The Futility of (Me) Being Fashionable

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The Futility of (Me) Being Fashionable: A Tale of Why I Can't Quit the Clearance Racks

Anyone who’s known me for any length of time will easily testify to my simple, comfortable clothing style.  And I use the term “style” rather loosely.  I have never been a fashion queen, and was well in to my late teens before I even realized that fashions came in seasons.  In fact, until recent enlightenment, I thought Jimmy Choos was some kind of trendy restaurant

So it comes to no surprise, then, that I usually choose comfort (and price!) over style.  And to be honest, it almost always boils down to cost….  After all, why would I buy the $25 shirt, however nice it may be, when I could buy two plainer shirts for seven bucks each??  More often than not, especially as the years progress, I find myself settling for price and comfort over fashion.

Granted, there was a brief time as a young college kid when I had my “going out” clothes.  Getting dressed to go to the bars in downtown Athens was a simple task, even for me: cute black skirt and snazzy top, OR cute skinny jeans (oh, those were the days!) with snazzy top.  And throw in some cute (yet ridiculously uncomfortable) shoes with heels.  (Always with heels, when your five-feet-nothing!)

Naturally, too, as a teacher, I had to dress professionally.  But even then, I would create outfits around a pair of black pants, brown pants, khaki pants, my green-ish “Capri” pants (they’re regular length on me) and buy my tops accordingly.  Yes, even as I began to rake in the teacher big bucks, I was holding those purse strings tight!

I digress.  Back to my original point: I am not known for my keen fashion sense.  And it’s not that I don’t CARE to look good.  In spite of the mounting evidence that may suggest otherwise, I do try to make myself look presentable.  It’s just that most of the time those efforts fail.  Greatly.

And hair and makeup?  Let’s not even go there…..  (That’s a blog post for another day!)

What may be surprising is my secret desire to be well-dressed.  Fashionable, even.  Heck, I’ll settle for knowing what cuts, styles, and/or colors are most flattering for me!  I day dream sometimes about Clinton and Stacey ambushing me at my local Kroger or while pushing my daughter on the swings at the park (because where else would I be?!?), hoisting me away to New York with my cheap (but comfy) wardrobe in tow, and hand over that druel-worthy gift card loaded up for a shopping spree.

…but then I burst my own daydream bubble thinking about the impracticality of forking over a hundred bucks for one article of clothing!  My rationalization is simple: I could put that 5k, or whatever large amount it is, towards my daughter’s 529, towards paying off the mortgage, or EASILY towards a year’s worth of groceries!!  So perhaps the bottom line for me is that I’m too pragmatic, even in my day dreams.  (Yes, pragmatic.)

So, back to my point, even when I set out to find some cute, somewhat fashionable items for myself, my frugality gets in the way.  For instance, I went to Target last week, looking to spend some of my birthday money on some “nice” clothes for myself.  As always, I started in my usual spot.  Most likely, those clearance racks are my biggest fashion flub?  Once I saw those two dollar t-shirts, it was all downhill from there.  Granted, I did walk away with one “nice” tank (on clearance, too), but I didn’t meet my original intention, which was to buy a few “nice” clothes for myself.  Not a handful of practical items that would make sense when working with two-year-olds…

The week before, I even ventured in to the land of mall-shopping: I went to The Limited, with coupons in hand.  They had sent these two coupons in the mail for $15 off a purchase of $15 or more.  What a great deal, or so I thought…..  Upon entering a store I hadn’t set foot in  at least fifteen years, I headed straight for the clearance section.  (Ah-ha!  There it is again….)  I found a few nice tops for $14.99.  This meant, in order to use the coupons, I would have to make two transactions, with two tops in each.  I was prepared to buy FOUR tops, totaling $30 of my birthday money.  But, naturally, the coupons weren’t good for clearance items.  *sigh*  So, I hope whoever came in to the store after me was able to use the two coupons I left by the entrance, head hanging down in defeat.

After many such shopping flubs, I resign myself once again to my comfortable, inexpensive -but utterly unfashionable- wardrobe.  If you ever see me out and about, I’ll likely be in my clearance duds: t-shirt, jeans or capris, and sneakers or comfy slip-ons.  Hair in ponytail.  Always in ponytail — I am convinced it’s more of a sensory issue…  I digress.  (If no ponytail, scrunchy on wrist or in pants pocket.  I’m always prepared!)  Glasses on, or maybe my contacts will be in.  But it’s most unlikely I’ll be wearing makeup, save perhaps a little chap-stick.

Besides, I never know when TLC’s What Not to Wear will surprise me with the makeover of my dreams.  …..right?

Keep on saving!  :o)

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