It’s rare I venture into a store clearly marketed to people half my age, but something compelled me to go into Express the other day. Perhaps it was the fun, funky fashions in the window or maybe I thought they’d have some cool, cheap accessories, but I certainly didn’t expect much out of the store. While I’m not overweight at all, I always feel like a fatty whenever I’ve tried on their clothes. I know I have to go up a size and even then many of the styles don’t fit correctly. At one time I was a fan of their Editor pant and bought several pair but now, I have no idea if they even carry that pant anymore. Still, curiosity got the best of me and I went inside.
I was looking for something inexpensive and fun to wear under my vintage tuxedo jacket for an outing this weekend. I thought I’d find something sparkly that wouldn’t break the bank and I did find a very nice ivory cowl-neck sweater that had some great possibilities. I’d been in the store for about 10 minutes and hadn’t had a single person talk to me or even look my way, but I really didn’t mind. I figured I could shop just fine on my own. I carried the top to the dressing room and that’s where things started to get annoying. I can forgive the lack of service and even the fact I was being ignored, but the girl working the fitting room was just too annoying for words. First, she needed to know my name. Let me get this straight, I walk around the store clearly looking for something and you ignore me but once I have something in my hand and need some service you need to know who I am. It was all I could do to tell her my real name. Then she asked if I had an Express Card. Not wanting to hear the whole spiel on savings and rewards, I politely told her that I didn’t but I wasn’t interested. I thought that was the end of it. She was pleasant and so was I but I wasn’t in a chatty mood and she didn’t seem interested in helping me so that was fine.
Then she crossed the line. I was pulling the top over my head when I heard a slap over the top of the dressing room door. She’d thrown a pair of jeans over it announcing that I should try on their (insert style name here) jeans. Wtf? I didn’t come in here for jeans and how the hell do you know what I want or even my size? I again politely told her that I wasn’t shopping for jeans, but thanks anyway. She chirped that she just wanted me to try them. I glanced at the jeans which were a size 6 and laughed. There was no way my gut was going to squeeze into an Express size 6 jeans. Not to mention the fact I have dozens of pairs of jeans and I’d never mentioned looking for them in the first place.
I understand retail. I worked it throughout college and I work it now but I don’t understand this need to constantly push crap down my throat. I don’t want your special in-house card. I don’t need your 20% savings or rewards points (except maybe at Banana Republic!) and, if you don’t take the time to ask me what I’m shopping for, I don’t need you assuming I want to try on your jeans just because you have a quota or contest to win.
Clearly I’m too old to shop at Express. Or maybe it’s not that I’m too old, but too sophisticated. Yeah, that’s it!