Monday, April 26, 2010

Wardrobe Woes

Recently, as I got dressed, I tried to figure out what shoes to wear. It wasn't an "I have so many shoes I can’t pick a pair." It was more of an "I’m wearing black pants and my black Dockers are really too big and the other black shoes are heels (and therefore out) and the only other ones are heavy quilted ones."

So I put on a pair of purple generic Converse and went to work.

It occurred to me that a 32-year-old woman should not have to wear purple sneakers to work unless she chooses to. Often, I choose to. Sometimes, I think there should be a less purple way. (To be fair, I also considered pink sneakers and sneakers with sequins.)

When I examined my outfit further, I found I was wearing black slacks I’ve never particularly liked that I bought off Lands End Outlet. I’m also wearing a button-up shirt that I DO like—from Lands End Outlet.

Moving further down this wardrobe train, I have two button-up short-sleeved shirts, one brown and one white, that I wear nearly every week in the spring and summer. That’s 40% of my work days in two shirts. That also seems less than adult and professional. Sad as it is, there is no uniform in this job.

I resent the time that shopping takes, and I sure as hell resent the money. Hence, outlet shopping online. I resent having to think about what I'm going to wear, so I tend to buy the same article of clothing in multiple colors. I decided perhaps I needed to develop a new strategy.

I took a deep breath and asked my friend Rachel if she'd go thrift store shopping with me. I reminded her that a) I am a bitch while clothes shopping, and b) I am a bitch whenever I get near a Goodwill. Although I would try very hard to be on my best behavior, I couldn't promise I wouldn't need talked down.

Rachel, ever brave, and I went thrift store shopping on Saturday. We went to three Goodwills, and it took about six hours. Luckily, I had been prepared earlier in the week for the startling and horrifying fact that clothes are not grouped by size in Goodwill stores. (Madness.)

I had to take some items back yesterday, but the net haul was 5 skirts, 2 long-sleeved dress shirts, 4 jackets, 3 short-sleeved shirts, 2 pair dress pants, 2 shirts I'm giving as presents, and a few additional pieces of clothing that fit but would fit a lot better if I lost another 5 pounds. (We call those "incentive.") The average cost was $4 per piece of clothing.

I still hate shopping with a fiery passion, but this seems to be the way to go. I reminded myself that I donate clothes to Goodwill a lot, and I don't donate icky things. I donate things that don't fit or that I don't wear. I'm sure that's true for the things I purchased as well.

I washed everything yesterday. This morning I stood in my closet looking at my new clothes and trying to figure out what to wear. I put on my cute new jean jacket and....

pink sneakers. Damn. Perhaps I need to go shoe shopping next.


  1. Did you say six hours???? I'm feeling a bit faint. Congratulations on the new wardrobe!

  2. Sounds like a good haul! (And thumbs up to the converse).