A tale from fall wardrobe shopping 2007.

Sports & Leisure Essay
Written by Paige Dearing

My eyes scanned the landscape in all my shopping glory. Rainbows of t-shirts lay folded meticulously upon the aged, wooden tables. Patterned dressed hung sandwiched on a metal bar, anchored with an assortment of ash-colored slouch boots. I mazed the room as images of season-passed wardrobes and now trendy necessities cluttered my head.

I was overwhelmed. It could be a side effect of the stuffy environment or maybe it was the daunting task of assembling my ideal fall wardrobe.

I gathered my composure. I was on a mission, and nothing was going to get in my way.

You might say it’s not that serious. Guys always wonder why shopping spins girls into a tizzy.

“That shirt is SO cute.” “Oh my god. SHUT UP, this is on sale.” “Wow. This could go with this, that shirt I got last week and even those heels from 2 years ago.”

You’ve only have so much money, and you have got to spend it the best way you can.

It’s exciting to take a super cute pair of jeans to the register and have it magically ring $40 cheaper than you had anticipated. A basic tee that fits like a glove, that’s versatile and brings out the blue in your eyes might equate to your favorite football team scoring a winning touchdown in the last drive.

It might also make a public celebration dance okay, but let’s not get crazy.

When I finally scored my first day off from work in maybe one month (we’re talking 7-day work weeks, my friends), there was no doubt in my mind that my sister Chelsea and I were b-lining to Georgetown – shopping Mecca. Urban Outfitters, H&M, Commander Salamander, Wet Seal, boutiques. If perusing stores’ merchandise for six hours straight does not make you drop dead, seeing the damage you have done to your bank account post-spree might make you wish it had.

I swear this is not a painful or dangerous experience; I have some self-control and money management. If I didn’t, there might be reason to worry. Shopping is satisfying. It makes you feel like you are making strides towards achieving a goal, similar to weight loss or sports training. Little by little you are seeing progress towards outfitting yourself how you want to be noticed, and it is rewarding.

The dilemma is keeping your sanity shopping amongst the rude and obnoxious.

There are two types of shoppers you must avoid at all costs: the rich bitch and the loud diva.

Google images? The former might think she’s heaven sent, but believe me, she’s really the devil in the flesh. The fact that she gets all her money from daddy and has never worked a job in her life disadvantages herself (no work experience, no future) and basically the surrounding environment (clean your own messes up). Not sure who I’m talking about? Take a day trip to Camp Nock-a-Mixon.

This is a rug. Someone purchased this? The latter is easy to spot – just listen. She’s the confused one that thinks that everyone cares about her life, the clothes she wears, her latest crush, the embarrassing drunk dial she left on her ex’s cell on homecoming night, etc. Not as much as a direct threat as Paris Hilton’s staredown/eyeroll combo, this little lady might make your ears bleed in the fitting room. Just kindly ask the fitting room attendant for the last room; she feels your pain.

Anticipate the girls’ presence and deal with them accordingly. Ignore and take cheap shots – verbally and/or physically – at any possible opportunity. They should not inconvenience you too much.

For Chelsea and I, we ended up 30 minutes north of D.C. at a lower grade mall about seven hours, six bags and a half tank less of gas later. We chatted fashion over Towering Onion Rings as we awaited the arrival of our Red Robin cheeseburgers.

“Chelsea, What did I wear before there were skinnies?”

“Pants like I’m wearing. But honestly though, I don’t even know. I can’t even imagine you without skinnies. What did you wear?”

We never came up with an answer. We finished our meal and took a pit stop at the nail salon before we ended our day-long extravaganza at Forever 21.

Take the Lead played on a mounted flat screen at the back of the shop. A Christian mother reminded her huddle of little girls since “You got your nails done, so you’ll go to Church tomorrow, right?” They were too busy fanning their freshly polished nails at each other to acknowledge her. A petite woman, who I perceived to be the owner, rushed around calling more customers in from the mall corridor and assuring my sister and me that she’ll be ready to start in five minutes.

“I’m physically exhausted,” Chelsea said, as she closed her eyes, hung her head and soaked her hands in a small bowl of warm water. “But this might have been the most amazing day ever.”

Fall wardrobe secured, body aching and money gone, I could not have agreed more.

(Links today via: Google Images, YouTube & Georgetown.com )

Paige’s fall attire is probably uber-cute.  If you want tips, e-mail her.
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