Wednesday, January 03, 2007

Into the Wardrobe

I hated shopping even before I had small children. With small children, it's just out of the question. If I can't get it at the grocery store, I don't buy it.

But, with my sister here, some much-needed shopping is taking place. I even bought some clothes, which has always been a problematic area for me. Because I go shopping so rarely, and have rather strict requirements in the decency department, I usually feel a desparation to buy something--anything--that seems marginally workable. The end result is a lot of clothes that I don't really like.

So this time I resolved not to buy anything that I didn't love, and that furthermore it had to be workable with my life (i.e. washable and not showing stains) and be a good buy. Much to my surprise, I actually found one skirt and half a dozen blouses that met this standard. I even worked up my nerve to go into a more trendy-looking store--which I usually have avoided because I neither desire to wear hooded sweatshirts nor air my navel--and was astonished to discover some extremely cute striped stretch shirts and ribbed turtlenecks to layer.

In that vein, I've been interested lately by a new blog find, The Space Between My Peers, which is fashion discussion from a SAHM who homeschools. Clothes for real people. And who besides a homeschooling mom would explain outfit balancing with Cuisenaire rods?

I'm still working on what sort of clothes really work with my current job. Plain t-shirts and solid knits in general are seriously overrated--they show stains way too easily. Better to get something with texture and a little pattern (at least heathered) that will camouflage. I like TSBMP's advice to think of wardrobes in terms of tops and bottoms to wear around the house, and accent top pieces to toss over the top when you go out. This also helps cover up the drool. Also, low-riding skirts are more forgiving of waistline changes than ones that ride at the waist. And straight skirts or ones that button just are not going to survive sitting cross-legged on the floor.

So, I'm heading up into the attic, finding blazers that I had thought I retired, and trying them out with more practical skirts and blouses. I'm dragging out all my scarves, which didn't work at the neck anymore, and wearing them in my hair and as belts. I'm casting my net a little wider to find new things to try. I'm trying to put into words what I really like in clothes, so I know what I'm looking for (rich colors, especially red, green and brown, stripes, curved lines, extra stitching and details) and what I'll never enjoy (anything too girly or too bland). It's fun.

I've tried periodically to cure myself of caring about clothes. But I've never quite succeeded.


Carrie said...

ha! Now I know what you mean. I went to try to find a new shirt or two the other day. I left the house dressed neat(I thought) and clean. In the dressing room I discovered a huge white formula stain down the front of my shirt. There was also signs of slobber around the color.

Good points about texture and patterns.

Anonymous said...

I spent several years putting my clothes and looks last. And you could tell! LOL! Recently, I decided I deserved to look better-dressed, if for no other reason than it made me feel better as I go about my day.

Rebecca said...

Thank you for the nice mention; you made my day!

Aren't sisters great to shop with?