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Old 07-24-2010, 06:21 PM   #1  
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Default Shopping from planet "wrong decade"

Please tell me I'm not quite as big a mess as I seem to be.

I went shopping today with a very odd group. There was my SIL (38 and dressed matronly even back in high her though ), my 17 year old sister who's a fashion snob though I couldn't tell you what her style actually is, my 12 year old niece who's just starting to find her way around the store...and me, the hardest to describe of all. I am 35 years old and haven't set foot in a store for the purpose of buying something I thought I might have a chance of looking good in for over a decade.

I went out with them with two purposes in mind. One, I wanted to do the "girlie" thing...something I really don't do. Two, I wanted to try on clothes, see what fit, and start thinking about what I need for Fall. I did not want to actually purchase anything...just marvel at my new size.

I ended up in a dressing room with a pair of jeans that were skin tight and stretchy, but the way the waist fit it seemed like the jeans ought to fit. So I stuck my head out the dressing room door and whispered to my SIL and whispered "I don't think there are jeans in this world that fit me." Something about that brought about the eyes and ears of a female worker, a MALE worker, my little sister, and a kindly motherly type woman. I wanted to bury my head in the sand. Then the male worker wanted me to turn around so he could see my butt. All the while everyone's marveling at how good I look in these jeans that I feel totally exposed in because they are so painted on! Everyone assured me that was the style, they were stretchy and would stretch within a few hours of wear and that I absolutely should NOT go up a size. It was horrible and I wanted to crawl into a hole! Then the kind saleslady brought me four other pair to try. I ended up sort of liking a pair. So then how do you leave the store without buying anything?

It was just very traumatic.

And I don't know where to shop!! My niece (12) liked Aerostotle and Rue 21 but I'm pretty sure those were not stores for me. I rather liked Gap. I felt like I was entering different decades with the stores I entered and I didn't know which one I belonged in!! What does a 35 year old woman wear??? What does a very intimidated 35 year old wear?

I do not like this!! I want to be a good shopper. I wish they taught some kind of class about how to navigate stores. I just feel like I have missed out on a very critical stage in my I just woke up from a decade long coma.

And you know what's weird about Gap? The Gap was THE place to go when I was a teenager. And it still is...for women my age! It grew with us. How strange. Neither my niece nor sister would set foot in the Gap. How did that happen?

Last edited by Eliana; 07-25-2010 at 10:37 AM.
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Old 07-24-2010, 07:06 PM   #2  
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Shopping??? For jeans??? Just thinking about it makes me scared!!!
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Old 07-24-2010, 07:38 PM   #3  
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You're in Canada, right? Me too. I wear a lot of casual stuff (I work from home) and I like The Gap for jeans. Also check out The Bay and Sears. The Bay has a few specialty sections (Jones New York, etc) and an Olsen section - spendy, but check it out at sale time. I've had a few really nice tops from them. Sears has Land's End and Columbia, both brands that I like. SportCheck also has Columbia stuff, and good golf shirts (I don't golf, but I love the tailored look of golf shirt over shorts, skorts, capris, jeans - whatever).

Aeropostale, American Eagle, Hollister and the like I think of as stores for teens - my 15-year-old shops there, and would just *die* I'm sure if his mom started wearing their clothes

Tristan and Jacob have nice stuff... but I'm not the right shape for them

ETA: Just had to add: You're not a big mess!! I hate shopping, and would never go with a group of women - you're brave!

ETAAT: Also Eddie Bauer is good for casual stuff.

Last edited by Fressca; 07-24-2010 at 08:09 PM.
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Old 07-24-2010, 08:56 PM   #4  
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I just returned from the mall where I experienced this. Now I had planned on just window shopping and checking out "normal size" stores, not really looking to buy as not at goal yet. I had no idea what to do with myself. The store I had always thought I would buy my clothes at when I got down to this size range felt too dowdy now, but the more contemporary stores seemed too young. It seemed like department stores were my best bet, where I could drift between departments to create outfit.

Oh, and I did end up buying a few sale pieces. One thing I was pretty proud of is how I could pick clothing off the rack that turned out to be exactly the right size, a knack I seem to have developed over this past year while picking up transition outfits at Goodwill (where clothes are not arranged by size and only one fitting room so I haven't been bothering to try on). I was pretty stunned when I looked at the tags after trying on. The three items I bought were size M, 10, and 12!
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Old 07-24-2010, 10:43 PM   #5  
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Shopping for clothes is just not a fun experience for me. Aside from my needing a large size, the clothes are either too young, too old, don't look good, or aren't well made. I have to dress well for work and I am really disappointed in what is out there.

I avoid shopping for clothes with others because I embarrass easily. I usually just want to get the shopping over with as fast as possible. I am hoping to feel differently when I have lost more weight.
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Old 07-25-2010, 04:41 AM   #6  
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I have never been to the Gap, mostly because my circle of friends are the, uh, well... hottopic kids. (But i secretly like their clothes)

A great place to go is the Fashion Bug, they have such nice things! They have a great mix of age appropriate clothing and sizes all the way up to 5x (or higher in some cases) and their sales are rediculously good. They even have a fashion day where you can model for them. It's a great way to build confidence and be less intimidated. it also makes you feel pretty rad.
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Old 07-25-2010, 09:23 AM   #7  
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OMG Eliana-- your post totally made me LAUGH!

I can SO relate to what you are saying!!! For the past twenty years I have bought almost all of my clothes in Talbots Woman-- a TOTALLY OVERPRICED plus size store but completely simple to navigate. If I needed a nice outfit on a short notice, I went there-- otherwise I shopped their sale catalogue. Easy Peasy. I knew what size I wore (24/3X) and their stuff was all kind of the same: classic, kind of middle-aged and not that bad... I knew how to dress there.

Now, I wander around in a complete daze...most of the stores I've never been in and have no idea what they carry. Too many choices... and I have NO IDEA what will look good on me.

I had a "look" that was pretty well developed... now, I have no idea what I'm supposed to look like.
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Old 07-25-2010, 10:28 AM   #8  
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After years of shopping at Lane Bryant and the plus size sections at Target and Walmart, I am really looking forward to the normal racks. That said, I am 38 and so afraid I will pick totally inappropriate outfits. I mostly like jeans and cute tops, but I want some "date night" clothes for when dh and I go out to eat with friends.

Your post gave me a chuckle. I like The Gap too and Old Navy.
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Old 07-25-2010, 11:20 AM   #9  
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I don't know if you have it in Canada, but New York & Co is a great store with a good mix of casual and sophisticated stuff. It's a bit pricey, but if you sign up for the emails, you can time it right you can go in when there's a coupon.
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Old 07-25-2010, 11:48 AM   #10  
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Yeah, my 14 year old loves Aeropostale and Rue 21. Definitely for the kids.

I like Macy's, JCPenney's and Kohl's. My dream is to buy a cute outfit at Chico's or Express. To my understanding, these are clothing for us more "mature" women.
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Old 07-25-2010, 12:03 PM   #11  
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LOL, this is a fun thread. I kind of had trouble with this, too, when I first lost weight last year. I found that I would get stuff home and realize it was WAY too low cut to actually wear to work, or that the jeans looked good when I was standing in the dressing room with my gut sucked in, but in the real world? Not so much!

I do like some of the things at Chico's and Macy's. My local JCPenney has gone kind of cheap and trashy; everything is glittery or festooned with studs and fringe and zippers. But I can sometimes find things to wear to work in their career section. I also like Coldwater Creek. I don't have a local store but have shopped there in Seattle, and they send me awesome email coupons all the time for shopping online.

You'll find your style, but if I may suggest, maybe you should identify a friend whose style you admire and ask her where she does her shopping?
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Old 07-25-2010, 01:37 PM   #12  
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There's a very interesting forum here at 3FC with info about clothing stores, etc. for all sizes. Here's the link:
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Old 07-25-2010, 07:05 PM   #13  
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Windchime, my two dearest friends are Lane Bryant shoppers. We're all works in progress. One of the two would go shopping with me, but I'm a pain in the rear. I need lots of hand holding.

Just to clear one little thing up, I'm not from Canada, not that it matters. I'm in Ohio, actually.

And have you guys seen the latest style? I hope it does not last!! Legging jeans! Can you imagine? No one beyond a size 2 can possibly look good in legging jeans.

Last edited by Eliana; 07-25-2010 at 07:44 PM.
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Old 07-25-2010, 07:30 PM   #14  
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Originally Posted by Eliana View Post
And have you guys seen the latest style? I hope it does not last!! Legging jeans! Can you imagine? No one beyond a size 2 can possibly look in legging jeans.
Oh yeah, legging jeans. What on earth....! And maybe it's just where I live, but everything is covered with glitter and studs and rhinestones and beads and gold buttons. I thought it was bad when handbags started going that route (my friend calls them "bling bags"), but now it's hard to just find a plain t-shirt or top for work. Everything is embellished.
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