I should have named this post, “Fast Fashion and Online Shopping for the Woman who is Two Inches away from Six Feet Tall”; but then y’all probably wouldn’t have read it. Too bad, y’all opened it and y’all gon’ read it.
Whew chile! Fast Fashion is where the money is and where much of our money tends to go. For those who don’t know, Fast Fashion (with capital Fa’s) is very affordable clothing mass produced at a rapid rate. Think of the fastest burger and chips you were ever served and then translate that to an outfit that is made faster than Kim K could post a smizing photo to Instagram.
I don’t remember when I learnt about Fashion Nova or Hot Miami Styles but I remember that I made my first Fashion Nova order about three years ago before they had fifteen million followers, a Cardi B line and were being called out by the second oldest Kardashian for being a ripper offer of the outfits that very special designers worked very very hard on and allowed her to wear for free to very fancy events.
At that time, apart from the fact that they made clothing for people with butts, I was attracted to the low prices and in most cases, the fact that the ‘fits didn’t disintegrate when washed. Especially since I don’t travel as often as I used to, at points when I needed inexpensive basic outfits, I turned to them and their never ending sales. I’ve also ordered some outfits from the slightly higher priced Hot Miami Styles which offers similar fare to Fashion Nova but tell you off the bat that their sizes “run small” so it might be a good idea to order a size up if you’re unsure. Right.
I’m here shaking my head as I type. To be clear, I’ve had some issues with Fashion Nova, even putting them “on ban” for a while because of their previous propensity not to advise when items were low or out of stock (they’ve since rectified this). They also had a bad habit at that time of sending you a gift card for LESS than the value of the outfit that you ordered but had no idea was out of stock, as though that would make you feel better. This fun fact was only revealed when you received the clothing. I kept thinking, this HAS to be breaking some sort of “Laws of California” or something. So I stopped ordering from them for a while.
Unfortunately, high clothing prices in Bim+not traveling often+the clothes actually fit=I lifted the ban and ordered again. So far, the aforementioned shenanigans haven’t occurred to me since but I’ve seen some of my favourite YouTubers throw them in the garbage for not only what I described earlier but also for not having diverse enough skin tones represented when they repost photos of people wearing their clothing. I understand their arguments, especially when you add in the fact that alllllll of the women seem to shop at the same plastic surgeon. But that is a story for another time.
One of the main reasons for my Love/Hate relationship is because, people, I am tall. I do not have an Instagram body. So for example, buying pants online is a nightmare. Saying it again for the people in the back who pretend they can’t hear: Buying pants online is night terrors. Understand that this does not only apply to Fast Fashion, this covers errrbody.
I order my size large pants, I receive them after paying exorbitant customs duty (if I don’t have someone “coming in”), I put them on and voila! Siberia from lower calf to ankle. @#$%^&*&^%$#@!!!! Or in some cases, the dress fits like a top. Seriously??? And don’t start me on rompers and jumpsuits. Now I just order extra large pants (not jeans, for some reason they get the jeans right) and head straight to the seamstress. As a result I’ve been left slightly traumatised so when I hear names like Asos and Pretty Little Thing, I don’t even bother to check out their sites too much because as of this post, the latter’s “PLT Tall” literally only has 43 “tall” versions of the hundreds of dresses on the site. Right.
Why put myself through all of this? Firstly, some of the older Fast Fashion brands that make clothes that fit me most of the time do not accept non-US credit cards for online shopping, secondly, while I do shop in Barbados, it is usually for a specific event as it simply isn’t economical to buy a number of outfits at once if you have other things to spend your money on and thirdly, sales are life. When I do travel, I love Zara, Banana Republic, Express and H&M and a couple others where, due to the fact that I’m not 5′ 5″ and a size 6 it’s better for me to try on clothes in store.
Le Sigh. So every now and then, thanks to US$9.99 tops and US$12.99 dresses I might take the bait, ignoring everything else that may be wrong or troublesome about the brand and the risk of possible disappointment when the packages arrive. For now, I’ll just be a little more careful with what I choose and hope that I don’t have to make too many adjustments when I get the call that the packages have touched down in Barbados.