Posted by: graceunbound | June 21, 2008

Picky, picky

I have always been pretty opinionated about my clothes, which is why I rarely buy anything. For some reason manufacturers just aren’t making clothing that meets both my style and price requirements. Typically I end up throwing up my hands and saying “OK, that fits, I’ll take it.” And then I hate it every time I wear it. For this reason, I hate shopping for clothes. My husband knows to be extra nice to me when I return from a shopping trip because a little thunder cloud is sure to be hovering somewhere over my head. Today, unable to put off the inevitable, I planned to hit several thrift and consignment stores. My husband took the boys and left town.

Do you know those women who always seem to find the perfect outfit secondhand? You compliment them on their shirt…”Oh, yeah, $1.50 at a yard sale. $2.00 at Goodwill.” And so forth. They furnish entire designer-style wardrobes from the racks of thrift stores and yard sales. I am not that woman. Never mind the fact that until recently I could not bring myself to shop thrift stores. A childhood of being teased for your thrift shop castoffs will do that to you. I swore I would never buy used again. But I began to be intrigued by all of these women who swear they get such great clothes there; and then there was our new, tighter budget. I told myself I could do this, and I headed to the brand new Goodwill store in town.

First problem; it was someone’s brilliant idea to throw the women’s shirts on racks in no discernable order whatsoever. So, in order to find clothing in the correct size one must dig through EVERY SINGLE RACK. There are a lot of racks. My hope soon began to fade. You see, I have a lot of rules about what shirts I will buy.

No button down shirts. I hate buttons. I don’t know why, but these are the first items to get pushed to the back of the closet.
No stripes.
No floral patterns unless sufficiently funky or outdoorsy enough to not look remotely like anything my mother or grandmother would wear. This eliminates most florals.
No lace, again, unless it looks sufficiently vintage enough to qualify as funky, not fussy.
No ruffles.
No turtlenecks.
It should go without saying, absolutely no cute little embroidered animals, snowmen, or vegetables.
No black. All I could find to fit me the year Indy was born was black. I am sick of black.
No weird textures to the material. Nothing stiff, nothing crunchy, nothing that itches.
No sequins.
No sexy sayings.
No short sleeved sweaters.
No peter pan collars.

I could probably go on, but you get the gist. It’s really hard to shop for clothes. After about three hours of searching (I was determined…somewhere there had to be a hidden gem) my grand haul consisted of two long sleeved t-shirts and two short sleeved t-shirts. This is why my wardrobe consists mainly of t-shirts. Somewhere out there my dream shirt is still waiting. Goodwill is history. How often do I have three hours at my disposal to spend digging through racks of clothing? Not often, I’ll tell you that!

On to another thrift store, one that actually organizes not only by size (gasp!) but also by color! (Double gasp!) This makes it possible to immediately bypass the black section, brown section, yellow section, peach section and orange section and concentrate on blues, greens, reds and purples. I found three pairs of capris that fit. OK, they are all basically the same color, similar styles and length, but I say, when you find pants that fit, buy them!

Finally, the coup de grace; the great swimsuit search at the department store. I found a suit. I like it as much as it is possible for someone of my age and size to like a swimsuit. Enough said.

I pondered ways to turn this post into a serious look at life, comparing the search for the perfect clothes to searching for the perfect friend, and all of the requirements we sometimes think we have to fulfill in a friend. I pondered talking about being content with our bodies, finding our own style and expressing it.

But in the end, it is what it is. A day spent searching for clothes. And now you know why I hate clothes shopping.

Hey, some days are profound, some days are just days!



  1. And men just don’t get it. I seldom by clothes for myself as well and dh can’t understand why. I’ve given up trying to explain.

  2. 😀 No, they don’t, do they? Not only do they have relatively simple choices, it does not help that their clothing all comes labeled with the exact waist and length, thus enabling them to pretty much walk in for a pair of tan dress pants and walk out of the store within twenty minutes.

  3. I feel your pain! Just bought a swimsuit. I went to four or five stores and ended up back at the first one to buy the suit I thought was too expensive, but which ended up being the most reasonable choice. (Because I was not going to buy a bikini!)
    Here’s to eternity, when we’ll be clothed in heavenly garments and we’ll never need to go shopping again! *grin*

  4. One thing you will never see this body in is a bikini!

    I’m looking forward to those heavenly garments. Maybe that’s why I don’t like clothes here on earth, I know what’s waiting for me!

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