For three weeks in a row I peered, face pressed against the window, at the dress made from fabric that looked like newspaper. Problem was each time I passed the Rainbow Shop at Shoppes at Park Place it was early Saturday morning before the clothing store opened.
I'm there at 8 a.m. for the standing-room-only Weight Watchers meeting led by Anthony. He keeps a crowd of 50 or more laughing at his one-liners and furiously taking notes on his knowledge of metabolism, whole grains, meditation and tons more.
I have wanted a news print dress ever since seeing Sarah Jessica Parker wear one in Season 3 of Sex and the City. Check out this clip from the episode when Carrie encounters Big's ex-wife, Natasha.
So last week I went to a midday Friday Weight Watchers meeting (don't tell Anthony) and stepped into Rainbow afterwards. Realizing it's a store for juniors and plus-size customers I knew it wouldn't be my favorite store, but I had to get a closer look at that dress.
Many of the clothes are too young, too tight or so revealing they look like they got cut up in a knife fight without getting any blood on them. But I LOVED Rainbow's shout out to pop culture and fun prints.
There are great t-shirts with magazine covers of Marilyn Monroe. On one, Childlike Marilyn is blowing a big, pink bubblegum bubble. Another features Smart Marilyn wearing glasses. There are dresses, shirts and accessories featuring Paris, New York's skyline, hip-hip magazine covers, candy, emojis and beyond. I saw lots of shoes (made from pleather I'm guessing) with bright flower prints like Deal Diva Katie introduced us to in a pre-summer post.
I bought some leggings with comic-book-style word bubbles coming from highly glossed lips exclaiming "Pop!" "Wow" and "Yikes!" They were on sale for $7.
I paid $13 for a clutch featuring fashion magazine covers from a fictional "Paris" mag but with real photos of Michelle Obama, Beyonce and lesser known cover girls.
I bought a makeup palate for $12 that looks just like the Naked palate my oldest daughter paid $50 for at Sephora.
But sadly, the newspaper dress was disappointing. The big headline across the front read "Fashion & Styles." If I wore it it would look like I'm trying way too hard to announce: "Hey, I'm fashionable and stylish." (And I think we all know by now that goes without saying. On some days at least.)
Since Rainbow's average price per item is around $7.99 I'm not sure how the Brooklyn-based chain of 1,100 stores afforded all the copyrights to sell some of its merchandise. Maybe the bigger question is how will it afford a top-notch copyright attorney if Beyonce or Marilyn's estate raise a fuss.
Click on this link to find the Rainbow store nearest you. There are 15 in Tampa Bay. So stop by before prices go up or famous faces disappear if you want a cheap, flash of pop culture or unexpected print to add to your wardrobe. You don't have to be a junior or plus-size woman to find something you like. If you are, all the more reason to try Rainbow.
And if you are plus size and want to drop a few pounds (not that you have to by any means) go next door and ask for Anthony.