Nothing like shopping with an arsenal of snarky tweets…

7 minute read

October 7, 2012, 1:42 AM

So I went shopping in Gaithersburg and Germantown on Saturday night. This was a follow-on from Friday’s shopping trip in Wheaton and Aspen Hill. Today’s goal, as with Friday’s goal, was to find some shirts in my current size that I could wear to work. The shirts that I wore last winter (the thrift store clothes) are now too big on me. So I went off in search of clothing.

First of all, Friday’s mission consisted of Old Navy and JCPenney in Wheaton, and then Kohl’s in Aspen Hill. I quickly discovered that Old Navy was not what I was looking for. It was clear that Old Navy was not catering to my demographic. It caters to the teenage set and to adults who are way hipper than I am. However, I did find a winner at Penney’s:

The shirt I found at Penney's  The shirt I found at Penney's

Then at Kohl’s, I came up empty handed. I was in the ballpark with Kohl’s, but for whatever reason, there just wasn’t anything that I liked. You win some and you lose some, I guess.

Then on Saturday, I went out to Lakeforest Mall to give it a second round. My goal was to hit the department stores at Lakeforest, plus hit up the Kohl’s in Germantown. I tweeted:

Shopping for clothing at Lakeforest Mall in Gaithersburg. Should be amusing. #shopping
October 6 7:10 PM

First stop at Lakeforest was Macy’s. There, an alarm was sounding in the men’s department. After a little detective work, I located the source, which was a box on the display rack. First thing I did was disconnect every cord from the box, hoping that one of them was a power supply that would kill the alarm upon being disconnected. Failing that, I tweeted a picture of it:

Most annoying device ever, making a high pitched beep. Macy’s in Lakeforest Mall. #macys #shopping #security
October 6 7:16 PM

Most annoying device ever, making a high pitched beep. Macy's in Lakeforest Mall. #macys #shopping #security

I ended up having to find an employee, who was remarkably close by for an area where a merchandise alarm was actively sounding. He was just working away not more than twenty feet from it, ignoring it. Good work, sir. Now I know who to look for if I ever want a leather jacket on the house from Macy’s. So I got him to try to turn it off. He ended up bringing a manager and another salesperson over to finally kill the bloody alarm. Then the manager chewed them both out right there on the sales floor for letting the alarm go off, and even got on them for all of the cords that I undid to try to kill the alarm in the first place (none of them knew I was the one who disconnected all of the cords, and I wasn’t about to tell them). That part was along the lines of, “If you ever see something like this, you call security!”

And for all of that, I didn’t find anything I liked at Macy’s. Of course, all of Macy’s security devices were a bit of a turnoff. Check it out:

It’s obvious how classy Lakeforest is when the clothing is chained down to the racks. #macys #shopping
October 6 7:23 PM

It's obvious how classy Lakeforest is when the clothing is chained down to the racks. #macys #shopping

So besides the clothes’ being more than I wanted to pay, the security devices chaining the clothes to the rack that required a salesperson (who earlier couldn’t be bothered to address a merchandise alarm) made this endeavor more trouble than it was worth. Next stop: JCPenney.

Usually, if I’m going to visit a different location of a retailer I’ve visited recently before, I’m hoping for a slightly different merchandise mix in the other store. Sometimes that pays off, and sometimes it doesn’t. In this case, it didn’t. The only stuff I found that I liked was the same stuff I already went through in Wheaton. I also found an item with some very offensive styling:

Ecch. Who died and decided that was a good look? # ugly #shopping
October 6 7:34 PM

Ecch. Who died and decided that was a good look? #ugly #shopping

Yeah. Yuck.

Next planned stop was across the mall at Sears. I realize there’s also a Lord and Taylor at Lakeforest, but if I don’t like the prices at Macy’s, what makes you think that I won’t find the prices at Lord and Taylor even more offensive?

I did, however, stop in at Brookstone just for kicks. And this item confirmed my impression of Brookstone as a place where people with too much money go to buy overpriced trinkets:

I mean, really, would you pay $40 for a cereal-dispensing egg? #shopping #brookstone #junk
October 6 7:46 PM

I mean, really, would you pay $40 for a cereal-dispensing egg? #shopping #brookstone #junk

I also stopped at Hot Topic. I considered the Hot Topic stop to be along the lines of “talk nerdy to me”. Sometimes you can get something cool and retro there. Unfortunately, there was nothing I liked that was long sleeved. Note to self: revisit Hot Topic for the warmer months.

Coming out of Hot Topic, I commented that the same group of about ten girls and two boys, ranging in age from elementary school to early high school, had been out in front of the store the whole time I was in there. We joked about it for a bit, and then we parted company. Or so I thought. Turns out that as I was heading towards Sears and going upstairs, they all went, too! I commented, jokingly, “Stalkers!” Then we parted company for real.

At Sears, I came out with some definite maybes. The prices weren’t offensive, but I wasn’t 100% on the styles. So I made note of it and continued on. If I decide I want to go that route, I can always go back to Lakeforest, or over to the big box-sized Sears in White Oak. And then as I was leaving Sears, I ran into the group from earlier again. We chatted some more, and they introduced me to their chaperone – the father of one of these people. So I joked around with him, too. Nice guy. Also, here was an odd thing – turns out that these folks recognized me from the Internet. Yes, these folks were Schumin Web fans! How cool is that!

I also stopped at H&M. The styles weren’t my style, but I did find out how well they clean over there. If you have a mannequin that’s colored black, it’s a good idea to dust it from time to time. Check it out:

Isn’t it usually good practice to dust the heads of your mannequins? Seen at H&M in Lakeforest. #shopping
October 6 8:37 PM

Isn't it usually good practice to dust the heads of your mannequins? Seen at H&M in Lakeforest. #shopping

So I dusted the mannequin’s head with its own scarf. You’re welcome, H&M. #shopping
October 6 8:38 PM

So I dusted the mannequin's head with its own scarf. You're welcome, H&M. #shopping

And a parting shot as I left the mall:

I hate walking through the perfume section of department stores. In a word: stinky. #shopping
October 6 8:43 PM

After that, I headed over to Germantown. I stopped at Target, and initially had a concern about the fitting rooms:

The problem with fitting rooms is that you don’t know if fitting rooms are coed or not sometimes. #shopping
October 6 9:31 PM

Sometimes you get the runaround with fitting rooms on this. Plus Target tends to locate their fitting rooms deep in the women’s department, despite the men’s department’s location some distance away (or in the case of Wheaton, on another floor). Even in one fitting room structure, they still put men’s fitting rooms on one side and women’s on the other. For a fitting room where the partitions go all the way down to the floor and go up far higher than you could ever see over, is this necessary? Just make the fitting rooms fully coed and get over it, since there’s no difference in the fitting rooms, and these rooms are even more private than the toilet stalls.

So ultimately, I ended up getting a shirt:

Another shirt, though I ended up getting a different color (I got “slate blue”). #shopping
October 6 9:14 PM

Another shirt, though I ended up getting a different color (I got "slate blue"). #shopping

I still am amazed that I’m taking photos like this of myself now. I used to never do this, because I was so bloody heavy. Now I have no problem posing for photos, and am not as picky about what angles get shown and how I look in the photos.

And then lastly, Kohl’s in Germantown. I found a winner, though I initially couldn’t figure out the color I wanted. I settled on this:

We have a winner. This is what I ended up getting. #shopping
October 6 10:45 PM

We have a winner. This is what I ended up getting. #shopping

It’s a tad long, but it’s not bad. I liked the gray, because I don’t have any gray in my wardrobe that’s like this. I will certainly look sharp strutting around the office in this, don’t you think?

And then of course, an observation at Kohl’s:

And Kohl’s in Germantown has Wheelock Exceder fire alarms. #firealarms
October 6 10:48 PM

And Kohl's in Germantown has Wheelock Exceder fire alarms. #firealarms

You know I would notice this. Since Exceders are still fairly new, you don’t see them that often in the wild. So I present to you the Wheelock Exceder. And they sound just like a Wheelock NS.

Then on the way home, I treated the Soul to a drink. It always helps when you buy drinks for your car. When you don’t buy them a drink from time to time, they get really stubborn and won’t take you anywhere until you buy them that drink. Thirsty little thing:

Giving the Soul a drink. #kiasoul #fillerup
October 6 11:25 PM

Giving the Soul a drink. #kiasoul #fillerup

So I consider this trip a success! I love the way I look in these new shirts. It will definitely enhance my wardrobe, and make me look awesome. Also, funny – I kept a few big shirts that were relatively new when I did my big clothing purge back in the spring, thinking that they were worth holding onto because I’d only worn them for a year. Now I won’t touch them because, like all of the old clothes, they now look like pajamas on me. Might as well just get rid of those, too, I suppose…

Web site: Building a Weight-Loss Wardrobe on a Budget

Postscript: Funny: When I was looking at the pictures I took of myself at Penney's, the thing I was doing was trying to convince myself that I don't really look as good as the pictures show in real life. Let's admit - I was impressed with those photos.

Categories: Clothing, Kia Soul, Retail, Target