Am I Too Old To Shop Here?

I’m getting old. Maybe not “bird sweatshirts and pants with elastic waistbands” old – but at least the kind of old where I find myself saying things like, “Is this what the kids are wearing now?”

‘The kids’. I don’t know any adults wearing gingham print crop tops and “distressed high rise bicycle shorts”, so it must be high school kids – otherwise, who is buying “ruched velvet tube bodysuits”?

These are questions that I ask myself every time I step into Forever 21. Also, why am I still going into stores like Forever 21? I am thirty years old. My days of wearing denim mini-skirts and pleather leggings should be over.

And they are! I haven’t worn a denim mini-skirt since… I don’t know, since Laguna Beach was still on the air and it was my mission in life to look like “a brunette version of Kristin Cavallari”. But every once in awhile I still wander into this store thinking that I’ll find something really cute for really cheap and that maybe people will think it was expensive. Maybe people won’t know I only paid $12 for this purse that is clearly a Gucci knock-off and has a brassy looking “C” instead of a “G” because-nobody-wants-to-get-sued-for-product-infringement.

Ugh. I hate those purses.

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How To Wear White Denim.

I live in fear of wearing white jeans. Not because anything has ever happened to me while wearing them, but because every time I’ve tried them on I spend at least ten to fifteen minutes in a dressing room trying to convince myself that they aren’t “that bad”.

They aren’t “that see-through” or “that tight” and they don’t make my thighs look “that big”.

I don’t like to spend money on things that aren’t “that bad”. Especially not something that could give me mom-butt.

So I’ve never bought white jeans. I’ve wanted to. You can’t walk past a J. Crew window in the months of May, June and July without seeing a mannequin wearing some sort of white denim. And it looks so chic.“It’s a summer staple!” — says every fashion blog, magazine, and “Summer Outfits!” Pinterest board. Also that rule about how “you can’t wear white after Labor Day”.

I’ve tried. I mean, I’ve tried. I’ve tried them on over and over again and tried to convince myself that – 1) they didn’t make me look fat, 2) you couldn’t see my underwear through them, and 3) I didn’t look like someone who works in an ice cream shop…. but that’s a lot to ask of a pair of jeans. Maybe not a pair of dark jeans, or normal-colored jeans- but white jeans? Eek. Good luck.

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Vintage Fashion Debunked.

Is “debunked” the right word? I don’t know. I used to think that I looooved vintage fashion. The idea of a string of pearls sitting around in a jewelry box that’s been passed down since the Titanic? Maybe it belonged to Rose De… Dewitt? Google says “Dewitt-Bukater”, but I’m just going to call her Rose Dawson because we all know she should have scooted over and let Jack climb up on top of that door with her. He didn’t have to freeze to death. It’s not always all about you, Rose, people are dying.

But the pearls. Let’s get back to the pearls. Did she have pearls? Oh, wait – no, she had that gaudy necklace that she chucked it into the ocean at the end of the movie. Way to be a hero, Rose. People have been looking for that.

But when you say something is “vintage” – that’s what people imagine. That’s why they say “ooh… ahh…”, because they’re envisioning something that somebody wore back in the day. It’s a romantic idea that something has been around longer than, you know, a Forever 21 t-shirt that you ripped and threw away after one wash. It tells a story. It’s been around the block. It’s seen some stuff.

When I was in high school, one of the girls came to school one day wearing dangly paperclip earrings. Like, dangly earrings, made of paperclips. Tiny paperclips clasped together dangling from her ears. And when everyone said, “Oh! Those are… different!” – she told us that she found them in her grandmother’s jewelry box and that they were “vintage”.

Vintage paper clip earrings. From Grandma’s jewelry box. Like Grandma was a true fashion pioneer back in the 40s who just strung a bunch of paper clips together and then said, “Yea, I’m gonna keep these. Let me just put these in the jewelry box next to my pearls.” 


Did they even have paper clips back in the 40s? When did they start making paper clips? Were people even writing on paper back then, or was it all parchment and quill pens?

Okay, I guess it’s the 1940s, not the 1800s. You shouldn’t come here expecting a history lesson. We’re here to talk about clothes and stuff.

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How to Shop Your Own Closet.

I was inspired to write this post because I *didn’t* buy a jacket. 

Back story – I have fifteen thousand jackets at home. Probably. I haven’t counted, but I know that when I open up our “coat closet” (also doubles as our laundry/shoe/vacuum/Swiffer closet) most of the coats that I see in there are mine. Maybe three of them are Kyle’s. And one of those I bought for him. 

This post could have just as easily been titled “Confessions of a Shopaholic” or “How to be a Crazy Coat Lady” – but honestly, that’s a little embarrassing and – based solely on my experience today – I am clearly turning a corner outside of my consumerism mindset. 

Exhibit A: I did not buy a jacket. I *almost* did. But then, I didn’t! Yay! (Isn’t this a great story so far?) 

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Spanx. They aren’t just for Moms.

I wouldn’t say that I have “anxiety” about wearing Spanx (and honestly, no one SHOULD have anxiety about wearing a brand of sucky-in-y underwear – because that’s essentially all they are) but I HAVE noticed that when I’m wearing a tight dress, along with – what is essentially a modern day girdle – I feel, a little…. well, anxious. Stiff. Uncomfortable. There’s a tightness in my chest…/abdomen. 

I mean, most of that is the sucky-in-y part of the underwear that I paid $50 to literally wedge myself into so that I could look good in a dress for a few hours, but you know what I mean. I worry. The Spanx alter blood circulation to my brain (probably, I don’t know.  You’d think they’ve got to be cutting off some circulation around my torso. Otherwise, are they even doing their job?) My inner fat girl that needed the Spanx in the first place starts sending paranoid, worried signals to my brain. 

“What if people can tell?” I think. “Can people tell that I’m wearing a girdle?” 

I honestly do not know how anyone would ever be able to “tell”, unless they came over and lifted up my dress and said, “Hey I see you’re wearing some funny underwear under there.” And if someone ever does that to you, I can PROMISE you that the the highlight of that story will not be “I was wearing Spanx”, it will be “A stranger lifted up my dress. It was weird.”

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THAT TIME I WORE WOODEN SHOES.

Oh, but not just any wooden shoes — platform shoes. With a heel. A large, wooden, platform heel.

I KNOW. I blame Lizzie McGuire. Because I was fifteen and saw Hilary Duff wearing them in a Candies ad and thought that if she was wearing them, then I should wear some too. (They must be “in”, right? This is Candies. I’m not over in the old lady section of Kohls- this is the JUNIORS section. EVERYTHING in the Juniors section is cool. I’m practically shopping in Hilary Duff’s closet, I bet she wears these every day.)

So I bought myself some wooden shoes with a platform heel. Whoever said advertising doesn’t work has clearly never met a desperate-for-style fifteen year old girl walking around Kohl’s with her mom.

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