Economic Stimulus II

signs

As much as I hate shopping, I finally realized I can’t continue wearing my holey shoes and faded clothes to my new job.  At home I often dress like a slob (large-sized t-shirts and sweat pants) because I like to be comfortable.  But when I’m out in public, I’m just vain enough to want to look, not just presentable but, sharp.  Clothes are my one weakness and I’d much rather own and wear classic clothes that will last many years, over the very trendy stuff that you wouldn’t be caught dead in next year.  So I have several things in my closet that I’ve owned more than 10 years, and as long as they still fit and don’t look shabby, I’m more than happy to continue wearing them.

I bought no new clothes for the nearly two years I wasn’t working, and even then, I often wore jeans to work during the winter months when I would be crawling around on the floor pulling books from shelves for discard.  So with much trepidation, I headed to the newest ‘lifestyle’ mall in town over the weekend and started searching.

What a nightmare.  I saw many people out and about, and many looked to be older than me.  There were also good sales to be had if you actually wanted to own what the shops were selling.  And that was my problem.

Where do ‘mature’ women buy clothes these days?  Most of what I saw wouldn’t have looked very becoming on a slim 20-something, let alone a mature woman of a certain age.  I first stopped at Coldwater Creek because I’ve like what I’ve seen in their catalog, but I’d never been in one of their stores.  Nada.  Everything I would have considered was in size 2XX or 3XX so I moved on to the next store, Chicos.  I vaguely remember buying a pair of pants at a Chicos in California that were the most comfortable pants I’ve ever worn.  But can anyone explain the sizing to me?  There were only 4 sizes, 0, 1, 2, and 3.  Huh?  I liked several of the outfits but at $100 per piece, I wasn’t interested.

I also checked J Jill, the Gap, and at Christopher & Banks finally found a pair of black slacks and a white blouse that were reasonably priced.  I think the slacks have too many do-dads on them for my taste, but they will be covered up by the tunic tops I’ll wear with them.

It wasn’t until I went to the Dress Barn at the Outlet Mall that I found a nicer pair of black slacks, 2 very becoming moleskin, gored skirts, and 4-5 tops.  Unfortunately both of the slacks and one jacket will have to go to the tailor for altering, but I’m pleased I found anything at all.

While waiting in line to pay, I was amused by a conversation I overheard.  Two women were talking about the bargains they found.  The one woman had handfuls of jewelry and couldn’t understand why her shopping partner hadn’t found anything to buy.  ‘Why,’ she said, ‘at $2.99 each, I’m buying stuff I don’t even like because the price is so good!’  I’m sure that mentality is music to retailers’ ears, but does that make any sense?

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