After much ado, Sarah Jessica Parker’s new clothing line, Bitten, will finally hit Steve & Barry stores this week.

First, you ask, what is this Steve & Barry’s (we actually have five in Minnesota, and I fully admit to never having set foot in one). Childhood friends–that would be Steve and Barr–founded the emporium in 1985 as a destination for affordable collegiate apparel. The company tries to keep costs low in order to deliver crazy prices on quality merchandise. I say crazy because when all is said and done, quality typically comes at a cost.

Which is why I’ve eyed Bitten with some skepticism. While the media twisted its skinny pants in a knot over how SJP could possibly promote low-cost fashion to the masses when she herself knows/wears nothing of the sort, all I was thinking was I hope it’s not crap. Because really, 20 bucks is still 20 bucks. Even if it buys two pairs of pants, it’s a waste if they’re poorly made, ill fitting, or cheap looking. One great piece is always better than a closet full of not so nice.

Last week I got a closer look at Bitten when SJP formally revealed the line on Oprah. She dressed up real women, including herself (save the Christian Louboutin shoes), in a number of outfits. From my non-plasma television, I could honestly see some potential. Without eyeing the fabric, colors, and stitching up-close, I loved a classic shirtdress, a dark straight-leg jean (which seemed to work on everyone), and a great suit vest. I was also impressed with SJP. She appeared genuinely passionate about this project, and emphasized that Bitten is designed for real women of all shapes, races, and styles. That translates into 400 pieces, in sizes 0-22 for bottoms and XS-XXL for tops, all priced at $19.98 or less. I look forward to trying them all on, and expect you to report back from the dressing rooms! Until then, here’s a preview:

Bitten debuts at Steve & Barry stores on June 7. The Northtown Mall location is hosting an official unveiling, which I’m told holds a few surprises . . . could one of them be SJP?

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