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Wednesday, September 29, 2010

ARE YOU AFRAID TO SAY YOU SHOP AT RAINBOWS?

 
Just like many of you, I love to shop at budget friendly stores like Forever 21 and H&M. I can't tell you how excited I get when I find a banging dress from H&M and it cost me no more than $50. I also love sharing with my friends about the cutest items I find at Forever 21 for no more than $30. When it comes time, I wear those pieces with pride and even taken care of them just as good as something I paid $200 for. When it comes to shopping on a budget (whether you want to or have to) many of us feel a sense of pride because we for the most part received a good deal, right? So, why is it that whenever someone mentions the long time wallet friendly store "Rainbows" we immediately turn up our nose and cringe at the sound of the name?  


If you are from Brooklyn, Bronx, Queens, Manhattan, and Staten, then you know what I'm talking about.
Back in the mid to late 90's, it was never cool to say you bought something at Rainbows because it meant that it was cheap. During that time the cool clothes were a pair of Guess jeans and Ralph Lauren polo shirts. If you didn't have name brand then you better not mention anything about Rainbow or you would risk getting ridiculed by the mean girls during lunch time.

Rainbows was one of the first chain stores that carried both straight and plus sizes before other brands starting doing so. Even with all their polyester and itchy fabrics they manage to produce  cute and trendy pieces for girls on a budget. Now, you would think that we would embrace a store like this just as much as we embrace stores like Forever21, right? Well, not exactly. Although Rainbows is a budget friendly store it's name is used derogatorily amongst those of us who consider ourselves pretty fashionable. Whenever something looks cheap, what's the first thing we say? "That looks like something from Rainbows." Rainbows offers just about the same trends for the same prices, if not cheaper than H&M and Forever 21, so, why do we dismiss and disparage the longtime wallet friendly store and not embrace it? Could it be because of Rainbow's earlier reputation of low quality clothing that would deteriorate after two washes?
Whenever I have this discussion with people, I seem to get mixed reviews. Some girls have no problem shopping at Rainbows and will proudly let you know they do. Others, will kindly tell you no, I don't shop at no Rainbows because the clothes are cheap. So, if we can proudly say we shop at H&M, Target, Kohls, and F21, then why are we so afraid to say that we shop at Rainbows?

Sound Off!

18 comments:

Monique said...

We don't have them in L.A., but I wouldn't be ashamed to say I bought something cute on a budget. :)

Ms Desha said...

I just had the same convo with someone a few days ago...We were discussing girls who buy $400 shoes and then put on a "Rainbow" dress. The fact is I used to shop at rainbow alot (they lost one of my bags so they are on my no-go list)I LOVE clothes and Until I get off my lazy arse and start my line I shop wherever they carry my size, cheap stores or not its not what you paid for it its what you make of it that matters.

Ayumiin said...

I've shopped at Rainbow a few times... Unfortunately, it's been very hit and miss. I've found some good, cheap things but I've also seen a lot of stuff that should be given away for free considering how it would barely survive one wash.

But if I found something awesome there, I wouldn't be ashamed!

Mary Contrary said...

I have ZERO problem shopping at Rainbow. There are two Rainbow Plus stores near me in Baltimore city, and I survived in my 17.99 sweaters most of last winter. It's not the first place I go when shopping, but if I feel the need for some retail therapy, and my wallet is a little light, I can feel satisfied shopping at Rainbow. It's definitely hit or miss, but you can get some good, cheap basics to get you by, as well as some on-trend items on a good day.

Anonymous said...

Monique - they are in L.A. All over the place. :)

Niki Cheapskate said...

i shop at Rainbow from time to time, but I'm not ashamed to say that I've gotten anything from them. they are definitely hit or miss, but that's with any store nowadays. As far as the clothes ripping after two washes, i have a shirt from them that i bought about two years ago and it's still holding up. i think as long as you wash it on the gentle cycle, it will be fine.

Living Fly on a Dime said...

I haven't shopped at Rainbow in a long time but I do have to admit I was a bit reluctant to say I got an item from there. There does seem to be a hierarchy when it comes to budget retailers. Target is ok, Forever 21 is acceptable, but God forbid you're a grown woman and buy something from Rainbow. Gasp!

But now I proudly proclaim when I find a cheap chic find. As long as it looks good, who cares?

Michaniya Cunningham said...

I'm a big fan of rainbow. Before I discovered rainbow I was just a bad dressing fat girl. Rainbow was the first store to show me that cute clothes were out there for plus size girls. I love F21 and I shop there most of the time, but Rainbow is a popular go to, and I will continue shopping there.

asha said...

i buy staples at rainbow, like leggings. i've even bought some of my favorite no think/go-to sweaters there. but like with any store, i shop there selectively and i wash the clothes according to the label. i'm not going to rock head to toe anyone, be it rainbow, lane bryant, i.n.c or anyone else. i'm also not going to purchase a super-trendy/only this season item at top prices. i buy what fits me and what looks good. if i can get it at a lower price, that's cool.

OhSoFabreka said...

I love shopping at Rainbow...I usually find some great basic items there...you all have to understand that I'm a college student in a really small country town in alabama with no clothing stores whatsoever...the closest mall to my school is at least 30 mins away and that mall happens to have a Rainbow whenever I go in I usually find something simple and really cute...like those puffy shoulder/sleeve shirts or jeggings or plus size bandage mini skirts or shoes...I love rainbow its cheap and cute! oh and don't forget the store It's Fashion or it may go by It's Fashion Metro...just rainbow many ppl may be ashamed to say they shop there!

princessvalecia said...

I love Rainbow and will continue to shop there and mix it with my pricey pieces until they do me wrong!

Sabrina said...

I have been shopping at Rainbow for years. I will admit that there was a time that I stopped shopping there, but it was not due to being ashamed, but the fact that they were making horrible clothes.

However, in the last year I have reclaimed my love for them. I have a ton of things in my closet currently that are from Rainbow. They are now one of my first places I go to when I need budget friendly, trendy clothes.

The Natural Fashionista said...

Rainbow may not be a place that I normally shop at, because that is because some of the styling and quality don't meet my taste. But I will shop anywhere that has the items I am looking for, regardless of the price. A true fashion lover can take a $3 item and make it look like it cots $300!

Cara said...

rainbow from time to time has great pieces whether people want to believe it or not!!! Ive found some great finds at rainbows and i love them but for me ive got to look

Anonymous said...

I hate rainbow , simply fashions etc. For one thing , the ones in my area stink. Its not the fact that I am ashamed to buy from them, its their quality that ruins it for me. I work hard for my money , so I want to feel like I am getting the most for money - not feeling like I am being ripped off. I would rather have a quality item versus a bunch of items in my closet. FYI , I do buy some things from target and walmart.

... in case of fabulous said...

The issue for me with shopping at rainbows is the quality. Yes F21 and HM are cheap as well but the craftsmanship of their clothing is so much better. I tried shopping in there a few weeks ago though and it didnt work out.

Anonymous said...

Rainbow is the worst place to shop. The quality of the clothing is horrible. Buying a shirt that rips within a month is a waste of money.

Anonymous said...

It's all about cost per wear. If you buy a skirt at HM for $40 but only wear it twice -- not worth it. Similar skirt at Rainbow for $20 but wear 5 times -- it's only $4/wear. So who cares if it's cheap -- wash on gentle cycle, wear a few times and then donate. I think that people complain it's cheap or get embarrassed to shop there because it's too "urban" for them.

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