I haven't been in the Eddie Bauer store on Michigan Avenue in about six years. The last time was when I bought my brother-in-law a puffy vest there for Christmas. (He's totally the Eddie Bauer type, and was, believe it or not, a forestries and wildlife major in college. I never even knew such a thing existed until I met him. My mom keeps hoping he will be a ranger in one of the big national parks out west.) The only reason I entered Eddie Bauer was because I have been on this quest for the perfect pair of chocolate brown dress pants, and out of complete desperation decided to go in and see what was what. You would not think it would be so difficult to find chocolate brown dress pants. It's a pretty neutral color, right? Well, no one has them in the stores! They have gray and black and light brown and khaki. But no dark brown.
Well, let me introduce you to the Holy Grail, courtesy of Eddie Bauer:
It's the Blakely cut, which is for curvy (PEAR!) types like myself. These pants fit me so perfectly! No waist gap! Perfect color! Good fabric! Total happiness! The Blakely StayShape in Dark Sable.
I also stumbled across this sweater, which I had to buy:
So, Eddie Bauer, I'm sorry I ever thought you were a big nerdy outdoorsy store. I shall return. If I hadn't just bought the perfect pair of black pants at The Gap, I would've bought those pants in two colors.
I also went to Ann Taylor, since I figured they would at least have brown dress pants. No dice. But...
The story goes like this. A couple of years ago I bought a blouse and skirt from Benetton that I love. The skirt no longer fits me (too big). So, I've been kind of half-assedly looking for a replacement, because I really like the look of that skirt with the blouse. The above is that skirt, but it's now from Ann Taylor. Same color and fabric. (It's wool and soft. I know it looks boring, but it really is cute.) Very happy!
And then I got sucked into this one. It was way too expensive for how often I'll wear it ($128 but 30% off), but it is so cute in person. It's very swingy and fun, and I figured it would be good for clubs or date nights going forward -- a little lacy, swingy, and leopardy -- just my style! (Teeny, tiny...why Ann Taylor's website is not consistent I don't know. Click here to see it.)
And finally, I'm Banana Republic's whore. Honestly, over half my closet is their stuff. Since I opened a credit card with them, I've been inundated with 30% off, 40% off, $10 off, etc. and I have taken full advantage. Also, the rewards dollars have accrued. But, I really, really like their stuff. Like, if you told me I could only shop at Banana Republic for the rest of my life, I wouldn't even be sad. If you need a solid work wardrobe, there is no better place to go, particularly since they have really fast turnover. Do not pay full price for anything at Banana Republic unless you absolutely can't live without it. (If you wait for the sale, you obviously risk them not having it in your size.) Most things you can live without, and most things you will find in your size on sale, if you go regularly -- like every week. (Also, they are classic enough that a lot of their designs repeat in different versions.) I'm lucky enough to have a Banana Republic really close to my house, so I go there every weekend to scope out the inventory and see what has been moved to the reduced racks. I can usually get cute tops for $20-30 that were originally marked $50+. The trick is to not wait too long. If you start going regularly enough, you get familiar with the timing.
Anyway....I've become a little obsessed with this mustard yellow color that I've been seeing everywhere this season. At first I hated it, but then I saw it paired with gray, and I kind of liked it. Then I decided that I had to have a shirt in that color. So, I got one today, which of course I can't find online, for $20. This is the more expensive version, which is the one I really wanted to buy, which I could not find in any of the three Banana Republics in Chicago that I have been inside in the last two days:
And thus ends our shopping excursion for the day.