Concerning the Help

For her birthday, becca and I went shopping in Chicago. I wore lightweight wide leg black pants, a white silk ruffle front shirt, a teal tweed swing jacket, my signature dark grey beret, and uber comfy purple mary janes. becca opted for comfort over fighting her flouncy skirts in the Windy City and donned almost entirely Simply Vera. Black skinny jeans, green pintucked tee, navy cardigan, and the same purple mary janes. (If they still made them, you bet we'd post about them every week.) We looked nice and non-touristy, but we certainly didn't fit in on the Gold Coast. Still, we wanted to check the seam work and fabric quality of some of the clothing we only ever see on

The young makeup girls in Barneys gave us that up and down disapproving stare of death, which becca greeted with a huge grin. The older sales associates didn't offer to show us anything, but didn't mind that we were there. A middle aged woman running into the stock room with arms piled high with boxes of Prada and Azzedine Alaïa stopped to tell me she liked my jacket. As a whole, I wondered if Barneys trains their new employees differently.

We stopped at ikram because of their beautiful window display. The armor inspired dresses of chiffon were, literally, traffic stopping. Once in the boutique, the sales people followed us at a distance. Their crossed arms and scowls did not give the impression they were waiting to help us. After fifteen minutes of watching us discuss avant garde skirts and determining that our gasps were about the designer name not the prices (because purchasing wasn't even a thought in our heads), they started talking to us. One clerk in particular started showing us the couture ikram and no other store in America carries. We then had a nice discussion about how horribly disappointing and safe celebrity fashion choices are.

Our destination was Jake, the Midwest's only McQ retailer. The staff was laid back and friendly. One guy filled us in on McQ and a young woman told us about the fit. We had a nice talk about haute couture and saving or splurging in designer fashion. I'd certainly go back there if I had my eye on a particular piece from an up and coming designer.

What do you do when store staff mistreats you? How does the service or lack thereof affect your view of the store?

These dresses by 3.1 Phillip Lim
and Christopher Kane were even
prettier in person.


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