Updated: May 10, 2022
As happens periodically for various (usually unpleasant) reasons, I need a new suit.
Sadly, I’m currently too fat to fit in the ones I already own. I discovered this the hard way when I had to suck in my gut to get my pants’ button within range of the hole. Once buttoned, I suddenly had empathy for woman in corsets.
My wife Cheri suggested I go to Banana Republic and look for something “of decent quality.” Instead, I decided to go to Kohl's because it is only three-blocks away and allegedly cheaper. Here’s why this was a poor life choice:
First, actual cost at Kohl’s is not straight forward. It’s like being at a fish market in Dubai—you either know how it works or prepared to get F*&%ed. Illustrating my point, prices are displayed on dim, digital screens with messages like: “Buy one, get one 40% off when it is located next to a full-price item that was formerly 40% off but is now at member price after a 30% markdown from the retail price.” I’m exaggerating. But only barely.
Second, they have a marketing scheme of labeling the “retail price” at an astronomically high figure. Below this terrifying number is their “discounted price,” a price they believe will drive consumers into action. My mom is evidence that this strategy works. For her, Kohl’s is practically a religion. She’s is in the know when it comes to Kohl’s Cash and makes comments like, “Matt, these tights I got for Arya were originally $283 dollars but I got them marked down to $33 during Kohl’s ‘Second Thursday of January sale!’ Can you believe that deal?!”
Finally, and perhaps my greatest complaint, is that I can never find my correct size. No matter what style of clothing I’m pawing through, they only ever have one size below and one above what I wear. And, if I do miraculously find something that fits, it’s typically made from fabric displaying parrots or golf clubs. Making matters worse, they technically sell suits but do not join the pants with the jackets. The consumer is expected to hunt down matching pairs, which may be located on the other side of the store. Or, not exist at all. Their digital signs have nothing to say on the matter.
In the end, I spent an hour muttering and wandering around the store like an agitated psychiatric patient and found nothing. That is, other than a fully-functioning, miniature whiskey barrel with a pinky-sized tap handle. Which, of course, I bought.
Soon, I’m going to drive the 25-minutes to Banana Republic, after which I’ll complain about the traffic and prices but will at least come home with something other than a tiny booze dispenser.
Footnote: you cannot spend Kohl's Cash at local pubs and they do not find attempts to do so amusing.