Sunday, April 02, 2006

Get Thee (or Me) To A Discount Department Store

When my sister and I were young, my Mom enforced the "dressing nicely to go department store shopping" rule. These days, everyone shops in jeans. Not only that, everyone goes to dinner, to the theater, out at night, and to work in jeans. The jeans discussion, however, is for another posting. This one is about department stores. Last weekend I was with KHQ and DJ at Bloomingdale's Uptown (remember when that was the only one?). Though the basic layout of the store is the same as it has been for years, the vibe has decidedly changed.

I am not kidding you when I say I noticed a woman – blonde hair perfectly coiffed, black sweater perfectly trendy, jeans perfectly form-fitting – who was walking a few paces in front of her husband and had to simply gesture a "come here" motion with her hand while looking straight ahead in order to get her man to follow behind her willingly.

This quick visual exemplifies why I can barely stand department stores anymore. And Bloomie's is the least annoying in the 57th-street area. What about the stores that won't give you the time of day if your engagement ring stone doesn't meet the minimum carat size criteria?

Ever since AC introduced me to the Mecca (read: Century 21 Department Store) back when we worked on Wall Street, discount department stores have been my shopping destinations of choice. Sure, the customer service is non-existent, the lines to try clothing on are painfully long and the stores are always crowded. But the sense of accomplishment of finding a diamond in the rough among all the size XXLs or the Extra 30% Off racks is rewarding enough to cancel out all the negatives. Hey, it's all about throwing elbows. Here's what I've purchased in the past month from discount department stores:

  • Calvin Klein light grey cotton sweater - $30
  • BCBG brown leather driving shoes - $90
  • Ben Sherman black and white silk skirt - $30
  • 2 packs of Via Spiga loafer socks (3 pr) - $12
  • To the Max coral top - $20
  • French Connection cap-sleeved top - $15
  • Chip & Pepper jeans - $60

Not too shabby, eh? So ladies and gents, if you'd like to appreciate the benefits of discount department stores without bearing the pain, I will gladly be your personal bargain shopper. I know you'd rather tote a cute paper Bergdorf's bag around town instead of the plastic sacks emblazoned with the words, "I just got a bargain at Filene's Basement." So hire me to do your dirty work. Post a comment and let me know how I can help you find that perfect whatever it is you're looking for - you'll help me exercise my shopping jones.


PixieDog said...

I am looking forward to the column on jdans. I hope it will include info on brands/styles of jeans for those of us who have some junk in the trunk and need jeans that fit well and the waist doesn't gap in the back.

KHQ said...

Riddle me this Caroline, what is a lass to do when she is (1) stuck in the 80s (I still yearn for the simple days of sweater sets, knickers, and leg warmers), (2) a little older now and unsure of what is age appropriate and what should stay in the closet until Halloween (I was told puffy sleeves on a thirty something is not fashion forward), and (3) still a little older now and in need of support in places she didn’t realize would sag (I am now the proud owner of upper arms that once belonged a beloved lunch lady I had that used to serve me, and herself, heaping second portions of just about everything).

Any help would be much appreciated.

Thank you,

Bewildered in Boston (KHQ)

stellaforstar said...

so, lady, i want a pair of those super cool long shorts. i cannot get these discount can i, if they are for the upcoming season? please advise.

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