So I’m trying to stay organized concerning the move and the new job. Realistically, I needed clothes. I have never, ever been the type to enjoy shopping, or clothes or makeup or shoes or purses. It’s just not me. At all. In college I was a jeans and t-shirt and Chucks kind of girl. When I started working here at the cell phone store, the dress was business casual. I kind of enjoyed looking nice for work and putting outfits together, in that it was a fun challenge. I used to buy a new top here and there from time to time, but never really “went shopping.” If I wanted a new top, I’d go to Forever 21 (cheap and cute) pick one out, try it on, and pay for it. In and out in 20 minutes.
But then, about 3 years ago our company switched to uniforms for retail employees. I considered this a godsend. It’s so much easier to not have to think about what you’re going to wear the next day. Around that time, my (now) husband and I started dating again, we started eating out a lot and I ended up quitting the gym altogether. That is to say, I gained like, 50 lbs (uggg) pretty quickly and my weight hasn’t changed since then. So, with the combination of nothing fitting and not really needing new clothes other than uniforms ever, I just haven’t gone shopping at all. I’ve tried, but nothing fits and everything looks stupid and I don’t need to spend the money and I hate it (you see how I talk myself out of it every time).
But now I’m going back to a business casual environment, and I don’t have much left in my closet that fits and could be considered appropriate. I decided to go shopping on Monday because I had off. I decided a few things:
- I invited my mom (she’s brutally honest when it comes to this sort of thing)
- I wanted to get it all done in one day (I couldn’t bear to do this more than once.)
- I only wanted to spend $100. My mom literally laughed out loud when I told her this. She thought I’d need three times that, at least, to get what I needed. I had frugality on the brain.
- I decided to stick to a list. Before we started the day, my mom and I looked at what I had that might be viable. 4 tops, black and gray slacks. And surprise! Several skirts still fit. So we made a list of what I needed. Brown slacks, and maybe some colorful ones (blue or maroon). Simple tops and cardigans. I was aiming for a good, simple, basic mix and match beginner’s wardrobe.
- I decided to have a good attitude about it all.
We had breakfast and headed to a mall that no one ever goes to. Since Hurricane Katrina it’s been deserted and very sketchy. Only a few shops are open there. But I heard that the Dillard’s there was a clearance-only store and so I wanted to check it out. I was serious about sticking to the budget! We went into the mall and… surprise! Dillard’s had closed. *womp womp*
There was nothing else in that mall we wanted to see so we headed to the big, busy mall. I made a bee-line for the Forever 21 plus size section and quickly and methodically picked out 10 tops. I tried them on, and decided on 4. I also grabbed a couple of simple accessories. Total: $60. Then we went to Macy’s because I had cut out coupons from the newspaper. I found brown and blue slacks and three cardigans. It was $125 but my mom covered $50 of it.
I did my best to keep her out of other stores. My mom loves to shop and would have gone in half the stores in the mall and touched all the things if I hadn’t kept us laser focused. We did both succumb to the beauty of Pottery Barn Kids, though. (I felt like it was safe to go in there since the I don’t have children to shop for yet. The worst we could do was daydream–and boy, did we ever!)
At this point I was feeling accomplished and finished. But my mom decided I needed a new purse. This won’t come as a shocker to you, but I hate shopping for purses, too. I feel like they’re so utilitarian, I hate that they’re expensive. I told her it wasn’t on the list, or in the budget. But I knew she was right. My current purse I bought from some local artisans in Peru. It’s made of alpaca. I really like it, but it does not look professional. I know. I know. I know.
She dragged me to TJMaxx. I normally hate this kind of store because it’s like shopping, but in a dirty, dingy, terrible place. I was expecting everything to be super cheap because it’s TJMaxx, but hello! It’s not! Purses were name-brand and like $200 instead of $500. My eyes almost fell out of my head. I don’t think I’ve ever paid more than $20 for a purse. Well we looked and looked, and I finally found a pretty one for $30. I begrudgingly let mom pay for it.
So all in all, the shopping wasn’t too painful. I spent $135, didn´t use the credit cards, and have a good range of combinable pieces. I felt really good about sticking to my list, sticking to the budget (or close to it), and about having come through what could have been a stressful day happily. It was smart of me to bring mom along for moral support. And, most importantly, I feel good about being better prepared and hopefully less stressed about this move.
Am I the only one out there who hates shopping?