Closet Depression

Shopping for clothes has never been an easy thing for me.  Even when I was a teenager and thought that a trip to the mall with my friends was great fun, I still struggled when it came to actually buying the clothes.  Back then, I was frustrated by styles that didn’t match my figure and/or prices that didn’t match my budget.  The fifty cents an hour I earned from babysitting didn’t stretch very far, even in the Seventies. These days, my budget isn’t quite so tight, but I still rarely find something that’s comfortable, looks good, fits properly, and reasonably priced.  Which is why I still hate to shop.

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Unfortunately, my closet is small, so with each changing season, I find myself sorting through the clothes I keep stored in big plastic bins in the basement, and bringing them up to replace the clothes from the previous season. This process forces me to evaluate my wardrobe four times a year, and means I can’t ignore the stains on my summer blouses, the fact that half my sweaters have snags or pills,  and that another couple of pairs of pants have mysteriously shrunk.  So I fill a bag or two to take to the local donation center, make a list of what needs to be bought, and head off to the nearest mall.

Sometimes I’m silly enough to think my trip will be successful, at least until I enter the first store and am met with clothes that must have been designed by people who were either drunk, high, or have serious anger issues with women.  There are blouses with “peek-a-boo” shoulders, for what purpose I can’t begin to imagine.  Normal, button-down cardigans are conspicuous by their absence, and have been replaced with sweaters sporting tassels, ruffles and armholes halfway down the sleeves.  Pants are either wide enough to share with a baby elephant or so skinny that I would have had trouble fitting into them when I was ten.  And do you know what happens to a pair of chubby legs stuffed into tight jeans?  The fat puffs out, in places that you’d least expect and can’t possibly hide.

Fall and winter are the worst, because not only do I have to find pieces of clothing that I like and can afford, but I also have to match the layers.  This is not my strong point.  My closet tends to be full of jackets that don’t match any of my blouses, jeans in colors that clash with all my sweaters, and tops that are either too long are too bulky to wear underneath anything.  Traditionally, I tend to solve this problem by buying a lot of black or white items, which means that I have a lot of black pants and black and white tops, often striped.  Once I caught a glimpse of myself in the mirror and realized that if I added a pair of tennis shoes and a whistle to my ensemble, I’d look exactly like a matronly referee who got lost on her way to the big game.  So now I try to branch out a little, color-wise.

Still, I do have the occasional success.  Yesterday I went to the mall in search of a pair of shoes to wear to my son’s wedding, and while I didn’t find those, I did manage to find a nice green sweater and a matching top to wear underneath.  On sale.  And they didn’t even come from the same store.  Walking out of the mall, I was so excited that it was all I could do not to stop random strangers and proudly show off my purchases.  When it comes to fashion, I’ve learned to take my victories where I can.

50 thoughts on “Closet Depression

  1. This was great. I don’t know about you but when I do the ‘seasonal switch” and I run across a particular piece of clothing that has me asking myself- “WHAT WAS I THINKING!!!!!”, I promise myself I will be more “realistic” when I shop again. But I continue to be a repeat offender which leads to more trips to the local donation center! I think I am finally at the age where I know that “those skinny jeans” will not be good look for me! LOL This post was soooo me!! I loved it!

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Once again, you have managed to write a blog that I (and probably every other woman) can relate to. I started that theory where you hand stuff up with the hangers facing the opposite way when you change over seasons and when you put them away, those that are still facing backwards, are the ones you donate. Well, sadly, over half of my hangers were odd, and half of those still had tags on them…..from like 3 years prior. Frustrating. Good job finding something that you will wear! Success at the mall is always a good thing.

    Liked by 4 people

  3. One of the things I have learned as I have aged, particularly when it comes to jeans or pants, is quality over quantity. Try going in to a shop that caters more to a middle age women wanting to look current. The shops with the cutout shoulders & crop tops are most likely not going to be flattering on any body over the age of 15 anyway!

    Liked by 2 people

  4. Lol…very funny, Ann. Someday, way down the road when you retire you’ll find that it gets a bit easier. You tend not to shop as much and being comfortable takes center stage. Of course you still buy stuff you don’t need and because you may not be wearing everything you own as you once did getting rid of things might become easier.
    Might…:)

    Liked by 3 people

  5. I’m with you when it comes to shopping. I’m glad peasant type blouses are back in style and I have found shops that sell jeans marked Heritage. Who are they fooling? They might as well label them Mom jeans, but I’m happy when I can find them.

    Liked by 3 people

  6. I’m glad you managed to find a couple of nice bargains at the end. As far myself, I like my winter wardrobe best. I can stick on a great big coat and just forget about whether what’s underneath it matches or not.

    Liked by 2 people

  7. Funny Ann, when I read the title to this, I assumed it meant that you sometimes got depressed, but hid it. I thought: wow, not Ann….me maybe, but not her. I thought it would be an interesting read! 🙂 But instead it was one of your really funny posts about being middle aged. Bah, I say about our bodies changing. Whatever….the fact that you write these amazing pieces and those kids (or whoever they are that can fit into those outfits) could probably not, is a tribute to your brain–a much more important part of the body!!

    Liked by 3 people

  8. I’m with you again! My body has always been the “wrong” shape. Even when I was young and skinny I seemed to be the wrong kind of skinny. I have all the problems you describe finding something I like that fits, is comfortable and matches everything else. Then I wear my successes to destruction. But it is very liberating to no longer care about fashion and what other people might think of my clothes so it’s not all bad!

    Liked by 3 people

    • I find that, too! I wear what I like these days, and don’t worry about what exactly is in fashion. The only challenge is when one of my “go-to” pieces needs to be replaced, and I can’t find anything like it!

      Liked by 1 person

  9. I can so relate! Although I’m better now than I used to be. Always felt uncomfortable going into a clothes store – felt much more confident in a bookstore! Occasionally I will get it right too, and to my surprise will have friends commenting on my shoes, or shirt, or whatever it is I bought. My older brother is so much better at this – he can (and does) go into an opp shop and come looking great. Grrrrrr!

    Liked by 2 people

    • I know what you mean! I also feel more comfortable in a book store, and more willing to spend my money. Books don’t have to fit us perfectly, and they never go out of style. I am so much more willing to spend my money on books than clothes. And why is it that some people can be so successful at shopping, while others struggle?

      Liked by 1 person

  10. I can totally relate, Ann. I hate clothes shopping, mostly because everything I like is way out of my price range, or the clothes in it I hate. It’s so frustrating, and you’re right that winter is the worst, with all those layers. Recently, I literally forced myself to go winter clothes shopping because I’d thrown out a bunch of stuff that didn’t fit anymore or that I no longer wore, but was keeping around just to fill my closet. I found a few nice things at Ann Taylor Loft, and they were on sale, so that was good. I have always said that if I won the lottery (provided I ever start playing it), the first thing I’d do is hire a wardrobe consultant. She or he could take my measurements and do the shopping for me.

    Liked by 2 people

  11. Damn I loved this post! In on the same page with u about finding matching layering pieces during fall and winter!! Maybe you could take a look at my blog and I’d be happy to exchange likes on the posts we like and a follow!

    Liked by 2 people

  12. Awesome victory!!! Yay!!! 😀

    I can totally relate. The clothes I buy have to fit into the following checklist:
    – stretchy (to accommodate fluctuations in size/ bloating)
    – wash n wear (no dry cleaning needed, no ironing needed, unless it’s for a fancy occasion )
    – doesn’t fade easily (specific fabrics)
    – Can be worn with other items as layers for all seasons (no need to pack them away)
    – I no longer purchase sweaters since they are bulky and needed to be folded to avoid stretching. Limited closet space. Limited storage. Instead I buy thermal undershirts /layers that give warmth without the bulk. They can be worn alone as one layer or under/over something else to create warmth.
    – I buy 5 standard colors (green, gray, black, purple, white). Variations in shade add variety without straying too far from the spectrum of colors that work well with my complexion. Plus I can mix and match effectively because the colors pair well together.
    – accessories are basically silver, black, Grey so I don’t need to go but a new pair of shoes or bag just for one new outfit. I can pair them with what I already have.

    By using the formula above my clothes don’t need to be replaced that often. Unless they ‘die’ from wear over time.

    I used to buy pairs of shoes, or clothes on sale and only wear them a few times then have a close full of clothes I bought on impulse. I’ve stopped doing that now as its just a waste of money. Or items would sit there unable to fit because I’ve gained or lost a few pounds. My new formula works better.

    Glad you had success on your last trip. Happy weekend. Hugs 🌷

    Liked by 2 people

    • What a terrific system! I’m going to have to try that, or at least some aspects of it. I especially like the color coordinating, since I struggle with layering. And although I like sweaters, you are right that they are too bulky to store and stretch out and look old way too quickly. I might just limit myself to a few really pretty ones, and use your idea of wearing thermal undershirts with regular tops. Thanks for this info, I am rather excited at this idea!

      Liked by 1 person

  13. Hi Ann,
    Just posted a comment on
    your latest post and did not show up.
    Hope it didn’t end up it in your spam file.
    That has happened to me before. 😕

    Liked by 1 person

  14. Seems most of us can relate to closet depression. I have had it when I stood in my closet and could find NOTHING TO WEAR! Now that is depression! I agree that most of the clothes seem to be for younger women, especially dresses. I don’t want to look dowdy but then I don’t want to wear something that is not age appropriate (whatever that means!). However, you have inspired me and given me hope for shopping. And there is always Goodwill for those drunk purchases!

    Liked by 2 people

    • I know! “Age appropriate” is a tough one, because we want to be comfortable and look nice, but also not look as if we are trying to be twenty again. It’s hard, but not impossible (I’m wearing my sweater/top set as I’m typing this!) And thank goodness for Goodwill!

      Like

  15. haha this was great. I personally love to shop but my mom hates it. Growing up I had to literally drag her to the store and when we finally got there she give me like a 30 min time limit. lol thank god those days are over

    Liked by 2 people

  16. I hear you. My biggest gripe is women’s jeans. The last time I tried to buy any of these things, I had to shop in the men’s department because all the women’s jeans might as well have been leggings. And they don’t want us to have access to things like pullover or button-up plain sweaters, maybe with a nice pattern running through them. Go figure. *shrugs*

    Liked by 2 people

    • I know! I like “normal” sweaters…not all these strange concoctions that they have come up with in their place. My husband and I ate dinner out last night, and the woman at the table next to us was wearing what a first glance appeared to be a nice sweater. But then I watched her pick up her fork to eat, and realized it had no sleeves! She had to turn it sort of sideways so her arm could come out from underneath…..

      Liked by 2 people

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