Fancy ≠ Floozy

Okay, so I admit that I am at least 90% responsible for the irritation I encountered today while looking for a dress to wear to a holiday cocktail party.  My first mistake was going shopping while having my period.  This is something that is colossally stupid for many reasons, but foremost are excessive irritability and water retention.  My second mistake was going into chain stores.  I hate them all (except Loehmann's) under good circumstances, so I should have stayed away.  Having acknowledged all of this, I was still entirely annoyed and disappointed by every store I walked into. 

I should have just kept going past Banana Republic whose entire job it is, these day, to be a let down.  I remember when Banana Republic was cool.  Then they were acquired by Gap and now they are to Gap what Lexus is to Toyota. 

As a general rule, I don't shop at any of the Gap stores.  Not that there's anything wrong with the clothes, I just really hate when someone says to me, "I have that same top," or "I almost bought that."  I should also note that I don't always care what I look like, but when I do care, I care a lot.

So, there I was perusing the tiny, shiny dresses and the halter tops that even the skinniest women look hefty in when one of the saleswomen skulked up behind me and scared the everloving shit out of me.  "Aren't those great?"  Uh, no.  But I just smiled.

"Is there something I can help you find?"  She was very enthusiastic.  I like enthusiasm - in others.  So I told her, "I'm looking for something to wear to a holiday cocktail party.  Fancyish, but not too formal."

She lit up like a firecracker.  She told me she thought she had "the perrrfect thing!"  Thing?  That implies one.  One would have been sufficient if it had, indeed, been perrrfect.  However, she led me to a rack of frilly, low-cut tops and started whipping an assortment of things (plural) off and handing them to me.  Then she went to the dresses and pulled out some itty-bitty numbers.  "Do you prefer pants or skirts?"  I told her skirts - since pants almost always require alteration on someone as short as I am.  She took me to a dressing room and hung all of my prospective outfits up and then left me alone so she could gather skirts. 

I was already skeptical.  I'm not huge, but I'm not skinny and I'm also not 22.  Everything looked like it was made for some anorexic teenager.  I started with the first dress.  I could already tell it was going to be inappropriately short.  I went on, though.

When my "associate" returned with the skirts, I actually laughed out loud.  They didn't even look like they'd cover my ass all the way.  "Do you have anything longer?"  "Uh.  I think so.  But it would be more businessy." 

I realize Sex and the City is partly to blame for this trend, but when did fancy become synonymous with looking like a tart?  I mean, really.

I realized then that I was in the wrong store, and most likely, the wrong decade to find what I'm looking for.  I'm going to try to find a nice vintage store to find a nice vintage dress that covers my tits and my ass simultaneously.


hannahjustbreathe said...

I am appalled at what most stores carry these days and what merchandise they try to sell to ladies our age. I mean, I'm 28 but I have absolutely NO desire to flaunt my wares this way and that, whether I'm at the office or out on the town. A little coverage, please.

I'm an awful shopper. Me + mall + shoppers = ultimate hell.

Dorothy said...

I'm not a good shopper. I like looking at stuff as long as I don't have to find anything. I agree that malls = hell on earth. Sartre's modern-day No Exit would definitely be set in a mall. Give me something like Newbury Street where I can walk down a street and look in the windows and stop for lunch.

Dirty Kitten said...

Watcha lookin' for? Cuz I have some connections in the vintage world, ya know? And when is this function?

Dorothy said...

I thought of that, Kit, but I don't have the time. Have you ever heard of Bettie Page?