Thursday, November 10, 2011

Korean shopping experience from Hell.

This is from a recent shopping trip in my city, Andong. Fitting rooms can be rather uncommon in Korea, but look! I found one! Unfortunately, I could see the entire store and they could see the entire me.
Okay, so the title is misleading. It's just what popped into my head first. So it stays.

I have a surprising number
of students who wear Playboy
bunnies to school. They have
absolutely. no. idea.
I actually had a lot of fun shopping in Seoul this weekend. I got a bunch of great, quality things but spent way too much. And lets just say that if you're of a "normal" size (we're talking, not a stick figure), stay in Myeongdong, where, when you discover that you will NEVER fit into the pants and dresses and skirts and shoes sold at all those cute little boutiques, H&M, Zara, and Forever 21 will be but a few steps away.

I started out in Hongdae, home of Hongik University, which is swarming with fashionably-dressed Korean students/string beans, who could honestly wear a plastic garbage bag with heels and totally rock it. Mistake. I needed to find an outfit for that night (it was my friend's birthday) and began to realize that I would never find pants. Or shoes.
Ever.

Maybe if you're going to use
English on your sweater...
just make sure you can at least
discern whether it's upside
down or not.
Oversized 80s-inspired sweaters? Check. They were everywhere. And I bought them. Adorable high socks and funky jewels? I got those, too. I even found a removable fur-lined military jacket that fit me like a glove (which, I'm not gonna lie, was quite surprising and exciting all at once). But as the hours ticked away, it got down to crunch time. I needed to be done for the evening so we could go back and start getting ready. But I was still pant-less and the ratty jeans I had worn to shop in would NOT be making an appearance that night. Of that I was sure. So I became desperate. Resorted to one of those oversized sweaters to wear over tights. Not my first choice, but I definitely looked Korean. (The Korean fashion rule of thumb is to cover your top section ALWAYS, but to show off as much leg as possible. That's just how it is.)

Boogie Funy Party.K?
I found shoes in my size at Forever 21 the following day, but never did get to buy any pants. Even though the place was fairly "people-of-all-shapes-and-sizes-friendly," pants over size 25 didn't really exist (which is what? A size 0? 4? Something like that.)

I really started to feel bad for all the non-cookie cutter Koreans who have to deal with this...always.

On another note, this is my friend Ae Kyoung. She owns this adorable shop called Benet in Andong. She started it when she was only 25 (24 years old in Western age) and has had it for six years. Which is saying a lot as most of the little shops in downtown Andong cycle through fairly often. Even Coldstone. Yes, Coldstone. One day it was there and the next it was being ripped apart and turned into another bloody cell phone store. Like we need more of those. Anyway, I plan to support Ae Kyoung by purchasing a piece of jewelry after every payday. After all, she is my inspiration, because this is exactly the store I have always dreamed of opening.

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