Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Help! I'm a grown woman and I can't seem to dress myself!

If your doorbell rang right now, would you want to answer the door in what you're wearing? If your child's school called, telling you your child is sick and needs an immediate pick-up, how comfortable would you be running into the classroom in your outfit du jour?

Somewhere along the road, I got used to seeing myself in sweats and tee-shirts everyday. The sweats often were holey, and tees were a bit frayed at the neckline and cuffs. I was just so glad to not have baby spit up down the front, or peanut butter in my hair, to really notice that my appearance had slid so far down the hill.

I used to be able to dress myself. Even as a university student, I always looked decent. I had nice, comfortable clothes for after hours, no holes, torn seams or mystery stains.

Now, my most favored at-home pants are sweat pants. They're comfortable and warm. I love the stretchy waist. But they do look sloppy after a time. My current two pairs have holes in the seat. Not pin holes, but a few big gaping holes. I do have a couple of pairs of jeans, but even with spandex in them, they just don't reach the same level of comfort (and warmth) as sweats.

So, where am I going with all this?

You know the day I'm about to describe. I'm deep in a project, check the clock, and realize that I'm 15 minutes late to leave to pick up my girls from school. I grab my purse and head to their school. In the drive down, I check myself in the mirror, look down at my shoes (gotta make sure they both match), and discover my hair is sticking out every which way, I've no make-up on (did I remember to wash my face this morning, I wonder), my shirt has a glop of wood glue right front and center, and for pants, I'm wearing my holiest of sweats. "Ugh!" I say out loud to a non-existent audience in the car, "well, I'll just park at the far end of the lot and wait for the girls to come out. We'll hightail it out of the parking lot, be back home in no time, and no one will see what a wreck I am today."

Wouldn't you know it, this is the one day that daughter no. 1 comes out to my car window and tells me, "Mr so-and-so wants to talk to you. Can you come in right now?"  I have a few seconds of scrambling for excuses why I can't come in today, then give up, straighten the loose ends of my hair, and hope I can get in and out of the classroom with gaping holes in the back side of my pants unseen by any and all passers-by. (Fortunately, these sweat pants are so baggy and stretched out, that the holes tend to get lost in the folds of fabric.)  I am beyond the "Fashion Don'ts" page of well-known fashion magazines!

So, it's clear to me now, I really don't know how to dress myself properly. I need some Garanimals (kids' clothing from the 70s, each piece having an identifiable animal on a tag with it, so a child could choose pants and top with same animal and know the outfit went together) in my closet, so that I can reach in and grab two pieces that are designed to go together.

But I need an at-home wardrobe suited to my DIY, crafting, gardening-in-the-mud, and baking-from-scratch, lifestyle. So, my constraints are the clothes need to be comfy, stretch to move with me as I move, be stylish enough to be seen by people outside my family, be easy wash and dry items, and be cheap enough that if I get another glob of wood glue on myself, it's not a big deal.

I've been hitting the thrift shops with my daughters for the past couple of years. (Those two love the thrift shops. They say that there is much more to choose from in a thrift.) I have found a couple of tee shirts, and one sweater and that's about it. I'm picky about fit. Clothing has to fit well and be flattering. I want it to have a certain amount of style, as well.  Later this week, I'm going to a locally-owned consignment shop and hoping for more of what I'm looking for. But I really don't even know what I'm looking for. And perhaps that's been part of my problem.

My questions for you, when you are at home, how do you dress? I know some of you will tell me that you dress in nice slacks, a blouse and cute shoes. But surely, there are others out there who lost their ability to dress themselves, with the onset of motherhood, too. Have you ever had a day when you were caught completely off-guard with your wardrobe?

How have you built an affordable and presentable wardrobe that is also super comfy? What should I look for, style-wise, so that as a middle-aged (gulp) woman, I neither look totally ridiculous in overly trendy stuff, nor like a granny ready for the rocker? How can I incorporate comfortable pants with stylish tops (my current style top is a long-sleeved tee in winter, short-sleeve in summer, not exactly a hallmark of style)?

If you had to choose just a couple of basic at-home clothing items, that aren't made of fleecy sweatshirt material, that looked pulled together, but you could definitely wear while mopping the kitchen floor, what would those pieces look like?

I'll continue my search through the thrift shops, but also am hoping a consignment shop might offer something suitable, stylish, comfortable, and at an affordable price.

Any and all help and advice are welcome here, as well as a comforting tale or two of your own clothing mishaps (so I don't feel like such a bag lady).

42 comments:

  1. I'd love to know the answer to this predicament. I've been struggling with it myself for a few years.

    I have a few presentable pieces, but I hate to wear them around the house for fear of messing them up...lol...but even they are getting limited in number. I'm a sweats and t-shirt kind of girl at home because they take a beating.

    I do have a sister in law who always looks presentable. Her formula is simple because she has a one year old son. She almost always wears pants that are neutral and then she still wears her t-shirt type shirts but she keeps a cardigan or a simple sweater to layer with this time of year. For some reason the addition of the sweater seems to give her a more pulled together look. I wonder if that would work for you. Add a simple piece of your homemade jewelry and you've got casual confidence?

    I can't wait to read what everyone else says. I'm always up to suggestions. I've just finally convinced myself that having my hair "done" every couple of months isn't a waste...lol. I've still got a ways to go on the wardrobe thing.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Shara,
      I am the same way about my "more presentable" pieces. I don't want to wear them around the house, as I'm working, for fear that I'll spoil them. I like the suggestion of adding a sweater. I do have one that I bought last spring and wore quite a bit, as it's lightweight (and made of acrylic, so it's washable). I think I need better at-home pants. (Well, given that my current at-home pants are holey, I think it's a no-brainer that I need "better" ones.)
      Thanks for your suggestions.

      Delete
  2. I can't be much help when it comes to stylish, I'm afraid. But you might consider starting to wear an apron (a full-length one rather than just a cover your legs type). I love aprons but it was only a couple of years ago that I started to properly get into the habit of wearing one. I knew what they were for, obviously, but it's amazing how difficult it was to make the connection between needing to change (again!) because I was covered in flour/tomato juice/insert random mess-causing item here and actually using one of those nice aprons I had hanging around.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Moonwaves,
      An apron is very good advice. And not just for cooking, but a lot of my craft/furniture refurbishing projects could benefit from me wearing a work apron. I do tend to make a huge mess of myself. And I actually have several aprons. I've been keeping them in a drawer, but perhaps if I put up some pegs or hooks on the wall and hung my aprons, I might don one.
      Thanks for the idea.

      Delete
  3. I'm usually barefoot and braless at home. Sometimes I even take garbage off like that. My daughter will ask me, "Are we going anywhere else?" So she can dress appropriately too. lol

    A dear friend of mine used to roll out of bed and take her children to school in pajama pants. One New Year's Day her resolution was to stop doing that and wear real pants to school. Her resolve lasted less than a week and one of the cafeteria ladies told her, "We had such high hopes for you". lol

    I am a creature of comfort and dress accordingly. I love my stretchy pants, usually black and my trapeze style tops. I don't wear dresses anymore although I used to wear them often. My style is definitely my own. :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Belinda,
      Too funny about your friend taking kids to school in her pj pants. I had a friend suggest I do the same, when I commented how early I have to leave in the mornings, to get my daughters to their school on time. My friend said she went through the same thing, when her boys were in high school (they begin so early!). She would throw on a robe and slippers and drive them like that. But you see, I know my sort of luck. The day I wore a robe and slippers would be the day the car broke down on the highway, and I'd have to walk a half mile or so like that!
      Thanks for your comments.

      Delete
    2. Bahahaha, me too, Lili. I would get pulled over for something. lol

      Delete
    3. And the TV news van would be there with their cameras!

      Delete
  4. Hi Lili!
    We have all been in your shoes, every single one of us, and those that say they haven't are well-just not telling the truth!! I remember taking my young family to school in a bathrobe-hehe, or showering just before the hubs got home from work. However, in order to avoid those repeated "bad habits" I started to assemble a small wardrobe of jeans, colorful T-shirts, and tennis shoes or yoga pants, work out top and jacket.
    Also, maintaining a good hair style, color if needed, a great color of lipstick and a pair of hoop earrings can go a long way!!
    Hope your week is going well!
    Jemma

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Jemma,
      So this is what I need to do, assemble an at-home wardrobe that is presentable enough for impromptu outings. I think that I have just not given thought to what I wear around the house, for the most part. And I think the colorful t-shirts would also be a refreshing change from my neutral palette.
      Yes, I'm beginning to see that a good hair style is important to the overall impression.
      Your suggestions are appreciated.

      Delete
  5. I like trousers (I prefer interesting ones that are not black, I'm rebelling against the everyone-wears-black!), long stretchy spaghetti strap top to keep me warm and not leave gaps for drafts; long or short sleeve t-shirt on top of that, and then cotton shirt on top - you can find some lovely shirts in the thrift stores with all different patterns and colours. Sleeves can be rolled up for work, t-shirts underneath layer for warmth. I'm an apron wearer too!

    I keep away from sweat pants because I use my trousers as continuous over-eating over-snacking control ;)

    Good luck!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Jessica,
      Yours sounds like a good look. Practical enough to wear while working, but presentable enough for a quick dash to the store. I'm going to have to work on myself to give up the stretchy waist pants. But I sure could use a regular reminder to control my snack habit, especially in winter when I'm in the house so much of the time. And another apron wearer! It's time mine got some use.
      I appreciate your ideas.

      Delete
  6. Yes, this has happened to me! These days, I usually put on yoga pants & t-shirt so that I'm ready to exercise. Unfortunately, some days, I end up not exercising so I go around looking like a slob! I am trying harder to pull myself together style-wise, though. I really like the suggestion above regarding the apron. I often use house cleaning as an excuse not to dress differently. (I don't want to ruin my good clothes, right?)

    I've found that if I switch the yoga pants to khakis (or similar) and add a sweater/jacket/scarf or statement necklace and cute flats, I'll get compliments. "Wow, you're all dressed up! Where are you going?!" It's not that big of a change but it looks more pulled together. I love this website: www.puttingmetogether.com.

    I also agree with the hair & lipstick. I have a fabulous stylist & splurge on my every 5-week cut. My lipstick is more of a "stain" type so that I can wear it even when I have no other makeup on.

    Good luck & please update with your progress on this!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Sharon,
      I've done the same thing, worn workout clothes all day, because when I woke up, I had every intention to work out, but it just never made it into my day. Hence I looked like a complete slob, and for no good reason!
      I'll check out that website. Thanks for the suggestion.
      I'll keep you updated on what I find, etc.

      Delete
  7. You don't want to be taking fashion advice from me I'm afraid - I'd live in jeans, long sleeve t shirts and jumpers all year round if I could. I haven't lost the ability to dress myself post-kids because I don't think I ever had it!! I work on the principle that beauty comes from within...!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Sarah,
      Now I shall remember your words, the next time I'm caught out in poor wardrobe selection, "beauty comes from within". Jeans, tees and a sweater (jumper) can be quite nice, actually (esp. compared to my aging sweat pants and fraying tee shirts).
      Thanks for your comments.

      Delete
  8. So nice to read a post from a "real" person! I agree with Jemma, we've all been there. When I started taking my kids to preschool I decided I'd better deal with the sloppy mommy look. :)

    With your eating habits, I'm betting you are slim, which is a total bonus in dressing yourself! I think decent, well-fitting pants are the basis around which to build a wardrobe, and it shouldn't cost a lot of money! I have on hand a pair of bootcut jeans and straight-leg jeans, dark wash denim (slimming!). I also have a pair of black leggings over which I can wear a long sweater (make sure it covers your backside!) or a sweater dress. To pull off the legging look, you need a pair of boots--this is a great time of year to find them on clearance if the thrift stores don't turn up any for you. I am also a fan of long-sleeved t-shirts with jeans and I agree with above comments, a cardigan or a blazer dresses them up. Since you sew, I bet you could whip up a scarf out of remnants in no time flat and for pennies, and that would dress up your look as well. There are youtube videos for "how to tie a scarf". Go to Target or some other stores for ideas on length/style. If you don't have a ton of walking to do, ballet flats can finish it off. I think I have mentioned before my love for Skechers GoWalk shoes which are still comfy but don't scream "tacky" (although if I have a lot of walking to do, tacky it is!).

    An easy-to-manage hairstyle has been so helpful for me! And why didn't my mom tell me years ago to keep my bushy eyebrows tweezed? It makes such a difference. I love: Neutrogena Healthy Skin Enhancer (basically a tinted moisturizer with SPF for my fair skin!) to even out my complexion ... and L'Oreal Sugar Plum lipstick (stays on longer w/lip liner ... ) which, for me, is a very neutral shade that looks "finished", not like "here come Kris' lips!". A touch of blush and mascara (I am not gifted with beautiful lashes!) and I've taken off a few years, important because I don't want to be mistaken for my children's grandma! Oh the perils of having kids late in life!

    All this being said, I am not a fashion guru, just someone like you trying to look put together but not ridiculous (or like I'm trying too hard) for a 40-something woman!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Kris,
      If only I'd stop eating the baked goodies I make for the family, then I'd be much more slender!
      I think you're right about the well-fitting pants. That has been my stumbling block. I hate to shop for pants. It's the most discouraging item to shop for (okay, after a swimsuit, but those are even rarer for me to shop for). Perhaps why I buy a lot of sweat and knit pants, is I don't have to try them on in the store. I just need to be a big girl about this and try a bunch on. I did buy some jeans this past year, and that was a big deal for me to spend an hour trying different styles and sizes.

      I have been thinking of some more casual scarves for spring and summer, to sew. I do have quite of few nice ones that I add to outfits for church and the like. But a few fun and casual ones would be nice, too. I've seen some really pretty ones, and you're right, they'd be a cinch to sew up.

      My make-up and hair sorely need attention. I keep some tinted gloss in my purse and if I haven't put any lipstick, stain or gloss on for the day, I'll reach for that while I'm out.

      More and more, I'm coming to understand that looking put together is not only about what others see, but how I feel about myself. And that doesn't mean I have to look totally made or dolled-up, just clean, tidy, and enough color on my face to conceal the most recent sleepless night. When I have all that, I feel more joyful about my day, and I'm sure that that translates to a better experience for those interacting with me.

      Thanks for your advice.

      Delete
    2. Kris, I've also got the ample bust and upper arm thing going on. In my baby book, my mom commented on how round my arms were! I was wearing a bra at age 10. A look that I do think is flattering is a 3/4 sleeve. It shows off slim wrists and lower arms, and draws attention away from the bust and upper arm. I had been frustrated by not finding many 3/4 sleeve tee shirts that were affordable, then it occurred to me that I can simply hem sleeves from long-sleeve tees to get a 3/4.

      When you find that one look/item that slenderizes you, don't you just feel so much better about yourself?! I will keep a piece of clothing in the best repair for ages if it makes me look slimmer.

      Delete
  9. Ha! Well, I'm just about the last person on the planet who should be giving fashion advice, but back when I still had cable, I used to have a strange addiction to the show "What Not to Wear." I dunno why... I just like Clinton Kelly I think.

    Anyhow, I did pick up a few tips that have helped me incredibly.

    1) When buying tops, look for things that are fitted. This means it should come in at the waist. It's pretty easy to tell from looking at it on the hanger if it's gonna fit the bill or not. If it looks square - put it back. It should look sorta hourglass shaped. The cut is much, MUCH more important than the material. Even a fitted T-shirt will look worlds better than a square cut one.

    2) "Classic" styled pants should fit nicely around the waist and hips and then go straight down from there. Avoid anything that either narrows or widens in the leg. I find that pants cut lower on the waistline are much more comfortable for sitting around than a high-wasted cut. Once again, cut and fit are more important than material. Spandex jeans are fine as long as they have a classic cut and fit you well.

    3) Clinton gives lectures on properly fitting bras, but I still hate the things... My solution is to get sleeveless tank tops that already have the support built in. I think they're much more comfortable than bras and it makes it super easy to layer for different temperatures.

    4) Instead of sweaters or sweat shirts, look for light blazers or jackets that have a fitted cut. Once again it's fit and cut that matter, not material. So a jeans jacket that fits well and is hourglass shaped will look much nicer than a fancy sweater that is cut like a box. They are easy to layer, easy to grab on your way out the door, and make you look much more "put together" than a sweater or fleece.

    In terms of hair, makeup and the rest... well, I have a hard time making myself get worked up about it. I have long hair and just pull it back in a clip most days. A clip at the base of the neck looks pulled together and takes about 2 seconds.

    For shoes, I wear nothing but Birkenstocks. I have some nice wool clogs, as well as some leather shoes that don't look too "birkey" but still are as comfortable as slippers.

    OK... that's about as far as I'm willing to take the whole fashion thing. Of course, the further I get from the "real world" the less likely I am to actually follow my advice. At the moment I'm wearing sweats and a fleece... but they are nicely cut sweats and the fleece is somewhat fitted... does that count? :-)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Ooh, I love the "properly fitted" advice! It took me years to learn that on my own. I have a "boxy" figure rather than a slender one but fitted clothes give the illusion I'm going for!

      As a well-endowed woman, I can't get away with the sleeveless tank look ... I think the solution is, know your body. Don't get me started on the perils of finding a bra that fits properly ...

      Delete
    2. Hi Cat,
      What not to wear might just describe how I look when working at home! Uh, oh!

      Your point no. 1 about fitted tops is something that I just did not get until very, very recently. I only recently discovered that some t-shirts have a fitted cut to them. I have bought many thrift shop tops, that I thought were complete steals, until I got them home and realized just how unflattering they were. As a sewer, I do add darts and take in sides when this happens, but sometimes, the whole cut of an item is too boxy. I'll be putting those back on the rack from now on.

      And I've made the wide leg jeans mistake, too. They fit in the hips and legs so I was just thrilled to pieces, until I started to notice how short and stumpy my legs looked in them (I'm not very tall).

      Even when I've bought fleece jackets, I've looked for a more fitted cut, so at least I've been doing that right!

      I am baffled how I could have gotten through the last couple of decades not knowing how to dress myself!

      Thanks for all your suggestions!

      Delete
    3. From reading your comments, I think I can glean one of your main problems - aversion to trying things on! I know those fitting rooms are horrible, especially at the thrift store, with the fluorescent lights that make even the best complexion look corpse-like, yadda, yadda, yadda...

      But seriously, you will save yourself a world of trouble and time if you just make yourself try things on before you take them home! It took me about an hour to find my last pair of jeans, seriously, I must have tried on about 20 pairs! But in the end I got them for about $4... they fit perfectly and I LOVE wearing them! It was an hour well spent!

      That being said, I only shop for clothes once or twice a year because it's not one of my favorite activities! :-)

      Delete
    4. Hi Cat,
      Absolutely! And to complicate things, In the past (I'm planning on changing this, as of now), I would only try on clothes if I was feeling my trimmest. So, then what happens? I put on a pound or two, and suddenly what I thought was great, no longer looks so good. In reality, if I find something that flatters me when I'm less fit, surely it will look great when I've shed my winter chub.
      I will definitely just make myself do it, and plan for trying on clothing to take a while. (One of the last times I was choosing jeans, I only had 15 minutes before an appointment. No pressure there!)

      Delete
  10. OK... and in case you'd like to get sucked into the "What Not to Wear" vortex:

    http://tlc.howstuffworks.com/tv/what-not-to-wear/videos

    Enjoy! :-)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. For a little mindless entertainment! Could be fun!

      Delete
  11. Lili, Obviously you have brought up a subject that we all can relate to, and I think some very good points have been made in the discussion.
    --Clean and neat go a long way in looking good.
    --If something fits well, it will be comfortable even if it's not sweats.
    --Adding an accessory like a scarf or layering with a jacket can give a finished look.
    --As much as most of us hate it, trying on things before you buy them is important.
    --It's time for us to discover aprons again.

    Another point of my own. Think about how much time you spend buying, mending, making clothes, and doing other things for your family and spend as much time on yourself. I am guilty sometimes of not giving myself the same attention I give others.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi live and learn,
      More and more I am getting that. My kids are old enough to not need so much of my time. When they were younger, their needs, health and safety had to come first. But now, I think we need to get back into the mindset of taking care of ourselves, and without guilt. For me at least, It will mean a more pleasant me to deal with (for those I encounter daily), if I'm giving a bit of attention to myself.

      Delete
  12. I always liked "What Not to Wear" too! I made a vow about 3 years ago not to wear sweatpants outside the house anymore, and I have trained myself to at least switch them for jeans :) My clothing at home is very bad - I don't like to get cat hair on my work wardrobe, so I put on sweats as soon as I get in. I refuse to answer the door or take garbage out wearing pajamas or a bathrobe - I am too modest and I embarrass easily!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi anexacting,
      It's comforting to know that other women have felt the need to address this, too. I will probably always reach for sweats when just lounging or on very cold days (part of liking sweat pants is the cold temps really get to my legs), but I do think I'll make more of an effort to keep them looking better than my current pairs. I am now making sure that I always switch out my sweats for jeans when I run errands. Don't want a repeat!
      Thanks for your input.

      Delete
  13. Obviously you want yoga pants. Just like sweat pants but they look classy.

    As to what I wear at home and to pick my kid up (and he's young enough that I have to actually go inside): One of DH's old t-shirts that are too ratty for him to wear in public and either a too-big maternity skirt (the baby is 7 months old now), or if I was home without one of the mother's helpers (meaning I need no pants at home), my pair of jeans with the hole in the knee. They see me in business suits the days I pick him up from work.

    ReplyDelete
  14. Hi nicoleandmaggie,
    I'll have to try on some yoga pants and see how they feel. They do look comfy.

    My husband's old tee shirts and polo shirts were my maternity tops, for the most part. When we were first married, we simply didn't have money for me to buy clothes to wear just for 6 months.(I did have 1 pair of maternity jeans, 1 pair of shorts and 1 dress.) And then when I was pregnant with my twins, I got huge, fast, and my husbands shirts were about the only thing that would go around me!
    Thanks for your input.

    ReplyDelete
  15. I exclusively wear stretchy joggers and tshirts at home! Teamed with my favourite brown cardigan it looks as good as it sounds.... I absolutely hear you when you say long sleeve winter and short sleeve summer!! That basically sums up my wardrobe. I though, couldn't care less what other folk think. Why on earth should anybody else be bothered with what I've got on? And if they are, guess what, I'm not. I do however most of the time try and wear my one pair of jeans in public. This way of dressing definitely became entrenched with child-rearing. I just could not afford to continually buy clothes and bother with what I looked like and parent the way I wanted to. Add in I cut my own hair and never wear make up. You are not alone!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Marion,
      Thanks for your honest and refreshing comment. It's nice to know that my "look" is not just mine. Raising children does really affect every aspect of our lives, including how we dress! I looked a wreck most days, but I just always felt that went with the territory. I spent a good deal of my day on my hands and knees playing with them, changing them, feeding them and cleaning up after them. I certainly had zero time to doll myself up.

      I have cut my own hair on several occasions, as well. I did an okay job. The back is so hard to get right, though. I am competent at cutting other's hair, though. And I know this has saved quite a bit of money over the years.
      Thanks for your comments.

      Delete
  16. I left a comment yesterday but it seems to have been sucked into the comment vortex :( Anyway, I agree with the comments on "What not to wear", although I read the book rather than watched the show. Maybe see if your library has it.

    I also have an ample bust and arms, as well as a long torso and I've found long tank tops to be great. They cover up everything so there are no gaps between your top and pants, and can be layered under other tops to make them seem longer (and me thinner!).

    I like Thai fishermans pants for wearing around the house, you just tie them at the waist and they're very comfy, but maybe not so flattering.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Economies,
      sorry about the comment problem. That happened to me just the other day, too.
      I'll check our library for that book. Thanks for the tip.
      I love long tops! I don't get that gap at the waist every time I bend over.
      The Thai fisherman pants sound a lot like something I'd thought to make for puttering around the house this summer, some all-cotton pj-type pants, in a lightweight fabric like seersucker. Perhaps not too terribly flattering, but you're right about comfort! I think if they're paired with the right tee shirt/cotton jacket, they could look good enough (better than what I have been wearing, that's for sure).
      Thanks for your input, and for trying a second time to leave a comment!

      Delete
  17. Wow! Obviously you touched a nerve with this topic! :)

    I don't have much luck with thrift shopping. Instead, I hit the 75% (or more) sale rack at Kohl's, Penney's, and Younkers (aka Macy's). Sometimes the best deals are at the more expensive department stores, surprisingly. Penney's "St John's Bay" jeans fit me well (my figure is more Marilyn Monroe than Twiggy) ... Lee jeans do as well, if that helps you narrow down some items. I don't even bother with Levi. Made for straight figures.

    V-necks help with the busty issue. (try them on to make sure they don't dip too low--tricky if your cleavage starts beneath your chin like mine ... women who want a bigger bustline really don't know what a pain it is).

    Since you have the advantage of having teenaged girls, bring one/both with you shopping; try on clothes and have them snap a picture of you. It's time intensive in the beginning but I think you will get a feel for what suits you--somehow it's easier to "see" it in a picture than in the mirror. And yes, get a backside pic as well--you can always delete them!

    I have noticed that t-shirts (not just tanks!) are getting longer! Another fun and comfy item is blazers made of knits--perfect for iffy spring weather, and you can wear it over your boxy t-shirts and still look leaner.

    While knit pants are more comfy, I find it's easier to keep the weight off with jeans--they definitely make me take notice when I've been overeating.

    More about me than you ever wanted to know??? :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Kris,
      That makes sense about a more expensive dept store having surprisingly good deals. I think especially with this economy, still slugging along. I find the same to be true in grocery shopping, some of the best deals are at the high-end stores, they can afford to discount a few things greatly, because the rest of the stuff has such a huge mark-up.

      Penney's is my all-time favorite dept store. The one near us has a huge selection of clothing, and just slightly lower priced than Nordstrom's or Macy's on just about everything. Macy's is also becoming a store I check (all 2 times a year I go to the mall!) I recently noticed that they had a huge clearance area in their petites dept (I'm not very tall).

      Good idea to bring one of my daughters with me, sort of a personal shopper. They'll be really objective (but in a kind way, I hope).

      The slacks that I wear to church are my incentive to stop myself when I'm eating too much. My winter ones are still roomy, but my spring/summer pair are a slim cut. Every year, about now, I start to really focus on exercise and watching my diet, so those slacks will fit by Easter. I am just too cheap to go ahead and buy a larger pair of pants, simply because I've gained weight!! You're right about knit pants deluding you into thinking all is well with your weight!
      Thanks for your input. It is appreciated!

      Delete
  18. As I am writing this I am wearing my holey, paint stained sweat pants and a sweat shirt with not only paint but glue dried into it. At home I live in sweats as you say they are the most comfortable things to wear. I do keep a few things that I promise never to wear around the house for those times I need to look good, so I guess the only secret I can share is to have a couple of things that can mix and match for when you need to leave the house.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Lois,
      That's where I am now focusing, on finding some casual, but good-looking clothing to wear out the door, and make myself change into them! That's a tough part for me, when I've got to leave the house for a quick errand, then return back to work, I'm usually reluctant to change. I'm lazy, I know!
      Thanks for your comments!

      Delete
  19. I just can not stand slopping around the house looking like, as my 98 year old grandmother called, an unmade bed. I have 3 pair of jeans that get chosen based on what my plan is for the day and a pair of black dansko's and a pair of brown. I have cardigans in black and gray that are worn over cami's. My dh likes cleavage. I have slacks in black and brown for church. Spring/summer is a variation of this theme. When something gets worn or ruined, I replace it. I will wear sweats or yoga pants around the house but my rule is only change after dinner. This sounds insane when I write it out but if I deviate I tend to sit around more and get less done. And, like another lady said, I know when I reach for my stretchy pants thinking "just this once", it is a sure sign I have gained weight that I do.not.need.
    I have been home for years with my 8 children and my kids notice that I don't wear the standard stay at home mom uniform of athletic wear and baseball caps. Most days my hair gets done, I wear it long so it's easy and a spash of make up and I look decent enough to run an errand or go up to school without trying to hide like the Pink Panther.

    ReplyDelete
  20. Hi Arden
    Wow! You're an inspiration! I like how your grandmother described the unkempt look as like an unmade bed. I'll remember that.
    I understand feeling like you just don't get as much done when you're clothes aren't a certain way. I am the same way about shoes. I can't wear slippers around the house and get anything done. They don't fit well enough to move quickly, so I go slowly. I wear real shoes from the time I get up to just before bed.
    Your comment gave me a lot of good ideas. Thanks!

    ReplyDelete

I'm so glad that you stopped by today. Please comment, and let me know what you're thinking.