Sunday, May 04, 2008

The Alone Shopping Trip

This is not a hugely exciting thing for most people.

And I warn you, if you are male, stop reading now.

Unless you're obsessed with shopping.

Moving on... most people can occasionally go shopping alone.

Wait, if you're not really interested in a riveting discussion about clothing purchases, leave. Seriously.

Shopping alone -- for clothes, I mean. We're not talking slipping out of the house at 7 a.m. to grocery shop without distraction. A key ploy if you're trying to only buy what's on your list.

No, we're talking about shopping.... at one of the modern takes on the old classics, outdoor malls. Remember, indoor malls replaced main street shops. Now, apparently, we all miss cavorting in the weather at outdoor main street shops, so we've developed outdoor shopping malls that resemble main streets, only without the real 'street' part, now they are more like cobble-stoned pedestrian zones... so not the point.

I do prefer them, though, I enjoy fresh air, and when the weather is crappy, those coffee shops and outdoor fire places come in handy.

I had three hours to go shopping. See, here's the thing. I lost all that weight over the last summer, and fall and now, I have no summer clothes. Not one pair of shorts. Hardly any t-shirts. No capris. No skirts.

It was bliss. I actually.... tried things on. I felt like I was in my own private version of What Not To Wear. I carried a coffee around. I was uninhibited by cranky four year olds and a 'why can't I get stuff too' tween.

Oh, and while trying things on, I noticed something shocking.

I went down another size.

Yah. Who woulda thunk!

Now. Clothes. I'm petite. Not, 'petite and can float away like a feather' more like 'petite in a short squat way' and yes, while I've only got the eternal ten pounds to lose, something in my genetic make-up prevents me from being lithe and petite, making it not only possible, but understandable, when I am confused with either a hobbit or a dwarf, or a miniature troll.

But a cute one.

And considering how my sons eat, it may be hobbit.
But then if you watch me run, troll.
But my daughter has a temper of a dwarf.


I've gone and been all angsty about Target before. They just don't make clothes for short hobbitty people. Their tops are too skinny to fit around dwarven boobs. Their pants and shorts are not made for bubbly troll butts. Don't even get me started on the shoes and hobbit feet.

I DID find a pair of shorts that are a bit tight but wearable, and two cute tops by accident, and some adorable hats. BUT for the most part, I can't 'shop' there. I don't do Wal-Mart. For the same reasons as Target, AND the clothes there fall apart on me after two washings. I did all my husband's shopping at Target.

So where do I go? J.C. Penney's clothes have become real crap, in the petite's section anyhow. I don't know WHO is picking out their petite lines, but it might just be my great Polish grandmother Olga. (This is not a Polish joke, it so happens some ancestors of mine were Polish, possibly more so than they ever admitted).

Macy's is too intimidating. I can't stand walking into a store and being so overwhelmed with so much clothing, walking by adorable things, hideous things, 'career' things, 'athletic' things and then have to find the one little corner of clothes that fit me. (Sad, I know.)

So I DO know if I had a job, I"d probably go to Talbot's petites. My sister does and she says it's a nifty place with secret treasures for shorties.

But I don't.

I need park clothes.
Backyard clothes (despite not having a back yard).
Walking clothes.
Casual not frumpy clothes.
Clothes meant for a thirty-something nearer the forty-something end of the spectrum.
Jogging pants with PINK slapped on the butt are not going to cut it. (I don't own any, btw)

I wanted to be trendy. But J. Crew is too cute, and I just never could get into cardigans and argyles the way my too trendy/cute sister does. I mean, argyle? Ugh. Drown me in some Prepsville why don't you. Plaid hasn't been in and wearable since the 80's. I can't get away with grunge flannels, because we're not in Washington anymore.

So yes.

I have three staples, and they are dull, the stores are filled with predictable clothing. They aren't too big. All their lines use the same colors so they are easier to match (trust me, this is key. I have the fashion sense of a troll). They all have petite clothing. They all last years, rather than months.

But they are pricey.

This is why my wardrobe is smaller than my husbands wardrobe.
I couldn't justify spending as much as I wanted.

But, for the first time ever, I shopped SMART. I actually tried on everything, and only bought clothing that I would actually WEAR.

So my take?

Clothing that will last me all summer, next summer and the summer after.

What I could not do?
I could not spend $175 (HOLY CATS BATMAN) on a pair of flip flops. I went to the walking store, and after the man told me these shoes would last like, a decade, I realized I had a pair of shoes from the store from two years ago, and by my count, they have at least 8 more years to go. So maybe in 8 years I'll buy a pair of $175 flip flops.

I did go to the Famous Footwear store to get Hubby McRed some shoes. He's worn through all of his.

So I went to J. Jill, and bought the uberest cute walking shorts. Like wow. They touch the knee, which is perfect, because my main complaint about shorts is how they show thigh. I mean, if you have a great thigh, go for it. Me? Not so much. I then bought two shirts that go with the shorts and other stuff I own. Yes, I bought clothes that go with existing clothes... wow. I wanted a pair of $70 linen pants, they were so cool, but they were $30 too much for pants I almost but not quite loved, though they totally spoke to the frumpy lazy bones inside of me. If they go on sale, they are so mine.

But first I went to Eddie Bauer.
I bought a performance skirt with little slits in the back for movement. It's sooo much cuter than shorts. I don't hate shorts, I"m just very picky about shorts. This is a total casual wear to park, to shopping to anywhere skirt. Then I bought a shirt that matched said skirt. And a short sleeve hoodie so adorable and comfortable I didn't want to take it off. I also bought matching shorts. The shorts are very compatible to all the shirts I own, so score. I avoided the capris, because as a short person, they tend to make me look shorter. I DID find the RIGHT pair of capris, but they didn't have my size. Bugger all that. I bought flip flops in a cute butter scotch that I barely justified, and a cute summer dress that More Gravy found for me online. I tried it on. So cute.

And that's it. Like, I know some of you are in two camps: Of COURSE you shop at those stores, duh, the clothes are better quality and last longer. And the OMIGOSH those shops are so overpriced I go to Marshalls and Target and other places and have NO PROBLEM. I justify it by shopping these places, buying less, and feeling mildly bad about it until I realize these clothes actually look good on me.


Go me.

This is the most boringest post ever!

What do you expect when my life is like, seriously, ONLY this exciting?


Pageant Mom said...

My favorite thing in the WHOLE world is to go to Cracker Barrel and have breakfast by myself!! I get a newspaper or I take out my notebook and review everything I need to do for the next year LOL etc. I eat eggs and pancakes and hashbrown casserole and orange juice and tea and I don't have to give anybody a bite and I can dump ALL the blueberry syrup on one pancake if I want to and then ask for more...

As for shopping for clothes? I hear ya sister!! I'm not short per se, but I have the body of someone 5'2" from the waist up, and the body of someone 6'0" from the waist down. It SUCKS trying to buy clothes! shirts are too long and pants are too short waisted.

And did you ever notice how when you don't have the time or money to shop everything looks great, and when you have plenty of time and some money, you can't find a thing??

oh, but I DID find the cutest pair of thong sandals at target today (so I bought one pair in pink and the other in gold!!) 14.99 and comfy... go figure!

Jean-Luc Picard said...

I'm male and I managed to read all of the post!

RainyPM said...

K, first off, Pageant Mom - I LOVE Cracker Barrel. We have one just a mile from our house and my daughter gets pancakes every time and I get hashbrown casserole every time. Yummmmm.

Lahdeedah - this post was not boring! I'm glad the dress worked and you had me cracking up with all your talk of hobbits and trolls and dwarves. :)

Lahdeedah said...

Pageant Mom,


My mom used to buy them for me. She loved that place.

Can you believe, i've only been there, like, once, so long ago, I don't even remember? Isn't that awful? I will try to find one :).

Jean-luc, it's because you have such an eye for woman's fashion that you can appreciate this post.

Rainypm. Omigosh, hashbrown casserole sounds good right now. I bet you can find a recipe online! I want to.