Friday, September 09, 2005

Shirt Searching

I have a “thing” about shirts. I normally buy a couple of them to kick off a new season, and I think they are the perfect items for work. I guarantee that I will buy every single shirt that I like if it fits, but fortunately I have very slim body so most of them don’t fit. Great. Good for my budget.

Now I am on my seasonal shirt-searching journey again. I want one Victorian blouse that compliments my body. I don’t want to buy the ultra expensive Chloe blouse as it is way over priced. No matter how beautiful it is, how soft the silk feels, and how well it is made, I am not going to pay more than $700 for a shirt. I just can't justify that. (For the people who like Chloe shirts such as the one shown in the picture, sells them. Major department stores carry them as well). Chloe Shirt - Jing's Fashion Review - Fashion Commentary and Reviews

For a trendy shirt, maybe a one-season shirt, my budget is less than $100. I went to Zara in San Francisco to look for it. The store was new and filled with trendy outfits and sunlight. For this season, Zara came up with a series of Victorian style shirts and it seemed to be the perfect place for me. After searching through the entire store though, I only found two extra-small Victorian blouses: one was a black silk/cotton blend shirt with ruffles priced at $79, and the other was a Zara Basic cotton shirt with ruffles priced at $35.

They fit. For a Victorian blouse, I need to keep it loose fitting and breezy. I am on my way to check out.

Suddenly I noticed something wrong on the shoulders and the collar of the black shirt. The seams were not aligned and there were extra thread intertwined together to a chunky thread ball. It looked disgusting. For a $79 shirt I expect at least decent quality. The sales girl offered alteration but it would take two days. I would return to Boston on the next day. “Can you mail it to me?” I asked. “No, unfortunately Zara does not offer mail orders.”

The white shirt had a serious problem as well. The material at the hem was almost broken . It looked like the material was torn in a machine so there was not even a way to fix it.

I was disappointed. I wish they had more items for each style and I wish they could offer mail orders. I returned to Boston hoping to have better luck at H&M.

H&M is a place where you can find well-made and inexpensive trendy pieces. They have everything. I found a couple of Victorian style shirts and they fit but they didn’t have any silk shirts. Cotton shirts are simply too stiff for this style. I had no luck there, but I found a 100% wool charcoal color turtleneck that fits like a designer piece with very soft material. With a bargain price of $19.99, how could I say no?!

As of today, my mission is not accomplished yet. I am still searching for my Victorian blouse. The good news is that I had better luck with my dress shirts, so I will write about women’s dress shirts in the next article. Stay tuned.
*Picture courtesy of

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