Friday, August 26, 2011

Fashion Train Wrecked Mommy

For the first time in well over a year, I was able to go do a little shopping by myself, for myself. While grocery shopping alone is usually a special treat, this was a different kind of treat thanks to the gift cards I received from family members for Old Navy and Kohl's for my birthday.

However, I was less delighted than expected while out looking for new outfits, and more specifically, one item I might be able to wear to a special friend's wedding this weekend. I hit up Old Navy first, and quickly discovered that I am a bona fide, less than cool, mom who has fallen off the fashion train.

              See, throughout high school, when I thought 30 was old, I often talked with friends about what happens to a person and at what age, when they suddenly decide that they are no longer going to be fashionable. How do they boldly jump off that fashion train landing in pleated mom jeans and blank, neck-high, t-shirts for the rest of their lives?

Now, I know. One doesn't jump off that train. I know this because I very much like clothes, and like getting new outfits. I would never, willfully, commit fashion suicide. And I can't help but think about my own mother who still knew quite a bit about fashion when I was growing up, and bought me a lot of clothes for birthdays and holidays that I really liked. But she never shopped for herself. There in lies the key. Mom's do not jump off the fashion train. We are violently pushed. We're shoved into a life where our needs and wants are really no longer a priority. While we love shopping for ourselves, we love shopping for our children even more, and our own fashion dips into a careless category where suddenly, in comparison to spit-up covered t-shirts, decade(s) old clothes don't seem so bad.

The fashion train keeps moving, and even changes tracks.

So I walk into Old Navy, and stop. I stare around me at a plethora of stripes, holey sweaters, and obnoxious floral patterns. I notice that plaids and flannels are back in, as well as bright, loud sweater dresses, taking note that one in particular looks very much like a sweater dress I owned when I was 8. I must have looked as lost as I felt, because a sales representative stops and asks me if I need help. "I'm not sure," I laugh. "I don't think I know how to put together an outfit anymore."

She, who couldn't have been more than 19 years of age, laughs in a way that seems at me, not with me, and tells me to just look for her if I have any questions.

I start grabbing things to try on. I've always been of the mentality that there is no point in going in and out of the fitting rooms over and over again. I'm a one and done kind of shopper. I've lost quite a bit of weight so I don't know my size, and just start grabbing a variety of pants and shirts in different sizes. I even go out on a limb to be as adventurous as possible, and grab a pair of skinny jeans, as I remember that the term "skinny jeans" used to mean the jeans that hung in the back of your closet for years after high school, college, or having children.

I make my way back to the fitting rooms and find the same sales girl there, and admit to her that I have no idea what to pair with skinny jeans. She tells me that the long sweaters are the best option, so I go to find one, only to find that every last one of them is covered with horizontal stripes. Old Navy apparently did not get the memo that horizontal stripes do not look good on most people? Not only are they horizontal, but they are mostly wide and full of obnoxious colors, the kinds of colors found in the old Mario, Nintendo games. I decide that if the skinny jeans work for me, I will find something else to wear with them because who in the world can pull off skinny jeans AND the world's worst horizontal stripes?

After trying on too many clothes to count (no, seriously, the fitting room girl wouldn't even count them. she just wrote 10+ on my door), I decide just to grab the tanks I liked, and a few items from clearance, and I would try them on at home. I'll just return what I don't like. On a positive note, I can't help but feel good that the size 10 skinny jeans almost fit, but the 12s were too big. Nice touch, Old Navy. For that alone, you are back in the game.

And so I move on to Kohl's.

Old Navy didn't have a single dress that was wedding appropriate, so I had high hopes in Kohl's. I walk in to find the Junior section immediately to my left, and it appears to be the only section offering dresses. I skim through, but then skip over to the...let's say...more distinguished lady clothes. There are a few dresses in random areas, but none that are really my style. So my dilemma becomes this: try to relive my glorious high school days and get something wildly colorful and different, which is totally my style, but also makes me look like I'm trying too hard to be hip, OR decide it is easier not to re-board the fashion train and settle for some neck-high, ankle-low, floral dress with shoulder pads. I decide to head back to the Junior's section and see what they have to offer.

There is a mixture of hideousness; poofy, barely booty-length, dresses, but then there are some long, colorful, halter-top dresses that catch my eye. I grab all the larges in each one, knowing that if I were at Old Navy, they would all fit, and some would even be big. But I remind myself that this is not Old Navy, and these are not clothes designed for women who've had children. Most of them I could barely get into, and the few that I could, had designated, but small, areas for...the 'girls.' Now, one would think that Large tops and dresses would also be made for large chests, but one would be wrong. No, Large and X-Large clothes are not designed for women who are Large on top because apparently all Large women are A and B cups. I would like to chalk this up to my shamelessly shopping in the Junior's department, but I found the same thing to be true when I was a Junior. Nothing has changed. The world loves a big busted women, but just hates to clothe her.

Alas, my special treat of a shopping trip turns out to be pretty fruitless, but I return home, and slip into a pair of jeans I haven't been able to fit into since college. Take that fashion train.  

1 comment:

  1. LOL I kind of know what you mean Erin. I hate how when I buy an outfit, a bathing suit for one, I have an XL top so they assume you have an XL bottom, which means I either have to look elsewhere or give the bottoms to someone else! haha The clothing world is just frustrating these days!