Further proof that I'm fashion challenged, or Sears is getting hipper?

My regional director is visiting my store this week. She visits once per quarter and the visit to our district was planned for a while. However, now that we're losing two of our managers, and the store across town recently lost their GM, these two stores will be graced with her presence.

It's a given that all the managers NOT departing for this new retailer will sit down with her for a climate survey. It doesn't look good for a district manager to lose this many managers at once-they want to ensure that we're happy with her leadership. Good retailers do this-I've been through climate surveys before.

This means new clothes to ensure I look crisp, polished and professional. I am picky about my clothing-always have been. I prefer solids, simple tailoring and try to avoid trendy pieces in purchasing work clothes. Until I moved to Florida, I lived in white, tan, khaki and black. Other than the various Disney apparel pieces, there was very little color in the closet. There weren't any prints.

There has been quite a change since moving, but I still gravitate towards solids and 'classic' lines. I admit this-if I'm given a gift of clothing, with rare exception, its so far from my comfort zone and clothing 'rules' that it doesn't get worn. (Giggles gets it, but I think she's the only one)

Ed and I ventured off to the mall this morning. We haven't spent much time together lately with his crazy work schedule and I needed his opinion. Granted, he's more interested in the 'sexy' factor, but he'll tell me if I look like crap in an outfit.

We started at Lane Bryant. The reason for this is that my chest is not getting any smaller, even though the waist is. I need button down shirts that aren't going to pull across the boobs! Since they sell larger women clothes, I thought they would have some shirts that would fit the bill.
Alas, I only found one shirt that met my specifications. They don't seem to devote too much of their store to career basics, and what they have is more of the colorful blouses that I already have and can't wear to work. We strike out, as the things that would work don't come in my size. It's lunacy to try to find a 14 in the store when it's the smallest size they carry.

I think I really tick Ed off when he shops with me. He'll show me what he thinks is a worthy selection and I extoll all the things wrong with the item. In twelve years together, he is still confused by my clothing rules and probably thinks I'm too picky. He's right.

Ed mentions Sears as our next stop. Yep, Sears. They carry Lands' End, that bastion of simple, classic clothes. I can spend thirty bucks on a shirt and know that it won't be out of style next week. I have some Lands' End shirts purchased three years ago and they are part of the current work rotation.

I find several shirts that fit my criteria (button down, neutral colors, somewhat tailored, simple lines) and venture off to the fitting room. They also carry a line of Liz Claiborne, another brand I gravitate towards for the simple look and solid colors. In looking through the racks, we find a brand I haven't seen in years. Rena Rowan. It's a subsidiary of Jones New York, yet another line of classic styles. Back in the day, my closet was peppered with many Rena Rowan or JNY pieces.

Ed helps me select the shirts, but we'd only found a few Rena Rowan pieces among the clearance racks, so none were purchased. On the way out, though, we find the racks of them. A half dozen four ways full of basic, quality clothes. I found a skirt and two pairs of pants on clearance, and twenty years from now, they'll still look good (though my goal is to be two sizes smaller.)

So, I found three name brands that used to only direct market or were found in the high end department stores. Three companies that I would seek out to purchase. Has Sears gone hip, or do I fall squarely into the "over the hill Sears shopper" demographic?


Anonymous said…
hmph..I still shop at Wal-Mart. But at least I dont have to visit the Big/Tall section anymore!

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