Shopping has always been a favorite for me. Even as a little girl I would scan the Sear’s catalog and mark the clothes I wanted to begin 1st grade. I can still envision a dress I saw when my mom went out with some friends shopping one time. It was the cutest black and white polka dot dress with a red bow. It would have been perfect for my second grade picture. Money was extremely tight when I was young for many years, so shopping and actually buying was very rare. That didn’t stop me though, I have always loved browsing. Even today, I can walk in a store and scan it and know right away if I should spend time browsing or move on. I’m not one to go and look at every detail and touch every single thing. I can spot right away what is calling my name. Needless to say, I don’t spend a lot of time browsing for things that aren’t my style or taste. I’m a fast shopper.
A few years ago we went to see our son and daughter in law when they were living in the New York City area. We went sight seeing in the heart of NYC and when I saw Saks, I had to go in. We went up to the shoe floor. That was a department that I could browse in even when the shoes were not what I would wear or buy. I saw shoes for up to $8,000. I can’t even imagine walking in $8,000 dollar shoes. They sure were fun to look at though and ooh and aww. Not to mention the heels were mostly 4 inch or higher; that would be a no for me.
During my teens I had thought I wanted to have my own dress shop. I had the perfect building in town picked out. I had the name planned…. Beverly’s House of Fashion.
When I was about 18 or 19, I worked for a brief time at a beautiful department store called Grammer Murphey. I had applied to be a gift wrapper at Christmas time to make some extra money. Plus, I loved beautiful packages and they always did beautiful wrapping and I wanted to learn. But, they asked me to work in one of the the women’s departments. What fun I had. The clothes were always so fun to look at and waiting on customers became easier as time went on. For a shy girl, it was a learning experience for sure. I learned the art of making sure regular customers didn’t already have their sales lady they usually use. When you work for an hour with a customer and then when it’s time to check out, you might have a lady come up and say, “she is my customer, I’ll take it from here.” I found out quickly what working on commission was all about. I also learned that some women are awful the way they leave dressing rooms. To this day, when I try clothes on, I always put them back on the hanger in an orderly fashion. I can’t imagine trying clothes on and leaving them on the floor and thrown on the bench and even left turned wrong side out. Many women do. Such a shame. We were never allowed to just stand around when it wasn’t busy. There was always a rack to dust or making sure clothes were hung properly. My favorite thing to do was to make sure all the clothes on the racks were evenly spaced and hung in order of sizes as in from the smallest size to the largest and facing the right way. When I go out shopping now, my pet peeve are the clothes just thrown on a rack and sizes out of order. I always want to tell the manager that it sure would make shopping easier if you had orderly racks. I’m sure there are some people that aren’t the least bothered by something like that….but, I am. What’s really crazy is when the store isn’t in order and the sales people are on their phones bored out of their minds. Things have changed haven’t they?
Department Stores are disappearing slowly but surely, which is sad to me. When I worked at the department store in our town, I loved all the departments. The lingerie was fun as it was like what you see in the movies with a counter and a sales clerk to help you with whatever you needed. Things were put in a box with tissue etc. I’m not sure what I liked best, the article or the boxes with tissue paper. When I watch old movies, my favorite part will be when they go into a department store. If you remember on the I Love Lucy show, she talked about a store called Gimbels. I loved it when they would show her shopping and of course the fashion shows….what fun! Of course, there is always Macy’s on the famous Christmas movie that many of us have seen.
When my husband and I moved to the Dallas/Ft. Worth area so he could attend seminary, I got a job in the middle of downtown Dallas at Republic Bank. That could be a whole other story for another day, but, I loved being downtown. I rode the bus in from Arlington; crazy experience, but, I loved it! For a while anyway. One of my favorite memories is when one of the secretary’s took me to lunch. We went to a tea room type restaurant in Neiman Marcus. I was in awe. I was trying so hard to act normal, but inside I was so excited. I already looked like Rebecca from Sunnybrook Farm. I was trying hard to act like a mature 21 year old working in downtown Dallas having lunch in Neiman Marcus.
When I came across this book: I had to have it. It’s a small book, but it has a chapter on each of the department stores from the past. In those days it was normal to have a tea room for luncheons and they would each specialize in a certain dish. This book shares the recipe from each of those department stores. It’s a very easy and fast read and takes me back to those days of dreaming about having my own fashion boutique. * Dainty Dining
Thanks for reminiscing with me today, I hope it sparked good memories of shopping when you were young or even now making memories with your own children and grandchildren.
We can always dream, can’t we? Happy Shopping!
Until next time,