I'm Sold...

So, it's no big secret that I am a sucker for Scandinavian design. Throw in some clean lines, classic colors, good pricing, practicality and meatballs and you'll find me there. So, it was with eager anticipation that I looked forward to Portland's newest outlet of Northern European yum, with the opening of H&M last Thursday.

Less than two blocks from my office downtown, the lines for H&M stretched around the whole street and around the block. At first I thought people had staked out places on the sidewalk for a Veterans Day Parade (since it was on the same day) but no... it was just a lot of rabid shoppers waiting to be the first in the door. For those of you not familiar with H&M, I'll give you a brief description. Fashionable, affordable and from Sweden. Basically, it's kinda like the IKEA of clothes, but with less meatballs. Actually, H&M (Hennes und Mauritz) was originally founded in 1947 as a womens store (hennes means hers) in Sweden. However, over the years they have expanded their lines to include mens, kids, and juniors and their locations can be found all over any major european city. In the past decade though, they expanded to the US and placed stores all over New York City. (They are actually as ubiquitous in NYC as Starbucks are; however, it's a good idea to visit at least two or three of the stores since they all have "slightly" different stuff.) In recent years, stores have also popped up in Chicago and Seattle and now finally.... Portland.

So, I was looking forward to the opening since anytime I travel to Europe or NYC, I always make a point to stop into a store and try to find something I can't live without. And, because the new store was so close... is actually a pretty dangerous thing. I stupidly thought I might be able to "swing by" during opening day, but all throughout the afternoon, the line just to get into the store still reached around the block. Even on the following day I imagined the crowds to be quite long... so, I waited.

And I waited.

And finally Monday evening after work I decided to make my way over.

And well... it was pretty much what I expected. Standard items of button downs, sweatshirts, jeans, pants, and accessories. If you were looking for a basic item for your work wardrobe you could find it. If you were looking for a new hoodie you could find it. If you were looking for a casual shirt to wear to your friends bbq you could find it. And well, if you ever go out to the clubs you may have even found something that worked. Overall, I wasn't really wowed. I mean, I wasn't expecting much and some of what I saw was pretty much the same thing that was on the shelves in Sweden this summer, but for standard basic items it was pretty good. And yeah, most tops were in that $15-30 range which is pretty affordable for a basic new shirt. I think if you wanted a new coat you could have really made out as they did have some really nice options. As well, I did like their mens selections. I don't often buy in the men's department because the clothes are huge on me, but I love looking. And well, as I strolled through the mens wear I saw a couple of other ladies doing the same. Regardless though, I didn't see anything that jumped out and said "BUY ME JENN, FOR THE LOVE OF GOD!" And well, the things I saw that I liked, I realized I already had. For example, I did not need another long sleeve t-shirt, another t-shirt, a pea coat, a button down black shirt, a plaid shirt, or a knit cap... so I walked away empty handed. Satisfied, but empty handed.

What I thought was the coolest thing about the new H&M was obviously, not what they had on the shelves, but the photos they had in their display windows. These, really impressed me. In fact, I was so taken by them that that is the whole reason I decided to write this post... was so that I could share them with you. So, for that I'll give them two thumbs up. Yeah for the gay H&M! I mean, maybe it's just a clever marketing ploy (the gay, you know, is so trendy these days) and maybe these folks aren't really gay... shit... it really doesn't matter. It's implied and well, if you know... you know. ;)

damn... I'm sold.

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