Thursday, January 17, 2013

steep, splurge, steal

ICDC is starting a new series at the recommendation of a dear friend.

Called "steep, splurge or steal," these posts will highlight three options for a particular piece at three price points.

Since we live in Washington, ICDC will label each group in political terms: the most expensive will be affordable to the "Member of Congress," the mid-range piece is acceptable to the "Hill Staffer," and the final piece will go to the "Intern." Hopefully one of the three will peak your interest!

So for the first post, ICDC will focus on bedding, which for many can be a complicated and confusing mess of numbers (what on earth is a thread count, and how many do you really need?) and exorbitant prices.  

We've all heard that bedding should be an investment because we spend nearly a third of our lives sleeping.  But that investment doesn't need to break the bank!

Member of Congress

Proclaimed by Oprah as one of her "favorite things" and her personal bedding of choice, Williams-Sonoma Home Signature Linen Bedding is a top option for those who want the highest thread-count sheets sewn from the finest linen, which will "soften with use and laundering."

At $379 for a set (fitted sheet, top sheet and shams), that's a steep price.  Good thing this set happens to be on sale now for $303..

Hill Staffer

Simply Vera by Vera Wang for Kohl's is the perfect sheet option for the staffer who worships the few hours of sleep they get a night and is willing to splurge on the right threads, but can't spend a fortune.  Regularly $219, these 800 count beauties are on sale for $109!


Interns can afford to miss a few winks, and prefer to live a bit on the wild side.  These BrylaneHome Leopard Sheets are chic and comfortable at 300 thread count.  At only $54.99 for a set, these are a steal.

So, what is thread count, anyway?

It's simply the number of threads woven together in a square inch. You count both lengthwise (warp) and widthwise (weft) threads.

So, 100 lengthwise threads woven with 100 widthwise threads produce a thread count of 200.­

Thread count has become a "buzz word" for marketing luxury sheets. The idea is the more threads you can weave together, the softer and finer the fabric.  Good-quality sheets come in at 180, and anything above 200 is considered better quality.

According to Consumer Reports, anything above 400 will likely only provide a higher price tag.

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