Less Is More Whilst Shopping

Signs-You-Have-Too-Many-ClothesNothing in life is better when you go shopping, end up breaking your arm due to too many clothes to try on, and then end up liking everything. Right!? It’s genius. Well, maybe, it’s kind of a double-edged sword.

But during my first voyage to Century 21 Philly, the stars aligned and I ended up liking 98.7% of everything I brought into the fitting room. And mind you, I could only bring like 8 items with me at a time, and had to swap out clothes three different times. In fact my right arm hurt the next day from carrying it all around (sad, right? Muscles is something I don’t got).

So then I was faced with the deadly question, “can I afford everything I love here,” which was WAY too much shit. Like too too much. I was high on clothes, what can I say. Questions like, “do I need to eat this week,” and “how does one sell their eggs” crossed my mind … true signs of an addict. But I stopped myself because I have a problem called, “quickly falling in love with an item, not thinking it over, buying it, then never wearing it.”

Enter palazzo pants stage right. I bought them in early spring from Zara, red and wide-legged to the max, imagined myself strutting down the sun-kissed streets, hailing cabs and flipping my Herbal Essence-like hair in them and immediately fell in love with the idea. I become so immersed in this vision that I neglected the fact that they were COMPLETELY see-through. Then I just wanted to set fire to them.

These “visions” are why I buy things and never wear them. What can I say, I have a vivid imagination. But during this trip to C21 Philly, I decided to stop this pattern that only wastes my precious dolla-dolla bills, pull over to the side of the store and think shit out.

I encourage you all to do this. I know, I know it is all “go, go, go,” but taking a second to think it over and decide if you REALLY love the piece or if you’re just picturing yourself as something you aren’t (i.e. Kate Moss on a spring day) is UBER important. For the first time, I walked away with really awesome pieces, that I love, fit amazingly, and that I look forward to wearing and styling in different ways.

So before you buy, and end up with a closet full of “meh” items, or if you are like me, ones you want to set fire to, consider these things:

1. Is it seasonally appropriate? Will it keep me warm? Will it be too hot? Can I layer? (Real talk, I almost bought a pair of pants that were paper thin. It is going to be 20 degrees tomorrow. Genius, self, genius.)

2. Is this in my color palette? If you don’t wear pink and things with bows on it, why buy the shirt? And if you don’t have a color palette, work on it, for the love. No one likes looking like ROYGBIV vommed all over them (Side note: I almost purchased a shirt that was pink with bows on it … I told you I was high on clothes)

3. Do I own this already? (We are creatures of habit. I have the same black sheer shirt in 5 different styles … and I could easily buy more)

4. Is this piece see-through, or defective, pulls, rips, stains … and if it is see-through, think about how your under garments can work with it. Do you have to go commando or do you have to purchase some weird ass contraption that will turn this $40 top into a $95 top?

5. How will this piece hold up? Will I need to get it dry cleaned every time I wear it? It is fabric that wrinkles when the slightest wind blows on it. (I have a white button down that I cannot wear because if a mouse coughs, it wrinkles … nobody’s got time for that nonsense). All of these things will add cost, time, and annoyance to your life.

Century 21 Philly: Words Of Wisdom

Photo credit: http://articles.philly.com/2014-10-16/entertainment/55065695_1_flagship-store-eddie-gindi-century-21

When I was in high school, in August every year, my mom and I would trek up to NYC for a few days of shopping and exploring. It was the best. We called it our “back to school shopping trip,” but really we both just loved New York City and knew we could get some really original finds there.

I wish I could say we checked out the Guggenheim Museum, or wondered through MoMA, laid around in Central Park, but we didn’t. How could you have time for that when you dedicate an entire day of your trip to Century 21?

Recently I asked my mom how we discovered Century 21, but neither of us could remember. The first time I stepped foot in there was literally two weeks before 9/11 when I was 14. My mom and I had a croissant at the bottom of one of the towers before going in. Kind of surreal. Even during 9/11 I remembered thinking there was no way Century 21 could still be standing as it was right by the towers, but it was. From that point on, we made it a point to spend an entire day at the store every time we visited NYC.

I like to call myself a seasoned Century 21 shopper, since I’ve been going there for more than 10 years :::hair flip:::. Century 21 isn’t like any other store I’ve shopped. It makes Nordstrom Rak and TJ Maxx look like crying little wusses. If the rumors are true, the Philly store will mirror the NYC store, which means there will be 3-4 floors of insane goodness, which makes me swoon. Literally … I have butterflies like some groupie dork.

You may think I’m being over dramatic, you may think I’m being a little crazytown, but talk to me after your first Century 21 experience and you can buy me a drink for the rad advice I’m about to give you.

Now behold, my words of wisdom to help you get the most out of your first Century 21 Philly experience.

1. Dedicate a day: Especially if this is your first time, give yourself ample amounts of time to shop the store as there’s various floors with various goods: Designer, more affordable shit, accessories … I mean it never ends. It’s so good … it’s all SO good.

2. Fuel Up: Eat a meal and drink your fluids (non-alcoholic) before entering the store. Maybe do some jumping jacks … I don’t know. You’ll only understand once you’ve been there, but it takes stamina and strength, my friends, to score the good stuff. You gotta muscle up when we are talking Dolce and Gabbana for close to nothing. Otherwise you will fade fast and some other lady will get the goods, and no one wants that, right?

3. Dress Appropriately: The fitting rooms in the NYC store didn’t have doors, which was a little mortifying at first, but when you have an arm full of insane designer deals, you really don’t care if some random old lady sees your bits and pieces. I have NO idea what the fitting room sitch is in the Philly store, but if you are more modest, wear appropriate undergarments JUST in case.

4. Be in the Right Head Space: If you aren’t at least 85% in the mood to shop, don’t go. This is a marathon, not a track meet. Lots of people, lots of shit to dig through. When I only had a few minutes in NYC to roam Century 21, I would browse accessories, get frustrated by the people and the chaos, and leave. If you’re thinking, “maybe I’ll hit up Century 21, take a cab ride down to the new Nordstrom Rack, maybe hit up Uniqlo … I don’t know, I don’t know if there will be time!” don’t. Just … no. Don’t. You’ll regret it. Century 21 or bust.

5. Have A Strategy: What are you looking for? Do you want high-end designer goods? Shoes? Accessories? Find out what you want the most and work from there. I always did accessories last because it was less to carry (I’m an accessories whore) and you can’t bring them into the fitting room. I started in the more affordable section, then ended up in designer and was able to filter my finds better. And by filter I mean standing by the register contemplating how I cannot pay my rent that month to afford everything.

Century 21 is where I purchased my first Burberry scarf for $50. Century 21 is where I scored my first piece of designer anything, a pair of Catherine Malandrino jeans. Century 21 is where I got the most original looking things that drove my friends crazy. I can’t explain to you how excited I am that it is making its debut tomorrow in Philly. Seriously … I just … yeah. This:


Side note: Century 21 Philly did not pay me to write this post or bribe me with goods, I’m just a ridiculous super fan of this store. Century 21, if you WOULD like to bribe me with goods, I’m totally available for a conversation. Hit me up, boo.