Now that I live in Alaska (where the thrift stores are both expensive and terrible), I’ve been forced into buying clothes from stores like regular people. It’s awful.
Clothes are Expensive!
I hear the argument that you should just buy really well made clothes and they’ll last forever. It’s a sane argument. But what if you have 3 crazy kids, you spend most of your year walking through snow, your shirts always manage to get holes in the front, and you are incapable of eating chocolate without having pieces melt into your shirt?* Well, then your argument is crazy. Then I put on said shirt and feel like I can’t live my life. I can’t accidentally rub up against my car (with its inch-thick dirt in the winter and spring). I can’t touch my children. I can’t go outside.
But even things that are “faster fashion” (though not the fastest of fashions) are still crazy. I mean, I can’t justify spending $58 on a shirt that might be covered in greasy peanut butter in a matter of hours!
Who Are These Clothes Made For?
I am a fairly thin individual, but I was recently diagnosed with supercolon (basically the longest, twistiest colon in all the land). This means that I periodically bloat. It’s unpredictable and embarrassing. Clothes that fit when I am thin later look horrible when the bloating hits unexpectedly. It is for this reason that I have been looking to replace my standard long-sleeved shirts I’ve been wearing 70% of the year for the past 7 years.
Going into the clothes stores stresses me out, so I am a fan of doing a big order and trying them all on in the comfort of my home before returning most of them. Last week, I ordered several tops from Nordstrom Rack’s Clear the Rack sale (some shoppers pointed me in that direction). I literally ordered every top in my size that didn’t show skin on the back, the sides, the belly, or down the front. Apparently this is hard to find these days! I tried them all on. It was horrifying. They were so weird. One shirt made me look like that “belly fat” drawn ad you always see on sidebars. And I wasn’t even bloated!
Clothes are Boring
In the old days, I lived in my X-men t-shirts and my orange pants (or the outfit above – you’ll also be happy to know that I still own those hammer pants. I wear them over my swimsuit in the summertime). Now that I’m in my 30s, sometimes pretending to be a work-at-home professional who has 3 kids (one that is reaching tween age), I feel like I have to move into the adult world. The problem is that I still want to wear exciting, colorful things that also fit into the realm of “grown-up clothes.” This doesn’t seem to exist. All the clothes everywhere are boring. Apparently I can only wear stripes or solids because that’s what’s for sale. (Also, are people aware that the 90s were terrible the first time around?)
Creativity Always Helps
One of my favorite things to do is take clothes people give me and turn them into something else or modify them to work. My cousin used to live in Alaska and she was a shopper (and had a great style). About once a year, she would give me a bag of clothes. For presents, I started a tradition that I would take one item of clothing and gift it back to her as something else. One year, I took her husband’s ugly sweater from a Christmas party and made hats for her, her husband, and baby. Another year, I took an old sundress of hers and made matching aprons for her and her daughter. It was super fun and I loved doing it.
Three years ago, my cousin left the state (which also means my free clothes supply was cut off). This past weekend, I was complaining about all of these problems and another friend of mine offered me to look through a box of her old clothes. She’s not my size, but I was able to modify a few tops that will work for visits to the office. I also whipped up a black shrug from one of her old skirts that worked perfect with another top I really liked. I was reminded that this was my element. I loved doing it. Unfortunately, none worked to replace my long-sleeved tops I’ve had to pass on. And now I’m back to square one on that front…
What’s the Point?
You’re right. This post was nothing but a giant rant about clothes. I actually really like clothes, but apparently it’s hard to find those clothes that I like. I also did an Amazon order (yet to arrive) and tried ThredUp (HOW do you make it through all those options?!) – both were very stressful and overwhelming. I don’t need to purchase clothes all that often, but it turns out for the first time in 6 years, I’m in the market for some major wardrobe replacements. I thought it would be fun to spend money and go shopping. It’s not.
*I get this quality from my mother. We know how to enjoy our chocolate!