In general, I've found that teenybopper stores like Wet Seal churn out pieces that, well...let someone take one look at you and go "That girl just came from Wet Seal." Not that it's a bad thing. I totally understand people that want to pinch their pennies and head to Wet Seal-like places. However, in my own efforts to stay cheaply chic, I've often found myself scouring teen shops for items that, well, don't look like they belong there.
One store I remember quite well was Rampage. Around the time of my 8th grade graduation, my mom took me to a big suburban mall to try to find a dress (the options were more budget-friendly than Chicago's Michigan Ave.). I vividly remember stepping into Rampage and finding an endless array of dresses that just spoke to my 8th grade self. They were all around $60-70, so I was afraid to ask my mom to get me one. As you can tell, the bargain hunting started when I was quite young -- my dress turned out to be a $24.90 number from H&M which I would totally wear today if it wasn't far too small for me.
Anyway, the reason I bring Rampage up is that I decided on a whim today to browse their selection of dresses. I found the usual brightly coloured satin numbers with excessive puckering and numerous dress versions of the high waisted skirt + blouse combo, but I also found a hidden, $49 gem.
Isn't it gorgeous? It's a tiny bit goth, but I love it! For the uber-trendies out there, this could be part of a tight dress + blazer with rolled up sleeves + fierce shoes look, but even for the normal people this is still quite a find for a store like Rampage. I kind of wish this had been around for my homecoming, because I completely would have worn it!
Sigh...ah well. I kind of want to buy it, but I'm trying not to buy dresses unless I have an upcoming occasion to wear them. But, I mean, it's only $49, right?