But luckily, that alternative thought of me. I had spent the morning with The Law at the sketchy gun show learning about boobytrapping (theme week!), followed by an early afternoon taking in the sights of Dale City and a mid-afternoon ultimately failing to find a blaze orange ammo belt at
The original plan was to find our sweet shooting gear then hit up the range, however, by the time the shambles of last Saturday morning/afternoon were over, as well as by the time we were done with our classy Denny's brunch (pancakes, eggs, sausage and hashbrowns for $4.99?!), the Bull Run Shooting Center -- our range of choice -- was about to close. So we did the only logical thing people do when they can't shoot guns -- we spent money. More specifically, we went to Potomac Mills shopping center, which happens to be right next to Dale City.
Potomac Mills is a strange, strange place. It's a bit like L'Enfant Plaza in that the whole thing seems a bit foreign. That is, like the Soviet-style architecture featured in and around L'Enfant Plaza, the stores that compose Potomac Mills remind me a bit of the stores one would find in pre-Putin Russia or parts of South America. First, the clothes in these stores feature more sequins than one of Johnny Weir's ice-skating ensembles and, second, many of the stores have ridiculous names.
Some boast conspicuous designer names that have nothing to do with said designer, such as "Glory & Dior." Trust me, Dior has nothing to do with that. Others feature names with obvious nods to certain areas of the world, a practice done quite regularly in places like Kyrgyzstan (Where? Exactly.), hoping to cash in on the cachet of another country's fashion sense. Potomac Mills has "Group USA" and "Istanbul." (Yeah, I couldn't even Google that last one...) And still others seem to just pick random words in hopes that they sound hip, like "Urban Behavior," "Papaya," "LVL X Direct," and my personal favorite, "E-Paris." (Again, all three are un-Googleable.) All of this is reminiscent of a little store I spotted a couple of years ago while vacationing in Punta del Este, Uruguay.
You can't see it, but a store called Peen was on the right. (If only...)Ridiculous store names aside, however, the strangest thing about Potomac Mills is that it's home to a JC Penney's Outlet. Now, call me uppity, call me a snob, call me stuck-up, perhaps even call me bitchy, but, um, isn't JC Penney's already kind of an outlet? I don't see Marshalls or TJ Maxx outlets. Why? It just doesn't make sense. Logic and Virginia, however, never necessarily seem to go hand-in-hand, so I'll let that one slide.
But let's get real. Let's get to the good stuff -- the awesome sh*t I found (natch!). Luckily, Potomac Mills isn't all made up of mid-1990s Russian-style stores and JC Penney's Outlets. They also have an Off 5th Saks outlet, a BCBG Max Azaria outlet and, of course, staples like Forever 21, which you'd find in any old mall.
At BCBG I managed to procure a really nice (even work appropriate) dress for $110, marked down from $286; at Off 5th I found a pair of bright turquoise skinny jeans by Joe's Jeans for $26.98 (!), marked down from $158, and an Elie Tahari velvet blazer for just $68.97 (!!), marked down from *gasp!* $478. But perhaps the find of the
"F" for self-photog skills; "A" for romper-wearing.
Now, I'm slightly embarrassed about where I found it (as a 28-year-old, I always find it a bit uncomfortable to be waiting in the fitting-room line with a 13-year-old holding the same item), but I'm not embarrassed about the price -- $27. Tight. Looking at this photo, however, I'm not exactly excited about how I styled this outfit. Mid-calf boots + romper = Stumpy McNoLegs. And I'm 5'9"...and the doughnut I just ate isn't helping. Dammit.
Anyway, let me put it this way: The romper is my new sweatervest. And although I'm pretty sure DC-at-large will not look favorably upon my summer jumpsuit, I don't really care. What I do care about is not sweating profusely when the heat index hits 100. And really, eff it -- I've never shied away from looking like a jackass before, so why start now? Plus, it's an effing romper! And because I want to spread the romper-love, I'm in the midst of gathering up a few romper e-finds for those of you who might be interested in jumping
the shark into a sea of onesie wonder with me. It's a magical world...and surprisingly comfortable. Not wearing pants is the best...