Saturday, November 22, 2014

H&M - Glamorous Fashion Meets Affordable Pricing

H&M shopping bags - it could be
made from better material.


Christmas comes early for me.

A lot of people are incapable of experiencing real joy. Best to avoid such people for they are not good for you and would bring you down. As for me, it seems that all I want to experience is joy all the time! I cannot seem to get enough of it. I would spend all my money in H&M if I'm not living in a hot tropical climate like Malaysia. They've been in Malaysia slightly over a year now and expanded really fast with so many outlets in the city already. Their extremely bright red neon lights feels like the headlights of a Broadway show in New York and it beckons you to enter for some kind of show! And what a show it is - glamorous clothings at such affordable prices. The location of their stores are right in your face - easing busy city folks to identify their recognisable brand on the spot in this crowded city.

Certain fashion designers let the fabric speak to them. Interestingly, when I saw the trench coat at H&M, it seems to be speaking to me instead! It's like some psychic connection one gets when meeting your true love. Or some kind of mysterious spirit that comes out and get you!
Clothes, shoes and accessories are extremely personal purchase. I don't usually splurge a lot of money on fashion - but when I do, it definitely means something to me. The last jacket I bought was from Romp and it was made from jeans fabric. Since then, I've been scouring around the malls looking at clothes, and mostly dismissing them as unnecessary, outdated or too expensive. But when I see the trench coat being advertised and price appears together on the billboard, it all seems to fit! This is the secret of effective advertising - product that meets a need at affordable price points. H&M seems to be able to hit that sweet spot - balancing between quality and price. And you can take action right away after seeing their advertisement for their stores are everywhere!

I know in hot weather Malaysia, rarely people wears any fancy coat of any kind. Except for the ones in the office, a good corporate office coat would make a man or women look more "professional". I think that is supposed to be called a jacket, and not a coat. But in Malaysia, these two terms seem to be one and the same! One cannot really think too much about the conditions when the love for fashion takes total control. Who cares if I'm not wearing this trench coat right away? I could just keep it for the next time I'm out of the country.

Socks - snug fit into my feet
without being seen on my sneakers.
Throwing all caution to the wind, off I entered into the H&M main store at Lot 10 and was pleasantly surprised by the good range of clothing available there. Since I have an objective in mind, this makes my visit easier, less complex and more focused. This way, I won't be swayed by the excitement of any new designs that might come across my way. I can easily dismissed all these other fancy clothings and set my mind on the trench coat.

Once I set my mind on anything, there's no turning back! I'm that determined. That first visit at H&M, I try to gauge the right coat size for me. Usually, I'll go for the smallest size because most clothings may expand and become loose after being worn after a long time. But this is a trench coat we're talking about here where I'll be wearing another layer of clothing. Still, I tried to find out what is the smallest size available there. It's interesting to note that they carry European sizes ranging from 42, 44 until 50. There is no size 43. I'm really curious to know why they don't carry that size, as I am curious to know why certain sports apparel outlets do not carry shoe size 8.5 (UK). The smallest size usually sells fast mainly because a majority of Asians have smaller frames.

Before purchase, I like to
snap a pic to see if it actually
looks good on me.
Shopping for clothes is always an adventure for me. When I found out the coat size I wanted wasn't available, I went to enquire the salesperson. The salesperson over at H&M, Lot 10 are not as diverse as you may think. Curious and curiouser. But I'm fine with communicating my needs to anyone, regardless who they are. Thankfully, they're nice salespeople, and not the dowdy and lackaidaisical sort. The cashier at the main counter would call up the other outlets around KL for me to enquire for my size.

So for the mean time, I'm free to explore other options. The first place I decided to go was back to the small boutique I purchased my faux-fur coat for my BMW Film Awards Best Actor awards ceremony. I like the salesperson there because this Chinese guy was extremely energetic and listens intently to every word I said. But when I visited there the second time, he was not around. Sadly, they don't sell trench coat either. I wasn't in a hurry to get that one since I already got a Burberry in storage, so I took my sweet time to actually walk around to find out other stores that might carry the item I wanted. This is not an impulse or must-have purchase. I took my sweet time, no hurry.

How interesting it was to discover that only top luxurious brands like Burberry, Zara and others carry trench coats in their collections. The fabrics are heavier and more luxurious. The best thing is the price that ranges from RM500 up to RM5000! Other cheaper, non-luxurious labels don't carry any of it at all! There's one or two small boutique shops in Sungei Wang Plaza that does, but their options are extremely limited. They either carry one design or one size only that's always the one on display! Oh no, I cannot buy like this. I've tried online stores and browsed through some of the collection, but somehow I have an uneasy feeling of buying a personal item there. To be fully invested in purchasing a trench coat, I would need to wear it a few times and twirl around a few hundred times more just to see if it feels right. I simply cannot order one online and wait for the parcel to arrive ONLY to discover that something was wrong with it and ask for a refund. And there's always something wrong.

Soon, this staircase will be
in my New York penthouse.
Finally, I've made my decision to stick with H&M brand. It seems like the right thing to do since they have stores like everywhere and their clothes are simply glamorous! I did took a tour around each of their outlets and you'll be surprised that these other outlets don't even carry the same one design when the main outlet does. I gave up for a while in looking for it, for I really have no urgent need in getting one anyway. I just let it stall and stall and stall. Slowly, I began to have doubts about even getting a coat. The weather in KL is so hot and who in their right mind would get a coat anyway, right?

Then comes the rainy weather. I do a lot of commuting and when it rains outside, the inside of the train can feel extremely freezing cold. From one end of the city all the way to Kelana Jaya, the last stop - be prepared to witness the changing weathers from cloudy to fierce storms and sudden sunshine. It's a schizophrenic weather spectacle outside the train. All of these in just a single trip! The weather is crazy and unpredictable here! The one skill I have is I'm able to detect a rain coming way in advance. I don't know why I'm always up from my bed, changed and got out of the house right before the downpour starts. It's a strange power but I can smell a rain coming way in advance.

For more articles on FASHION/ART:
Messenger Bags Special
Tips for Buying Shoes (Sneakers)
Stuff Magazine 9th Anniversary Party
Myanmar Art Review
Student Art Fair


Their entrance is shouting at
you to come in.
Afer stalling a few weeks from any purchase, I saw a host of new arrivals through the H&M electronic billboard. The designs on it looks amazingly good which prompted me to visit the main store again. Great clothes sells fast here. By the time I went there, my size were all snapped up. The supervisor informed me that they usually carry 2 pieces for each size. (I'm quite doubtful about this for I've seen sasquatch sizes totalling more than 5 for a single design piece) Feeling frustrated, I tried on their other designs. Some coats were extremely heavy to wear but looks fabulous. I'm more practical in that sense that I would give it a pass for I don't want to feel tired just wearing that piece. Another one was extremly plain in comparison with the previous designs I put on - but was lighter. Unfortunately after trying it all, not even one piece which compels me to buy. On the way back to the cashier, I accidentally spotted one design on the mannequin that resembles more on what I saw on the billboard. That design is the one that captures what I really want. Why hadn't the salesperson brings me that design to try on earlier in the dressing room? I simply pull it down and took it with me to the dressing room. I tried it on in the dressing room and everything just looks beautiful, practical and just perfect!

H&M Men's shorts are
too "long" for my taste.
Can't they make
it shorter?
The length of the coat reaches right around my knee area. The fabric is definitely lighter than the other coats I've tried on earlier. There's a belt to tighten my waist aplus a hood that can be detached with a zipper! The hoody feature really surprises me because then it can acts like a raincoat too. There's another zipper pocket at the top of the breast area where it's just an ideal location where I can slip in my passport or card without reaching for my bag and scouring for it. My mind then shifted to began to create what sort of fantasies I could carry off wearing this trench coat when I was standing in front of the huge mirror. I could wear my skimpy shorts and tight shirts on the inside without being ogled by dirty thinking pedestrians on the street. I could even wear nothing inside and reveals a leg or two to whet the appetite of coming attractions. This trench coat is also mainly for protection too from perverts searching for a prey. Great, I'm getting it.

But not yet. It doesn't carry my size! So the cashier enquired everywhere for me for my size. No one should wear anything bigger than their actual size - it just makes that person look lumpy schlumpy. Its simply not right. In my heart, I've readily submit myself to fate after all the adventures I've been through in finding this trench coat - if there's one right size meant for me then it shall be so. Fate seems to agree with me and there's actually the one and only left! All the way at One Utama outlet. I commanded them to immediately reserve that one for me. Its only reserved for 24 hours. The most magical thing about that day I made my purchase at that outlet - it was their 1st anniversary. But that outlet didn't have any promotion or celebration of any kind, but I bought it anyway. Fate indeed does exist in meeting the coat you deserves.

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