurent Paris L01 knock-off jacket. For something like three hundred bucks, this guy looked like five thousand bucks. I had never even heard about the /r/fashionreps subreddit before, but that was the seed for my eventual purchase of this item.
I hope this little roundup serves to inform the internet fashion community of the possibilities in replica fashion. Be warned, these pieces do not come easy. I estimate that I spent around 8 hours researching taobao, comparing sellers, seeking reviews, trudging through the checkout process, and canceling the order that I mistakenly placed.
I don’t necessarily intend everyone to go out and purchase this. In fact, that’s not an option anymore. This item is no longer available from the seller - these listings never seem to last long. Instead, I intend to inform my readers of their purchasing options, and talk about what it takes to complete a purchase like this.
I have only tried on the real Double Layer Tee twice in my life. I’ve never actually put it through its paces, washed it, put holes in it, etc. However, I have come by knowledge and techniques that may be hard to find elsewhere - I hope someone will find this information useful!
My first time visiting /r/fashionreps left a lasting impression on me. This is one subreddit that is very dedicated to finding sick deals - some users just bought things for the sake of providing reviews. The wiki resources, like the taobao guide, were very thorough. The countless item reviews gave me an idea of what items might be worth purchasing. Unfortunately, dead links plague this realm of the internet, and I soon realized that the designer pieces that I’ve always wanted would be very hard to find. Digging further and further, I eventually found this wannabe Rick Owens Double Layer Tee.
I speak English, and English only. I don’t think I’ve ever considered learning a language just to go shopping before but, man alive, navigating this site was a nightmare. I brought up the taobao store and various checkout guides side by side and carefully clicked through the site. I probably accounted for half the traffic to Google’s Translation Plugin and web app that night.
At first, these translators made for steady progress. But eventually I hit a road block, the aforementioned translation methods failed whenever there was text inside of an image. In that case I found a invaluable website that would convert image text to modifiable text. With this tool, one simply has to screenshot image text before letting Google do its thing.
This last method is for my geek bros out there - while working in Chrome, right click any text and click “inspect.” This will open the “Developer Tools” showing the page source. Right click accurately enough and it should show the exact element that contains the right-clicked text. It won’t always be there - some sites manage these things in unusual ways. When it does work, this is much faster than uploading a screenshot to a third party website.
Finally I was able to place an order. In fact, I somehow managed to place two. Canceling that other order was another episode of man vs. machine.
Like three weeks later, the Taobao site said that the package was delivered, although I couldn’t find it. I’m not sure where to place blame here, but there must have been some miscommunication between taobao and the shipping company. Miscommunication was definitely a recurring theme in this shopping experience.
When I finally got it, it smelled like an old dish towel. I threw it in the wash along with a normal load of laundry and laid it out flat to dry - I would not recommend hanging or tumble drying this kind of item, it would more than likely deform or shrink. Thankfully, the smell disappeared after one wash.
The fake one has a seam on the bottom hem and on each of the sleeves. I was a little disappointed here - the whole point of this piece is that there aren't any seams. But I digress, it’s not a big deal in my opinion. The seams are invisible when wearing. These negligible differences certainly do not detract from the silhouette, visual effect, or resulting aesthetic.
The shoulders are a little bit high - I’m not sure if that’s the right word for it - but they don’t really fit me perfectly. The ill fitting arm holes prevent me from wearing it as a lone layer, which is unfortunate, as I think it would be perfect for some awesome hot-weather fits.
Quality wise, I’m pretty impressed. The fabric is quite thin and sheer, as it should be. Light can easily shine through a single layer - just like the real deal. I was pleasantly surprised with the weight, texture, feel, and drape.
The one thing I dislike about it, other than my improper sizing, is that the collar does not stretch very much. I don’t recall this issue with the real deal, though it may have been larger all around. The tight collar just means I can’t pull it over my head without messing up the man-bun. This is my struggle.
It’s obviously too tight for me but I am still awfully happy with it. For a relatively low price I get to experiment with a very unique aesthetic. As a wise man once said, it’s worth discussing “…what this art form could produce without the limitations that designer pricetags impose…”