October 19, 2012

The Bay: How I Love Thee

 My love affair with The Bay has been up and down like any good dysfunctional relationship. As a child I only have a few shopping memories. The first is trying on about 40 bathing suits at Sears around the age of 8. My sway back was causing my Mother and I some trouble with the fitting, so we felt it was important to try on every single size 8 swim suit in the store. We settled on a scandalous side cut-out suit, with four little bows that held the two sides together. You can imagine how great my tan lines were that summer.

My second memory is going to The Bay in grade 4. We purchased a smashing pair of magenta pink shorts with purple trim, then the matching purple and pink layered tank top, and the matching purple t-shirt. Who knew I would be putting together two outfits, with three simple pieces. I wore this outfit until the seams were frayed.

Back in 1995 there was no La Senza girl, Gap Junior, or Old Navy in Ottawa so the Bay and Sears were our only options for respectable children's clothing. I guess I should admit that only a year later I was rocking several sweatsuits from Cotton Ginny and Northern Reflections. This is a part of my past that I am not proud of, but I wasn't the only girl wearing a "Spice Mice" shirt on the playground. I'd still go for a good stirup pant today. 

Fast forward into my high school days, and I wouldn't be caught dead walking through the Bay, let along purchasing anything. My Mom has always been a very strong supporter of The Bay herself and never wavered from the store during this time difficult time. Sure, she would support me buying the exact same semi-formal dress as everyone else at Jacob, but I knew deep down that she wanted to get me into something Jones New York.

By the time I entered university, I started to realize that there were certain things that The Bay just did right. I would drop by on weekends when I lived in Kingston for a pair of tights, an umbrella, or maybe a pair of shoes. I would also buy all of my brother's their Christmas sweaters at this surprisingly diverse store. Once I entered the work world and my taste in clothing was starting to mature, the Bay went through the same transition. Suddenly, I was dropping by to check out a pair of Jessica Simpson jeggings that my roommate Ashley had recommended. I was swinging by after work to grab a Guess bathing suit that actually came in my size. I was bringing friends on weekends to look through their shoe department or to grab some Clinique lipgloss. I don't know exactly when it happened, but all of the sudden I was madly in love with the Bay!

My favourite things about the Bay are Bay Days, weekend sales, and my HBC mastercard. Where else in the mall can you buy designer clothing on sale? It seems like everytime I drop in to pick up a gift from someone's registry, a new set of towels, or a pair of panties, I get them for 15% off! Use my HBC credit card, and its another 15% off!! It's madness really. 

The Bay has really changed their line over the past couple of years, and now a twenty something like myself can find almost everything I need for my wardrobe in one stop. If you haven't been by the Bay recently, what are you waiting for?

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