Today, I was out shopping for something nice to wear to a wedding coming up next weekend. As usual, it turned into a long, exhausting drudgery that I couldn’t wait to be over.
While I did end up finding something, it was no easy task. Some women (and fashionistas) just love frolicking around a store picking up piece after piece of some interesting top or skirt, or an accessory that they absolutely MUST have. I rarely experience that same level of exuberance, and here’s why:
First of all, I walk into a store and happen upon a sea of clothing racks, and don’t know where to start. While walking through the many racks of colors and textures, I struggle to find things that call out to me. By this point, I feel the energy drain from me and it’s only been 10 minutes.
Most of the items I see don’t fit my sense of style, they don’t fit my body type, and most of the time, they’re just way overpriced. I have to do all kinds of mental acrobatics just to make one purchase. “Is this within my budget? Will it fit? Will this look good on me? What if I gain weight again? What if I lose weight again? Does this color even look good on me? Does this match anything that I have or do I have to buy more stuff to match it? Should I look in this store or another one? Do I have time? Dammit!”
I must mention before I go on that I’m frugal as all hell. I don’t like making unnecessary purchases. With high living expenses, paying off my student loans, saving, and making other investments, shopping just doesn’t rank that high. I don’t buy into the whole consumerist culture. I don’t understand people who spend their entire paycheck shopping and then complain about the things that they can’t do, because they’re broke.
I like being financially stable. I want to be able to look like a million bucks and actually have the million bucks to back it up. I refuse to go broke trying to impress people who probably won’t care or remember what you wore yesterday.
Knowing how much it takes for manufacturers (and low-wage-earning men, women and children) to make these clothes, and knowing how high the retail mark-up on the items are is a huge turn-off for me. So, seeing a $50 top that costs $5.35 to make really burns me up, especially if it doesn’t look like it’s worth it. If you can’t tell by now, I was an Economics major in college. If I had the time and the know-how to make my own clothes, I’d do it. I’m a DIY kind of person in many ways. I like to be resourceful, learn new things and save money, so it all works out.
I usually can’t find things that fit my personality and style. I feel very out of place in my generation. I can never fully relate and the popular styles of the day just don’t look right on me. I have a timeless, classic kind of style. I want my style to be such that if someone pulls up a picture of me 20 years from now, they will be able to appreciate the outfit and say that it looks good and could still be worn. I pull it off all the time now. But with all these cookie cutter fashion trends, it’s hard to do. Therefore, I spend hours in the stores looking for things that look good on me and match my personality.
I must admit, I’m also afraid of wearing colors. However, everything in the store is just so damn colorful! I might try a pop of color here or there, but I’m not a canvas yet. It’s just hard to keep up with it.
While shopping, I must also ask myself: Will you be able to wear this again? I lose and gain weight all the time. This means that things that I purchase one day may not fit the same the next time I wear it. I have wasted money on things that I could fit one month and not the next, and then have to go shopping all over again. It sucks.
And good luck finding things that fit in the first place. I have nice lady curves. I have an hourglass shape. Do you know how hard it is to find jeans or any kind of pants that fit when you are naturally curvy? Very hard. It’s torture finding a pair of affordable jeans that fit and look good on you at the same time. Then when you find one, you have to find more so you don’t over-use that pair. Do you know how long it took to find that one pair! Ugh, it’s frustrating!
One day, I will bond with my inner fashionista, and we’ll go on a great many shopping sprees and actually like it. Until then, I will shop with caution.
Whoever, wherever, whenever, whatever you are: Do you feel the same way I do about shopping or are you of the happy, card-swiping variety? I want to know.