I should not be left to my own devices while shopping in other countries. I get it into my head that I should buy something avant-garde and unique and so European that when I get it home to the states I will be hailed as some sort of fashion goddess.
“Where on earth did you get that?” I imagine someone will ask of the parka/rollerblade ensemble I am rocking.
“Oh, you know,” I will reply casually, “I picked it up in Europe.” And then they will all die of jealousy right before my eyes.
This of course, is never the case. Fashion rarely, if ever, translates across international lines. The instant I cross the border into the states, whatever treasure lurking in my suitcase will transform from “totally hip and envy-inspiring” to “exclusively appropriate for Halloween”. And it will usually inspire a conversation more along these lines:
“Where did you get that thing?”
“Take it off. It looks like you were dressed by a five-year-old who hates you.”
And I will sadly toss my miniskirt oven-mitt on the give-away pile. Later, some poor soul at the Goodwill will look at it quizzically and perhaps even try it on, after which they will weep inconsolably for days and not know why.
This was precisely what happened when I went shopping in Barcelona a few months back. Based on my later purchases, I had evidently been looking for an outfit with the following attributes:
- A crotch hovering somewhere around my shins.
- Pockets conveniently located on the backs of my knees.
- A fold-over waistband, which creates just the slightest impression that I may or may not be with child.
- All for the low, low price of about 5 Euros ($40 U.S.)!
It seemed like an impossible task. I would never find an article of clothing misguided and ill-wrought enough to meet my needs. I had all but given up, and decided to spend my money on tasteful pair of silver earrings, when I saw them:
Burgundy harem yoga bottoms. Yeah.
Seriously, it looks like I’m smuggling a toddler in my pants. WTF, Everywhereist?