Sunday, October 5, 2008


Basic physical human needs: food, shelter, clothing, water.

Clothing: Shopping tip- you can get shoes for 89 cents at the bowling alley. I buy clothes two times a year; once in July, right before school opens and once in December, half-way through the school year. These are very auspicious dates because they coincide with two powerful forces: the ability to fly off-island and those wonderful things all mothers love, mammoth sales! The last time I bought clothes on island was when I paid my sister five bucks for her jeans. The only thing I don't buy online are pedicures and shoes. You can't be too picky with shoes when you live around dust and mud. Everyone in my household except the male species gets their footwear from Payless Shoe Source. That's because I have the utmost respect for and will not come between the special relationship boys and their sneakers and women and their purses have. Have you noticed that the only thing really affordable on island are shoes and pedicures? Go figure.
I bet deep down inside you wish your mom would take you clothes shopping every August for the new school year. Peyton(7) is now wearing some of Hope's (13) clothes, and Sommer's (4) too. She is the only ambidresstrous one in the family. Hand-me-downs are complicated with my girls. Besides having totally different body types stemming from their multicultural heritage, they each have their own staunch fashion preferences. I buy the majority of their clothes at Old Navy online or dare I say it, Target. In the Fall, the online stores are having clearance sales for summer clothes and since it's always summertime here, I take full advantage of that. I also make the biannual trek to Guam in search of the illusive cool outfit at Ross Dress For Less. I am a bargain shopper and I am not ashamed! Once, two years ago I had to run to a local store to buy Hope a last minute outfit for her pool day promotion ceremony. I spent $75 on a pair of quick dry board shorts, a tank top and suit! My wallet still has the scars from that purchase. I vowed never to be caught off guard again.
Buying something on sale is a very special feeling. In fact, the less I pay for something, the more it is worth to me. I have a dress that I paid so little for that I am afraid to wear it. I could spill something on it, and then how would I replace it for that amount of money? ~Rita Rudner. I wish that were true of Saipan sales. A sale on Saipan means that they've temporarily reduced the already ridiculously marked up prices on their clothes. Translation: for only a short time you can actually buy your clothes for full price! Retailers here capitalize on the fact that most people cannot afford to shop off island, so they have no idea that the pretty yellow matching tank top and shorts set that they're buying for $35.00 actually costs somewhere around $7.95 at Walmart . They are also unaware that the $57 dollar designer blouse hanging on the fancy display rack can be found for 45% less if you dig through the women's aisle at Ross. I have a term for this: Retail Audacity. I find it very unfortunate that, especially at times like these, some retailers do not lower their prices to help consumers. I know, business is business and profit is the bottom line, but if people could afford more they'd buy more. I don't know about you, I'm a creature of habit and a loyal patron of places that go out of their way to make you feel valued. Bobby Cadillac's gave us a discount on our sundaes when they ran out of whipped cream and nuts. I just about fainted, but that is the kind of customer service customers actually appreciate.
Clothing is an essential part of our human needs, not merely adornment. The customer base for the clothing market is 100% because believe it or not folks, everyone needs clothes. So why are so many people like me shopping somewhere else when there are more than enough clothing stores right here?

Pay attention. Because we can't afford to live like this any longer!


plumeria*girl said...

I share your every sentiment about shopping here on Saipan. It's the absolute pits. My recent trip to Guam got me super excited because I could get some new clothes AND shoes!!!

Having wide feet around here doesn't make it so fortunate for me to be a "Cinderella". Sometimes even Payless Shoe Source doesn't have the shoes wide enough in their "wide sizes" LOL!

Online shopping is definitely for me. Otherwise, I'd have the same clothes as everyone else!

Bon said...

You are so right, it's the definite pits. Online is great, but I still say we should be able to provide quality clothing at affordable prices. Or we'll lose a potentially huge market. Take for instance the new island theme clothing. If we could market them properly and provide them at reasonable prices the tourists and locals would wear more, buy more, advertise more, and it would bring needed revenue into our islands. The designers would get rich doing what they love, they'd have a bigger audience of buyers and who knows, maybe wearables like fotten nga'nga will end up in malls around the Pacific, even the U.S. It's a dream, but dreams have been known to come true;)

Bon said...

P.S. I make an occasional visit to places like PH where I'll find a good deal on a blouse, but that's only when I have cash to spend and the reality is people nowadays don't have unlimited amounts of recreational funds. The last time I bought my girls an outfit at the candy brand store I was getting it for a special occasion I didn't pre-plan to buy online for.

Anonymous said...

Thats why I frequents $3.00 store by the beach road ,Most of the clothes is a branded .you just need to check and try to avoid for a tiny weeny damage ,but all teh clothes under $10

kirida said...

I am the eternal bargain shopper. And I love haggling. There's nothing better than negotiating a price that feels like stealing.