on babies and bebes

This means "vagina" in my native language

I always think it’s funny whenever someone calls a baby a “bebe,” because in my native language, Chamorro, bebe, (pronounced beh-beh) means vagina. It was particularly funny in high school whenever one of us would have a bebe bag and we’d say, “Ooh, I’m touching your bebe!” or “I’m opening your bebe! Your bebe has gum inside!” And by we, I mean, me. My humor hasn’t really elevated from vagina jokes.

Earlier this week, I turned on the TV and found that we had access to all premium channels offered even though it hadn’t shown up on our bill. I was privy to a late-night showing of “Hotel Erotica,” which is surprisingly not about tourism and hotel management. False Falsie advertising! Also, the Spice Channel is not about cooking. Who knew?

Yesterday, the channels were gone as quickly as they appeared which is sad because I hadn’t finished watching College Coeds 4: X-mester at Sea. Does anyone know how it ends?

Last night, we went to the newly renovated Westfeld Mall. Mike pushed Nathan’s stroller while I ate my frozen yogurt. We were headed toward JC Penney to check out rugs when I noticed a woman speeding toward me, donning a surprised, wide-eyed look on her face. I immediately recognized her as C., my classmate from seventh grade.

I introduced her to Mike and Nathan and there was the requisite oohing over my baby and how big he is and of course, over Nathan, too. We hugged and said goodbye. As she left, I realized how utterly frumpy I had become. And I wasn’t comparing myself to her out of jealousy, only out of the fact that we were the same age and yet, I was dressed like I walked out of a Menopause Fashion Outlet. C. was still as stunning as ever. She was the most beautiful girl in seventh grade and I had to meet her looking like I suffered seventh degree burns.

This Monday I’m taking the day off. It’s our third anniversary and I want to spend some of that time rehabbing my wardrobe. I would like to shop at a place that is not the clearance rack at Target, though, don’t get me wrong, I love me some 75% off Isaac Mizhrahi. Here’s the thing: I don’t know where to go! Isn’t that sad? My sisters were already out of the house during my formative years, so much of my fashion sense was fostered by my mother’s clothing vetoes and Newport News catalogs. My mother also tied my hair into two ponytails ON TOP OF EACH OTHER, so it was more horse’s mane than pigtails.

Where do you shop? What is a relatively affordable brick-and-mortar store to walk into and scream, “HALP!”

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  1. mrs. blogoway says:

    I like the sale rack at Banana Republic. Their clothes have some structure and last forever.

  2. lauralaylin says:

    Ann Taylor Loft. Sign up for their emails, and you’ll always get some sort of coupon or know about a sale.

  3. I’m having the same problem, so I will be checking in on this post repeatedly throughout the day and capitalize on the advice you are getting.

    I do like Lucky Jeans. One awesome pair of $100 jeans trumps four crappy pairs of $25 jeans any day. It’s like an investment.

    I used to like Old Navy, but they are a little too trendy and flimsy now. Maybe I should upgrade to the Gap and BR.

    Thanks for this post, I hope you get lots and lots of replies!

  4. thecandyqueen says:

    personally, I wear sweatpants as much as possible (thinking i should get a job at a gym?). Anyway, yes, I’d try Banana Republic. Sometimes The Gap, but I’d go to the one downtown. Anthropologie for something special and you might find something good on their sale rack (which they always have). Also depends what you’re looking for? Work stuff? Casual stuff? I am not afraid of buying XLs and XXLs at the teen dept of Nordstrom.

  5. thanks for the tips. I’m really interested on what I can wear to work which would inspire me to spruce up my casual clothes, too. I need all the help I can get.

  6. Mamacita Chilena says:

    Hmmm, toughie. I don’t shop becuase I live in Chile, the country where fashion goes to DIE.

    So my advice is NOT Forever 21 or Charlotte Russe. That’s all I got, sorry. I’m not a high end kind of a girl.

    Anne Taylor Loft sizes run huge, so it’s kind of awesome. You’ll probably be a size zero there.

  7. I just fell in love with J. Jill. If there’s not a store near you, check their website or catalog. I literally wanted to buy the whole store.

  8. white house black market. awesome clothes…awesome sales

  9. Last time I was in old ballard I was impressed with the great boutique shops there… lots of style and sass but not overly expensive. U Village is good if a little expensive and… you know… chainish…

  10. Happy anniversary!

    I agree with the recommendations for Ann Taylor Loft.

  11. Dude, come out to visit me and we’ll shop the Bellevue Goodwill. You’d be AMAZED at what the fancy Microsoft millionaires are throwing in the donation box. Otherwise I’d suggest the crappy-but-not-as-crappy-as-Old-Navy discount chains like Ross and Marshall’s.

  12. The Payne Family says:

    I would go with The Gap, JCrew (sale rack!!!), J Jill is good too and they always have a good sale section, and Banana Republic. Happy Shopping!

  13. H&M has some good stuff, if you have one around you (I think they’re opening some in Seattle?), and for pretty reasonable prices!

    I agree with Sundry — I’ve gotten so much great stuff secondhand at thrift stores and flea markets for like $1 a piece. I even got a Vera Wang gown for like $7! I’ve gotten Express and The Limited skirts and pants for work for dirt cheap (the stores themselves sometimes have okay sales but lately their quality is not the best), vintage dresses, you name it.

    For shoes, I love going to Macy’s sales racks — gotta love getting killer heels for $20 if you luck out.

    Often, if I see something at a store that I like, I make note of it and what size I’d get, and then search for it on eBay — I can usually find stuff for a fraction of the price.

    Happy anniversary to you and the hubbster!

  14. Chickenbells says:

    Well…it depends on what kind of style you’re going for. I think it’s sort of fun to go to the mall and just try on different things and see what looks good on (I suppose this is where it would behoove you to take a good and honest friend, one you won’t clobber if they laugh outloud at something you pick out that you think might look good on you…those friends are priceless and deserve lots of chocolate as bribes, er…gifts) Try Gap, Banana Republic (both the same company…along with Old Navy for trendy cheapo clothes that will fall apart just in time for the fad to be over, which is kind of handy) Ann Taylor, Anthropologie…and heck, once you find out what looks good hit the Nordstrom,Macys, Saks…outlets…or all the outlets. And see if you can go resale shopping as well…

    Um. I think this is a rather large endeavor…I am wishing that we were all closer together and we could just all go out and revamp each other!

  15. thecandyqueen says:

    Oh, also I think you should go to the Nordstrom Rack. Didn’t they open one in South Center? And there’s one downtown and there’s one in Lynnwood if you get ballsy.

  16. Gal Saturday says:

    Definitely recommend Ann Taylor and Ann Taylor Loft. GREAT sales and good quality. I've also had pretty solid luck with Lands End (which, you can buy & try in person at Sears).

  17. omg this is like my favorite thing ever and i don’t care what it makes me sound like….
    without knowing much of your style, or what you consider reasonably affordable, here are places i almost always find things: banana republic, ann taylor (and the loft), nordstrom and nordstrom rack (not the designer boutiques), anthropologie, j. crew, and i second the j jill although i don’t shop there much. they have cute clothes and seem like a place you’d like. and, i know, express…but if you get past the skanky tops they actually have some great professionally pieces that go day to night and are of pretty good quality.
    all of these places regularly send me 20 percent off coupons and more because i gave them my email address. the spam is worth it.
    if you ever want suggestions, i love virtual shopping!

  18. I just did some shopping myself today. It had been ages since I set foot in a mall. I bought some great tops on clearance in Macys. You can find great deals within their clearance racks. I also bought a few things at Forever 21. They have a website, if you’ve never heard of it and would like to look it up.

  19. Oh yeah, and Ross, Marshalls and T.J. Maxx usually have awesome brand name clothes at low prices. I sound like an infomercial. Gah!

  20. I am no help…I am a clearance rack at target kind of girl too. My son has even learned to shout when he sees a red tag.

  21. Sam's Lackey says:

    I was going to say skip old navy, b/c the quality has gone way down & stuff doesn't last

    But then I remembered you are trying to get preggers, so I guess you won't care if they wear out in 6-7 months šŸ˜‰

  22. Mango Power Girl says:

    ha ha ha…i will never hold a bebe bag and feel the same again!

  23. Para i familiaku says:

    Congratulations on your Anniversary! Your son is georgeous, but then again, looks do run in the family. LOL.

    I always get a good crack when you write about bebe…

  24. I.Feel.Your.Pain!

    I just tossed out half my closet a few months ago and have been slowly filling it with things I like. A little to slow for my taste but eh, what can you do.

    Places I like: So into Martin and Osa right now, also Banana Republic is good, Ann Taylor Loft, J. Crew if it’s on sale cuz they’re kinda pricey, Sale Mail is an email service that sends you emails twice a week on merch from your fav store that’s on sale, I even found a couple of cool dresses at the Gap if you can believe it. Does Seattle have a Loehmann’s? Love Loehmanns. When in doubt, Macy’s doesn’t disappoint.

  25. I’m coming to Goodwill with you and Sundry too dammit! Oh and I was on Mercer Island today (don’t ask) and RIGHT next to a park is a thrift shop that was more like the Nordstrom Rack. If I didn’t have 2 kids with me I would have fucked that shit UP, or you know, bought some things.

  26. Leave town and drive to the nearest Value Village. Probably have to go out of state into Oregon. I remember going to the one that was off I-5 in Salem, Oregon. I found a nice red plaid skirt from SAKS for $5. Heck, right next to it is a KMART that should have blue-light specials… Call me – we’ll drive together… b.

  27. I am clearly not about 12-year-old humor even now, as I am sitting here snickering at the whole “bebe” thing.

    *composes self*

    I’m generally a J. Crew/Old Navy/Banana Republic/Target girl, but when I want something trendy, cheap and DIFFERENT, I check out Forever 21 and lulus.com.

  28. Pickles and Dimes says:

    I'm late to the party, but you are NOT frumpy.

    I like to shop at New York & Co., which can be hit or miss, Charlotte Russe and Ann Taylor Loft.

    (This comment makes me laugh, because 95% of the time, I only have the time/money/inclination to drive somewhere to shop at Old Navy, Target, Kohl's and Steve & Barry's.)

  29. Butrfly Garden says:

    I remember you saying something about “bebe” before. On the knot, they have a term “Beebee” or “BB” which means “baby bride.” Well, the new wave of people started calling them “bebes” I laughed every time. šŸ™‚

    Also – we shop so much alike. When I was looking for clothes – I mainly went to kohls and tried to find “old person” clothes in the jr. section and “young person” clothes in the women section. I ended up with a couple nice outfits – but damn I wish we’d get some better places to shop out here. šŸ™‚

    Also – happy [late] anniversary!

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