Our obsession with talking to people about Built by Wendy has become pathological. It's not the brand, specifically, it's more the conceptual vantage point we've been mulling over. It started a few weekends back when, on our way to Opening Ceremony, we stopped in the store, to which we had never been. We perused the racks, it was more expensive than we remembered. Three hundred dollars for a cotton bomber or a cotton poplin dress? Curious. Well, we can say for sure that what you have there is a firmly placed contemporary price point but what makes the defining tricky is when you look at the clothing quality and the basic premise on which the company was first built. Built by Wendy always cost just a little bit less than contemporary which was its essential draw. The point was "Hey check out these clothes that look kind of like they're from A.P.C. but cost a little bit less. They look homespun which means, if you really wanted to, you could make them yourself." Now, really, Built by Wendy is not able to put 'cost effective' on its resume. So, can the clothing hold its own? Well, sure. It's just not very much fun is all. We don't blame anyone, we know it's hard to make money as a designer and finance a business in this economy, we just miss the old days when it felt like Wendy was building those frocks so that we didn't have to spend three hundred dollars on them.