Wednesday, 25 July 2007

Somebody call the Fashion Police

I was really looking forward to today. This afternoon to be precise. The bit directly after midday, when I was planning to walk out of the office and have a lovely afternoon off, cruising the shops, picking up all those odds and ends I keep a list of in my handbag, touching all the pretty stuff, getting started on my xmas shopping (yeah right - but the thought of 4 whole hours to myself is so foreign I actually thought I might have time to do just that!).

I haven't bought any news clothes in over 6 months. Not that Im a fashion plate - anyone who has met me knows Im a denim kind of girl, love my good old standby jeans and blunnies, certainly don't "follow fashion" as it were. But I like to cruise the racks, pick up a few new things each season (of which I consider there are two for clothes - summer and winter), some for work, some for casual, nothing too edgy. But Pirate Jim and change rooms don't go together these days, so it's a rare thing.

So I was pretty excited about getting out there. I had a wish list - a couple of new, fine classic jumpers that I could wear to work (HATE being cold), maybe some stylish casual tops, some new (non-denim) pants for casual wear. Something landed on my desk at 11:45 that had to be dealt with, but I was on my way at 1:30, so all was not lost.

Not lost, that is, until I got to the shops and started cruising. I started at the start, and worked my way through them all, every store, even the "chicky-babe" shops - that cheap imported 5-minute-fashion for those 15 years younger and 15 kilos lighter than me. Nothing. Nada. Nix.

I do not consider myself that old or daggy, but I feel about 65 tonight - podgy, frumpy, uber-daggy. I held up probably hundreds of items in the space of a few hours, and hardly found anything to try on, let alone buy. Tops that look like sacks, skinny-legged pants, horrible garish "retro" prints, huge chunky knits (from crap yarn!), awful dull colours (well, that dont suit me), HORIZONTAL stripes.....everything made me look huge or try-hard.

So I have finally realised that I need help - I have no style! I have no sense of how to wear any of this stuff, how to accessorise, how to suit my body shape. I see people all over wearing it and looking fine, but I can't figure out what my style is....Ive made it through 30-ish years of clothing myself by either ignoring what suits me (and looking like an idiot - think hot pink bubble skirt circa 1987) or lucking out (I think this probably accounts for the last 10 or so years, coinciding with the occurance of actually caring about how I look).

It was quite a demoralising afternoon. I think I need to mull it over for a while, or maybe this is just one of those "truth on a platter" days that The Mad Mad Housewife had recently, when one realises one is ready for plastic rollers and tweezing stray hairs out of one's chin.

I did end up buying something though, so all was not completely lost.

I bought a new pair of jeans. sigh. I guess Im just a denim kind of girl.


happyspider said...

i totally, utterly, completely sympathise. I am crap at shopping for myself, especially since developing a the-love-of-my-life-buys-me-junk-food bulge. It is one of the most depressing experiences one can have. Yet strangely, i am brilliant at helping other people shop. I am pushy with sales people, and because i sew a lot i have a pretty good idea of what will look good on someone else. Anyway, its helpful to have someone else do the leg-work and go and get those pants in another size so you needn't get dressed again in between every try-on.
can you tell i've done this a lot? Anyway, this is leading up to an offer. I would most happily accompany you shopping (i need a few things myself so it wouldnt be charity) and worst case scenario we can feel frumpy together.

and the last time i bought jeans i had to settle for a bad cut because i needed them for work and i swear they make me look pregnant. i used to be a denim girl.. before they stopped making the jeans i like.

Five Ferns Fibreholic said...

Sigh.....I can so's down right depressing.....

Five Ferns Fibreholic said... should be.... I can so relate....

Jejune said...

Ugh, yes, know just what you mean... about ten years ago all the fashion in shops (on the rare occasion when I bought new stuff) became DULL.

And now it's all retro, and honestly guys, I DID the 1970s as a kid, and ain't going there again. In the past few months I've come to the point of despair in realising that there isn't any slightly edgy interesting fashion out there for middle-aged women. Sure, I know there are designers making this stuff, but it's not at Big W or Target, and I don't have $1,000 for some amazing creation.

The choices seem to be middle-aged-boring or try-hard "I'm returning to my teenage years" (actually, since fashions are heading back to the 1980s, that's about right!). So I started sewing again, and op-shopping, and mixing and matching for my own style. Knitting is good too (in case you hadn't noticed, LOL). A shopping trip with HappySpider sounds like a great solution - I'm happy to help you out sometime too, we can commiserate together ;)

TinkingBell said...

How I agree - at 45 and size 16 I should apparently be into crimplene dresses and acrylic cardies - so I Buy some t-shirts at Rivers, some nice t-shirty tops with lycra at Target and Myer, cotton/elastane shirts at Rivers and Target and jeans(from Target) I hate hipsters and refuse crop tops and I knit my jumpers and wraps - I hate shopping and I'm so glad I'm not currently working - but if I was I'd be wearing almost exactly the same thing - but with black pants (stretch!) - Try shopping at markets for your clothes - or mail order - I've got some goodies - email me

Rose Red said...

If I was in Canberra I'd totally come shopping with you - the problem with shopping with a purpose in mind (eg to buy specific things) is that you will never find what you are looking for - you will only find it when you have 15 minutes to spare for a quick dash'n'browse (it's the "rules" of shopping)!

I know some people don't agree, but I think Trinny & Susannah absolutely know what styles suit what body shapes (and which don't) - check out their books, especially the first one (What Not to Wear). Good luck!

Bells said...

Sigh. I hate shopping alone. I usually take one of my sisters, although the younger one likes to steer me away from shops that are too young then laughs at me when I go into what she thinks of as old lady shops.

I am not actually interested in fashion, but I don't know if I really get how to find the middle ground that is me.

Maybe Spidey can be a personal shopper for all of us who struggle.

Tanya said...

Oh yes, that we all had our own private Trinny and Susannah. I think we all have days like this - can't find anything we like, everything looks crap. Consolation - at least you can find jeans. I haven't been able to buy a pair that fit properly since I was 12!! Or a button up business shirt. They're all made for small boobies! When will boobs and bums come back in? Actually, I thought they already did, but clothes manufacturers obviously missed that boat.

Maybe you need to start sewing as well as knitting? lol

RachelW said...

Yes, yes, and some more yes. The whole figuring out of clothing and purchasing it is way beyond me. Too too hard. I would walk around naked except I think it would scare the children. (Well, not just the children, really.)

Shazmina Bendi said...

That is exactly why I have started making clothes! Well mainly skirts and knitted items at the moment. This season has been a complete bust for fashion that is practical for women with real bodies!