Tuesday, May 09, 2006

Shoes vs. dating

A strange thought came over me as I browsed some clothing magazines. (Also, I can't help be swayed by all the haute couture I just saw in Europe.) What if I completely gave up on the idea of getting married, buying a house, and having children in exchange for blowing some money on some good looking shoes and handbags?

I'm no slob, but can honestly say I have my share of comfy, bloated looking clothes. Even Tim thought I was dressed rather unattractively on Sunday wearing waist-high, faded Gap jeans and an ivory, long-sleeve, slightly oversized v-neck. I changed into some new clothes from H&M, a blue floral halter with a crochet, yellow shrug. I have to say it was rather nice to be complemented by several woman that afternoon on my outfit.

I love looking at "Lucky" magazine. It's my one indulgence besides "In Style" if I'm stuck at the airport when I'm traveling for work. I'm a late bloomer in the fashion department. I grew up in a sunny, predominantly blond-haired community. Being white and dressed in trendy clothes got you in with the popular people. I lacked several qualifications to ever belong to that clique. And let's face it, a lot of those fashions are meant for skinny women over 5'6". What's girl to do when her legs are disproportionately short and she has no bust to hold up a deep v-neck top?

I can still recall many junior high school days when my mother had me wear some old clothes of hers. We're talking early to mid-seventies clothes being worn in the days of Duran Duran, early MTV, and Material Girl. Why did she put me in black and white platform sandals? Those might sound cool today, but not when you're an impressionable and harshly judged 13-year-old.

When I graduated from college, baggy clothes were still kind of the norm. It also probably didn't help that I wasn't all that comfortable or confident about my body (and I probably didn't actually look too bad).

I think it was only after I broke up with my college boyfriend (5 years of emotional abuse) that I lost weight and start buying better clothes. But even then, I was still getting a feel for what looked right on me. Every woman is different, but the clothes you want don't know any better.

Maybe in grad school is when I finally started picking up more age appropriate clothing. Honestly, I think I've kind of regressed to make up for lost time. When my cousin was wearing Bebe, I was wearing Liz Claiborne. She still shops at places like Bebe, H&M, Forever 21, Express, and Target.

Personally, I thought Forever 21 was cheap and obnoxiously bright - but hey, I'm not their target market either. It's also challenging because I'm a petite person. That means I either pay a lot for hemming, figure out how to sew, or shop at stores that have petites. And buying petites means going to Ann Taylor, BR (whose hip area on pants and skirts is always way too narrow), J. Crew, and department stores. It also means I need to go where they sell the under size 6 shoes (fewer and fewer places over the years).

I'm a bargain hunter by nature. I learned it well from my mother, maybe too much so. But that also means that sometimes I pass up on things I really want because they're not marked down 50% of retail price. It probably doesn't help that I live in an Asian woman rich environment and have to compete with all their needs and money. So here I am thinking it might be time to head to the Macy's sales today and get myself some hot clothes for the summer. Man, I've got to get cable again so I can watch "What Not to Wear." I miss that show.

What am I saving all this money for if I'm not getting married and having kids? Why not enjoy it a little? Besides... I guess I can always return it if I change my mind, right? ;)


zerodoll said...

I too feel like I came to shopping late in life. I finally got sick of looking in the closet at the same two pairs of pants. Or faded clothes. Or baggy clothes. And yeah, the grunge trend killed the years when I probably had the best body, but no time like the present for a change! And what is up with BR, the waist is gigantic if the hips fit- I can't buy anything there!

Pandax said...

Yeah, I like BR, but the sizing is annoying. And, unofficially, a friend who works there says they have a new size coming... "00." More than a year ago, I guessed that that was where clothing sizes were headed. After all, you can do "-1." ;) You know, if they just stopped trying to make women feel better about there size, maybe we wouldn't be so overweight.

kateholiday said...

I don't know how to accessorize. I'm just starting to figure out that accessories constitute that fine line between an "outfit" and just throwing some clothes together. (Most of my "outfits" fit into the latter catagory.) Also, at 27 I find that I'm in that stage of life in which I need to start dressing more conservatively (there's nothing more unattractive than an older woman dressing like a 20-year old), but my wardrobe still consists primarily of tight, revealing clothing. And believe it or not, I hate shopping. It doesn't help that the one new shirt that I bought in the last six months shrunk after the first wash!! I hate clothes. If it wasn't for having to dress up for my job, I swear I'd just wear jeans and t-shirts for the rest of my life.

(Sorry, I don't know you, but I can relate on many levels.)

Anna May Won't said...

i only recently started getting into clothes as well, in the past coupe of years. what not to wear was definitely an inspiration!

i third you and zerodoll on br - the waists are always gigantic. i have more luck with the shirts.