Shame Shopping Or, What’s Important In A Dress Is The Woman Who’s Wearing It.

I have a shameful confession to make.

Actually, I have multiple shameful confessions to make:

– I really like that Kid Ink/Chris Brown song.
– Sometimes when I get really sad, I’ll shame-eat a Burger King veggie burger and onion rings.
– I can’t remember half the character names on Game of Thrones and refer to them by their attributes (super cute political powerhouse queen regent, creepy bastard fuck who flayed Lily Allen’s brother, Lily Allen’s brother, kid from Love Actually who I love…)

But this shameful confession is far worse (don’t worry, Mom. I didn’t murder anyone or eat pork).

I buy clothes from Forever 21.

I know.

There are a litany of issues with shopping there. Two of the biggest being their unfair labor practices and the fact that I am 31 and therefore, SO not their target demo (anorexic teenagers with a penchant for text speak and garish prints that look terrible on everyone).

But society insists that I wear clothes, Forever 21 sells cute little frocks for $10 a pop and I am only human.

It’s an unfortunate state of affairs. Especially for the girl who is 100% on board with the No Pants Revolution, but that’s the way it works….for now.

Look, I would love to be the cute girl who rocked Madewell and Kate Spade but here’s the deal – I can’t justify spending $158 on a dress when I could take that $158 and spend it on premium cable, gin and cheap tacos.

Priorities, y’all.

Since actually visiting one of their stores is as much fun as a surprise pap smear, I opt to buy my clothes online.

This is alternately a wonderful and terrible idea.

Wonderful because I don’t have to actually go into the store, battle a gaggle of judgy middle schoolers and have my eardrums assaulted by Iggy Azalea dubstep remixes.

It’s terrible because I don’t actually get the opportunity to try anything on and I just have to trust that the item I’ve chosen will fit.

I recently bought a few things and was understandably excited when my order came in.

Polka dots! Peach teardrop earrings! Sandals that are undeniably uncomfortable but super cute! That stupid thing to make a sock bun with!

I try on two floral print dresses and so far, so good. They fit well and I can totally wear them with my nude heels.

Then, I try on dress #3 and I go from looking like cute girl in a floral print to a monstrous sea cow…in a floral print.

Forever 21 and I disagree on many things and the definition of ‘medium’ is one of them.

So, I head to the store to return the dress and dear God, it is exactly the fresh hell that I envisioned.

Why are you wearing a Wu-Tang shirt? You don’t know the glory of the RZA, the GZA and M-E-T-H-O-D M-A-N.
Dear God, they make Frappuccinos that big now? Who needs all that sugar?
Little girl, does your mother know you left the house wearing that?
Wait, how did you get your sock bun to look so good?

After a solid half hour of furious rifling, I managed to find another dress that didn’t make me look like a pregnant dugong and switched out my purchase but I’m still having Kurtz-ian flashbacks – “The horror….the horror….”

Am I going to stop shopping at Forever 21? Probably not because $10 frocks and the fact I value HBO over clothing BUT I’m definitely going to try to make the attempt to seek out better retailers.

Any and all suggestions would be much appreciated.

Now if you’ll excuse me, one of these goddamn rings turned my finger green and I’ve got to scrub off the evidence…

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