Today I am writing my 200th post. As it has approached I wondered what I would post on, would it be interesting, profound, or something special to mark the occasion? So, you might be wondering what I came up with, not much. I think I have put posting pressure on myself and am drawing a blank. I've been staring at that blinking cursor for a good ten minutes and nothing comes to mind. Well, maybe one thing.....shopping.Yesterday I had to do the thing I dread the most of anything you could ever ask me to do...go clothes shopping! Now I know that many of you will be mystified as to why I would dread this. I think it is because somehow my DNA does not carry the shopping gene that seems to be present in most females. Mine is a rogue gene that causes severe shopapohbic tendencies. Seriously, drop me into the middle of a clothing store and I begin to get dizzy from the sea of patterns, colors, and textures, but not in a good way. My heart thumps with dread as I stand there like a little lost kid hoping someone will come along and rescue me.
You can only put this activity off for so long and then it becomes necessity. I qualify for the necessity category right now. The night before the ordeal I thought I would bolster my courage so I watched an episode of What Not to Wear and one of that new show, Tim Gunn's Guide to Style, which I had taped for just such an occasion. I listened very carefully to the rules Stacy and Clinton had and then panicked when I realized that Tim Gunn has a list of ten essential items for a bare bones basic wardrobe and I only have three of the ten! Have mercy, I was getting a headache and sweaty palms just thinking about what lay ahead.
I decided I needed at least one more shot of courage so I headed over to Shari Braendal's blog, A Beautiful Place Where Fashion Meets Faith, where she always has great fashion advice. I scrolled through her posts looking for any help I could get when I saw a link for finding the perfect jeans for your body type. So off I went to zafu to find a perfect match for me, they even tell you what store carries them! I was oh so hopeful. I have never in my entire life found the perfect fitting anything and here was my chance.
After entering all the information, I waited in anticipation as the little scanner did its thing while searching for results. I felt a little like a contestant on a reality show waiting to see if I was getting voted off or not. Que dramatic music, wait, wait, wait for it, and the result shows....NO MATCHES! Now why am I surprised? This is not only distressing but depressing, how, from all the choices on the world wide web can there be NO MATCHES? None, nada, zero, zip, zilch! And you wonder why I intensely dislike shopping!
Shopping day arrived and I did everything I could think of to postpone leaving the house. With dread and trembling I decided to face my fear and would tackle one and only one store. Arriving at my destination I swooned at the sight of rack upon rack upon rack of clothing, but not in a good way. How can a person who has worked with color, texture, and pattern and translated those into art and home accessories, who was paid to do it, not be able to dress themselves? With a deep breath I plunged in wondering if they make Granimals for adults.
I need a strategy. I remembered something I had read in an article about a forensic artist. When putting together a composite sketch, she would focus on one feature at a time, covering up every other part except what she was working on, then reveal the sketch as a whole when each part was complete. I would focus on one piece of clothing at a time and maybe it would not be so overwhelming. I found I could do one item verses an entire outfit, although, I think I drove the fitting room lady mad by the thousandth trip with one item each time.
The first thing I found was a black quarter length sleeve cardigan, which I am told is an "it" item this season. Here is the weird part, it was the first thing I found, the style and fit were, dare I say perfect, and it was on sale! Miracles do happen, even in the realm of fashion! This bolstered my courage so I thought I could tackle finding a top to go under the cardigan. There is a lot of shiny stuff out there people! Is shiny in? I don't do shiny.I went around and around and around the racks until I was dizzy. I made myself try on things I never would have even imaged. I am a total weirdo about the feel of a fabric, if it doesn't pass the feel test then I don't try it on. Oh, and I have a visual test too, if the patterns looks too busy, I won't try it on. And then there is the color test too, I only like certain colors and they are not always the "in" of the season. Hmmm, maybe I just figured out why my wardrobe is so meager, I am picky!
I did manage to find a top and a pair of khaki's (that as usual, need severe alteration!). Chanting to myself, more like muttering through gritted teeth, "I can do this. I can do this.", I waded through the entire store and dressed myself head to toe. I was queasy by the time I got to shoes, handbags, and accessories. I told myself to trust my instincts pretend this was an art project and hope I did not come out looking like a fashion criminal in a forensic artist sketch that would be broadcast on national television as fashion faux pau of the century, reward included!I refused to faint at the register or give in to the grinding in my gut at how much I could have been spending at Hobby Lobby or the flea market were it not for the necessity of having to wear clothes, not wanting to embarrass my family, or be arrested. I left those bags in the cold car all night and schlepped them in this morning to model for darling daughter. I need her approval, she has great taste.
She surveyed me critically and carefully, surprised by a bit of shiny, a tiny thread in the top and a bronze ballet flat. Is there texture in that bag, a faux look alligator in a slimy green color? Does she detect an actual pattern in the top, one that has actual designs in it, not solid? Her only criticism is that I might want to try color next time. Cheeky thing that she is, she dons her best voice she uses to praise her two year old nephew and says, "WOW MOM, you did it all by yourself!" Then she grins, claps, and says, "YEAH!" Stamp of approval, I am good, at least I think I am, in the back of my mind I wonder from her praise if I look like a two year old dressed me.Now that I actually have something to wear shopping, I have to repeat this dreadful process to fill in the gaps of my meager wardrobe for an upcoming trip. While I am out shopping I will be putting together a little give away package to celebrate my small fashion victory and my 200th post. Check back in on Friday for the details and to sign up.