Friday, May 27, 2011

Move over Sears Catalogue!

Back when I was a kid... the Sears catalogue was a big deal.  Every new season, my Mom would bring home these catalogues and I'd browse through them making my wish list for games and toys. The Christmas WISH Book was of course the BEST catalogue of the bunch, but as I grew a bit older I came to appreciate the seasonal catalogues which were more clothing based.

My biggest memories of the Sears catalogues were in relation to my Grandma Wilson... she shopped religiously out of them, so for birthdays and Christmas I got to point out a few things I liked and then she would order it and surprise me with it on a special occasion.  My Mom too has always had a fond appreciation for the Sears catalogue.  I think it has more to do with living in a small town and not having access to the bigger stores that were 60 minutes away... or the power of the Internet (at the time). Back in the day (and still today) you place your order over the phone, and within a week or so, the items arrived at the little depot in our small town, and once you picked up your order, you try on the items and decide to keep them or return them.

When I was growing up, my mother did this often.  She wasn't afraid to order two or three hundred dollars worth of clothes and only keep about fifty dollars worth or nothing at all, if nothing fit. She had me try on everything and decide what to keep and what could go back.  Still to this day, I know she does this for her and my Dad, and if my Grandma were here, she'd be doing the same thing.

I have to say... that I don't think I have ever placed an order in the Sears catalogue, but in my adult life I have called up my Mom and asked to her look for something in the catalogue and order it up if she found what I was looking for.  I'd like to say that I am really fond of the Sears department store, but truth be told, I never find much in the store, so I don't bother going there to shop unless something on their flyer catches my eye, and its a real deal!

However... while I'm not much for the Sears catalogue these days... I am all for GAP Canada ONLINE! Make that, GAP, OLD NAVY, and BANANA REPUBLIC online.  These online stores have only been available to Canadian residences less than a year, and let me tell you, I am LOVING this little gem of a clothing store.

I have always been a GAP girl at heart. Since highschool, I fell in love with the classic arch logo hoodie, and I haven't looked back. I worked at the GAP in University for some side cash... but really the side cash was spent at the GAP! Since having kids, I have found a new appreciation for GAP... in Baby GAP and GAP Kids.  Old Navy too... has some great finds, for both myself and the boys. And... when I'm feeilng rich and more engaged with the working world, I love me some Banana Republic!  All this to say... when these store finally came online and available to Canadians, I was beyond thrilled. Slowly I started browsing the site, and was a bit disappointed that not everything in the stores was available online - however, over time this has improved. What has also improved is my flexibility in being able to get to GAP to shop! I no longer have to make a special trip, I can just do it online 24/7.

So... where was I going with all of this, ahem... right... GAP online is like new aged Sears catalogue to me. I have been ordering up a variety of outfits, trying it all on in the comfort of my own mirror, matching shoes and accessories to everything, and then returning what I don't like or don't need, including the items I just ordered so I would clear the $50 threshold for FREE SHIPPING.  It's now become a bit of an obsession of mine... to the point where I absolutely refuse to pay anything less than 30 percent off of my entire order.  One the three stores in this little marriage is always having a SALE, or there is always coupon code to be had. The last time I paid full price at the GAP was ... high school (which was many MANY years ago)!

Yes... shopping online, especially at the GAP, is like the new-aged Sears catalogue experience... I love it. My wallet hates it, and I am sure the mail lady is so SICK of delivering GAP packages to my mailbox, but hey... it makes me happy, and keeps my Mommy wardrobe somewhat updated... although, my kids looks a helluva lot better than me these days!

Do you remember the days of the Sears catalogue? What's your favourite online shopping site?

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