Help! I’m shopping challenged!

Okay, I swear this post has nothing to do with the fact that I’m about 25lbs over my ideal weight. A couple weeks ago, I made the decision that I needed to accept my body the way it is currently, knowing that I’ll continue to work toward my goal through healthy eating and exercise. I walk into stores knowing that I’m going to get a Large or XL, and a &$#* dress size. Woops! Slip of the fingers! 😉

So today, with the nanny looking after the baby, I set off for the mall all by myself for four whole hours. After trying on a million things, I came home with 1 sweater, 1 cardigan, 1 trendy top, 1 jaunty hat, and a new pair of sunglasses (because the baby tossed my last pair out of the stroller when I wasn’t paying attention.)

That’s it. No pants. No dresses. No shoes. Not a single complete outfit. The worst part was that I just couldn’t find things that I even wanted. I used to walk into NY&Co, my go-to store, and immediately see a hundred things I wanted to buy and wear. Now I walk in and am accosted by crap! Drap colors, shapeless pieces, horrific patterns. So now my go-to store is no more. I’m not a Gap girl. Definitely not Abercrombie or Aeropostale gal. No Forever 21 or Wet Seal for me. Express has become hoochie central. I might find a piece or two at Kohl’s or JC Penney or Macy’s, but department stores frustrate me with their mish-mosh of  “designer” clothes and ugly sweaters, so I usually give up after a short time.

Now I’m contemplating online shopping, I just don’t know where to go. So I need your help. Where do you shop? How do you buy your clothes? Do you find it easy to walk into a store and put together affordable outfits? Or do you struggle like I do to put together cohesive ensembles?

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17 thoughts on “Help! I’m shopping challenged!

  1. Nicole says:

    I haven’t bought a new article of clothing in awhile so don’t ask me! I curious what other people suggest though.

    I do love to shop for clothes, I’m just waiting to reward myself for losing baby fat. About 5 more lbs to get to pre-baby #2 weight, 15 more to pre-baby #1. My postnatal appointment is the 20th so I should be cleared to exercise then. So hopefully I’ll be clothes shopping sometime soon!

  2. Jerrica, I feel your pain, but I’m no help at all. Luckily, I live in jeans and t-shirts and never have to think about clothes except for conferences.
    I’ll be watching to see what the others answer.

  3. Good for you, Nicole! Only 5lbs from pre-baby #2?? Didn’t you JUST have baby #2??? I’m so impressed!

  4. Clarissa, glad to know I’m not alone! LOL!

  5. Erin Kelly says:

    Banana Republic, always 🙂 Of course, I can never actually afford BR (thank goodness for clearance!), so most of the time I do TJMaxx, but that is hit or miss at best. Which brings me back to BR, and J Crew on occasion.

  6. Marnee says:

    You know what I hate? Where are the clothes for the young, on-the-go mom? I don’t wear heels now. I have two kids. I wear a lot of jeans and casual pants. T-shirts and sweaters. But I don’t want to look like I’m trying to reclaim my teenage years and I’m not ready to rock the sweaters my mom likes. And can I get a pair of jeans that’s made to disguise my mommy belly? Trust me, clothiers, the super low rise is not a cut for the post-partum stomach. (At least not mine.)

    *Stepping off my soapbox*

    Anyway. I like some of the modern fit (Fit One) from Landsend.com. And they have a Canvas line that is kind of cute too. http://canvas.landsend.com/canvas/index.html All of which you can buy without leaving your house.

    I’m kind of a Gap/Old Navy/Banana Republic kind of girl though, so maybe that’s not your style. I’ll keep thinking.

  7. Erin, I wish TJMaxx was easy to get to for me. I haven’t been to one in forever! And BR and J Crew are a little too expensive when I know they’ll end up with puke and poop on them. LOL!

    Marnee, thank you! Your soap box was awesome! LOL! I definitely agree on all counts. And I’m thinking I’ll hop over to oldnavy.com now.

  8. Marnee says:

    Not sure if you’re interested, but I bought the “Dreamer” jeans from Old Navy a few weeks ago. I really liked that they came up just a little higher than a lot of other types of jeans I’ve tried on. Not “Mom” jeans, but at least no one’s making “Crack Kills” jokes.

  9. I’m with Clarissa, I’m a jeans and t-shirt kind of girl. I haven’t worn a dress in decades, if I ever end did. There’s just too much tomboy in me. Sorry Jerrica wish I could help. Good luck though in your search, keep looking, I know you’ll find something.

  10. Anne says:

    I shop Victoria Secret online or TJMax (at the stores) I HATE shopping and find these two places less painfull.

  11. Nicole says:

    “Only 5lbs from pre-baby #2?? Didn’t you JUST have baby #2???”

    Yep! 5 1/2 weeks ago. I’m very happy but I’ll be even happier if I can rid of those stubborn 15 pounds from baby #1.

  12. Beatriz says:

    Big J Crew fan here, and they have great sales online. And I’d have to give a shout out to Boden, which seems to have a decent fall lineup this year, if you like their colorful sometimes-funky yummy-mummy look. Good luck!

  13. Dawn says:

    I second Boden. Once I figure out what my new real size is I am buying the whole dang catalog. So cute! And I actually bought a few things from the Daisy Fuentes line at Kohl’s when I was not fitting into pre-baby #2 clothes. Or, you can walk in someplace like Ann Taylor LOFT and just say, I just had a baby, I have no idea what size/fit I need…HELP! They get some comission I think so they are really helpful and you can hit a good sale sometimes.

  14. I really hear what you are saying. In the past I used to have trouble choosing from what seemed like a great selection of stuff. This year, I can go to six stores and come home empty handed. Its especially awful when I’m trying to find a great outfit for an important occasion. But a friend who used to be a stylist with soap operas gave me two great pieces of advice, that help me get dressed whatever weight I am that year.
    Advice One: Each year buy three new outfits– one casual, one for work and another dressy. This way you will always have a nice outfit whatever you are doing. And you can live the rest of the time in jeans, leggings, tees and sweaters.
    Advice Two: Discount stores work best if you go in with a small but clearly defined list, eg black pants, camel cardigan. This will help you focus your eye and not be overwhelmed by the huge amount of unrelated merchandise.

    This year I finally found what I needed at these stores- Coldwater Creek, J.Jill, Talbots, Eileen Fisher and Travel Smith. Even better, their online stores have incredible sales. My daughter gave me the best online shopping tip. When in doubt, always order the larger size. It can be made smaller, but if it tight, you have to spend more money to send it back. You are a “yummy mummy” and deserve to have great clothes.

  15. Thanks for all the great tips, everyone!

    Deb, those are fantastic things to keep in mind! Thank you for sharing them!

  16. I hate shopping. I shop online at Chadwicks (work clothes), or I go to the Dress Barn or Coldwater Creek. I’ve had some luck a Kohl’s and Bergners (not sure if you have a Bergners). I just know that I dread it when I have to go find clothing.

  17. Dorothy says:

    I hear you Jerrica. I have the same problem and am constantly frustrated. It’s like fashion is forcing me to lose weight in order to purchase beautiful clothes. What’s worse is that the stores that do cater to plus size women sell clothes that are either too fancy, office material or just plain UGLY. Not to mention they are extremely expensive. That is why I normally shop on-line. My favorite place is Jessica of London. The clothes are good quality, age appropriate, fit right and have a good price tag. It pisses me off at the amount of prejudice there is regarding plus size women who AREN’T obese. With that said, I can’t wait until I lose 50 lbs. so I won’t have to have this experience and so my health will be optium.

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