Friday, June 26, 2009


The art of shopping (yes, I said art because the fact that shows like "What Not To Wear" exist prove that shopping and dressing yourself fabulously is in fact an art) brings me great joy. A special tingly sensation comes over me when I go vintage shopping even though I never have much luck. People had different shapes back in the day, which apparently means that everybody was either teeny tiny or huge compared to me, so if I bring back even one piece from a vintage shopping excursion I nearly piss myself. Yeah, I have a problem.

However, Wednesday's spontaneous vintage adventure brought up a whole new fail that had nothing to do with size. I went to my hair stylist that afternoon and basically said, "See this black mop of hot ass on my head? Please get it the fuck off me," and she obliged. The heat and humidity makes me all delirious, so I'm glad I didn't just pull a Britney Spears, steal her clippers and shave the entire thing off. It's a pretty drastic change - an angled bob and you can see the back of my neck, but my stylist is quite talented, so I didn't worry too much while she hacked six pounds of hair off my head.

Anyway, when I was done and covered in tiny hairs from my cut, I spied a little store kinda near the salon and decided to stop in despite my new found chest hairs. It was a cute store, so I browsed a little, picked some stuff out and headed into the dressing room. Skirts? Bust. First dress? Bust. Second dress?...YAY! Adorable! However, before I got too excited and lost control of my bladder, I had to flip it around so I could get it zipped up all the way to see the full effect. But said zipper was being quite pissy - a centimeter up, a centimeter down, then it just wouldn't move at all. I wiggled around a little more trying to get it to move and it wasn't until the bottom part of the zipper separated that I realized, 'Shit...SHIT! I'm stuck in this goddamn dress!'

You'd think a faulty 40 to 50-year-old zipper would be fairly common except this dress was not old, but vintage inspired and the only non-vintage thing I had brought into the room. I stood there strategizing for a second - maybe I should go get the lady to help me? Nope, no way in hell am I going to get the lady who will probably cut my naked ass out of the dress, then make me pay for the shreds.

OK, so now not only am I stuck in the dress, but I'm stuck in this dressing room and in this store until I figure out how to get this thing off me. I've already been in here an awkwardly long time and she probably thinks I'm taking a crap in here or something...I begin to wiggle around again trying to either pull the dress up over my head or down over my hips, now sweating profusely, topless, hopping around frantically in this tiny room with a crumpled up, broken zipper dress stuck around my waist, trying not to cuss audibly with only a curtain separating this hot mess from the rest of the world.

Nothing was working and the funny thing was, it wasn't like I was some fat ass trying to squeeze into something that was two sizes too small. This dress was my size. It fit! I wanted to buy it! It was made for me! So much so that it wouldn't come off! While I'm glad I found out the zipper was a cheap piece of shit before I bought it, being stuck in the damn thing out in public rather than in the privacy of my own home proved to be rather inconvenient. Oh my god...OH MY GOOOOOOD! What am I going to do?

Just when I was about to call the fire department, the zipper detached from one side, in other words, it broke completely and I breathed in the sweet air of dress freedom. At this point, I didn't even give a rat's ass that I had just screwed up the merchandise. If I hadn't tried it on, it was bound to happen to the next person, therefore, not my fault dammit. Plus, I was a bit traumatized by my near death-by-dress experience.

I sat down for a second before trying on the last dress I had brought in, then without touching it, one of the little string belt loops popped off the dress. What. The. Fuck. Apparently I was a caveman today "Harna Smash!" and this was my cue to get the hell out of there. I then left most of my items in the room, casually took the asshole zipper dress back to it's home amongst what were surely other asshole zipper dresses and calmly ran the fuck away from the store.

I know, I know, it was kind of a dick move and frankly it was pretty out of character for me, but a.) that really pissed me off because that shouldn't happen, b.) I'm unemployed and can barely afford a non-broken dress and c.) I was EMBARRASSED! There, I said it. I doesn't happen very often, but there ya go.

While I'm now slightly frightened of vintage shopping, like they say about all fears, you have to face them and just try, try again...I'll just be trying at another store where they don't associate my face with busted dresses.

* The pic is an Anne Taintor design - love her stuff.


J said...

I have a habit of accidentally popping buttons off of shirts while trying them on. Maybe my grip is too strong or maybe I just have terrible luck.

Needless to say, my wardrobe doesn't have very many items with buttons. Zippers are more my style.

Anonymous said...

Hee, dress killah!

I love vintage stuff also but you're right - ladies of the past either had impossibly tiny waists or they were shaped like a mu-mu wearing matron. I used to buy a lot of 60s era dresses - straight, sleeveless, short and often in loud offensive patterns and I was always having to alter them to fit in some way. And I'm no dab hand with a needle either. I'm horrible!

But when you do find something that fits and you love it, it's like heaven.

Personally, I'm a fiend for old 60s/70s suede jackets with big buttons.

Incidentally zippers are MY nemesis too.


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