Okay. I admit it. I’m done with puberty. My growth spurt is probably over. I think my voice has finished changing. So at the possibly-old-but-still-immature age of 35, I went out with a friend for the sole purpose of buying some more adult clothes.* Blue jeans and black t-shirts will only get you so far in life.

The friend was a necessity. I have the fashion sense of… well… a 35 year old redneck. I shop better with other people to slow me down too. Too often I just skim without ever stopping. Having someone question my assumptions worked out pretty well too. (Large? Extra Large?) And the things I didn’t even know you could do in some of these stores. (I’d never heard of putting stuff on hold while you shop).

I’m pretty sure I ended up buying something in every store I’ve ever reviled or made fun of. Benetton, Banana Republic, American Eagle, Nordstroms etc. Certainly shopped in all the rest too… Abercrombie and Fitch, and company.

Some observations:

Banana Republic — mostly — has their shit down. Beautiful clothes, but I’ve always known that, even if I didn’t shop there. Refined but relaxed presentation. And the bag… the thing.. the piece of art they handed me at the register. The shirt I bought was folded exactly so, placed in the perfectly sized bag, in a way that the whole thing looked better than the clothes even looked on me.

Benetton was pretty impressive too. I think they took the award for their staff. People honestly being knowledgeable and helpful without feeling like their main objective was to collect a paycheck.

It does appear though, that straight men do not work at Malls. At least not in the clothing stores. Maybe at the cigar shop? Or maybe they just can’t bring themselves to work in a building called the “Fashion Center”?

Nothing will make you realize how scruffy you look, like going shopping for new clothes. Two days unshaven. Baggy jeans. Worn t-shirt. Yeahhhhh…

*Okay… so I also got to watch the previously mentioned friend looking hawt, while she shopped. But that wasn’t a purpose… just a benefit. And she really made the whole thing ridiculously fun, anyway.