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Joe Zee: "I Wore It on the Subway and Kids Were Mocking Me to Death"

Racked is no longer publishing. Thank you to everyone who read our work over the years. The archives will remain available here; for new stories, head over to, where our staff is covering consumer culture for The Goods by Vox. You can also see what we’re up to by signing up here.

Comedy writer Bonnie Datt once bought a chainmail vest "for clubbing"—a purchase she later came to lament, once she realized that chainmail wasn't particularly slimming. Inspired by this, she now spends her spare time asking famous people to dish about purchases which they initially loved—but ended up regretting, for Buyer's Remorse.

Photo credit: Getty Images

Although fashion mag types have a reputation for being aloof, inaccessible, and Devil-like, Elle's Creative Director Joe Zee completely destroys that stereotype. He's warm, friendly, and extremely charming, all of which makes him great on television. Zee's television appearances include The City, Ugly Betty, Extra, and Gossip Girl, and he also hosts his own series, Sundance Channel's All On The Line, where he helps designers invigorate their careers. Although Zee is currently one of the world's fashion gurus, he shared with us that back in his teens, he didn't always make the best sartorial choices...

Racked: Can you tell us about something you had Buyer's Remorse about?

Joe Zee: I don't have a ton of regrets in my life, but I'll tell you one. In the '80s I was in high school and I saved up all my money because there was this Canadian brand that was all over the world called ParachuteHarry Parnass and Nicola Pelly. It was the coolest hippest thing.They had a store in Soho here and I remember going to the store in high school. They had a pair of mustard cotton harem pants on sale and I bought them, and I wore them on the subway, and kids were mocking me to death. I think I never wore them again. Yeah that was probably my biggest fashion regret. Mustard cotton harem pants? It's on that list!

· All Buyer's Remorse Posts [Racked]