Since I started posting my outfits every day, I’ve gotten some questions on shopping. Which is hilarious, because, you know, I’m not a style maven or anything. You see my outfit from today? And I changed out of that sweater. Right now I’m wearing a sweatshirt.
But here you go, your questions answered.
1. You have a lot of clothes from Boden. How do they fit?
I do have a lot of clothes from Boden. I like them very much. They’re mail-order only (at least around here), so a lot of people wonder how the clothes fit. So, I am going to do something verboten in Lady World and tell you my size, and then tell you what Boden size I wear. I don’t like to do this because I think that people will Jump To Conclusions and sizing makes people uncomfortable, and so if you are one of those people, can I please tell you to still like me after I tell you my current size, and that the only thing I had to do with the number on my pants is that I was born to tiny people? OK? It doesn’t mean anything about YOU or ME or THEM.
Sorry, long disclaimer, but, you know, people get angry when it comes to weight.
So, I have found that at places like Gap and Old Navy and Target, I wear a 28/6 for bottoms and M for sweaters, and sometimes the 28/6 is a tiny bit big for me, but usually fits well, and that’s my preferred size. At Boden, I wear a 6 or an 8, but I prefer an 8, because I like to be able to breathe after I eat, and I carry almost all my weight in belly/butt. You’re welcome for that image. HOWEVER, in shirts, I like a small. I bought mediums but they were slipping off my shoulders.
In short: their sizing is a little bit complicated, but I’d suggest a size up in pants, a size down in shirts. I’d also suggest making sure you got a free shipping both ways deal if you’ve never bought from them before and you want to try them out.
2. A lot of your clothes seem expensive. What’s your clothing budget?
I don’t have a clothing budget because I am really, really cheap, but here is my philosophy: if I do not absolutely LOVE it, I do not want it in my closet. Sometimes that means H&M and Old Navy, but most of the time that stuff fits me a little bit weird and so I don’t buy from there. The other thing is that I have a very small closet, so I want all of my clothes that fit in this tiny space to be lovely. I don’t mind spending a lot of money on one piece of clothing because I know I”m going to wear it a lot, and I figure the price per wear is pretty low then. If I don’t love it, I return it. If I stop loving it, I donate it. If I have a piece of clothing that makes me feel bad because it fits weird or is too tight, I give it away. It’s not worth it, no matter how expensive or cheap it originally was. I’ve found that more expensive clothes tend to fit better and I give them away less, so it ends up being cheaper in the long run for me.
Also, I try not to buy new things more than once a season, or less than that if I can. Staying out of stores with cute buy cheap clothes helps to not spend money.
3. How long do you spend picking out an outfit?
About two minutes. Because I love everything I have, it doesn’t take me long. I also try to only buy things that go with other things I have (but not always, because sometimes I know I will find a way to fit in an orange corduroy skirt in the mix).
4. When do you find time to shop?
I buy almost everything online. I get catalogs, go through them while I’m say, eating lunch, and mark what I like. Then I don’t do anything and come back a week later and see if I still like it. The answer is almost always no. And so I don’t get it. There are a few things I don’t trust to buy online, like jeans.
What I do if I need jeans is that I try not to buy jeans.
But if I do, I go to a store where the jeans have fit me well in the past (like the Gap, no matter how uncool they now are or whatever), and try on all the styles of jeans in a few sizes. If I don’t like them, then I go to the next store. If I like them, I buy a pair. The last time I went jeans shopping, I got lucky and found a pair in twenty minutes. The time before that it took over three months of twenty minute excursions (like, I went shopping once a month, so it only took an hour total, but time to fit in the twenty minutes between house-kids-work is tough). So: yeah, I get it. I don’t have time either. It’s difficult. Bottom line.
5. A few of your outfits are thrifted. All the thrift stores around me suck. What are your tips for thrifting?
I have none. I almost never have luck, and I only go thrift store shopping once a year because it’s such a time suck, but it is fun. I like to go to consignment stores instead of Goodwill because I find better stuff usually, but part of it is that I live in a city with hip young people, and so, you know, I get a pretty good selection. This is a terrible answer. I’m sorry.
6. How come you don’t like pants or heels?
I just don’t. I wear pants sometimes because I get cold. But heels are my sworn enemy. I have princess feet and almost all shoes feel pinchy on me, even most flats. If I find a brand of shoes I like, I stick with them. My favorites are TOMS, Keens, Nike, Frye and Dansko.
7. Why do you dress up when you’re a stay at home/work at home mom?
Because it makes me feel good.
8. You wear a lot of fancy looking clothes. What is your dry cleaning budget?
I do not buy dry clean only clothes. I have one dress that’s silk (that I got thrifted), and I’ve only worn it a few times because I”m SO SCARED to get it dirty.
9. Aren’t you cold in those skirts?
No. I am always cold, but skirts are warm. Know why? I wear two pairs of tights most days. Or leggings underneath my tights.
10. That’s fine that YOU can wear those clothes, but I am a bigger/smaller/shorter/taller size, so I can’t.
Well, I know this isn’t really a question, but I get that confession a lot. Listen, I have been bigger, and I have been smaller. But I can tell you that when I see a person with an awesome style, it has very little to do with their body size. People with great style exude confidence. Wear what you want. You’ll figure out what looks good on you. There are clothes I can’t wear, like empire waist shirts and dresses. I pretty much lived in those things in the 90s, but after having babies, I look pregnant wearing that stuff. Do I love it? Yes. Do I wear it? No. I also would love to wear pencil skirts, but they hit me at a weird angle, so I haven’t found a good one. Also? Skinny jeans? NO. NO. Not on me. On you? Sure. On me? No.
If you think your size is stopping you from wearing the clothes you want to wear, maybe you aren’t shopping at the right places, or maybe you’re making excuses to avoid doing what you really want to be doing, or maybe you haven’t found your style. If it’s important to you and helps you feel good, I suggest you invest the effort to try.