In 1991, my friend told me about a new store called Old Navy. She said they were owned by The Gap, but their stores were like warehouses so they could charge less. At the time, I was making $7.43 an hour, so I was thrilled at the prospect of getting Gap-like clothes on the cheap! Much to my delight, the clothes were cute and hip!
Over the past twenty one (OMG!) years, I have made many trips to my fav Old Navy. I feel like it is the one store that has kept me up with the trends along the way. Don’t worry though; I was wise enough to skip the Super Low Rise Skinny Jeans a couple years back! Once you become a mother, anything low-rise is not enticing unless you are talking about a toddler kiddie pool!
So the other day, as I do every spring, I hopped over to my favorite Old Navy location to gather up the latest fashions that would take me through the spring season. I always get excited to shed my winter layers, in hopes of finding a cute dress or some white capris.
I grabbed about twenty pieces. I know, a little excessive, but when you get to be my age and you have gained a few pounds over the winter, you need options. Getting re-dressed to trek back through the store in your socks, to grab the next size is no longer "cute"...
So I was on an exciting high in thinking about my selections, until I walked into the industrial Old Navy dressing room, I looked around and quickly became “over it!” By “over it”, I mean I am done stepping into their warehousey dressing rooms. ENOUGH! I have been doing this for more than twenty years. So, I decided I will write them a letter.
Dear Old Navy,
While I appreciate the early years of your company trying to cut corners to spare my budget, I am officially calling you out.
Your from-up-above dressing room lighting is making the bags under my eyes look worse! This lighting is harsh, industrial and florescent. I won’t even begin to tell you what it does to my winter-hibernated, skin tone. I speak for the entire female population, when I say that your lighting doesn’t do any good for any of us. Even Jessica Alba doesn’t look good under florescent lighting. Come on! Can ya help a girl out? Or all of us out? This is 2013, there are plenty of mood lighting light bulb options out there. Just make sure you spring for the "make me look like a super, skinny, supermodel ones with skin like Halle Barry. Oh yes, they'll cost a little more but I promise more women will come!
Your styles are “Oh, so cute”, but when I step in the grimy dirt collecting on your cement floors and hang my selections on your plywood walls, they don’t seem cute anymore. They seem cheap.
Then when I try on the clothes and look into your basic, non-elongated mirrors that seem to shorten and widen me, I feel cheap. Please, I need trick mirrors that make me look long and thin!
Do me a favor. Go shopping. Go into Ann Taylor’s or Banana Republic’s dressing rooms. It’s like getting dressed in the queen’s quarters! OK, maybe not that good, but other stores have created dressing rooms with side lighting, three-way elongating mirrors, and fabric walls. When you hang your new treasures on those walls, you feel like your new threads are luxurious and truly special.
So I officially call you out. Take a minute and stop worrying about next fall’s fashions and just please upgrade yourself! If you take some of the money you would normally spend on B-List actors in next season’s jingle-jangle commercials, I am sure you will have enough for new, upgraded dressing rooms.
My girlfriends and I will wait. We promise to come buy our kids’ back-to-school fashions from you once you are finished.
In your last commercial you urged me to “Upgrade my wardrobe.” I will if you will. You go first...
Thank you for your consideration.