It was the best of times, it was the worst of times…
For many women, shopping is a double-edged sword. On the one hand, we all love to find the latest fashions, frequently dream of having the wardrobe of a Hollywood star and, of course, we love bringing home new goodies that we’ll wear out on the town the first chance we get.
On the other hand, shopping for clothing can be a nightmare. How do you find jeans that fit right when you’re 5’11” tall and weigh 155 lbs? Either the legs are too short or the waist is too big. Whereas men will breeze into a store (or just go online) and order pants by a combination of waist, inseam, and fit – and get a great fit 90% of the time with ease – we aren’t so lucky. Our bodies come in such varying shapes and sizes that the perfect fit is elusive. And what about bathing suit season? How do you accentuate part of your body that you love while hiding a part that you hate, with fabric that is roughly the size of a handkerchief ? Ugghhh.
There really is nothing to be done about these particular problems – clothing makers, and especially makers of jeans, seem intent on irritating or frustrating most of us much of the time. Bathing suits are, likewise, going to remain a point of frustration for most women.
But what about WHERE you’re shopping?
If shopping isn’t going to be all fun and games, at least where you shop can make it more fun. So let’s have a look at what makes a good shopping experience.
This one is pretty obvious. If you’re between twenty and fifty years old (or older/younger…fashion knows no age limits) and you have a fairly keen fashion sense, the old lady section at Wal-Mart isn’t going to cut it. Come to think of it, Wal-Mart isn’t going to cut it at all…but we digress. When you shop for cute/awesome/noteworthy/pick your poison clothing, you don’t want to be inundated with cheap fabrics, outdated styles, a lack of choice, or other such style no-nos. Leave any place behind that doesn’t offer updated styles, along with variety of styles and sizes.
Unless you’re rolling in with a Wall Street salary, price is a factor. You know you’re not getting great clothes for next to nothing. Other than the occasional great find at the local Goodwill or thrift shop, it’s going to cost you. But that doesn’t mean you have to drop a month’s salary to re-tool for the upcoming season. Off-brands are one option to save, but at The Fashion Attic, our consignment clothing is inexpensive. Prices typically hover around 1/3 of what you’ll find in retail shops, so a top that may cost $120 new at Nordstrom or Macy’s or similar women’s clothing stores would be around $40 at our shop and other consignment stores.
Close to home? Easy parking? Both? Or will you just walk up? Any retail shop in the suburbs is going to have plenty of parking. While we don’t suggest trying to avail yourself of said parking during, say, the holiday season, it’s there. But what about cool, hip, chic shops in the city? Baltimore isn’t necessarily the fashion capital of the country (far from it), but the fashion scene here is growing up and starting to blossom. Perhaps we’re biased, but in our view the city offers a certain something – funkiness, grittiness, general coolness – that the ‘burbs don’t. A certain je ne sais quoi, if you will (you will, won’t you?). So, if you fancy yourself a trend-setter in Maryland (for example), you’re probably not busting into the Towson Town Center to look for the latest and greatest. You’re coming to the city.
Ambiance? For a women’s clothing store? This isn’t a first date, is it? Well…maybe it is. I mean, you DO love shopping, right? So why shouldn’t you get a cool vibe when you’re doing it? Maybe you like low lighting and classical music, with a free glass of wine waiting when you walk in the door (or maybe what you REALLY like is 1980s-style fern bars…hard to say).