Wu Da One
I know that every other New England resident has spent the past week planning their Superbowl parties and stocking up at their local packie, however I am not one of them. My week consisted of an all-consuming obsession with getting my hands on Jason Wu for Target pieces that happen to be debuting today, otherwise known as Superbowl Sunday. Well, not for me. Today was Wuday.
Let me preface this by saying that I am not that kind of shopper. I have never participated in an early morning sale of any kind. I am more of a shop-on-a-random-Thursday-in-the-clearance-section-and-stumble-upon-a-great-cheap-pair-of-shoes-because-all-the-normal-sized-shoes-were-already-purchased-by-people-with-normal-sized-feet type shopper. I work at a mall. I am surrounded by clothes all the live long day. I rarely have Sundays off. So my idea of a fun Sunday morning when I don’t have to work in retail is to stay as far away from a shopping center as possible. And sleep.
But somehow this week, my curiosity about Wu’s collection grew from a general wonderment to a full on neurosis that pretty much consumed all my extra mental energy. I began stalking fashion websites all week with a coworker, plotting the best tactics for beating out all the crazies that ruined Missoni for the rest of us sane people.
After discovering that my nearest Target was on “The List,” as the collection would be presented at a limited amount of stores, I immediately felt relieved. After all, Milford isn’t a particularly fashionable area, and judging by the looks I got from people when I mentioned Jason Wu, very few were going to be out on the front line me at 8:00 am Sunday morning.
There were three pieces I was dying for. These were them:
kirsten called. she wants her hair back.
Notice I said “were.”
I knew that there were a chance that a few of the items in the 60 piece collection wouldn’t be in the store, as they were online exclusives (like the black tie blouse). But the navy poplin dress? That is the dress of my nautical dreams. I had to have it.
Similar to the way an athlete stretches before a big game, I prepped myself last night. I set out my outfit- leggings, a tight tank and a zip up sweatshirt (just in case I had to try on garments over my clothes in a fashion frenzy), switched from my new Kate Spade “Stevie” bag to an oversized canvas Old Navy clearance purse (so I could easily throw my outerwear in it in my trying on fury) and got my allowance from Steve (Christmas money from his grandfather that I had been saving for something special). I set my alarm for 6:45 am and tucked in early.
I woke up at 5:00, 6:00 and finally, 6:45. I had a foreshadowing dream that I thought I was the first person in line, and then it turned out everyone was hiding inside Target already. And instead of Target, it was an auditorium that was half Target/half bar and for some reason Shia Labeouf was doing an unplugged acoustic performance. Okay maybe it wasn’t totally foreshadowing. Needless to say, it was the fastest I’ve ever woken up that early in the morning. I felt like it was Christmas, except the presents weren’t going to come to me, I was going to have to go and take them. Well not take, but snatch and then rightfully pay for.
I scarfed down an English muffin for energy, filled my Nalgene and headed out the door. I arrived at the Milford Target exactly at 7:30 am and found… nobody. The parking lot was empty except for tired looking employees in red shirts and khakis. A coworker and I had conspired to meet there, and as we sat in my car, we visually surveyed the parking lot with the stealth of a sniper. Anytime a car would enter the lot, we would scan the driver and decide whether or not they were fashionable enough to be showing up at the crack of dawn for nautical dresses and daisy print scarves.
Finally, a few other weary shoppers arrived. Noticing the lack of a line at the door, they continued to sit in their cars as well, since it was 7:30 am in February and all. Around 7:50 am, I couldn’t take it anymore, I was so paranoid about being beat to the door that we quickly shut off the car and made a run for it. Slowly, the others followed. Amateurs.
There ended up being five of us in line. FIVE. If that isn’t a testament to the demographic around here, I don’t know what is. Suddenly I was thankful for living in the sticks. I could only imagine what those poor saps in Somerville or Watertown were doing. As we stood outside the door, we peered inside and could see hints of red white and blue stripes. We were so close.
Finally, an unenthusiastic security guard unlocked the door. While we had engaged in polite banter outside, the mood changed immediately upon stepping through the automatic red doors. I bolted to the dress I had seen from outside and grabbed the XS and S. One of the most challenging things about these special collections is you never know how the sizes are going to run. It’s not like going to Banana Republic and knowing that you can take home any size 4S without trying them on and be golden.
To my left was a peach, yellow and black striped dress featured in many of the ads. “No way,” I thought. That’s the exact same color as my skin.To my right was a white t-shirt with a giant black cat on it. Also featured in all the ads and also weird. I stepped around the back side of the display and found… an entire rack of Mossimo butterfly shirts. I looked up and noticed the display said “Jason Wu.” Odd.
usually i wear black socks by accident when i try on dresses. sorry, mom
“Excuse me,” I asked the sales clerk. “Is this all there is of the Jason Wu collection?”
“Yes, that’s it. There’s some bags over there,” she declared and walked away. She clearly did not want to get caught in the wrath of the five most fashionable people in the extended Worcester area.
The other shoppers and I walked around the same three displays in disbelief. A dull peach blouse here, a black pleated skirt there. A gray t-shirt with faux lace down the front. So many pieces, just not even there. I couldn’t believe it.
I snuck a peek at the bags. They were cute, but there was nothing that made me want to die. You know, like in the Rachel Zoe way, not actual death. Plus I had my limited Christmas money budget and I was under strict orders not to spend a dollar more. And I have a gazillion purses, so I felt okay with my decision to walk away.
Before heading to the fitting room, I grabbed a navy sleeveless top with daisies on it with a mesh netting thing at the top. Since I couldn’t find any pieces that even resembled anything I had been hoping for, I figured I should try something that was slightly reminiscent of Wu’s frequently used print. I got the only XS, and there were probably only 8 of each item total. One XS, two S, two M, etc. I also grabbed another navy dress with daisies printed on it and a yellow belt. Why the hell not.
The most successful find was the red, white and navy shift dress. While it wasn’t the nautical dress I really wanted, it was a good summer jersey dress that I felt I could style into something special. Plus it closely resembled a t-shirt from the collection that I also wanted but was not in the cards for me that day.
I also sort of ended up liking the blue daisy shirt. It was a little short for my liking, as I am short myself, and I felt like I was just amplifying my shortness, but the model was wearing it with a high waisted skirt, so if I just tuck it in, I will look like a model. Done.
The blue dress was another story. There is no picture of me in this because it’s probably one of the worst fitting things I have ever tried on, and I did high school theater. The bust area was flapping in the non-existent wind, and the yellow belt needed about three more holes to actually cinch where I imagined my waist was supposed to be. And that was an XS. If you are a busty petite woman, it’s the dress for you. I am only one of those things. Guess which one.
even. more. prints.
So I settled on my two pieces. Out of the selection that was there, I considered it a success.
victorious… i think?
Finally, it was time to head home. As soon as I got to my apartment, I jumped onto target.com to see if the situation was as bleak as I imagined. Sure enough, every item- sold out. I figured I’d have much better luck going to the store than trying to score stuff online, so I didn’t even try. Now I sort of wish I had persuaded my husband to also wake up and stalk the Internet for me while I went on my excursion. All over Twitter and Facebook, livid customers vented their frustrations about the availability (or lack thereof) of the products and accused Target of purposely manufacturing as few items as possible to drum up interest in the line. Oddly enough, the dress I had so coveted showed up as once being available in the Milford store, but currently sold out. Weird, because I was THE FIRST PERSON THERE.
If you follow @targetstyle (as I so furiously do now), you know that they claim that at the end of the week, some additional merchandise will be added online. What, we don’t know. I can only hope that my dearly beloved navy poplin dress is one of them. And that I have little to no work to do so that I can be on my phone 24/7 this week.
So without further ado, I give you… my Wu.
please remember how early it was. makeup was nonexistent
I will leave you with this:
Steve: What did you buy? Johnny Wu?
Me: Jason Wu.
Steve: Oh. I was trying to tell my mom I couldn’t remember.
Five minutes later:
Steve: What was it? Johnny Chow? Jason Lee?
Ugh. Men. Good thing I didn’t ask him to scour the Internet for me after all. I would have ended up with a black cat drawn on a t-shirt in Sharpie with “Johnny Chow” on the label.