There are lots of nice things about not living in a large city. Relaxed pace. Less traffic. Lower cost of living. Friendly neighbors. But...I do miss the shopping. I used to live in Washington DC, just a short Metro or car ride away from pretty much any shopping opportunity that my heart desired. Now, the closest big city is over an hour's drive away, and it takes 45 minutes just to get from the interstate exit to the mall - a distance of about 1 mile. As a result, I do a lot of my shopping online (especially my personal retail crack, J.Crew). Online shopping is unsurpassed in terms of variety, but there is a much greater margin of error when it comes to the fit, color, and quality of what you see and what you get. There is only so much you can know about a garment from a little picture on your computer screen. Mistakes tend to happen. Free shipping and discount promotions are your friend. My most recent strange online experience involved this lovely blouse:
J.Crew Talitha Blouse in Vintage Berry, $110.00
The online description says:
"A clean silhouette rendered endlessly feminine in silk. Dress it up or down with equally effortless charm. We couldn't help but hide a contrast interior trim for a secret bit of wit—tucked into trousers or pencil skirts, it's our go-to blouse for polish on top."
I agree with J.Crew's description. It's not always easy to find pretty, colorful blouses to wear to work, especially those without buttons in the front which can pull and gape over my chest. And silk blouses feel divine and drape so beautifully. Imagine my surprise when I pulled my new blouse out of the box, and the tag read: "100% Rayon."
Oh, HELL NAW.
There is nothing wrong with rayon per se, but if I'm going to shell out $110 for a top it's going to be because hundreds of little silk worms died to make it. I'm willing to pay cash for their sacrifice. This blouse didn't feel like silk, either...it was sort of stiff and crispy. I was ready to call J.Crew and read them the riot act for selling me a sow's ear masquerading as a silk purse, to unleash my Appalachia and say, "Don't piss on my leg and tell me it's raining." But I decided not to act like trash and keep my cool. I'm glad that I did, because the customer service representative was very sweet and apologetic, and was baffled as to why I would have received a rayon blouse, or a silk blouse with rayon tags, or whatever the heck it was. She immediately credited my account for the blouse and shipping fees, and then offered to send me a replacement that would be hand-checked for quality at the warehouse before it was sent to me. Now that's the J.Crew I know and love.
I'll probably never know exactly what happened with the mysterious Rayon Talitha blouse, but J.Crew corrected their mistake with minimal stress on my part and I'm satisfied with that for now. I'll be glad to get my new top in the mail so that I can wear it and enjoy the gorgeous feeling of silk on my skin.