It’s been a while since I posted. I don’t like to be so sporadic with my updating, but lately I’ve felt frustrated with aspects of my life that are pointless to worry over because they are mostly out of my control. That is why I decided I just need to start writing. Be conversational.
My friend Hannah is in town this week, and we made plans to do some shopping in Orlando at the Mall at Millenia, which is very similar in scale and client base to International Plaza in Tampa. I had high hopes for Bloomingdale’s, a store we don’t have in Tampa and one that typically carries my favorite upscale sportswear brands (Diesel, Hugo Boss, Theory, Burberry).
Ended up buying a Diesel polo shirt…very light gray…very flowy and soft. An hour later, it was returned. I decided I’d made a mistake not realizing that, being a sweater, my armpits would be almost black the minute I wore the shirt outside.
I did make one other purchase – the Jo Malone I’d been eying. I bought Amber & Lavender, which I’ve had as a sample once before and absolutely loved. The salesman, Brian, called it ‘sex in a bottle.’ Not sure if I completely agree with that. Maybe ‘good taste and relaxation’ in a bottle.
With that, and Hannah not finding much, we headed back to Tampa, where we decided to do a little hometown shopping. I returned a shirt to Saks (a seafoam polo from Scotch & Soda that was an ‘8 out of 10,’ but not my color), a $50 credit to my balance.
After an hour at International Plaza, where I perused the Diesel store carefully (it’s been a favorite of mine lately), I ended up with a beautiful pair of their Italian-made Viker jeans…in 28/30! I usually wear a 30/30. I guess it was my lucky day. They are a deep blue wash, stiffer than most (which I like). My favorite details: the thick black leather patch on the back (where most jeans have a brand identifier), the button-fly, and the simple, un-embellished look in general. I rarely spend money on jeans…but decided it was appropriate since I also rarely find jeans I really like. $170 lighter, my dears! It was painful. But not for too long.
So, my day was an odd success. Two things returned, two things bought. And, as I’m trying to do more often, they are things I plan to use and wear for a long time, rather than impulse purchases that fade quickly. That kind of shopping can be done on $12 tee shirts at Urban Outfitters! (I say, don’t be afraid to return. It’s important to be happy with what you have and to spend your money wisely)
And a sidebar about Orlando and the Mall at Millenia in general: I really belong in a colder, more upscale, less resort-y city. Orlando is full of minivans (hate ’em), children (not ready to have ’em), parking lots (they’re like mirrors to the sun!), interchanges and wide roadways (take too long to drive across), and tourists from all over the world, acting extra trashy, as if that is the expected in Orlando. The only people in Louis Vuitton were all in a British family. They monopolized the time and attention of the salespersons…making the experience for everyone else a lackluster one. On the flipside, the salespersons at other stores were helpful and friendly. I was close to spending $250 on a Salvatore Ferragamo belt that was a beautiful blue suede, egged on by the South American saleswoman. Almost, but not quite.
Generally, I don’t think I’ll be making the effort to go to Orlando again any time soon. Tampa is refreshingly compact in comparison to Orlando, and Tampa has a Nordstrom, Neiman Marcus, Macy’s, and Saks Fifth Avenue all within 5 minutes drive of each other (if not under the same roof). Miami, of course, is a different story. Browsing the Barney’s Co-Op, Club Monaco, Tod’s, and Bottega Veneta stores is a real treat, when one is in the Miami area. The next time I’m down there I plan on finding the Tomas Maier store…I’ve heard it’s unique.