Saturday, October 13, 2007

ode to old-lady stores

I spent a fortune today. I think I spent more money on clothes just for me than I have ever spent in a single outing. In my entire life. I am not a shopper. I don't like shopping, especially not for clothes. But there was no way I could avoid buying new clothes any longer. I have only a few shirts suitable for work, and one of them has an ink stain right near my nipple, and the other two are maternity shirts, one of which also has a faint stain. The two pairs of pants I have that are suitable for work don't really fit, feel weird, and look worse.

I have worn my winter coat for more than nine winters, including the winter I was pregnant and gave birth. It used to be my dad's ski jacket, until he got sick of it nine years ago. I don't think I need to say any more.

I think I'd like to be slightly less of a slob. I know I'll never be one of those women who is ALWAYS well put-together, the ones who have perfectly coiffed hair all the time and wear high heals and nice blouses every day, and NEVER get a run in their stockings. But I think I should make an attempt to at least get some clothes that fit properly and look reasonably well. I realized the other day, with a bit of a start, that I weigh about what I weighed when I was six or seven months pregnant (hey, almost exactly two years ago). I think it could be a while before I'm back to my pre-pregnant size, if ever, so I decided to find some clothes that make me feel good.

So I went to the mall. Where I discovered that I am officially old. How do I know? Because while I did set foot in some of the stores aimed at the younger set, the stores I used to shop in, I didn't find a single thing that either fit or was remotely to my taste. Today I shopped almost exclusively at the old-lady stores, the ones I've never really stepped into before, but out of desperation I did today and discovered, to my pleased surprised, that their clothes actually look nice AND they're good quality AND they carry sizes larger than my thinnest size ever. AND I got really good service from women who don't make me feel like I'm a) a total geezer, b) pathetically out to lunch or c) way too fat to shop there. They don't look at my ass like it's a hopeless cause that no clothing will flatter but give me an honest opinion and find me clothing that fits AND flatters my body. Heck, unlike those waif-like teenagers in the other stores, these ladies sometimes even have an ass. Score!

For those of you who like to shop and would like a little vicarious thrill, here's what I bought:

1) A heavy wool, brown winter coat with a belt. Not terribly exciting but considerably more tasteful than my big ole (and I mean really old and really big) ski jacket. On sale for $70 off.
2) A brown wool blend suit for interviews with a shortish blazer and a longish, fairly straight skirt, almost identical to my other interview suit except that this one fits. It's comfortable (especially important during job interviews -- one of which I have next week for a job in Toronto), and makes me look good, and like I know what I'm doing (also especially important for job interviews). On sale for the price of the blazer alone.
3) A black pair of stretch cords with a camel pinstripe that actuallly fit. More impressive than it sounds.
4) A fairly long brown sweater with a cute almost-belt that keeps it from becoming a tent. (If you had told me two years ago that I would buy an almost-belted sweater, I would have laughed in your face. But it's nice.)
5) Two faux-two-piece-layered shirts -- one brown with a stripey collar and cuffs, the other red with a white collar and cuffs.

I also splurged and bought a book that intrigued me the other day, Look Me in the Eye: My Life with Asperger's, and just for Sugar D, the new definitive guide to Javascript. Yeehaw.

Since it's suddenly SO cold, I also got Swee'pea some good mittens. It was horrible this morning walking to the market and watching his little hands go red, but he refused to have a blanket on them. We discovered when I got home from shopping though, that Swee'pea has apparently developed a phobia of mittens. Seriously. When I took them out of the bag and approached him, he kept backing away and shaking his head, a panicked look in his eye. When he'd backed into a corner and I was still approaching, he cried and I stopped. I did the classical phobia thing, where you just try to get the scary scary item as close as the phobic person can stand it, and then bring it a little closer, until he even allowed them on his hands for a second. But he will not let us put them on him for outside. What are we going to do? How do we prevent his hands from getting frostbit this summer? Anyone ever had a mitten-phobic kid in a northern clime before?

15 comments:

bubandpie said...

My kids aren't mitten-phobic, precisely, but the mittens do not stay on. Mostly, we just move quickly from car to house and vice versa. Too-long snowsuit sleeves are good too.

Mouse said...

Good for you! I go back and forth between thinking I should just go ahead and buy nice, new things that fit now and that I should wait until I figure out a second pregnancy.

Mimi said...

Good for you! It really does make a big difference to wear clothes that fit. And these days, I never know where I'm supposed to shop, or if things will fit, and if I can get a pair of jeans without spiralling into self-loathing and an ice cream binge, things are good.

Interview???? Do tell!

Beck said...

Put cute socks on his hands. And they're longer.
I NEEEEEED new clothes. Desperately. I actually went out today and looked for some and then came home with none because all of the clothes were icky and nothing looked good. I will now live vicariously through your clothing shopping success.

dawn224 said...

You did excellent shopping!

I'm with the rest - long sleeves. Really long sleeves.

slouching mom said...

Those clothes sound great!

Ben used to hate mittens -- he'd pull them off and "lose" them.

Beck's idea is good, I think.

Karen said...

ooo! Beck, socks on hands! Genius! And yes, tha old-lady store are it! For sure!

Aliki2006 said...

I love belted sweaters, I have to say.

I'm glad you went shopping! It sounds like you made out well...

nomotherearth said...

The Boy hates mittens. What I did was put them on first, and then get the jacket on as quickly as possible so the mittens were tucked way up in his sleeves. He could figure it out (for a while). The do make mittens, apparently that go up to the elbow or something and they're next to impossible to get off.

That may not be the advice you were looking for, I realize, but it's the best I got.

Suz said...

Ohh...I love winter coats and your new one sounds beautiful! We don't get much use for them down here, so I haven't gotten a new one in years (like 10), but I'm glad that you have a new one!

b*babbler said...

All your purchases sound so lovely. I'm still trying to cobble together a wardrobe with pieces that sort of fit from before I was pregnant. I figure the longer I postpone buying the larger sizes, the longer I can wistfully believe I'll magically lose the 10 lbs that are lingering. Sigh.

Interview? Down here in Toronto? How exciting is that!

niobe said...

Not that I have anything against clothes (after all, I wear them almost every day), but I have to say that the book sounds fascinating.

crazymumma said...

Clothes shopping terrrifies me unlessI am at Value Village.

good luck with the mitts. clip them onto his caot perhaps and let his fingers get cold, then show him how he can do it himself.....

sigh. if its not one battle its another.

mamatulip said...

Sounds like you did well on the shopping front!

Any time I've gotten protests in the mitten department, I've told the kids they could wear socks on their hands. May not be the best looking thing, but they think it's fun and it keeps their hands covered and (somewhat) warm.

mamatulip said...

I just realized that Beck said the same thing I did. Great minds think alike. ;)