Thursday, July 16, 2009

Shopping XXI when you're not 21

I recently bought this blouse using store credit. Store credit being a self-declared loophole in my 90-day (XC-day) shopping moratorium. It has passed legal muster -- I work in a law firm, it was vetted.

Now, why I had store credit at XXI (a/k/a Forever 21) is an interesting story of its own, but one I will spare you (especially if you read yesterday's post). But I hope you realize that calling the store XXI is not some cute idea I had (like saying something from Old Navy is "Vintage Nautical Defense"). Forever 21 has actually changed the signage on some of their storefronts to read XXI. I think they are trying to trick people who are old enough to know how to read Roman numerals into thinking they should shop there. The name "Forever 21" just kills me. Who would want to be 21 forever? Forever 28 is more like it.

I have mixed feelings about XXI -- much like my feelings about 5-7-9 (IV-VII-IX), a store that has been around since I was in high school. 5-7-9 is a store that carries only sizes 00-9. My disgust for 5-7-9 is rooted in my youth (as is all of my disgust for exclusively sized stores). I was never able to shop at 5-7-9 and so I abhor it.

When I peruse XXI, I can't help but feel like I'm doing something improper. "But they have such great accessories," one of my friends always says. Conceivable, if you consider neon pink plastic bracelets and tin earrings "great accessories." Now I admit, I have on occasion bought (and worn) clothing from XXI. It's not as though I'm purchasing my entire wardrobe at this place. And they really do have some cute blouses, some of which I think can be worn to the office. However, the looks I get from the 16-year-old (XVI-year-old) salesgirls make me question my presence in the store.

Should a woman who is twice the age of the average shopper be here? If I can't distinguish a shirt from a very short dress should I leave? If I find myself shaking my head in disapproval at the youth of today, should I walk out? Perhaps, but not before getting this blouse, which I actually think is a very mature thing to have found it the store -- which may explain why there were so many still on the rack.

blouse: XXI
tank: Ann Taylor Loft
skirt: Ann Taylor Factory Outlet
shoes: Carlos Santana
necklace and earrings: White House Black Market (which is funny, because they are bronze)
bracelet: JCPenney

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