Fashion Cents: Shopping at Macy’s

I think an important part of getting a job and professionalizing oneself comes from looking and acting professional.  I do have a basic professional wardrobe, but have recently realized I’m lacking in anything particularly fashionable, and also anything particularly warm.  I’m aiming to fix both of these problems but spend as little as possible while doing it.

I should start this post by explaining that I receive Christmas gifts from people who like to shop at Macy’s.  I do not like to shop at Macy’s, but now I have a gift card to Macy’s.

I dislike Macy’s for a number of reasons, the first being the general unhelpfulness and slowness of the sales staff.  I was really hoping to spend my gift card on a new pair of boots that will be cute, winter appropriate, and comfortable.  Macy’s, although apparently out of more than the display model in all of their cute, comfortable, flat boots, has neglected to put these on the sale rack.  The salesman was rude and dismissive, and when I simply demanded to know if he had ANY flat black boots in sizes 8.5 or 9, he told me, “you must show me what you want and then I’ll tell you if we have it.”  This is, I’m sorry, an unacceptable model for a shoe department that relies on staff members to pull shoes.  At any real shoe store, I can go in, ask for a boot or shoe in my size, and if they don’t have my size, they will bring me something similar.  So Macy’s, I say eff it, and arrange the whole place like a DSW.  You would eliminate snotty salesguy (who I still think didn’t actually look for my boots), and probably sell more shoes, because people wouldn’t have to come up to the counter and dump down an armload of boots and say, “any of these?” and watch snotty salesguy say, “we’re out of all of these.”  Without even apologizing.

I finally blew off my shoe hunt (because in addition to no cute boots in my size, they had no red high heels of a reasonable height and no flats that looked remotely comfortable) and headed upstairs to suits.  I washed my dry-clean only black pants earlier this week, and needed new black dress pants.  I was actually pleasantly surprised – I had read reviews online of the Style & Co. dress pants, which were all positive, but I wanted to try on a pair.  At $24.99, the price is excellent and the pants are extremely flattering.  My main beef with Macy’s in this respect is that the suit section was horribly disorganized, and I guess the advantage of department stores is that you can have fewer staff members covering more clothing, but I would rather pay a bit more for clothes and shop at a store that actually puts pants in size order on the clothing racks, and puts the same styles of pants together, or I would rather pay less for clothing and have to dig, the way I do at Target or a thrift store.

I refused to leave without finding at least one cute and trendy item that I could add to my current business-casual volunteer wardrobe that could also be worn on weekends.  I wanted a long but dressy sweater, that I could wear with either my new black pants or my skinny jeans.  I found a really cute charcoal gray sweater which is really stylish but also cozy and warm.  It make me feel extra-happy every time I tried it on with different tops and pants.  I really wish that Macy’s would abandon the idea of having “lines” of clothing and instead organize everything by “tops” and “pants” or something, because I had to hunt through four different sections to find my sweater – which I finally found in the I.N.C. section, which seems to be the “hippest” section that Macy’s has.

Then I went to check out, and wound up with the slowest lady ever checking out.  I appreciate attention to detail, but it felt like one of the slowest clothing checkouts ever and I was only behind one person.  Once I am done spending down this gift card, I have to say, it is highly unlikely I will ever voluntarily set foot in a Macy’s again, unless my Style & Co. pants end up holding up really well and being very high quality (but usually I would rather shop at the better organized and similarly priced NY & Co, but I have found their quality to be questionable.)

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