Remember when the most embarrassing thing you could be caught doing by your neighbors was putting recyclables in the regular trash? (Don't even try to pretend. We've seen you.) Now, apparently, unless you're making a big show of tightening the purse strings, you're about to become a social pariah.
Downtownie Stillettos on Cobblestone (via The City Room) blogs about a disturbing development: Net-a-Porter, the high-end online shop whose trademark is superfabulous packaging (big boxes, thick black grosgrain ribbon bows that make you feel like a character right out of Eloise as your doorman hands over your just-arrived bauble) is offering special "discreet packaging" to its New York Premier orders only: They'll ship your purchase in a plain, unmarked, recycled, brown package so you don't have to suffer the indignity of nosy [read: unemployed] neighbors thinking you still have enough green to throw at new finery while the economy's busy soiling its drawers. (Note: Don't think this will fool your doorman. He has x-ray vision and will be expecting a holiday gratuity commensurate with inflation.)
Makes sense, especially on the heels of news that online shopping is up by 12 percent. Though really, brown packaging, okay, but recycled? At what price acceptance?