Tuesday, June 12, 2007


I love clothes. Typically I also love shopping. Lately that has not been the case. The reason I have hated shopping is because I can’t spend a lot of money. Because of this, I have to shop at stores that aren’t quite as organized as I would like them to be.

In a perfect world, I would be able to go into one of the nicer department stores where they have many sizes and colors of one item right there in front of your face for you to choose from. Items that are similar in style are often placed near each other and, while sizes vary between designers, each designer has one size that almost always fits. I don’t need to go shopping armed with patience and the eye of a scavenger. I can leisurely stroll around or even look at a mannequin I like and easily find the item on the racks. Oh, the ease of spending money.

Last Friday, I met up with Monica and her co-worker Natasha and headed out to the stores. I needed a dress. I had the perfect one in mind and knew how it would look on me. It was a jersey knit dress with cap or short sleeves, a v or scoop neck, and an empire waist. It could cost no more than $30. This dress exists all over the place but the prices and cuts aren’t always right.

At Urban Outfitters, the dress existed, cost $58, and had a lower waistline than would have been ideal. They had a few other styles that almost worked but nothing stole the show. I remember being in high school and finding the most unique and fun things at Urban. It just isn’t the same anymore. Maybe I shouldn’t still be shopping somewhere I shopped in high school but whatever, sometimes they have cute things.

We then headed over to Forever 21. I know, I know, but they have cute things that are cheap. We looked all over the store. The chaos was outrageous. Sizes and styles were mixed together everywhere. There seemed to be no rhyme or reason and the place was packed. Natasha couldn’t handle the disorder and headed home. I grabbed things left and right hoping to find my perfect dress. Of the eight items I picked up on the first sweep I tried on six. They were disappointing. I had an almost perfect dress; royal blue, a wide scoop neckline with precious buttons on it, a natural but flattering waistline, and short as all hell. I couldn’t go out like that. Maybe it would work with pants but I didn’t want a dress I had to wear with pants. I wanted a perfect dress. Out of the six items I kept a t-shirt. It was kind of a perfect t-shirt but it wasn’t a dress.

We then went upstairs. I was feeling pretty down because upstairs tends to be the sparkly section and I don’t roll like that. We looked around and I saw it. It was a rounder with a sign on top that said, “The perfect dress, $15-19”. I couldn’t believe it. Was it too good to be true? Did they know a prefect dress when they saw one? They did. The rounder was full of jersey knit dresses of various styles and although the sleeves were short rather than capped, it was the dress that existed in my mind. It was $15.80. The dress was so perfect they created a sign just for me so I wouldn’t miss it in the madness. All that remained was trying it on. It was adorable. I got it in green and brown. The green is cuter than the brown but with the right accessories I’m going to make that brown work. Monica liked this hot pink red but I don’t have any shoes to go with that. Really, I don’t.

Anyway, here it is; the prefect dress.
Oddly the website doesn’t have any of the colors that I saw in the store but has some colors I want the dress in. However, I already have two and more might be crazy. The web version is slightly different though, I think. Now I have to find some more perfect shirts and maybe a skirt or two. Keep your fingers crossed.

Parades Go By, Magnetic Fields- This song is so incredibly depressing. It’s all about watching everything pass you by and loss and the horror of growing old alone. Ugh. I kind of enjoy the song though. What is wrong with me?

Deeper Into Movies, Yo La Tengo- This is a band that I want to hug. Everything about their music is adorable and happy. Why aren’t they playing shows for me right now?

Teachers, Daft Punk- The Homework album is one of those things that takes me back and I always like even though I know I am a fool for listening to it.


Mom said...

I can just see that dress on you -- very cute!

Jeff Roberts said...

You totally lost me...Cuddling with a same-gender friend and The Perfect Dress. Wow, this must be how people feel when my only posts are about yard chores :-)

Evil Spock said...

I have a love-hate relationship with Urban Outfitters.

I hate them for contributing so heavily to Republican causes and for their inflated prices.

I love their sale racks at the end of seasons. Can't beat getting a previously $80 jacket for $15.

CSG said...

oh I'm sooo jelous! I have a borderline size, that is, too big for normal girly store, too small for the rest. I find it so difficult to find the right size, and when I do then it has to be perfect. I bought a very cool top last weekend and I'm happy, otherwise I would hate you a bit ;)

Brooke said...

Dude that is a very great dress! And the price can't be beat. Way to go Forever 21!

Wobbly*Bits said...

Ooo, that dress is really cute! You should teach me how to shop. I hate it. I do allll my shopping online and if something doesn't fit just right - tough. I only wear black, but not to make a statement or because I'm dark and depressed or because it's flattering, just because I can't put colors together. HELP!

Natalie said...

Mom- It is very me. I was happy that I found it because if I didn't I would still be looking and that would blow.

Jeff- Or sailing. I'll try harder.

Evil Spock- I love a good sale as well. I remember when their prices seemed so reasonable. I keep thinking that I might go in and things will have reverted to 1995. I am wrong.

CSG- I am a borderline size too. I also tend to vary between three sizes based on cuts. The first dress I tried on that was too short and a bit on the tight side for public viewing was the same size as the perfect dress. I also try to find a few brands that I know will work. That makes it less painful.

Brooke- I couldn't believe the price. I'm sure they will fall apart relatively soon but you can't expect long wear for that price.

Wobbly- You just have to get in the right mindset for shopping. You have to be able to invest time and go to many stores and just not buy anything unless it's prefect.

As far as color exploration I would find a shoe with a few colors in it. The ballet flats that abound in the summer would be a good place to start. That gives you specific colors that work together to choose from and you can construct many colorful outfits. Plus you have new shoes.

Aimee said...

That dress is super-cute! I found one similar at Nordstrom Rack for about $17...and got it blue - but wanted it in green too. Because I'm greedy like that. :)

Props to you for even adventuring into Forever 21. It's such a madhouse here in California! And shopping where you shopped in HS - I can relate - just last weekend my boyfriend and I had a conversation about how nice it was when there was a Miller's Outpost (American Eagle in the oldern days). lol

Katrina said...

Very cute dress. I'm happy for you in finding it.

I hate when I see something that looks absolutely adorable and when I try it on it doesn't fit. But when it does it's a little slice of chocolate cake.

Travis said...

Very attractive. I'll bet it looks smashing.

CS said...

What are the chances that a rack that said perfect dresses would actually have perfect dresses. Cool beans. I hate the chaos, too, espcially thinngs not being arranged by size. I'm hard to fit, so this matters to me. Maybe if I weren't so frugal I'd go to upscale stores and find that, but that will never be me.

Princess Banter said...

i love shopping at those stores too! reason being -- they're cheap and trendy. at least when the trend fades, i don't feel so bad about it ;) have you got H&M where you live? i think you would totally enjoy that place as well!

Natalie said...

Aimee- It is a madhouse here as well but is also cheaper than most of the other cheap stores. If I can handle it I like to give it a try.

Katrina- That happens more often than I would like but i just keep in mind that something out there is both adorable and will fit well. I just have to have patience.

Travis- I don't know if I would say smashing but I'll take it.

CS- I know! That is what i thought was so great about the whole experience. It was like whoever made the sign was in my head.

Princess H&M was actually going to be my next stop but since I found the dress I didn't end up going. For some reason I think their clothes fall apart faster than those I have got at Forever 21. Then again, what else do I expect from cheap clothes?

Kiyotoe said...

i'm so glad I'm a dude.

bint alshamsa said...

That IS the perfect dress! If you ever decide you don't want it anymore, feel free to mail it to me. Second-hand clothes are a-okay with me!! :)

Jeff Roberts said...

Sailing? Really? Bummer, I thought that was all exotic and interesting. Just to me, eh?

Natalie said...

Kiyotoe- The thing with men's clothing is that you have to spend a lot more than women do to be fashionable. Then again, maybe the point was that you don't care so it doesn't matter.

Bint- At $15.80 I doubt it will last long enough to be passed down. But, if it doesn't, I'll keep you in mind.

Jeff- I like sitting on boats...but really I was just giving you a hard time.