It always starts with "Man, I need some jeans", and then in no time it evolves into, "Man, I need some jeans but I still haven't lost those last few Thanksgiving/Christmas/Birthday pounds so I don't really want to drop a ton of money on a pair of jeans that will probably be too big (pssht, yeah right, they'll fit forever) in a month or so. So even though I'm almost 28 and never know what kind of music they're playing there, I guess I'll go to American Eagle and just see what they have because secretly (or not so very) in the back of my mind I know that those jeans fit me great when I was 16 and will fit me just as well now that I'm older, wiser, and completely out of touch with tie-dye and whatever else they're selling in that Abercrombie for the less slooty crowd..."
And then before I know it I'm striding through the double doors in my leopard print pony hair heels, dressed for my age, and feeling like at any moment I am to be outed by the inappropriate police.
I am immediately greeted by an absolutely adorable young thing who must have sensed my displacement as she gave me such a quizzical look and asked, "What can I help you find?" leaving no room for the possibility that I might just be browsing and penniless like the two dozen or so other youngsters crawling all over the walls.
I smile, smooth my hair (hers was so bouncy, I chagrined), and say, "I, uh.. jeans. The, uh, Artist fit, maybe?"
She bounced, bounced I tell you!, towards the obvious wall of jeans. I mean, seriously, I've been here a hundred times, I know where the jeans are. Not to mention I can read - well, in fact. But I was so memorized by her charm, I followed her like a docent.
And in no time, after I had been assessed as capable and left to my own devices, I was chin-deep in three different fits, multiple sizes, and a heft of cotton tops from the clearance rack, which by the way are an additional 40% off through the rest of the week, so said my flannel-clad little friend.
I spotted what could be my new favorite dork-of-all-dorks sweater vest and in stooping to snag one I dropped half my load. Sigh. Just when things were starting to go well...
And then, from out of the shadows, another AE cherub appeared and actually asked if she could start me a room. I've been an AE shopper for many a year and never once has one of their employees actually offered to take a pile off my hands and help me help them meet their sales goal for the day. I was impressed. She asked my name, took most of my things, and then came back to find me a few moments later to let me know that Mia was waiting for me in the fitting room and just let her know who I was (who I was? who am I..?) whenever I was ready.
Once I made my way back, sure as sugar cookies, Mia was waiting with a smile and a key, showed me to a room with all of my items neatly hung and told me not too worry, take as long as I needed, and let her know if there was anything she could bring.
Ok. I get it. They think I'm a secret shopper. Whatevs, the service was great! Outside I could hear my good friend Mia kindly telling shoppers they had to limit their fitting room items to five at a time, meanwhile I had well over twenty. I kinda felt like a heel, but again, if this is what being almost 28 and shopping at a tweeny store gets you, I'll take it. I'm in my twirtys, I deserve a break.
So here's what I wore on my little jaunt to twinkle town.
Simple really... Old as heck black v-neck from H&M
Blue & white striped button down from Ralph Lauren
Belt from Old Navy
Levi's 519 - distressing courtesy of yours truly ;)
Poppy Necklace by Gorjana
Leopard Pony Hair Heels from Nine West (circa 2007-2008)
Camera - freebie from travel agent who booked our honeymoon! And it takes pictures like it was free... yeah, sorry about that.
Here's what I tried on and feel just brave enough to share.
For reference, I'm about 5'4.5" (hey now, the .5 counts) and weigh anywhere between 130-135lbs (right now I'm probably at the higher end of that range). The jeans are a 6 Short and are a perfect length. Easy to wear with flats and not risk high-water hems, and as you can see they work with heels as well.
The shirt was cute - the studs are very subtle and not at all costume-ish in my opinion. I actually bought it, size 8, but then I looked at the pictures and saw that it was pulling a bit at the chest (I'm a 34C), so back it went. Fortunate considering what I found down the hall, but more on that in a bit.
Next up was this Nordic-looking vest. I don't see it on the website, but in store it was marked down to $14.95 and then an additional 40% off.
My face says it all, huh? I just wasn't sure. It's the kind of thing I love to have on hand to throw on as you see here, over long-sleeve t-shirt dresses, or tunics and leggings, maybe totally boho. But something was making me question... maybe the fact that for a second I thought I looked forty, and while there's nothing wrong with that when you are forty (or fifty, or sixty), I still haven't cracked thirty, so it gave me a moment's pause.
In the end, I bought it. It was like, no dollars and negative cents. And really, is it that bad? Tell me, I can take it.
What do you think?
So then there was this top. I wish I had bought it, and again it's not on the website.
Simple cream-colored cotton with a bib necklace embellishment along the scoop neck. It felt heavenly and I have no idea why I didn't buy it. Something to do with shopping for the season and being financially responsible I'm sure. Might have to give them a ring tomorrow to see if it's still available.
$19.95 + 40% off. Duh Kristen, duh.
Sorry again for the terrible image.
On the hanger, this purple sweater reminded me of the cute tops my mom is so often pictured wearing when I was just a little thing and she was my age. I had hope.
But, it gave me dreaded waistband tummy. Even with a belt to distract, this was a no-can-do.
I was feeling good with the chambray shirt, crazy soccer mom goes hippie Nordic sweater vest, and Artist jeans, so I packed it all in and headed for the register. Nothing much to report there.
My next stop was Forever 21. With the way they change their sales floor, I feel like a mandatory sweep of new inventory is just par for the course on any casual trip to the mall. I really wasn't expecting anything, until I spotted this...
Yup, that's another Chambray shirt, in a longer, tunic length, and completely lacking in embellishment. Not to mention, this one actually fits my bewbs. Size Small. Sold.
Online it looks like a giant paper sack, but I think it was cut quite nicely, fitting close to the natural body line without losing its relaxed feel.
And of course I tried it on under my new little snuggle buddy...
We loungin', they hatin'.
And yes, I changed my shoes. For one thing it had begun to flurry outside, and regardless, this girl always has her Madden Girl Heavenly Flats in tow.
And that was it dear readers, a quick little outing that shocked me with excellent retail customer service and an easy-to-spot find at Forever 21 that I *think* may actually turn into a long-lived wardrobe staple.
If I had to name a downside to balance my yin, I suppose it would be the impossible to ignore realization that my hair has entered a state of the brassies. I've been growing it out for a while and avoiding chemical treatments at all costs, but I think it may be time. We're looking a little rusty and with springtime on the horizon this simply will not do.
So chat with me, let me know your thoughts.. be it on the sweater vest or the unfortunate tabloid disaster that seems to be the Winter Olympics. Seriously, whatever happened to athleticism for athleticism's sake? A topic for another post I suppose, and another blogger. But I am loving me these bedazzled skating costumes.
Cheers to all!