L-A: Dudes, I am in the lousiest of moods lately. I didn’t get a job I wanted and I’m still waitlisted for a program. I’m trying to be onwards and upwards and susie sunshine about it all, because you know, white girl problems are not that bad. When life gives you lemons, you make platitude pie or something like that. On the other hand, what do you do when life offers you $100 to spend in Downtown Halifax?
You say, “oui! sign me up!”
It took awhile to get my big day downtown organized because Ally and I had hoped that the stars would align and Mercury would be in retrograde (aka. our schedules line up and Ally can make it in from the suburbs), but such was not the case. So one of my favourite shopping buddies – J.Lau – came along for a Saturday of shopping. My original plan was to hit as many stores and get as many sales as possible. Then I thought of two things:
1. How much more stuff do I really need? (I am in serious need of a closet purge).
2. I am always harping on and on about buying some quality pieces and I am in need of a good pair of jeans.
I’m not just talking about any pair of denim. I’m talking about a pair that look really frigging fantastic when you wear them. I want “premium denim” gee-dee-it. So, we visited a few places: Biscuit, Renaissance and Foreign Affair in search of such a thing.
Actually, I didn’t try on any denim in Biscuit. I was blindsided by cute dresses. There were so many of them! I mean, really, seriously cute dresses. But here’s the thing: I buy dresses and then rarely wear them. I am weird like that. I think it’s lingering subliminal self-consciousness about my knees. I was told by a classmate in grade nine that I have funny knees. I don’t even know what that means. Does anyone have nice knees? (other than bees?)
So we left Biscuit sans denim and sans cute dresses, and headed down to Barrington to check out Renaissance.
While I was completely tempted to buy myself some Chuck Taylors, I tried to focus on my denim mission. They’ve got jeans, but jeans are a finnicky thing. You can try on a million pairs before you find the right ones. Which meant leaving Renaissance empty handed.
Next stop: Foreign Affair. I was hoping that I’d find something in my size on their sales racks. Because who doesn’t want to find premium denim at 70% off? (answer: no one!) I did find some great deals, but alas! My legs and those jeans weren’t playing well together. Don’t worry, I’m not still walking around with a Visa in my pocket.
With a full wall of denim, it shouldn’t be surprising that I found jeans that fit, but let’s face it: finding jeans that fit can be a bitch. Manufacturers of denim seem to think we can all fit into skinny jeans and straight legs. Some women can and that’s awesome. I am not not one of those women. It shouldn’t be asking too much to find jeans that fit over my hips, but more often than not it is. As I complained that I couldn’t fit into jeans because of my hips, the fantastic sales associates knew just what I needed and they totally hooked me up with jeans that fit my curvier self.
Remember how I said the staff was fantastic? Well, that’s sales associate Lindsay pinning the legs of my jeans. Why is she doing that? Because Foreign Affair hemmed my jeans for free and they were ready for pick up by mid-week (I bought them on Saturday). Which was nice, because I’m the sort of person who would put off going to the tailor. Complete laziness, I know, but when I buy jeans I just want to wear them. I have ruined the bottoms of many a pair of jeans by walking on them. I’m taking a gamble on this hem: I can only wear these jeans with heels. We’ll see how long that lasts before I give in, wear flats and walk on the hem.
The jeans pretty much ate up most of my $100. Actually, you could say they ate up all of my money. But when they gave me the visa, they didn’t say anything about having to keep it under $100. Downtown Halifax gave me $100 and the only rules were: spend it downtown and write about it. Check and check.
I rationalized it this way (I am very good at rationalizing spending): I used $72.50 out of the $100 to pay for the jeans. That left me with $27.50 to spend on other things and I used my own bank account to cover the remainder of the cost of the jeans. Because they were totally worth using my own money. Seriously. The jeans are CJ by Cookie Johnson – a brand I had never heard of before last Saturday. After describing why the other jeans I tried on didn’t fit, they whipped out the Grace bootcut style and BAM! Jeans that fit! Jeans that look good! Jeans that are actually comfortable the first time you wear them! Jeans that cause me to overuse exclamation marks! In fact, J.Lau thought they might be the best pair of jeans I’ve ever owned (and she’s a very honest shopping buddy. She’s also seen all of my jeans). A quick note about the brand: they are designed by Cookie Johnson, wife of Magic Johnson and her jeans are Oprah’s favourite. While Oprah’s opinion has never factored into any of my purchases, I am in agreement with her on these jeans. They were worth every penny.
While I was in the change room, J.Lau spotted boots that she is in love with:
J was smitten with the pink rainboots. And I was told that those of us with heftier calves can expect a larger calf version of Hunter boots to arrive at Foreign Affair this fall (a good thing, since my rainboots are now busted and don’t keep the water out).
Since I had $27.50 leftover, I decided to browse the jewellery that was marked down (70% off!). I hit the nautical jackpot there:
The necklace is equal parts ridiculous and awesome. I promise that I will refrain from wearing it with the nautical stripes. I also found a pair of earrings that match. Since J. Lau is such a good shopping buddy, I got her a pair too:
It really wasn’t all that generous of me, since I was able to buy J.Lau’s earrings with a toonie:
At the end of the day, this is what my haul looked like:
This challenge (spend money downtown) might have been our easiest yet. Finding fabulous fitting denim and something nautical made for a great day downtown. Even if you don’t have the magic DHBC visa (although, they are going to be giving cards away to lucky non-bloggers – you just have to be a fan on facebook or follow Downtown Halifax on twitter for details), you can still drink, eat and shop your way through Halifax’s downtown.