Thursday, February 08, 2007

Jacob's ladder of savings

Last weekend, in a collision of cabin fever and materialism, we ended up at the CambridgeSide Galleria. I'm not a mall-rat, I swear, but the day was freezing and windy and I was seeking comfort in a new pair of pants.

On the second level is a store called Jacob. I've passed it many times before but always felt unworthy: it's one of those sleek open-plan places, all birchwood floor and white walls, with just a handful of steel racks of tight black clothes breaking up the cool minimalism.

Wait a minute. Tight black clothes? Um, that's my wardrobe! Except that my wardrobe isn't advertising 50% off!

So in we go, The Boy and I, and our jaws drop. Is this sweater really only $20? And this tailored black shirt? And these skinny-leg pants??

Fevered selection ensued, The Boy gallantly acting as pack-horse as I pulled hangers from racks and handed them to him. And then into the (rather cramped) changing room to start pulling things on and off and starting critically at my butt in the mirror.

The final result consisted of just three items: a soft, thin, stretchy turtleneck sweater; a fitted cotton shirt; and the aforementioned pants. All black, naturellement. Total cost: $50.

But as always, I had a moment of Verkaufenbedauern. A pleated mini-skirt, tennis-skirt style, in soft grey wool. Lined, even. Sadly, the smallest size they had was a 5-6 and that was too large (no, mom, I'm not anorexic; it's just that sizes here vary wildly from one label to the next. I tried on a pair of size 6 pants a couple weeks ago that made me look like the "after" photo in an ad for weight-loss).

So I figured, okay, no problem. I can scope out another branch of the store and see if they have anything smaller. And then I checked the website (which, by the way, does not show up in Google because it's all frickin' Flash) and discovered that Jacob, like Tristan and Club Monaco, is a Canadian company. And they have exactly one outpost in the US. In Cambridge.

So either I look for something else, or it's time for another Montreal trip. Okay, scratch that idea. It's even colder up there, and I don't need another skirt that badly.



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