What a Girl Wants

Shopping With Shairi, Janine, and Jevonne

From left: Jevonne and Janine Diljohn and Shairi Turner hit the shops.
photo: Kate Lacey
From left: Jevonne and Janine Diljohn and Shairi Turner hit the shops.

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The huge open door and gigantic image of Avril Lavigne on the vast video screen at H&M make the girls feel right at home, and the prices are cheering as well. Janine falls in love with a sheer red printed skirt, with a dipping hem like the blue chiffon at Dior, that is $19. "It's different than the clothes at Dior, but not that different," she observes, summing up neatly the dilemma that is wreaking havoc on the fashion industry as a whole. H&M has greeted the new season with a little bit of everything: Chinese tapestry knickers, fake Juicy Couture hoodies, crocheted sweaters with extra-long sleeves, Polynesian printed wrap skirts. It's an embarrassment of riches, and the girls, who each have $10 to spend, take a long time making their selections. They end up with a pink wrap skirt for Janine, two practical sleeveless tops for Jevonne, and a pair of big sunglasses and silvery hoop earrings for Shairi. It's dark by the time we leave the store, and all of Manhattan is aglow. Janine turns her face to the sky, the lights of Cartier dancing behind her. Looking up at the giant H&M sign, she says, "I love this store."

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