Saturday, May 26, 2007

why scrubs are easier

I got out of work early yesterday, I went downtown to do some summer shopping. It had been a long time since I had done any clothing shopping for myself (all my shopping energies have been displaced towards the effort of making sure Cal has the finest t-shirt collection in the land), and since I knew that Cal would still be napping if I went straight home from work, I even had minimal guilt about carving out some hedonistic consumerist time for myself.

I went to Forever 21, which--just please forgive the name, it's so terrible, and really, it's not like I would want to be Forever 21, because when I was 21 I was a first-year med student and I would not wish that year on anyone--is kind of an H&M-type store, catering to transient fashion trends with disposable clothing. The scene inside was all pre-Memorial Day weekend madness. Maybe my hiatus from non-online shopping has softened my sensibilities, but I think I don't have he energy for shopping anymore. Especially that kind of shopping, with crazed woman tearing things off the racks, piles of cast-off clothing pooling under displays, and fitting room lines snaking halfway through the main floor of the store. Really, it was like one step shy of those videos you see of looters running away with merchandise and then setting overturned cars on fire. (Why are there always cars on fire during looting? I understand the stealing, but why set things on fire? To distract from the stealing? I don't know.)

Anyway, I was looking for a couple of cute (but cheap) summer dresses. I rarely wear shorts in the summer, or at least I try not to. This is nothing against shorts, but for some reason, when I wear shorts, I cross the line from looking petite to looking squat. I don't know why, if it's the cut of the shorts or what, but if I wear dresses or skirts, I look fine. So that's the way I tend to veer. I'm not especially girly, I just don't want to look like a log stump.

The unsettling thing about the clothing at Forever 21 (and maybe this is just a thing now in fashion overall, what with the unfortunate comeback of LEGGINGS) is that sometimes I would see something cute and I couldn't tell if it was a really short dress or a really long shirt. The tunic shirt is not a look that I can get behind. I'm short enough already, I don't need to look short and pregnant. It's easy when you're online shopping, the clothes are conveniently split up into "tops" and "dresses" and "skirts." In the store, they're just hanging there and lying in heaps, not labelled or named or anything. There were shoppers actually asking the salespeople, "Dude, is this a dress or a shirt?" and even the SALESPEOPLE didn't know. For example, what do you think this is, dress or top?

That, according to the website, is a dress. However, this one below... supposedly a tunic shirt. Can someone please explain to me the difference between these two items? I mean, besides the fact that one is brown and the other is white. And really, you might say, who cares what it's supposed to be, just as long as it fits and you're not flashing your bits, right? Well, the problem is that I have this nightmare that I'm going to go out wearing what I think is a sassy short dress, but which I realize halfway through the day is actually a shirt, which I'm going around wearing WITHOUT PANTS. That would be...not...good.

However, if your suggestion is to don leggings to be on the safe side, then I want no part of that solution. LEGGINGS. Lord. I have my pride.