Wednesday, February 27, 2008

I Got Lost on the Fashion Highway

I have a problem. I don't know how to dress stylishly anymore. I don't know what looks good me anymore and I don't really know what kind of clothes are appropriate for my age. No mutton dressed as lamb for me, thank you very much! In her post the other day, Anglophile Football Fanatic said she had set some fashion rules for herself once she turned 30 and I guess I have too. But now it seems like I've ruled everything out.

I think a lot of this has to do with not really having gone shopping in a long time. Occasionally I'll pick up a shirt here or there, but it's been a really long time since I went out with the express purpose of buying some clothes.

In preparation for our move I went through my closet and finally cleaned it out. I got rid of some things that haven't seen the light of day in a couple of years. I kept holding on to most of it in hopes that one day I could fit back into them again, but the sad truth is that even if I could get into them, they would probably be hopelessly out of style.

When I do go to mall, I rarely see anything that I like. And if I do find something I like and put it on, I'm really unhappy with the way it looks on my body. See, I've got another problem. In my mind, I'm very tall and thin. Which is pretty great most of the time . I walk around feeling mostly good about myself. But when I'm confronted with reality, say, looking at my arms straining against the fabric in a fluorescent lighted dressing room, or the front of my flat-front pants not lying flat like they're supposed to, or seeing myself in a photograph, well, that's when my house of cards comes crashing down.

I wish I could be one of those women who can really put things together. Like my friend over at Stay At Home Mom Going Quickly Insane. Did you know she just started a fashion blog? It's called Little Miss Blackwell and she put her first post up today. In her regular blog she's always describing really cute outfits and I mentioned how envious I was of her style -- though her shoes, while cute, are way beyond me. So she put her magic to work for me and she's sort of become my own personal shopper. She emailed me the other day about a really cute outfit that I've definitely got my eye on. She doesn't know me in real life, but she nailed my style pretty well.

I think it's because I'm in my 30s. I can't really shop at Forever 21 anymore but I'm not ready for Misses Sportswear (read: old lady clothes) just yet either.

15 comments:

Tootsie Farklepants said...

A-to-the-men. I've been shopping at Old Navy and the Gap for like 6 years now. Except that one year when I shopped at Motherhood Maternity. If I need something other than everyday clothes I go to Macy's. If I'm feeling really adventurous I'll hit Banana Republic or Ann Taylor.

AndreAnna said...

I get most of my "real" clothes from New York and Co. They're professional but usable in every day life. Otherwise, I'm mostly in Gap or Old Navy stuff.

secrethandshake said...

J Crew, Banana Republic, and Ann Taylor are my go to places for 'grown-up' clothes. Sometimes I can find good stuff at Old Navy and Gap- and Target actually has some pretty nice stuff for cheap.

Esme said...

I totally relate to this post, Madame! I don't have a problem dressing my age as much as I do have trouble dressing my shape. Everything shifted after Four and Five came along! I've always leaned toward classic styles and punched things up a bit with jewelry, and Anne Taylor Loft is one of my new faves...

All Adither said...

Well, there are Misses departments that aren't so fuddy duddy. I like Macy's and Nordstrom's Narrative (a little pricey, but high quality). You need to grab a girlfriend, give your kids to the hubs for a day and go shopping!

Angie
www.AllAdither.com

Colleen said...

I'm with ya! I'm stuck in a jeans rut. I can't ever seem to find anything I truly like or that fits me well. Doesn't help that those tummy muscles aren't really pulling that belly back to where it belongs, so I look extra great with a belly bigger than my shrunken boobs. Oh the joys of a mother's body.

Karen said...

I fell off the fashion wagon when I quit working 13 years ago. Being a SAHM has been my undoing. I now live in sweats, and working at the gym doesn't help. When I do need to go somewhere I have one great pair of jeans (hello Burgh's Gap find!) and sweatshirts or sweaters to top them off.

Madame Queen said...

I think I need to clarify my statement about Misses Sportswear. Back in college I used to work at a regional chain clothing store and I worked the old lady section (Koret, Alfred Dunner, etc) and we called it Misses Sportswear.

Burgh Baby's Mom said...

I live at Gap, Banana Republic, and TJ Maxx. I forget that there even are any other stores in the world. Which pretty much means I dress exactly the same every single day.

MacKenzie said...

You dress like Victoria freaking Beckham compared to some of our fellow staff (you know who I'm talking about). Don't be so hard on yourself!

ImpostorMom said...

I hate, hate, hate clothes now. I've never really loved them but now especially there is no way I want to go shopping. Sadly my outfit of choice is yoga pants and a t-shirt. Hey if I'm not going to look good anyway why not at least be comfortable.

Unfortunately that's going a little too casual for my business casual workplace.

anglophilefootballfanatic said...

I would love to be able to shop at White House Black Market all the time, but money doesn't accommodate such luxury. I planned to go to the mall and try to find a few things today...but that didn't happen before MDO time ended. Drat. Foiled again.

1blueshi1 said...

thank you! I appreciate the mention and the shout-out (do people still say that?), and I must admit, while trolling the Old Navy website, that outfit just really caught my eye and screamed, Madame Queen! I really hope you like it and will post a pic.

Lulu said...

I live at TJMaxx and Marshalls. Literally. I live there. In the women's section. You'll find me sleeping under the racks of clothes.

ihvpave said...

Y'know, I've been struggling with the whole "how the heck am I supposed to dress now that I'm - ostensibly - a grown-up?" for a while now, and I still haven't figured out much more than the fact that I hateHATE*HATE* Clinton and Stacy. Then again, I have never been very good at "outfits" - I pretty much wear trousers and turltenecks for work, and jeans and sweaters for not-work... and now that I work in a "jeans casual," totally open workplace, I have to confess: I gave in to the desire to pierce my nose and dye my hair blue. (No, I'm not kidding. My bosses actually loved it 'cos now I'm even more memorable at trade shows!)