Sunday, September 23, 2007

What Not to Wear

The show "What Not to Wear"takes a fashion-clueless woman and teaches them what looks good on them, then they cut her loose to shop for herself, along with a makeover and a big "reveal". They usually throw some priceless, old, ripped-up sweatshirt away in the garbage, which the poor soul has had since high school...she usually cries.

I don't know exactly how I became a fashion clueless, but I really think I have become so. I know some of you feel the same way sometimes, too. Have you been to the park and seemed to be the only mom there who isn't wearing full-makeup, perfectly coiffed hair with a matching jogging suit? When you quickly get dressed for church, have you taken a quick look in the mirror and realized that the outfit you put on has graham cracker schmooze on it?

Perhaps I lost my fashion sense when my kids started growing like weeds -- It's a full-time job just to keep them in clothes that fit (notice, I didn't say clothes that are cute or stylish or full-price). Maybe it's the fact that I would feel so guilty going out to buy stuff for myself when I have closets and drawers of perfectly clean and "suitable" clothing to wear. It could be that going to the mall even to window shop with two kids is completely outside my realm of fun, logic or practicality. It may just be that I'm so far gone from the current fashions that I don't even know where to begin!

My sister Cath, on the other hand, is up on all the hip styles of every season and she manages to find them at killer prices (it helps that she's a size 4, too). She's all decked out in the grays and jewel-tones, rounded-toe ballet flats and layered clothing of the fall season, and I tend to bring up the rear in too-big jeans, a stretched out t-shirt that I've had since college, and flip flops that I've had for...forever.

Cath and I went up to the Cache this weekend, since JB was out of town. We picked some apples in Dad's orchard and then got the kids down for naps. Much to our surprise, Mom handed me a couple of credit cards with instructions to go to the mall to find something "fun and new" to wear. Could this be an intervention? It certainly seemed so. Mom and Cath sat me down and gently and s-l-o-w-l-y gave me a tutorial on specific pieces I should look for to wear, what was in, what was out, etc.

I must say shopping at a real department store was a little overwhelming. It had been a long time. My objective was a cute skirt to wear to church or on a date or to a party (haha), as well as some flats. I tried on some skirts and found a couple that worked. One was black, and it hit about mid-calf and kinda flared at the bottom. Cath said, "Do you have any other black skirts?" I said, "Just that straight, black polyester know the one that" she interrupted me, "Yeah, I know which one you're talking about. You need to just throw that one away." Ouch! I didn't cry, but that hurt a little!

The other was a pleated creme skirt with a large, brown belt, which was on the clearance rack...score. Then we went to the shoe department to find some ballet flats. There were tons of cute ones: some with buckles, some with tiny bows. I picked up a pair I liked with a rugged, sturdy bottom (thinking of chasing children around the park) but Cath said, "No, we need something more dressy than that." We opted for a simple black ballet flat, which I like and which wasn't too expensive.

Once we were home, we showed mom our purchases, and tried each on so that she could oooh and ahhhh. Then, as if it wasn't enough that she (and Dad) bought me clothes, she quickly ran to her closet to donate more of her own wardrobe to complement my purchases! Talk about giving the shirt off your back!? I guess my mom just knows what it's like. She's felt frumpy, overweight and out-of-style, too. She's knows that kids' needs come before our wants. She knows that having perfect hair and makeup and sometimes even a shower every day is sometimes just impossible. Thanks to moms and cool sisters who gave me a glimpse of my fashion possibilities! I feel like a new woman!


HRT said...

Is your mom interested in adopting me?

Onthego Family said...

I guess I better get in line ...

I love that you have such a great relationship with your mom. Sounds like she really knows how to help.

So when do we get to see pics of the new outfits???

Shelese said...

How fun!! What a great day of shopping. I want to see some pics of your new outfits too.

laurenthequeen said...

Lin did this for me a few months ago... minus the credit card. But since it was Old Navy and we found a lot of stuff on clearance, I didn't feel as guilty. It's amazing how new clothes/shoes can change your perspective on things. Unfortunately, some of the fall clothes are packed away, replaced by my maternity clothes. That just means I'll have some "new" clothes to look forward to after Peanut is born.