Monday, March 5, 2007

My First Big Contest Win

Remember my contesting hobby (see my prior blog entitled "contests")? I won my first prize: an all-expenses-paid trip for me and a guest to Santa Monica, CA - including airfare for two, accommodations, most meals, transportation, a $1,000 shopping spree with a wardrobe consultant, a haircut/style, a makeover, and 2 tickets to a dinner and debut fashion show. The contest was sponsored by FIDM. My entry consisted of four short essays and a photo of myself.

We just took the trip this past weekend and returned last night (hence, my neglected blog...). As with most things in life, I made it a learning experience and came away with a lot of great insights about myself and about the fashion industry.

Today's log will be about the shopping spree portion of the trip:

1) Shopping with a consultant is the best way to shop - especially if you don't particularly like to shop. If I were rich and I had my druthers, I would go shopping once a quarter with a fashion consultant because it's fast, efficient, and fun. Essentially, I just stood in the dressing room and tried on clothes that were brought to me from throughout the store. Vicki brought me styles that she thought would look good on me - I tried them on and handed them back if they were in the wrong size, didn't fit right, wrong color, etc. Plus, she gave me feedback about various styles. All in all, we bought: 2 skirts, 2 pants, 3 shirts, 2 jackets, a camisole, 2 pairs of shoes, and 2 hand bags. We spent most of our time and money at Zara, but also made purchases at Nordstrom, Bloomingdales, and Loehmanns. We stopped in at BCBG, Mango, and Max Studio as well. If we had more time, Vicki was also going to bring me to H & M, Anthropologie, Club Monaco, and Banana Republic. [NOTE: Out of the 11 stores named above, only 5 are in AZ and only 2 are in southern AZ.]

2) Women's clothes are overpriced and under quality. I can understand a pair of pants being $50 or even $100, but not $200, $300, $500+. That's just plain ridiculous.

3) If you buy at high end stores, expect to take your clothes to a seamstress afterward. All the pants and jackets were too long and the jackets needed to be brought in. Such is life in Beverly Hills.

4) I would absolutely love to win a shopping spree for casual/athletic clothes. Yes, it was fun to buy shiny heels, swirly skirts, and leather handbags - but it wasn't particularly practical for a young mother. I would have much rather purchased fashionable jeans, sweaters, shorts, t-shirts, tennies, etc. Especially since Tucson is on the casual side and especially since I won't be in a fulltime work setting for some time now.

All in all, shopping on Saturday was my favorite part of the experience. This came as a surprise to me since shopping is generally not something that I enjoy.

I would have liked to have a bit more buying power (Ex. I wanted to buy all pants since I wear pants way more often than skirts due to constantly bending over to pick up baby, but the wardrobe consultant insisted that I buy skirts), but I can't complain. I received some very nice pieces that I can mix and match with clothes in my closet.

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