Monday, January 28, 2013

Fashion help

I'm constantly complaining about my wardrobe. I don't like most of my clothes -  either because they don't fit right, aren't as fashionable as I'd like, are old and worn out, or aren't magically ironed by themselves. I joke that I need to be turned into What Not to Wear (do I have to start wearing renaissance attire, or what, for this to happen?), but I'm not really joking. 

I know my outfits aren't that bad and it's probably mostly the fit and ironing that get to me. Because of my pain issues, I am also super sensitive to touch which includes the type of fabric I'm wearing and the fit of clothes. Oh, the darn fit of clothes!!! Between my super long torso and my odd hip to waist ratio I feel like I can never find clothes that fit right. Oh, and regular pants are too long, but short/petite ones are just short enough to look odd. Apparently, I need to start making my own clothes. 

And the ironing, yeah... that's probably not going to change. I may be doomed to a life in polyester.

I've been following Liberating Working Moms for some time and they have a series on Working with Style so I was inspired to track what I wear in a normal work week. I ended up taking a Friday off to burn some PTO I had (this was before the end of the year), but ended up wearing something that I probably would have worn to work that day anyway. 

In the end I wasn't sure what documenting my attire would bring me, but I now know that my current go-to colors (besides black and brown) are blue and dark pink, that I still don't like my clothes, that I thought I looked better than these pictures attest to, that I am doomed to ever finding a brown work appropriate shoe, and that it's hard to get a full body self portrait.


~ Sweater from Target.
~ Shirt from Ragstock. After purchasing it I discovered why this new shirt was only 5 bucks - arms too long, tight in the bicep area, but so loose in the forearm area. So cheaply made. Sometimes you really do get what you pay for.
~ Pants are used from Second Debut . They are comfy, but stretch throughout the day and are slightly too short like most of my pants (see above comment about regular vs short/petite pants). I often go for the slightly too short as I'm too lazy to take my clothes to get tailored.
~ Shoes from DSW which I returned because they didn't fit right. I just can't seem to find a pair of brown shoes that would be work/casual appropriate that I like.


~ Long sleeved black shirt from Kohl's
~Sweater from J.C. Penny's - the one that's closed down in Brookdale mall. What was that - 10 years ago?
~ Scarf from Land's End at Sears. Love that it's super soft and not itchy - it feels like cashmere at first touch without the scratchiness  (yes, cashmere scratches me), but I did end up with blue specs all over my black shirt.
~Pants from Target and are very much over 10 years old. They are comfortable and fit fairly well, but are quite grayed from the years of used. I liked these pants so much that I used to have multiple pairs of them. These are the last to survive. When you have a difficult time finding things that fit you sometimes buy many of them. 
~Shoes from DSW. These are new and super comfy. Initially, I felt like I was back in the '90's wearing big clunky clown shoes, but they look so much better than the beat up shoes I was wearing.


~Shirt - probably from Target. Super thin and always wrinkly looking.
~Sweater was a gift, but I think it's from Charming Charlies along with the necklace. The sweater has a touch of wool (or something that bothers my skin) in it so I have to wear something under it so it doesn't touch my skin. I typically am not a pink and purple combo kind of girl and wouldn't have bought this necklace on my own, but I actually quite like it. I'm not really good at accessorizing and usually stick with the same few pieces of jewelry.
~Pants from Goodwill. As far as pants go I generally like these although, like most of my pants, I wish these were a tad longer, the hips wider, and the waist smaller. 
~Shoes from DSW.


~Sweater is from New York and Company, but I actually got it at Goodwill. I love Goodwill for scores like this. This is also one of my favorite outfits as it is comfortable. That is probably my most important request in clothing.
~Scarf from Kohls. This scarf pretty much gets worn every single day. It's usually cold in my office so I try to keep warm by adding this scarf or a fleece sweater. There are some days it's pointless to pick out an outfit as I wear a zipped-up fleece all day long.
~Leggings from Target. I had a decent pair of leggings that I ruined by wearing them through my pregnancy. I then tried to find a new pair, but found it to be an incredible challenge. I bought these when I shouldn't have as they did not fit right at all in the waist. They were fine everywhere else, but I ended up using a book clip to keep the waist tight. I know, right? Either they've shrunk or my waist has gotten bigger, because the gap doesn't bother me nearly as much anymore.
~Boots from DSW. I love these boots, but I almost returned them because they made our house smell like there was an oil spill for quite some time after I bought them. I even kept them out in the garage for while to help with the smell. Glad I kept them because the smell is gone and I get a fair amount of compliments on them. 


~Shirt from Kohls. I ended up changing shortly after this because of how wrinkly this shirt is. No it's not supposed to look like crushed velvet. The shirt I changed into was also red which is another color that I tend to wear a lot of.
~Sweater is same from above from a closed down J.C. Penny's.
~Jeans from Old Navy. I like the length of these jeans and they are super soft, but the waist is HUGE. I have two Old Navy jeans like this so I am guessing they think all women's waists are larger than their hips. Thank God for belts (and thanks to Erin who suggested the Dapper Snapper for my kid. I got one for her and myself - I love it! No more bulging belt buckle.)

So there you have it - my lame work look. I didn't include my weekend, because, let's face it, I wear yoga pants or my jammies as much as I can. If I could just professionalize those looks I would be set!

One of my issues is shopping. I rarely have time to do it on my own with out dragging around a toddler and I haven't had much luck with online shopping. I was even thinking about hiring a personal shopper, but didn't want to spend the cash on that (let alone spend it on clothes). Although, I read that some thrift stores are providing this service for free since middle aged women in my income bracket have become their biggest shoppers. It's still on my mind, but I haven't taken any action on it yet...

And style? I mean, if you look at my Pinterest boards you might say that I can identify stylish clothing - it's just the trying things on and having them fit correctly and comfortably that get me. And in the end I give up. I may or may not come home with some new item to wear, but I haven't bought anything I really loved in a long, long time.

Does anyone else struggle with finding clothes that they like/are comfortable? Has anyone used a personal shopper? If so, what was your experience? And most importantly, how can I get away with wearing yoga pants everyday?


  1. I don't know if this will help or not, but I just recently had an extremely successful shopping experience but it was definitely on the costly side. I justified all the cost...actually wait, my husband did all justifying and pushed it on me since my wardrobe was that dire & horrendous. A. encouraging clothes purchases has happened, oh, never.

    Okay - so specifically here is what happened - I had a gift card to Hot Mama, a store I haven't gone to since I went there during pregnancy and was like WTF are these hideous mat clothes and prices!?! I knew they had regular clothes but it was off my radar. anyway we stopped in on a date since it was right next to the sushi restaurant we were going to for lunch. There were no other customers and they gave husband a beer (!!) and one of the woman there helping me also suffers long-torso-syndrome and long story short: THEY FOUND THINGS THAT FIT!!! And fit well, mind you! A nearly gushed in seeing me in well fitting clothes - and again - this is a dude who just has never cared or shown any interest or desire for me to be fashionable. The two women helping me got me and my body quirks and what I needed. And the shirts/sweaters/jacket are all so gloriously long enough for my torso. It's a beautiful thing.

    I went back to return two tank tops (just too $$ for me to be okay with and won't even be useable until summer) and tried browsing on my own a week later and there was nothing in the store I could see as working on me. It showed me just how much I need to rely on a "shopper" It's just not in me to care and/or to see what works.

    I have also heard Macy's has free personal shopper/helpers but I heard that several years ago.

    If you do try out Hot Mama, check out the one in Wayzata and go when Whitney is working. When I have gone other times I have been very intimidated by the salespeople. I didn't feel that with Whitney.

    I'm planning a post about some of my fashion finds soonish, but we'll see if it really happens.

    Good luck. Shopping is the suckiest.

    1. Yes, this is helpful! I have to admit that the first time I drove by Hot Mama I thought it was some cheap teeny bopper maternity store so I avoided it. I then realized it probably wasn't since the one I passed by was in the Went End shopping area where the shops are on the spendy side which is why I continued to ignore it. But that brings up another issue I have: not wanting to spend money on quality clothes. Instead I try to pay as little as possible and it shows when my clothes fall apart not long after.

      I'll have to check out the Wayzata location - when Whitney is working, of course. And if that doesn't work I might actually do the personal shopper thing. Except now I have to find the time to go shopping and set aside a clothing fund. Bah!

      Thanks for the advice!

  2. Thanks for linking up with us! And yes, I'm struggling. I signed up for stitch fix and I love it because someone styles you and all the clothes come to your home. And as I'm losing weight, I'm in that in between phase and clothes don't fit me well but I don't want to buy all the new things right now when I'm not done losing. I'm actually planning a thrift store trip this Saturday because I NEED clothes for work, and of course my husband is working so I'll be taking to three year-old with me. Wish me luck! And I can't wait to see how your style transforms after doing this week in review of your outfits. -Tracy @LWM

    1. I was thinking about stitch fix as well (thanks to your post), but was concerned that it would be like my online shopping experiences where I have to return everything and I just feel like I've created a chore for myself. I might have to look into this more, though.

      After I had my kid none of my clothes fit and I hated the thought of having to buy new clothes when I knew my weight was going to change. But after some time I did. Unfortunately, I have some really nice pants that I will never fit into again, but at least I tried to by most of these at a thrift store. I've actually found some really good finds there even when I'm not in between weights. Good luck shopping... and with a 3 year old!

  3. I wish I was in the states right now!!!!! I can't say enough about a good tailor! And like you I love shopping thrift stores. Even if you get piece for a steal a little tailoring can go a long way. Your sensitivity to certain materials I think would be far the most difficult. But they are always coming up with better materials.

    I have taken my guy friends shopping (we also purged their closets before starting) and shopped over the course of a year (using off-season sales) to rebuild their wardrobes. Good luck and keep a list of brands you love and let others know you are interested them while they thrift as well.

    1. Megan, I'm totally going to put it on my calendar (when you return to the states in 2 years) that we go shopping together!!! And maybe you need to teach me how to sew or something. Or I just need to find someone that I really like to do it for me.

      I remember one day a few years ago you stopped over and I thought "what a cool shirt" (especially since it was long - I always have my eye on that). You took a man's white dress shirt and took the sides in so it was more form fitting and feminine. I thought that was super cool and wished I had the eye to think of doing stuff like that... and then of course, the skills to do it as well.


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