artphoto by splunge
artphoto by TheophileEscargot
artphoto by Kronos_to_Earth
artphoto by ethylene





Mecha Wiki

Metachat Eye


IRC Channels



Comment Feed:


21 July 2008

update on the summer dress hunt [More:]

Update to this thread.

I finally found a really great summer sundress that has turned out to be affordable, surprisingly cute and functional at (of all places, UGH!!) the Gap. Don't get me wrong, I loathe the Gap. However, it is 100+ degrees in Denver and after a month of shopping I was pretty much desperate, it was on sale, and I happened to be downtown on Saturday fleeing the heat with a movie.

So, lesson learned: you probably shouldn't completely exclude a certain style just because you don't think it will work for you. While I've had to learn this before (ahem, low-rise/flare jeans), the basic lesson here is that a well-tailored cut in the right fabric can even make the current rage in babydoll/empire waists look okay on less-than-willowy figures. I've only had this dress for 2 days and have already received lots of compliments (including a lacivious attack from the mister, woohoo!). I've worn it as apres-bike-racewear and ohmigad-it's-facking-hot-please-let's-skip-cooking-and-go-to-Hamburger-Mary's-insteadwear warning, annoying flash intro on the HM link.... And with a nice fine-knit longsleeve T layered underneath, it will easily double as office friendly (at least in our business casual office). Oh and bonus! it has discreetly hidden side POCKETS!! Yay!

So yeah, the mister did take me thrifting and actually put up with my grouchy hatred of shopping for 3 days (!). In the end, I found a couple cute separates, but alas, nothing that triggered my "perfect-sundress" mojo.
Why do you loathe The Gap?
posted by amro 21 July | 11:35
amro: their business practices are pretty lousy; they've been accused of basically using slave labour. Which is why their stuff is supposedly affordable. I don't know if they've cleaned up recently, but I suspect pretty much everyone in the mass-market garment industry is fairly environmentally / socially vile in some respect so... what's to be done? I mean besides learning to sew myself, which I've tried before and am useless at.

posted by lonefrontranger 21 July | 11:39
Well, their use of child labor is one reason I try to avoid shopping there.

That said, congrats on the dress! I know (man do I) how hard it can be to find something that is both affordable and works.
posted by Specklet 21 July | 11:44
i bought this dress last week! you will love it! it's surprisingly light and machine washable!
posted by eatdonuts 21 July | 12:24
The GAP ACT pisses me off. You know, how they assign sales staff to you as you walk in (women staff for men shoppers, men staff for women shoppers; they probably have special algorithms for figuring sexual preference into the mix) and encourage them to include flirtation as part of the sales patter? It's all part of the manual they make you read when you sign up.

I fucking hate being profiled. I look a little like a cop when I'm wearing a suit, and everybody acts differently around me than if I'm wearing my usual work pants and a t-shirt. If only manners mattered as much as appearances. Do I have to go around naked for people to see who I really am?

Cute dress, by the way. Congratulations.
posted by Hugh Janus 21 July | 12:55
HJ, yea I definitely know what you mean by the GAP ACT, fortunately I was able to fend it off this go. If I shopped there more frequently than once every 5-7 years, I'm sure it would piss me off more.

in all honesty, I think I've reached the age that I've become immune to the doe-eyed vapid young androgynes they use for this. I mean, yea, one wandered up and attempted to ply its wiles upon me, but I pretty much just marched along to the rack, found what I wanted and got the hell out of there.

it helps that I rarely, if ever, browse. I practise surgical-strike ninja raid shopping, if only because I hate shopping to a degree that I just can't explain in words.
posted by lonefrontranger 21 July | 15:31
Hm, now I'm curious to visit a Gap and see how that algorithm works. If it's on the money, they can have my business.
posted by Wolfdog 21 July | 15:51
I used to manage a Discovery Channel Store; we had a whole handbook of ways to get the most out of our sales staff. Most of it was about making them comfortable with starting conversations with indifferent shoppers, but some of it was "remember to push similar products" or "try to keep them in the store... five minutes more averages to one more item at the register...." Most of it was loss prevention -- if someone's there to shoplift, you can usually drive them out by being pleasant to and conscious of them.

I threw the handbook out the window and told my people to send shoppers elsewhere if we lacked what they needed (they always came back for something else and usually mentioned how helpful that was, "Not like other stores"); I told them to leave alone people like me who just want to shop, but to clean up after them to prevent theft (shoplifters move things around a lot); I constantly talked about the crap that our store sold: what it was for, where it was made, the science/history behind it, why someone would use it, etc.

Yeah, it wasn't clothes retail, where flattery is all, but being engaged and interested in the customer isn't some handbook thing, and it shows. This routine flirting that store clerks are trained into has got to be damaging to their ability to flirt in real life. Reducing transactions to sex may end up reducing sex to a transaction.

Cue big-picture bug-out with me running around, my hair on fire.

Okay, I'm back. The people I managed acted like real people. When a customer would ask about something they didn't know about, they would say, "I don't know. Let me ask Hugh, or Drew, or Boo." Sometimes, when pressed, they'd say, "I'm not really interested in astronomy, so it's hard for me to answer your question. But TC over there knows everything; I'll go get her for you."

During my tenure as manager, our store jumped from #75 in company-wide sales to #2, exceeding our goals by 340%. I sold a lot of telescopes.

I don't know why I'm going on about this, except that:

- I value good, human customer service, in which the customer is respected and not turned into a number or a type. Because I value good service,

- I hate shopping.
posted by Hugh Janus 21 July | 16:02
Wolfdog, you and I need to go to Hamburger Mary's if you're ever in the Denver area. It definitely dances to the tune of trash-o-fabulous, with a heavy side of GLBT innuendo, but god DAMN they train their waitstaff well there, and the food is fantastic. I've only been in there 2 or 3 times but I can see the place becoming a habit (and not just for the gaudy techno danceclub vibe, which I'll admit to being a total sucker for) The server I had last night was one of the best waiters I've encountered in years. I think he actually is a mind reader. He got a $10 tip on a $25 bill and honestly deserved more.
posted by lonefrontranger 21 July | 16:35
Well, I would never say no to a culinary and cultural experience of that magnitude. Or any invitation to chow down, really, you know.
posted by Wolfdog 21 July | 17:04
Several people (including my wife) have derided the Hamburger Mary's in our 'hood as one of the worst dinner places ever.
posted by eamondaly 21 July | 17:14
I have never heard of Hamburger Mary's. And have never once been addresses by a salesclerk upon entering a Gap.
posted by crush-onastick 21 July | 17:27
Speaking of burgers, this seems like such a great business model, I am surprised that there are not a lot of them everywhere.

The designer catsups were awesome.
posted by danf 21 July | 17:29
Happy birthday, kellydamnit! || I feel so confused.