Ay, there's the rub.

The Skirt

I stop into the Zara on Newbury Street every afternoon on my way home from work. Every time I read an interview with someone in fashion, they say their favorite affordable store is Zara, and so I think on some level I believe that by stopping in with alarming frequency, I will become as cool as these people in the interviews.

To date, however, I have not actually purchased anything from Zara this summer. Generally when I shop I need to see the merchandise, leave and ruminate over whether it fits in with the general aesthetic I hope to achieve, come back and scrutinize the article of clothing again, leave and think about if I own something similar, come back and try it on, leave and debate cost per wear…in general, I would say I am not a pleasant shopping companion.

I would also say the sale rack at Zara has not been particularly inspiring as of late. Many lace shirts with puritanical collars and more leather than I could ever hope to pull off. There is also the matter of trying to compete with aggressive Newbury Street tourists in browsing the racks and being thwarted at every turn. Or finding limited space to stand near a rack because some girl has insisted on bring her boyfriend shopping with her and he is taking up valuable square footage while staring blankly into the distance.

But I digress.

One day, I saw this a flared red skirt (this skirt, to be exact) that I kind of liked but feared was too garishly red to fit in with my wardrobe. It should be noted that the skirt was exactly my size, there was only one left, and I had been in the market for a skirt of similar length for a few months. I departed the store, however, quickly convincing myself that I probably should not buy it.

The next day I went back to Zara as I normally do and was perusing the racks. I saw they moved the skirt so that it was juxtaposed against the other skirts in the store and thus looked very lovely in an eye-catching way. I decided I could pair the skirt with both white shirts and black shirts and it would be fine—a wardrobe staple even (!). It was around this time that the skirt went from being a skirt to becoming The Skirt. But I balked at the $60 price sticker and left in a hurry because I had places to be (a rare occasion).

Another day, same deal. I came upon The Skirt where it had been the day before, looking radiant in a sea of taupe. But when I felt the fabric in my hands, it felt a little too flimsy—like it would only be appropriate for summer. Deal breaker. Still smarting about the cost per wear, I almost bought a pair of ballet flats but instead left the store empty-handed per usual.

I had a really terrible day at work the following day. I was staring at a spreadsheet for what felt like decades, even though it was in reality maybe two hours. My right eye started twitching uncontrollably, as it does in times of great duress. Leaving work, I decided that practicality be damned, I had to buy The Skirt that instant. Perhaps this speaks to a deeper issue of relying on materialism as a coping mechanism, but with a one-track mind, I ignored this, focusing instead on the stylishness that would soon be mine.

But of course, as you may have anticipated, The Skirt was gone. I searched the surrounding racks, thinking that a sales clerk had mistakenly moved it once again, but it seemed that in the twenty four hours since I had visited the store last, someone else had swept in and taken what was meant to be mine.

Will the new owner of The Skirt appreciate it as much as I would have? (No.) Have I learned anything from this experience? Also doubtful. The more obvious lesson is not to hesitate when I have even a faint desire for something, lest someone else swoop in and leave me bereft. But I do not foresee myself changing my painfully deliberate shopping habits anytime soon, as evidenced by the fact that I have now rerouted my walk home to hit up both Zara and Madewell daily. Maybe this mini-essay on obsessive behavior is concerning, but my rapidly dwindling bank account is pushing things into the territory of “highly concerning.” I think my first overdraft fee will be the real turning point.
Shara3 Comments