Post of the Day
December 9, 1998
Bebe Stores Folder
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Subject: How a Gap kid finds herself in Bebe
Okay, so I have this friend who has stock in Bebe. And he hears me trashing the stores all the time
as "slut clothes" and the store for Heather Locklear wannabees. (Before you exile me forever, take
a deep breath, hold on to your hat, and keep reading...)
I own stock in the Gap. I'm a Gap girl. The quintesesstial Gap kid actually. I think the Gap's the best. So, I was on a mission, of sorts, to destroy Bebe and all those silly, silly short skirts -- not that I can't wear them, because lord knows I can -- but because they're, well, so darn trendy and just generally un-Gap-like. Ew.
So, on a whim and without REALLY thinking about what he was offering, my friend suggests that his sister (also a Gap kid who made fun of Bebe incessantly) and I go do a little browsing, a little picking out and trying on, a little purchasing from Bebe -- on HIM. (Do you see the sparks in my eyes? And hers?)
We arrive giddily at one of the Bebe stores here in the DC area on Saturday. To be sure, it took a little getting used to at first. Where were the khackis? The nice, plain, cotton button-downs? The big boyfriend sweaters? All we could see was a sea of red and black and feathers and yucky three-quarter sleeves and leopard prints (no way, ever) and frankly, we were quite disturbed. But after adjusting our expectations a bit (Hey, maybe I'd actually look GREAT in a tight see-through black shirt and a skirt so short I literally can't sit down in it), we began to have a little fun there, to see the benefits of Bebe, to see how Heather Locklear feels (probably), to actually become a character on Melrose Place. It was, I admit, fun.
We grab a bunch of stuff and get a dressing room together. I put on a skirt and almost fell down laughing. Wow. Could I really get away with this? Answer -- oh yeah, but with an armed assistant tagging along. And that's okay. These are not clothes you wear unescorted. After further attempts, and much laughter, we actually get caught up in a Bebe mindset. I find myself wanting to own thigh-high boots and carry a whip. Bebe's great for making a girl, even a true tomboy like me, feel like a girl. Bebe makes my curves curve in just the right places. And the clothes are incredibly well made. Of course, as we all know, they ain't cheap, kids.
We tried on things for about an hour, then decided on a few things, and were done, not feeling entirely slutty -- actually not feeling slutty at all. I could not bring myself to try on anything with three-quarter inch sleeves, though, and the store was teeming with them. I just couldn't go THAT trendy. I had fun, though, and cannot wait to see my friend's face when he sees the Bebe monster he's created. Man, oh man. I hope he's ready...
One thing in particular bothered me about the store. The lack of a full length mirror inside the dressing room was annoying. Not everyone wants to have to walk out into the store with each new outfit on and have strangers give you their opinion. That was truly my only complaint.
So, will I be buying a little Bebe stock now? No. Even though their numbers are strong and I had fun and got some things I love, I see Bebe as a possible Gadzooks, and we all know what happened with Gadzooks. If Bebe is on top of their game enough to keep up with the trends, then they'll be fine. Young girls are always going to want to look silly and wear clothes that make their fathers cringe. Personally, though, I think Bebe may be screwed when Melrose Place gets cancelled or peters out. I think I'll just stick to a sure thing like the Gap and be as conservative with my investment dollars as I am with my clothes....
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