Dazed and confused

after my run-in with yaeger the other day, i tapped feverishly into my independent/quirky consciousness and came up very frustrated with my wardrobe staples. then i paused, calmed down and decided that an overhaul of my whole wardrobe was not necessary merely because i had seen someone enjoying the style that appeals to my tutu-loving self (she wasn't wearing anything like a tutu, but the hint of tulle peaking out beneath the hem of her coat was enough for me.). i am not a style zelig, breezing in and out of form depending on the company i keep. hardly. but for a moment i did experience envy at her whimsy. today i happily exhibited my own in one of my favorite dresses, and remembered that i like to stand on both sides of a self-defined line of simple and simply fun.

but i do enter a dangerous zone of susceptibility when i enter a store. this is only a problem when the store i am in is one that on the whole does not appeal to me, but it has some piece that i require/desire. a single item which has tantalized me and beckoned me to cross the threshold of an otherwise overlooked store. where, despite my strongest intention to get in and out with my sole purpose of patronizing the establishment fulfilled, i am lulled by the whole package, and lured to consider things i do not want. if i go into target, the $7.99 rings attract me like a moth to a welder's torch - that could be attributed to boredom while waiting for my taller half to get enough toilet paper and dog treats to sustain us, and the dog, until our next visit. but then i notice that a blazer from the-designer-of-the-month has a good collar. the buzz of my cellphone indicating that it's time to meet at the registers saves me from a fashion fate that cannot exist beyond the automatic doors. once i leave, i snap out of the trance and you couldn't convince me to part with good hair conditioner money in exchange for that blazer or ring.

a trip into american apparel for 1 sweatshirt unexpectedly yields 2 new pairs of socks as well (this is okay - the tube socks are quite comfy around the house), but i actually stop to consider a drapey dress - i don't wear clingy cotton, period. yet pause i did.

if i go into hermes to consider a scarf, visit the bags, smell the leather, i will find myself contemplating their ashtrays (i do not smoke), and hovering near the belts - i don't wear belts, period. yet pause i do. if i did wear belts, i would not choose an hermes belt. they have their appeal, absolutely, but they just are not me. why then do i contemplate them even briefly while in the boutique?

many many stores ensnare us by appealing to our deepest fashion desires, but are there any stores that (temporarily) numb your resistance and suppress your style impulses?


Candid Cool said...

it happened to me at target once. in for toliet paper and suddenly i have a cart, and suddenly its full of crap. im so proud of myself i went & put it all back.

gap too i guess. because its basic stuff that i know i can get use of.

whenever i take a trip to touch the merchandise in chanel i always gravitate to the same pair of sneakers. and i dont wear sneakers.

fashionaddict said...

Borders! (Not style-related, I know, but still.) I don't know about the ones in the US, but the Singapore store incorporates a Paperchase, which has the cutest stationery and useless paraphernalia, like rubber lizards and magic 8-balls. Which they leave tantalisingly in bowls and racks by the cashier to conveniently tempt you as you pay for your books and mags, and I wind up leaving with my fifth notebook of the year and some floral-print playing cards (I don't play cards).

Topshop here does the same nonsense with cute badges and little glow-in-the-dark pigs.

editor said...

fashion addict - yes. omgd, yes yes yes. and yikes, it's worse than i thought. it does happen to me in stores other than clothing stores. i too enter a borders or stationary store and am instantly delusional that i have the time and inclination for a project to organize my life (in a notebook, with a desk calendar, with a new pen set, etc.).

candid cool - chanel can get a person to consider a lot of things they thought they wouldn't do/wear. ;)
oh, beware the big carts at target!!! to be sure.

martha said...

I am sorry, I can't respond to this until tomorrow, when I will hopefully be able to stop laughing at that picture.

dreamecho said...


i have this problem with pretty much ANY store that i walk into! you guys covered it all...target, american apparel, stationery stores, gap. i'd add wal-mart, surf stores, athletic stores (love athletic apparel...and not just for working out!), ross, filene's basement, marshalls, costco. i'll find something to buy ANYWHERE. thankfully for my finances, that doesn't always mean i'll act on it; but, when i do become attached to something, i'll have to spend anywhere from 5 to 30 minutes talking myself out of it.

i took a couple minutes to ponder why this is so, and what i came up with is this: during my teen years i was very limited financially, and the retail landscape in my city was ho-hum. as humbly as a person can say, i became pretty good at finding the diamond in the rough and utilizing unobvious items (like, say, denim shorts from the young boys section in sears). i guess what i'm saying is that by circumstance i've acquired the ability to find something, somewhere and make it useful.

perhaps this question could also extend to online stores/catalogues as well. i don't care much for victoria's secret, but much of their clothes have surprising potential. in fact, the problem with me and VS catalogs is so bad, i usually force myself to just toss them when i get them in the mail. it's just too easy for me to open up a page and say to myself, "hey, i could use that trendy ruched blouse!"

martha said...

Oh yes, VS. Thank you for reminding me just how deep my weakness runs, dreamecho. I'm like you - give me a few minutes and I will find something to buy. Anything. And it's almost out of sport or something. It is separate from when I am actually actively seeking or choosing something - but I'm not always aware of which it is that I'm doing at the time (it's quite easy to convince oneself that one needs/wants something, not realizing that it's being done out of boredom/amusement).

Anonymous said...

Little boutiques appeal to me in that I just want to take home a little bit of the style of the boutique. So even if I don't find anything in there, I am pondering and convincing myself I need something. Otherwise I have wasted a lot of time in Topshop and some money, but their clothes rarely appeal to me once they are home. Again, I think it might be some of the shop's energy that's appealing to me. Have tried to recognise this a lot.