The One Shopping Item That Got Away

Credits: Photo - Anonymous, Styling - Sarah G. Schmidt, Location - HBC Market Mall

When you hear the phrase, “The one that got away,” what do you think of? Long lost lovers that you parted ways with yet contemplate now and then? A pet that’s gone that you still mourn for many years later? Or even a vacation you decided to pass on because you feared going away for too long? Turns out I’m not romantic.

At least I’m not romantic in the traditional sense. For me, it’s a short, yet painful list of sartorial items I have yet to source that have me amorous. Shopping for me has never been difficult. That’s partly why I do it for others. The other part is that I love to shop. But every so often, once ever couple of years, there is a particular item I just can’t get my hands on.

The latest offender: denim dungarees. Aka: overalls.

Please read this with a grain of salt. Of course I can find a pair of denim dungarees. What’s I can’t seem to find is the RIGHT pair of denim dungarees. Not only do they need to slouch off my backside just right, the width of the chest has to be just so. Preferably I want 0% stretch (aka: 100% cotton) in the denim. Fabric sourcing is a modern dilemma if I ever had one. Also, I want to be able to distress, paint, and patch them myself. I like to DIY my denim personally, not have it pre-done. It has to be custom. Fussy much? Cha.

The last time I had a hard time finding what I wanted was the summer of 2013. Item: idyllic boyfriend jeans. After trying on thirty some pairs my solution was crossing the floor over to the mens section and purchasing dude jeans. Duh, the word “boyfriend” is in the name, right?  I took them home and ripped them up a bit and it’s been love ever since.

A few years before that I struggled to find the “right” olive full-length jumpsuit. The tricky part of this item is that my shoulders, bust, and tush are three different sizes. That proves challenging when the item is one piece and one size. I have not given up on it, rather, it’s at the part of the list under the header, “Maybe a brand’s sizing model is as proportionate (not!) as me?” It could happen.

The last item on this list of sad, sad friends that maybe on the other side, a la Stranger Things, is a plunging straight line v neck waist coat that I’d wear as a top for a fancy 'do. Maybe it’s my love of Broadway costuming that incepted this dream item into my mind. Maybe it’s my love of men’s suiting on a woman. Either way, I’ve yet to caress this item in my eager palms. I will wait for it.


A Kleenex and a soothing peppermint tea later I realize something. Can these three items be considered “Ones that got away.” if I’ve never come across them in person? Am I like the delusional person pining over a crush sick with heartache who won’t even muster up the courage to say hello to that crush? I don’t know what’s harder for me to accept: I may never see these items OR I’m just a romantic fool indeed?

Waxing poetic aside, I do know that I FEEL like a fool searching for these dungarees. Summer of 2016 may be Pokémon Go for most but my summer is dedicated to finding this denim. Dozens of stores, two Goodwill’s, one Value Village, a bunch of outlets, and a couple of consignment stores later and they still keep me chasing. It's a frustrating dance. 

I’m not much for playing games, but when it comes to these denim dungarees, I’ve gotta catch ‘em.