I enjoy shopping; like any woman. And not to brag, I am an awesome sale shopper. It’s my sixth sense; I know when, how, where sales are going to happen. I rarely buy at full price unless in desperate need (the one beautiful Burberry English Military jacket) but otherwise my prices are modest. Yes, you laugh. I refuse to spend more than $150 on a pair of shoes (and that price was awarded to a pair of Prada’s from Jeremy’s store in San Francisco).
I will not buy shoes in Sweden over 1000:- and to date, have bought one pair of shoes in Sweden since 2008. So I wonder then do Swedish women like shoe shopping? Or is it a Swedish trait that shoe selection and shopping is a no go in Sweden.
And that’s the problem. In Sweden, shopping sucks. People can bitch all they want about shopping in the United States, but it rocks. Shopping in America f***ing rocks. From Nordstrom to Macys and from North Face to REI. If you want something, you will find it. There is nothing in America you cannot find. Honest. Some Swedes complain that Americans look like a bunch of fat hicks but have you walked down Madison Avenue or South Beach or Rodeo Drive?
There is couture. Tods. Tiffany. Cartier. House of Dior. Versace. The megalithic Louis Vuitton. Christian Louboutin. Gucci. Burberry.
There is department store couture. F*** Nordiska Kompaniet. In America you can choose between Nordstrom (btw, the founder was Swedish), Neiman Marcus, Bergdoff Goodman, Bloomingdales, Saks Fifth Avenue.
There is everyday wear for the fashionable. Macys. Banana Republic (Gap itself is terrible). BCBG Girls. Club Monaco. Armani Exchange. Emporio Armani. Guess. Betsy Johnson. bebe.
There is prep. Lacoste. Abercrombic and Fitch. American Eagle.
You cannot be bored. And all these brands have their own fashion houses. Not some 50 sq meters of retail space stuffed inside NK or Åhleans, they have their own 300sq meter store. With sales associates. With customer service.
But customer service when clothes shopping is another story. If I want to spend to spend 10,000:- on a coat then I better get service; what the hell purpose is the salesperson there for me otherwise? Hire a monkey to process my credit card and wrap the coat.
Back to my real story. I am getting married, again, in a religious ceremony in India. Besides the drama and planning nightmares (more to come), I need a new pair of shoes. Part of the bride’s gift from her family is a dress, set of bangles, and new shoes. And hey, new shoes? It’s the man’s wet dream come true for a woman.
It never turned out to be my wet dream. Shoe shopping was my proctologist’s dream. I started searching late summer when summer shoes (skimpy sandals and heels) went on sale. It was pointless. Literally pointless. The shoes were all flats. They were neither pointy at the front nor had a pointy heel. Then, crunch time came again in December when I needed to make a decision.
December in Sweden is a permanent funeral in the fashion department. Whoever believes Swedes are fashionable tripped out too much to distinguish the difference between reality and colorful rainbowed unicorns.
Black. Boots. Black. Grey. Black. That was the selection. In the upsale section of eveningwear at NK, shoes were dull, low heeled, fat at the front. Funerary colors of grey, black, and light black. Obscene puked up sequins covered some shoes. Cheap silk and 20 cents gems covered another 3000:- pair.
I was depressed. I already endured suffering like many jobless housewives in Sweden. I couldn’t endure this. Money was not even an issue (I save a lot because I tend to be cheap). But there was no selection for shoe shopping in Sweden.
And so today, I fly to India without shoes.