You probably have guessed that I am not a big mall shopper. I am not. There are, however, times when I find myself going into a what could only be considered as a semi-conscious state, hopping on the lightrail, and somehow arriving at the M.O.A.* While the majority of my time at the mall is usually spent with my mouth open, aghast that stores are able to charge so much for such cheaply-made, sweat-shop labor products (that, after a while, all start looking the same), I have to admit that there are a few mall shops that have "gotten" me.
I don't like to admit it. It is very uncool, in terms of both street cred and conscious consumerism. But I have come to terms with the fact that, despite myself, there are stores that I actually like shopping at. Or at least am somewhat impressed with their merchandise.
These are (and you are really witnessing the surfacing of some very private, oft suppressed, confessions):
1. American Apparel
2. Urban Outfitters (I know)
3. J. Crew
Now, I have to state that with each of these stores, I have major qualms unique to each. You are also free to judge me and associate whatever blanket term to me you would like on account of these confessions. But, I am coming clean. I actually sort of like these stores.
Want to know another great thing about thrifting**? In addition to all the great, crazy vintage pieces, you can occasionally find mall brands, at super low prices.
Which brings me to my next tank top: a simple, but useful white and yellow striped tank. From the Crew.
Now, the only thing I have ever bought new from J. Crew was a swimsuit eight years ago, and I bought that on the internet. It continues to be my favorite swimsuit, and as it is falling apart, I am actually considering purchasing a new one, even it will set me back a cool $100. So I don't actually spend a lot of time shopping at the Crew. But I do know that I have been sucked into their marketing as being a classy, clean lifestyle brand. While yuppiedom isn't something that I covet on a regular basis, sometimes I feel like I want to explore what it would be like to have chosen a life my mother would have preferred me to.
So when I found a J. Crew tank top in cute colors like this for $3, of course I had to get it. Now when I need a piece to finish off the rare sporty casual outfit, I've got it.
*Mall of America. Our public transport rail goes from Target Field, where the Twins play, to the Mall of America. I believe this speaks volumes about what is valued in our society. It was probably just a happy accident that the airport was along the way.
** Gotta also put a plug in for resale shopping here. Places like Everyday People often have tons of recent mall store merchandise in stock, which makes it a million times more affordable.