Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Wisconsin 101: In the end, we all dress for winter anyhow, so it doesn't matter

You guys, I hate shopping.

I like getting new stuff, but I hate the process of getting it. Of going to the mall.

I do like shopping online, especially if I am supposed to be doing something else, like working. I like looking at shoes and dresses. (Why won't manufacturers put sleeves on their allegedly "career" dresses? Where is it that professional women go sleeveless to work? Armpits do not belong in an office. Nor do bare shoulders, Mandy. I thought I was the only one who noticed her inappropriate outfits, but a male co-worker referred to her today as "Low-cut Mandy.")

Online is a great place to browse. I have even shopped for men online. was a man mall. I met a really nice boyfriend on I haven't looked there lately - I don't think they are even in business any more - but it is kind of fun to scroll through the photos and read how people describe themselves. Memo to men seeking women: Most women are not going to be terribly impressed by or attracted to the fact that you are an Elvis impersonator, so you might want to leave that little bit off your bio. Or at least use a photo of you as you rather than you as Elvis.

But it can be dangerous to shop online. Everything looks good on a teenage model who is 5'10" and 120 pounds, which is both taller than I am and lighter than I am.

Not everything looks good on me. I need to try something on to decide if it is horribly nasty or bearable. Part of the equation is not wanting to throw up at the image of my almost-nude body reflected in the dressing room mirror under the dressing room lights.

Retailers! If I don't want to vomit when I see myself, I am more likely to buy your product! Invest in some decent lighting and good mirrors!

Unless it's all part of their plan to keep Women of a Certain Age from buying their product so as to preserve their image.

But that's not working. I saw a Woman of More Certain Age than I at the airport last week. But that didn't stop her from wearing a miniskirt, 4" heels, and a tank top that showed her bra straps, and from painting her fingernails (purple) as she waited for her flight to board.

Your brand is going to be destroyed. You might was well make some money in the process.

I had to go to the mall the other night to return some items I had ordered from Banana Republic, a store that used to be really fun to shop at but is now just another store. I liked going on a jungle safari. Life has changed. But sometimes they have nice clothes.

Then I went to The Limited. I would have been Mutton Dressed as Lamb for most of their items.

I walked past a J.Jill. I thought, "Those clothes might be OK. I need a black skirt." So I walked in.

And noticed right away that their saleswomen were wearing Sensible Shoes.

Which I admired.

Then I looked more closely. The saleswomen were Women of a Certain Age.

Not like Banana Republic or The Limited or Ann Taylor, where I am old enough to be the mother of everyone working, which is a weird thought because I don't have kids, so I don't usually measure my age that way, but one is forced to confront reality sometimes.

It was My Peeps at J.Jill. 

I looked more closely at the skirts.

Elastic waistband.

Then I looked at the one other customer in the store.

She looked like my grandmother. I mean my grandma 10 years ago, when my grandma would have been 91. And alive. But my grandma.

My grandma and I were looking at the same clothes.

I shook my head and left. I want to be the one destroying the brand, not fitting it.


Gaylin said...

I have been shopping for a new winter coat.
I have specifications. Almost knee length, a hood, pockets (at least 4) and rain resistant. Brightly coloured. Lightly lined. NOT cloth. Cloth coats are stupid when it rains as much as it does here.

Vancouver does not get overly cold, we do get freezing temps overnight but not scary freezing temps. Just brrrrrrrr.

The coats I have been finding are all barely past the waist. Either completely unlined or parkas. Believe me, you need a parka about 3 days a year in the city. Also parkas have fake fur around the hood, again - gross in the rain. Small pockets drive me nuts. And most of the coats are black. It gets dark here around 4 in the afternoon, a dark coat may as well have 'cars hit me' on the back. Or they are white - which gets dirty looking so quickly. If I am going to buy a new coat, I want it to look new for more than a week.

I even decided to up my budget limit to $350. Still no go. The few I did find are all slim fit. I am a size 10, apparently that is HUGE to clothing manufacturers because slim fit - not with my hips. Also, how do you layer under a coat that is slim fit?

Have you had enough of my coat rant? I think everyone in my life is tired of it! The coat I wear in the winter cost me $35 over 10 years ago, it is not in the greatest of shapes but screw it, until I find one I actually like, I will keep wearing it.

I would consider ordering from the states but the cost of shipping usually doubles or triples and then I have to pay customs on top of that and if I have to return it . . .

I love your line "I like getting new stuff, but I hate the process of getting it. Of going to the mall."

Shopping sucks.

Class factotum said...

Gaylin, my sympathies. I got one of my best winter coats at a church thrift shop in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. It was an LLBean down coat in perfect condition and I paid $10. That was in 1999 and I still use it.

I haven't thought as much about coat specs as you have, because I have not been forced to survive in bitter cold until the past few years, but I have a list of specs that is equally long for purses.

Good luck with the hunt.

webb said...

Am with both of you. Women of a Certain Age - well, lots of them including this one - have HIPS. Apparently manufacturers have not discovered that.

As to coats, I have two LandsEnd down coats - about $99 in the States. Husband gave me the first for Christmas about 10 years ago. A wonderful coat, but pale green. It's still good to go except for the cuffs and neck that are no longer cleanable - so it's the one I wear to the gym. Coat #2 is identical, but cranberry. Mind do not solve the rain issue, but I think they make coats that are in rain-resistent fabrics and they may have a Canadian presence so that Gaylin would not have to pay customs.

The downside of a puffy coat is that one looks like a sausage, but then ... that's expected, so people don't know if it's you or the coat! good luck.

Gaylin said...

Thanks Webb & CF, I will check Land's End and LL Bean to see if they ever offer free shipping to Canada and what their jackets are like.

Another thing for me with a winter coat is they need to be hot flash compatible . . . No down for me, I have a down jacket and when I wear it - flame on!

CF I don't have a spec list for purses, I don't carry one. (hence the need for pockets)