Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Sticker Shock

Elise, Hannah the Bonus Child, and Elaina
I took the girl shorties shopping yesterday. Just for a change of pace, we drove to the fancy side of Birmingham to do some browsing.

I'd prepped the Wonder Twins (who were in desperate need of jeans as we've had a growth spurt changing us from size 14 children's to women's size 3/4 which is FREAKING ME OUT SINCE YOU OUGHT TO HAVE A LITTLE WARNING ABOUT THIS SORT OF THING) that we might have to just look on the Hwy 280 side of town and actually purchase on the Alabaster side of town. I was absolutely sure that the price tags would decrease exponentially as we drove south on I-65.

We needed jeans. Since the girls just moved from the kiddie section, I felt as though we ought to explore some Real Clothing Brands instead of Wal-Mart. (It's this sort of unbridled enthusiasm that keeps me in trouble.)

We drove to the fancy mall and ate a fancy lunch at The Cheesecake Factory. As we approached the enormous doors to the restaurant, Elise announced that we were going to freeze to death because, "Fancy restaurants are always too cold because rich people wear layers and blazers and stuff." Her companions nodded in agreement, so we wisely chose to eat on the patio, because the main dining room was like an Arctic zone. 
Then we started hunting.

I reiterated the three most important words that were to become our mantra for the shopping spree--SALE RACKS FIRST! And armed with our slogan, lip gloss, knock off Vera Bradley Lookalike Bags, and shorts that have become a midge too short (hence the shopping trip) we cruised into Belk like we owned the place.

First on the agenda--humiliate the Wonder Twins--so I found a sales lady and asked to see the "hot trend in junior jeans" so that we knew some brand names to start looking for (since Wrangler is evidently 'soooooo country, Mom'). The sales lady immediately moved me to the blindingly neon section of the store where most of the clothing actually appeared to be Lilly-sized and said, "We can't keep these on the shelves! They are the number one seller on the floor."

She handed me an ordinary-looking pair of blue jeans that were called "7 for All Mankind".  (What kind of stupid name is that for a blue jean? What does it even mean?) She simultaneously handed me another brand called "G-Star RAW" which sounds flat out obscene. (I don't want to know what that means.)

Can anyone tell these from Wranglers without the 7?
Elise flipped the tag over on the 7 Jeans, her eyes widened like saucers, she flipped a glance up at me, and said, "Well, back to Alabaster."

$189.00 for a pair of junior jeans. Jeans that a junior-sized person will wear for approximately six months, because said person isn't finished growing yet.


We did find two reduced items on the Sale Racks and purchased a pair of Red Rivet jeans for $10.00. That was a win, since they were originally priced at $90.00. We left a little depressed with only one dress and one pair of jeans total, but soldiered on to the cheap side of town. On the way through Hoover (half way to Alabaster, proving that the prices do indeed decrease dramatically as you drive south on I-65), I remembered a trendy little consignment shop that specializes in teen clothing called Plato's Closet. We detoured there and guess what, Folks. Five million pairs of cute jeans--those 7 kind and RAW pants and everything. $20.00 a pair. SOLD! We bought bags of clothing, bags, I tell you!

Lessons Learned: 

Inside of Plato's Closet
1) Even if you are able and can afford $189.00 jeans for an eleven year old, you have serious issues if you consider purchasing them. If you actually purchased them for that price, and this can't be said emphatically enough, you just aren't very bright. (Seriously, what life lesson are you teaching your pre-teen about  money? Stewardship? Frugality?)

2) I don't own one thing in my entire closet that cost $189.00. In fact, I don't think I have an outfit worth that much. (This is a point of pride, not a pity cry.) I am cheap, and we intend to keep on keeping on. I'd rather vacation big in my cheap jeans. Me and my completely debt free self will sleep well tonight.

3) There were racks of these jeans for $189.00 a pair. Who are these people?

4) Fancy lunch is overrated when dining with 11-yr-olds. Elaina announced that the cheese sticks at Arby's were better than The Cheesecake Factory. (She was right.) And about a third of the price with no tip.

5)  We sat across from two women who thought they were on the Kardashian reality show--shoes, hair, make up--all sorts of crazy going on. The over processed blonde talked on her cell phone (with Swarovski crystal studded Otter Box) to someone else the entire meal while her dining companion (and I use that term loosely) texted someone. Elise staged whispered, "Why did they go to lunch together if they aren't going to talk to each other?" That, My Dear, is the question, cause it sho' nuff weren't the conversation or the $12.99 salads they picked at and didn't actually eat.

6) Plato's Closet is across from the Galleria in the shopping center with 2nd and Charles/Toys R Us FYI.

7) My cousin waits tables at The Cheesecake Factory. Who knew?

8) My most proud moment of the day? When Elaina held up something she wanted to buy that had been marked down over and over with little red marks and stickers littering the tag from $190 to $7.99 and said, "SOLD!" You got that right. Now we can go to Dairy Queen and back to the woods, where we evidently belong.

1 comment:

Michelle said...

You have raised The Wonder Twins right! I promise you, one of the first words both of of our boyos learned to read was "CLEARANCE!"