Last weekend I had a “What Not to Wear” date with my bestest friend. She only has one child, and he’s 17, so she actually gets to watch her fave show every week. She also has great taste in clothes, a sister with the money to thoroughly prove it, AND she’s brutally honest. Best person to take shopping!
One of my fave stores had a warehouse outlet sale. No, it’s not like those places that you find in “outlet malls” – this was a real warehouse, complete with rickety wooden staircase and makeshift communal changeroom with walls made out of old advertising posters and a couple of crummy little mirrors hanging from clothing racks. Still, we managed to get ourselves a good amount of clothes at huge discounts, so it was worth the embarrassment of showing off my “laundry day” underwear to the other female customers.
The goal of that day was to relearn how to dress myself. I haven’t shopped for “real clothes” (read: things other than post-preggy jeans and Old Navy tank tops) for years now. Not only do I not know what my “look” is anymore but my whole body has changed shape from having kids. Which isn’t bad, actually, because I have breasts now, lol. And my weight is better than before I had kids, despite feeding a chocolate-bar-a-day addiction (yes, go ahead and hate me, I spent the last 10 years before my first pregnancy battling my weight so I’ve earned this!).
So, we shopped and then hit the mall and shopped some more, and I found a suit for business (the “excuse” to go shopping in the first place – “it’s a business expense, honey!”) as well as some great fitted jackets, a couple dress shirts, and some funky tops to go under the jackets. My friend taught me how to tell what will look good on, even when it looks funny on the hanger. She taught me what I need to look for in cut of clothes, lengths, etc. to accentuate my bust and waist and minimize my hips and short(er) stature. By the end of the 4 hour session I felt I had a handle on things, and an idea of what “look” I was going for. And I’d blown a nice chunk of change on clothes, but had tons to show for it (gotta love a good sale). Yes, go ahead and hate me. I’ve spent the last 3.5 years on an extremely tight budget with incomes that varied from liveable to non-existent, so I’ve earned this, too!!!
As I got home and tried on all the cool stuff I bought, I felt my new look had come together. I looked hip and happening, but I also looked mature. Not like some 40 year olds who, even if their figures can pull it off, simply look pathetic wearing clothes that a 20 year old should be wearing. I remember back in my early twenties when I was a regular on the nightclub scene, I’d see these 30-somethings come in, all dressed up like us in their leather motorcycle jackets over black lacy lingerie, fishnet stockings, and Doc Martins (it was the alternative nightclub scene, sorta Goth though we didn’t know that term back then) and I’d think how sad and pathetic they looked because despite the clothes you could see they were “old” and I kept hoping that, as much as I loved dancing in the clubs, that by the time I was in my thirties I had better things to do. So…back to the present – I love my look and, importantly, I really love my body at (almost) 40!! (okay, so I’m 38 and a half…)