As a New Yorker, shopping is inevitable.
When I say shopping, I am not only speaking of your classic consumerism; waiting on lines to make purchases.
I am also referring to those days when you have off from work or school or have nowhere to go or be in particular, and so you decide to travel to your shop of choice.
I absolutely love walking into Anthropologie, smelling the candles, making mental notes of design aesthetic for a future room of mine, wishing I could cook so I could purchase one of the quirky yet tailored aprons that are reminiscent of old-fashioned modest dressing.
As much as shopping, defined above, is a detox from the stresses of life in general, there are some aspects of the shopping experience/sport that warrants modification.
1. The unwillingness of the salesperson to check within the shop itself or another location, for an item on sale.
Seeing as how the clothes are manufactured, despite being of high quality, they are not-one-of-a-kind, individually tailored pieces of clothing made for yours truly; Please have some courtesy and check when asked. When you roll your eyes or enunciate, “There - is - no - point - in - checking”, it seems as though you’re just asking someone to narrate your biography and no one has time for that.
2. The inability of the customer to touch merchandise in the way of taking, perhaps, a sweater down from a shelf.
“Tell me what you want and I’ll take it out for you.”
The above-statement is incredibly insulting; Ok lady who I encountered a few days ago?
If anything, I am repulsed by your dissonant wardrobe choices of fishnet stockings, too tight mini skirt, and unruly hair. Your need to style yourself according to the store’s imposed dress-code makes you equivalent to the man in the hot dog suit standing outside of Papaya King.
And if that analogy couldn’t communicate that I’m a New Yorker, nothing will.
I had spotted a coveted sweater and put my arm out to grab it when a petite woman working the floor, who is at least 2 inches shorter than myself, throws herself in front of me to take down the sweater from the top shelf.
Go ahead, throw out your back and dislocate a shoulder. That will just be karma at work.
3. Company-imposed dress codes -
This enumerated point is perhaps the most counter-intuitive action in the fashion industry.
Hollister Co. and Abercrombie & Fitch, I do like some selected items of clothing your stores carry, tis’ true.
Despite these shops not being my scene what with the bird logo at every seam, the too short/too tight shirts, the costume-like mini skirts, the sometimes hillbilly-inspired blouses with shabbily gathered necklines, I will once in a while buy something.
However, the need to standardize your pre-teen employees is an outright slap in the face of the fashion industry. Everyone must wear this shirt on this day and pant of this width and length. Everyone’s hair must be styled accordingly. Your fingernails must be colored and cut according to protocol.
J. Crew employees, some of you also dress according to perception. Invoking old-privileged golfers or soccer moms is offensive to the clothing the company endorses.
Also, walking into a store that does not make up your entire wardrobe and as a direct result, being met with unfriendly eyes, is an eye-sore in itself.
Permit me to walk out the door quicker than I came in - Deuces.
4. 1-2 Punch: The Long-Line Wait and the Quick Exit.
I and many others have all decided to shop at the same time. As a result, many others and I are standing on line, admiring/pondering/reconsidering, our purchases draped over our forearm.
At points in time, we’re grateful for this fail-proof need to wait in line.
We pride ourselves in taking the time to weigh the value of that off-the-shoulder, slouchy sweater or those printed skinny jeans.
When we finally make it to the check-out, the employee huffs, puffs, glances at you to make quick eye contact, and then takes a long-hard, exasperated stare behind you.
You’re holding him/her up.
With a quick swipe of the bar-code on the sensitive scanner, perhaps having rung up that pair of pants twice, he/she decides that him/her suddenly has an urge to play baseball and so bundles up your cashmere crew-neck into a nice volatile ball, and throws it in the bag, sending you on your merry way.
Here’s to shopping never going out of fashion - at least for me.