Jane wishes to make a confession. Like many women, young and not so young, we lust after designer clothes. Lusting after something is not the same as desiring it. To desire something is to dream of it, dwell on it, imagine owning it. To lust after something is to spend a lot of time drooling, with the clear understanding that drooling is probably going to be the full extent of your satisfaction.
We generally do our clothes shopping online, at such easy-to-shop-at sites as Chadwick's (though a member of our family says this store is for older women -- we disagree, it has delightful fashions for all ages), Lerner's (a favorite shopping experience, left over from our youth), or Spiegel's (which can get a little pricey for our wallet), because it's easy, convenient, and the clothing gets delivered to us. Since we never did like trying clothes on at the store, this solution has become a favorite activity at Jane's house.
While shopping at our favorite stores, we sometimes daydream...wondering what it would be like to shop at a designer fashion store. As you know, dear readers, the daughter's wedding is fast approaching and Jane thinks we better get going if we are going to find just the right outfit to wear, something elegant, colorful, modern, comfortable, and befitting the bride's mother. So, this morning, in response to an advertisement on TV (you see, we keep telling you multi-channel marketing is a must), we logged into a local upscale women's fashion store, to see just what they had to offer. Our hope was that the designer fashions would be marked down -- since they were being offered to a local clientele, not women visiting NYC. And, we contemplated a drive out to the store, if what we found online was worth it.
Our disappointment will be apparent in just a moment. We are going to share our less than happy experience with you -- and caution you to TAKE NOTE: Jane is very much like every other woman. We are busy, we are selective, and we are frugal. But, occasionally, like -- when your daughter is getting married -- we are willing to throw caution to the wind and shell out big bucks for something we would normally just drool over at other times.
The problem is: if YOU cannot make it easy for us, if you insist on trying to be 'creative' -- you will suffer the consequences. Jane DID NOT buy from the store we visited this morning. And, not only did we not buy, we are now going to tell the whole world why. Read on.
The store in question is Suzanne's Fashions, right here in Rochester, NY. Our happiness at discovering a local store which boasts fine fashions, was dampened considerably after a visit to the website. For some reason, it took several attempts at typing in the URL, as it had appeared on the television ad, before we finally were admitted to Suzanne's Fashions. The homepage is okay. It offers a varied selection of designer fashions, modeled by those manniquenlike women you see on the catwalk in NY. We would have like to see some designs that take the average American woman's real sizes into account -- anywhere from a size 10-16 and above. Wearing a size 10 or 12 or above does not mean we have shrugged off fashion. It also doesn't mean we only want to wear black. And it usually means we have -- shudder, gasp, the following may offend some sensibilities -- BREASTS!!!
At Suzanne's Fashions, the models have vapid stares, no breasts, and present the clothing in true Paris Hilton format: as if the viewer will fall in love with what she is seeing, just because, well...because it's presented on a stick-figure with Wuthering Heights eyes and a slash for a mouth.
Forgive us. We don't mean to sound cruel. We know these girls/women just have a job to do. Our beef is not with them...it's with the designers.
Let us move on. We perservered. We were determined to move along, get into the site and see just what Suzanne had to offer. Unfortunately, Suzanne has nothing to offer. Not to Jane and not to you, dear reader. We are not sure she has anything to offer Paris Hilton. In order to buy from Suzanne, you must click links into the designers' websites. And you must, we guess (we didn't try-- we got frustrated) buy from them -- not from Suzanne. Unless you visit the store. Again, we're guessing since we haven't visited the store. Shopping online is supposed to make a store visit unnecessary -- unless we have a return, or unless we want to actually try on the outfit.
To take this experiment a step further, we clicked into two of the designers' websites. Message to Vera Wang and Joseph Ribkoff: flash is not female-friendly. Waiting for your 'designer' site to download, is not worth our time. Worse yet, after it downloads, you then expect US to click here, click there, watch a show, pick the dress or outfit we're interested in and hop through hoops to get a larger view of it -- which, when accomplished, provides a view a scant 10% larger, maybe. SO last century! SO useless! SO not worth our time, and...we are certain, not worth the time of those women on your mailing list who actually shop in your store. Jane recommends you take down this foolish flash website and just post a web page with some interesting pics and a link to your contact information-- after all, neither of you has e-commerce!!!
Jane is signing off now. Jane is shopping at reliable stores, with fashions that are EVERY BIT AS GOOD as anything seen at Vera Wang or Joseph Ribkoff. Jane wonders, dear reader, if you've had similar experiences. Do write and tell us... and don't forget to visit the Carnival of the Capitalists, today. Good stuff. Useful stuff. Neat stuff.
What's not to like about that!