It took me a few trips to Bliss before any of the sales clerks managed to stop ignoring me. I don't know if it's because I didn't flash any money or if they were genuinely that interested in folding jeans, but no one wanted to acknowledge my presence. That is, until one fateful day in 2005.
I'm guessing I looked like a woman on a mission when I walked into Bliss in search of wedding attire. As soon as I came through the door, a young employee was on me like white on rice. It turns out she was the store manager. And what a manager. Ten minutes in, I futilely wished we could go back to pretending I didn't exist. After I tried on one outfit, the manager over-enthusiastically told me the top and skirt combination looked just gorgeous on me, that she'd sold a few already even though she just got them in, that the size I wanted was the only one in the shipment, that really, it would look so good on me even if it needed some alterations--which she promised would be easy for the tailor--that at the rate the pieces were going I would have to act now or lose them forever, and weren't these shoes absolutely adorable with the ensemble? (Decidedly not. Ruffled white, super-pointed pumps didn't even look good in the '80s.) She basically followed me around the 500 square foot floor space for the entirety of my visit, extolling the virtues of the outfit with saccharine sweetness. I eventually found something to wear, but not without enduring repeated visits, still more sales pressure from the manager ("These earrings, this necklace and these bracelets are just perfect for you! No? What about these? I think these are also great on you") and prices I wouldn't ever have considered had I not been desperate.
Although Bliss tries to represent the glimmer of hope for Seattle fashionistas, it usually falls short. You might be able to find a gem from time to time, but you have to ask if it's really worth all the hassle. For example, Bliss carries some designer jeans, but you're better off going to a store like Nordstrom's where the service, prices and alterations are better. At Bliss, you'll find bipolar sales strategies, returns for store credit only, and basic hems--not much else in the way of tailoring--for more than you'll find elsewhere.
At what cost fashion? Not this much.