jcpenney...i'm on your side

If you're in NYC, you've undoubtedly seen the JCPenny ads flanking every subway station and street corner in the last couple weeks. The grand opening of the store in Herald Square has been a long time coming--but apparently not anticipated by all. NYTimes critical shopper Cintra Wilson went to the newly opened "dowdy Middle American entity" and basically ripped it a new one. She says:

"J. C. Penney...was never 'get the look for less' so much as 'get something vaguely shaped like the designer thing...made in all-petroleum materials, and with a too-similar wannabe logo that announces your inferiority...'"

She also laments the lack of smaller sizes, saying, "There are, however, abundant size 10’s, 12’s and 16’s...it has the most obese mannequins I have ever seen.

"It’s like a headless wax museum devoted entirely to the cast of 'Roseanne.'"

Goodness, a bit harsh, no? This is a prime example of an upper class New Yorker as referred to in my earlier blog. How dare the American public not all be designer-clad New Yorkers! Plus, if she has never had to dip so low as to purchase any mass-produced knock-offs, she must not be relying much on her journalist income, which makes her and her opinions all the more irritating. Not to mention her blatant oversight of American weight/size demographics. I know firsthand it's frustrating not to find smaller sizes, but some things you're just supposed to think, not say...especially in that way.

Her article has prompted an angry outcry from Midwesterners and non-size-zeros alike. In a way, I'll admit I can see where she's coming from. I too once avoided JCPenney like the plague. It just felt...dirty. The lights were dingy, the aisles sad, and the mannequins often clothed in those too-short, too-wide shirts that middle-aged moms love for some reason. (Of course, Whitney Port has single-handedly brought those back in style thoroughly complicating the matter..)

I heart Ronson dress, on sale for $24.99

Still, I think she's overlooking major JCPenney milestones. In the past few months, I've actually made mental notes to go to their stores and/or look online. Why? Because they've made awesome, smart partnerships with designers like Charlotte Ronson, Nicole Miller, and Ralph Lauren (under the guise of American Living).

These are things consumers want, need, have to have, and can AFFORD--so what if it's polyester, Ms. Wilson? I've gotten nice, expensive shit that was polyester. And believe me, I watch What Not to Wear just as much as you--even Stacey would approve.

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