Failed Shopping

Deliberate Consumption

I’ve been having a rough time lately. While I’ve been trying to emotionally get back on my feet, I find that I look in the mirror and I just think, “Yuck!” It’s not the way I look, it’s more my lack of style. I’ve reverted to junk-t-shirts (not hip ones) and jeans (old, not svelte). My shoes are orthopedically comfy. My hair is, well, victim of my telling my stylist to cut it supershort. I got what I asked for, I wanted it, I think it was the right thing to do at the time, but – now I want my long hair back. Yesterday I decided that a little bit of overhaul wouldn’t be a bad thing, and may be worth bringing out the credit card that I’m trying not to use.

I was ready and willing to drop a couple hundred dollars in the name of inexpensive, tasteful fashion. You know what I wanted? Something simple: dark blue jeans, well fit, black knit or button down top, comfortable and stylish black shoes, stylish and functional fall jacket and an eyeliner. If I wanted to *really* go for it, I might have plunked down some money for some foundation garments as well. I figured this was a simple task. Not so simple, though.

1. Dark blue jeans – I could find dark blue jeans, but I couldn’t find ones that did not have that cheap look of too-much spandex.
2. Black or dark neutral button-down shirt – this is simple stuff, right? Go into a men’s department, and there’s tons of button-down shirts, different colors, styles, fits… is this too much to ask for women? I find myself longing for a Thomas Pink boutique, even if it is spendy. You’d think that a low-maintenance knit shirt with some nice details, neckline, etc might be easier, but it’s NOT.
3. Fall jacket – all I want is a tailored, light fall jacket in a dark or neutral color that will work well with a skirt as well as jeans. I don’t want a glorified hoodie or a jacket that belongs at REI.
4. Shoes – form and function. Comfortable for everyday, stylish enough for going out (if I had a social life.) Should be simple, right? Well, I’m tired of Mary Janes and I’ve got bunions that are sensitive. This makes plunking down the cash difficult.
5. Perhaps what should be the easiest item, EYELINER. I’m considering that maybe my current make-up style makes me look too impenetrable, so maybe I’m barking up the wrong tree by wanting a felt tip marker liquid liner. I love Lancome’s Artliner in blueberry, and after scouring online and Sephora, I can’t find the color and type of liner that comes close! At $28, and lasting only 2 months, it’s not quite what I want to spend. There’s great liquid colors ranging from $6.99-$30+, but I don’t have the patients or dexterity in the morning to deal with it.

So I came home, having not purchased anything! The thing I notice the most, shopping in Seattle, is that the mid-line goods are gone. Everything that I would consider work-appropriate seems to have vanished from all but the most expensive brands, and what’s left are chintzy, inexpensive (or inexpensive looking) goods. I’ll keep trying, but I miss the days of fashionable basics. Maybe I don’t know how to shop for my size? Or, maybe I’m just not willing to spend the cash?

One thought on “Failed Shopping

  1. I hear you! This has been my struggle for years now (especially on the dark-blue jeans tip; I ended up just buying another pair exactly like an old pair that I have worn to ribbons, and they’re in a nice pale blue had-these-for-ages Levis wash). I did find a nice fall jacket at Old Navy for $25, which is a relief, but a plain, versatile, stylish top with some nice detailing/tailoring? In XL? Fuggedaboudit. Nice shoes? I don’t even know where to start. I buy almost all of my clothes and shoes in thrift stores, and I’m starting to hit a wall, as few nicer, more contemporary pieces are making their way through there (or they’re getting culled by store employees, more likely). My uniform is now a black hoodie, those jeans, and whatever T-shirt is nearest – and my feet hurt like hell most of the time. Good luck.

Comments are closed.