Second official day of shopping and I am really wondering what I was missing! After the disappointing Kohl's trip, I think I would have given up for a while but I have a trip to pack for and I will NOT be wearing my old bathing suits. Yesterday, I took on Parisian.
Parisian has the good manners to debut a swim collection January 1, and I appreciate that. Of all categories of clothing, I felt I suffered most with no new swimwear last year so I was determined to buy a swimsuit perfect for me. Armed with a 25% off coupon, I hit the store. At first I could not find the swimwear department but found myself in dresses. I also need two dresses to round out my vacation wardrobe so I started there. I need beachy-cool dresses for vacation but was immediately blinded by dazzling sequins and that darn yellow-dot clearance sign. Of all shopping emotions, getting over the clearance addiction is by far the hardest.
My new rules for shopping dictate that things MUST be tried on so once again I loaded up and found a fitting room. Bad, awful, ugly, everything I tried was hideous. I found that I range 3 sizes. I do not think that men's clothes range three sizes. If they wear a 34 inch waist pant, it's the same no matter which brand. But for women, it's anybody's guess. I still have size-tag phobia which prohibits me even trying some potentially nice things. Parisian is a nice department store. Not a Neiman Marcus, but not Target or Kohl's. But I found the quality of the dresses to be awful. To be fair, it could be that most of what is available is clearance, and (perhaps I should tattoo this on my credit card signing hand) what is left for clearance is what nobody wanted.
Okay, no dresses. But I found swimwear and found some optimism. The wonderful thing about buying a swimsuit in January is that you are probably the only one. The racks were neat. They had every size. It felt hopeful. Buying a swimsuit for most of us mere mortals is an emotionally draining experience. Doing this in January when most of us (me) are flaky, pasty and fluffy from the holidays, well- it's a recipe for a fast-track dash to the gym (or Coldstone Creamery depending on your emotional state). I rounded up 10-12 potential swimsuits, held my breath and chose a different fitting room from the first, hoping to find a "lucky" one. And lucky it was. I didn't scream, not even once. No tears. I am no swimsuit model by any stretch but I wasn't forced to throw anything, kick anything or eat chocolate. I could have taken three of these to my vacation and been good.
At the very least, clothes are meant to protect us from the elements. At best, an outfit can lead to feelings of confidence, sexiness and power. Designers are supposed to artfully wrap us in fabric and turn out a supermodel. So here is my big, million dollar question: How is it that 30 dresses, each with about 10 times more fabric than a swimsuit, made me look like a holiday cow and I felt fine in 10 swimsuits? I am starting to realize, it's not me--it's them. There is no artful wrapping. Again I say, the clothes out there right now suck.
I left Parisian with nothing, although I could return for a swimsuit if I have to. Today I venture to the nicer mall in the area. There is a store dedicated to swimwear but also requires a second mortgage. I head out with an open mind, a hopeful heart and two gift cards. I will let you know ...