Old Navy is my kryptonite. Sigh. It has been this way since I was but a wee thing.
I keep telling myself I’m going to stop, going to be strong.
That from now on, I’m going to do right by myself, fashion, the garment industry, small business, and, I don’t know, the sheep in New Zealand. From now on, I will only buy high quality, classic investment pieces. From now on I will only shop at Goodwill. From now on I will only buy vintage.
But sometimes I need tank tops in every color. And affordable jeans that just freaking fit on the first try.
And once I’m in the door? Well…..have you seen these sweaters?
So then I tell myself I’ll only buy from the clearance rack (I don’t even understand the logic of this one myself, so don’t ask). I’ll only stock up on basic camis. I’ll only grab this synthetic pewter wrapdress with absurd elbow ties because I’m just a girl who can’t say no!!!!
My codependent relationship with Old Navy goes way back. The Old Navy chain was established in 1994, just ahead of when I started to go to mall by myself.
(Going to the mall by yourself is no joke. There is a careful protocol to follow. Here’s what I recommend: first, you go to the Door County Confectionary and buy a bag of double dipped chocolate malt balls. These will sustain you while you wander around for precisely two hours. Then go next door to Claire’s and buy some ridiculous seasonal earrings for $1.99. Make your way around to Bath & Body Works and smell everything. Peek tentatively into Spencer’s, then shake your head with derision and walk away. Save Old Navy for last, so you won’t have to carry your shopping bags the whole time).
My first memory of Old Navy dates to 1996. I found it appalling. I told my friends all about it at lunch the next day:
“We went into this store and you wouldn’t believe it. It was like a WAREHOUSE. And the shoes weren’t in boxes, they were just on little PLASTIC HANGERS.”
Apparently I was a much bigger snob at age 11 than I am now. I guess I got used to it.
The truth is that Old Navy clothes fit my body well. And they suit my taste. And I can afford them. A triple threat.
In 1997 when I desperately needed wide leg jeans, Old Navy was there.
In 2004 when I returned from studying abroad and my luggage was lost and I discovered (to my shock!) that I had gained 10 pounds and literally had no pants to wear, Old Navy was there.
In 2010 Old Navy supplied my first (and to date only) pair of jeggings.
In 2014 when I realized that all my oh-so-virtuous making-do-with-what-I-had and Goodwill shopping left me with about 6 pairs of jeans, not a single pair of which actually fit, Old Navy was there.
Sometimes I receive compliments on clothing from elegant indie librarian/academic people, and I whisper. “Thank you….it’s Old Navy….” and stare at the floor.
So, here we are. What did I get this time?
And of course they gave me some kind of fake money so I’ll get $30 off if I spend another $75 in the next month. Here we go again…