Here’s the thing.
It’s not so much that I dislike clothes shopping.
It’s just that I am so overwhelmed with my choices.
I will procrastinate until it’s dire straights and then fling myself into the mall hoping to find just one top that I like.
I know what I want, but no one seems to be selling it.
I decided to focus and get educated about clothes shopping because I was having anxiety attacks in the parking lot from the pressure to perform.
First I read all the books on fashion “rules”.
I studied color wheels and skin charts and body types. I read articles on the internet and browsed websites that would give you a personal analysis, clothing suggestions, accessory ideas, and even send you individually selected clothing right to your front door.
I stared down glossy magazines full of angry models.
“Why can’t the fashion industry make up their minds?” they say.
I can’t blame them.
Based on how few actual clothes they have on, I imagine they are having just as much trouble as I am shopping for jeans that fit.
My next step was to hit the mall.
I began by sitting at the coffee shop and drinking some optimism. I watched other ladies walk by wearing nice outfits and had yet again, that life-defining thought: “I could do that.”
Why? Why do I do that to myself?
But I snatched up my efficient utilitarian (“classic”) purse and began touring the window displays.
All of the latest trends were there. The mannequins had no curves and their bored expressions seemed to say, “Here today, gone tomorrow. You should’ve seen us in the 90s.”
I found a store that represented my “style”. A cross between country bumpkin and ‘date night on the bayou’. Sort of ‘mommy with an attitude’ with a touch of ‘I meant to do that’.
I forgot everything I learned about colors and fit and snatched up armloads of tops and pants in three sizes at once.
All I could think of was navigating the dressing room.
If you can only take five items into the room at a time but you need to try on a dozen, you have to hold an exchange of hostages with an employee waiting in the hall.
That’s if you plan ahead.
Otherwise, you must completely redress in your own clothes to run back out to the racks and find another size while hoping your room is still available. Do it enough times, and your hair ends up looking like you went through a cyclone, your top gets pulled on inside out and so much clothing is migrating under the stall door from the lady next to you that you are tossing refugees out like hot potatoes.
The employee will frown at you if you enter the dressing room with twelve items and come out with five.
It’s a whole different look if you enter the dressing room with five items and come out holding twelve.
My foray into the store ended like it always does: I kissed a great many frogs. None of them turned into princes. Looked great on the hanger. But I had to toss them back into the swamp.
The next step was logical. It was necessary. It may have been illegal.
But it was all in the name of retaining my “Girl Card”.