It’s taken me a few days to recover for me to even begin telling this story. So give me a moment to pause, dab my cheeks with my new turquoise leopard print scarf, adjust my 4-sizes too small mini skirt over my laby parts (#intentionaltypo), take some deep breaths… and most importantly… remember….
(I’m on a boat with Bill Paxton as we speak.)
For weeks, I had been hearing a lot of hype surrounding the Versace for H&M line set to hit stores in late November. As someone who doesn’t “buy” into the “hype” (a lie), I didn’t get too worked up over it. After all, even though I’ll gladly go to the outlets at midnight on Black Friday to get Glamour Shots taken, I’m not the type of person to camp out overnight for a pair of pants, especially pants that resemble a Timothy Leary fever dream. Unless Tony Shalhoub was signing Monk DVDs at Borders, camping out in front of a store for days was just not in the Wings themed cards (where Tim Daly is truly King). I thus told myself that I would obviously hate everything Versace for H&M was selling and to just forget about it.
Then my friend, fashion blogger and general “lady about town” Fiona Byrne, called me to find out if I wanted to go to an invitation-only Versace for H&M press sale the night before it became available to the public. It was then my love for this collection went from the dried up, single-petaled rose at the end of Beauty and the Beast to the full, lively rose at the actual end of Beauty and the Beast after the Beast turns super hot and kisses Belle and then they look down and realize they’re both dressed like Italian idiot super sluts from the jungle. #Versace
I WAS IN. I WANTED IT ALL. I rang up Chase and told them to combine all my savings into one super account called “A LITTLE OVER A HUNDRED DOLLARS” so that I would have nothing stopping me from achieving all of my consumer goals at this special sale.
The party was held at New York’s flagship H&M on 51st street and 5th Avenue, and as my cab approached, I spotted a line about 500 fashion sluts deep waiting to get in. Well, I hope they like a skirt, tights and flats, because that was exactly the ensemble I put together, a look I call “Century 21 Shopper on a Sunday.” I found my friend Waylon towards the front of the line, pulled a Curb Your Enthusiasm “Chat N Cut” — breaking the movie theater seatbelt barriers in the process — and cowered like a little b*tch for the next 20 minutes until the line started to move. Because in this situation I hate people like me. The woman in front of me, a short, stocky, older lady with a dirty hat on (as in filthy dirty with actual dirt, not like this), gave her name to the “fashion bouncers” with the clipboards, and was told to leave. Ortho tights, I thought, don’t fails me now.
DO I MAKE IT IN? DON’T I? FIND OUT AHEAD.
To my great relief, getting in wasn’t an issue. What was an issue was that God did not give me 6 arms to immediately stuff heaps of merchandise into. I had a rough game plan. Since I knew most of the clothing was not really my taste due to the confines of my trademarked Lewinsky Ass©, I instead bee-lined for the duvet and pillowcases, which would look great draped on my bed or stitched down into two generous mumus. The duvet is DELICIOUS: Black velvet with a sort of Happy Ending massage parlor theme that anyone who knows me knows is me.
I also began grabbing random boxes of accessories and shoving them into my shopping bag like a rabid contestant on Supermarket Sweet dragging an inflatable bonus past the finish line before the buzzer is up.
David Ruprecht would have shed a tear in heaven. #DavidRIPrecht (He’s still alive.) Little did I realize as I hoarded these accessories that they were mostly hideous and too heavy to wear. I put one of the earrings in my ear after I got home. This is what it looked like:
It’s a doorknob is what I’m saying.
In the meantime, the other women at the sale were actual animals at the zoo. I saw 5 foot tall size zeroes carrying two dozen dresses on each arm, men with possible drag acts on the side lunging for a fabulous leopard print sequined shift number, and wow, the little woman with the dirty hat? She was now inside, carrying about, oh, 22 purses on her arms that I’m totally sure were not going to all be sold on Ebay for twice the price.
I, on the other hand, was not thinking in what scientists at MIT have labeled a “smart” way. Instead of grabbing many of the signature silk scarves, which were a true steal at $30 a piece and would make great gifts, I only grabbed two. Two? TWO? Oh no no two?!
Well, I guess that’s how you was raised.
The party itself was kind of amazing, clothes-grabbing aside. Strolling around the Swedish confines of this H&M were waiters holding trays of pomegranate-sage vodka concoctions, and if you thought H&M was “fun” before, vodka makes it “super fun.” (Ikea, I hope you’re reading this… Äppletïnïs & Malm Party? Ja.) There were also hors d’oeuvres trays roaming around the premises, which I passed on, because shrimp cocktail and clothes shopping is just not something I was taught to do.
An hour after arrival, now tipsy and BFFs with half the H&M sales staff (Hi Max! Hi Al!), it was checkout time.
And guys. For me. This is where…
Because of alllllll the things for sale, from cheap and gaudy panther chokers to $400 leather studded trench coats, the ONE thing that could not be beaten in this sale… were… the shopping bags.
OK, I know, I’ve always been a lover of a good shopping bag, one might even say a “hoarder” of sorts, who appreciates a sturdy, classy reusable paper tote as much as the next Boca Raton grandmother. Yes, I will ask for a Duane Reade shopping bag when buying a single Pringle because you know what? I USE THEM. So along with an umbrella fetish I’ve had since childhood, very few things get me as overworked as a well-made quality fancy shopping bag. (*Fassbenders not included.)
And these shopping bags, they were like the mecca of shopping bags. Study as sh*****t, beautifully printed, with a gold foil emboss and a ribbon handle. This was no Big Lots gift bag. This was a full on work of shopping bag art.
And as if that wasn’t enough, my checkout girl Rayna (who was awesome) hooked me up with a pretty sweet garment bag, that with the right tailoring, would make an excellent day dress:
At the end of the party, I looked at my loot. I had spent nearly $500, and wasn’t sure what I had to show for it. Lots of jewelry, some scarves, a t-shirt worthy of Kanye West’s bedtime stories, two other shirts that are insane, and bedding that would make any low rent hooker proud.
But much like an idiot child on Christmas morning, the thing I was weeping happiness tears about?
One final note: On a whim, I swung by the 34th street H&M on Sunday because I am a sick person, and would you believe that someone returned one of the silk scarves? Believe it! I managed to snag another one. And you know… what that means…
And that’s what I learned. Sometimes, the best things in life are free with purchase.