Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Two Men Collared in Mall

Dress Shirts
Dress Shirts (Photo credit: Robert Sheie)
There are traces of my DNA and shoe prints at WestEnd City Center, Corvin Plaza, Allee, Mammut I and Mammut II. Last week I went to these malls doing the great hunt. Within each mall I walked slowly scouring every inch of the retail space visually ravishing one store at a time stalking any sign of dress shirts and ties. These are the last pieces needed for our special April day.

It was easy to immediately eliminate any store with that youthful sounding name, knowing they would not carry a dress shirt any sooner than they would have suspenders. Stores like Pull and Bear make you wonder what they could possibly stock, but certainly not dress shirts and ties.

When I did strike gold, most of the time it was only fool’s gold. It muddles my mind that the majority of dress shirts stores, who do in fact grace their shelves with them at all, only have plain white or shades of blue. Is this a retro thing or did we pass through a time warp back to the 50s?

After an exhaustive search, I found a shirt and tie for Ron. Not really knowing his size, I didn’t buy the shirt. It seemed only right that he have the option to view it before being forced into wearing it.

On Saturday, we went to a few men’s specialty shops including where I bought my suit. We knew already it was worthless to go to the store where Ron bought his. I had ravaged their shirt and tie offerings already and left dismally depressed. We retraced some of my steps at one mall and then on to a sixth mall: Aréna Plaza. This is the newest and largest mall, but quite honestly, when you really pay close attention to the retail space, it is not as large as it appears. It is only two floors. There is a vast amount of wasted space in the center of the upper floor. The lower floor has a good sized food court, which is not shopping area.

After bringing Ron to the chain store similar to the one where I had seen the shirt and tie, but in another mall, he tried on the shirt. He loved it. The collar rounds rather than points and the tie is just flashy enough to appeal to him. One less headache, but I still did not find a thing that floated my boat. Our friend Andi suggested I buy online and have it sent to her husband who was coming to visit, but that seemed extra risky. Colors online are never true.

Finally, we ventured into Peek & Cloppenburg, a store created by two Dutchmen in Hamburg, Germany. Go figure! They have one of the largest selections of men’s clothing in the area, outshining a number of the men’s specialty stores. Surprise, surprise! I found two different shirts that I liked.

Stores here have an interesting way to handle trying on shirts. Most dress shirts are properly folded, pinned, and bagged, so they don’t want wayward consumers to dishevel the merchandise. What they cleverly do is have one sample of the different styles in different sizes to be tried on. I am not certain, but the one shirt which had a well-known designer label had wayward shoulder seams. One side fit perfectly, while the other shoulder drooped like a hound dog’s eyes hanging partially down my arm. I bought the Calvin Klein, but I am still without a tie. The hunt continues.

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