Wednesday, 30 April 2014

Shopping Rules for a Cross Eyed Rectangular Pirate Wench


 Shopping is usually enjoyable for me but there are definitely a few exceptions.  I like successful shopping which means I am actually one of those people who likes doing the grocery shopping.  I am always successful at coming home with food.  I like shopping for clothes and shoes when there is no pressing need because then it's much more relaxed and all about the pleasant surprise of getting something good.  It's less fun to shop for something I need, like a bra.  Bras and jeans are the worst and yet they are staples of my wardrobe so I have to shop for them once in awhile.  It took me years to figure out what my proper bra size is.  Despite reading the statistics that most women are wearing the wrong bra size and knowing that surely I was likely among them, I continued to buy bras that were too small and jeans that were too big.  From this experience I have added two personal rules for shopping.

1. If you think you have just tried on the perfect bra size, try the next size up just in case.

2.  Jeans have to take some effort to get on because they are going to stretch out after an hour's wear.  Seriously, they are.  Buy them tight, but not camel toe tight.

 The other rules I need- or shall we call them guidelines-are rather specific to the kinds of places where I shop.  I do a lot of shopping second hand.  My wardrobe is largely second hand filled out with things from Target or the brand name discount store, Winners.  Target is good for basics like tee shirts, belts, hosiery, and I have one or to sweaters from there as well.  Winners can be great for a good deal but I must also remember that the items in stock are there because they didn't sell in their original store.  That means they might be just a bit odd, fit poorly or be seconds.  Sometimes that's okay but I have to remember to examine the clothes carefully for that.  So here are more of my rules based on my shopping venues.

3.  Inspect the items carefully and assume there is some kind of flaw or damage.  They were donated or cast off by another retailer.  There is a good chance there is something wrong with them.

4.  Just because it's relatively cheap doesn't mean you need it.

Rule number four is one I really have to work on.  Need is actually nearly irrelevant because I barely need anything.  I recently read a set of shopping rules which suggested mostly shopping to fill your wardrobe gaps.  Gaps?  I don't have gaps unless you count my lack of red shoes.  My lifestyle requires perhaps two pairs of jeans a week's worth of tops and one nice dress if I have to go somewhere fancy.  But that's no fun!  Shopping for second hand clothes allows me to play dress up and have fun with clothes because a skirt for $5 does not break my bank.  The flip side of that is that I am prone to coming home with something that is good enough, or just okay,  or will be the fifth black skirt in my closet.  This is one of those special three sided coins though, so the other flip side is that at these prices I can afford to experiment and I can also afford to buy something that is good enough until I find a better version.  Rule number four is the one I scoff at the most.

I like the idea of five rules so I'm adding one more.  This one is about what to do after the shopping.  I bought the clothes because they made me happy, but I am prone to leaving them in the closet waiting for the right moment to wear them.  I know that is nonsense but I'm having some troubles allowing myself to wear something nice just for sitting around at home.  When I am home of course I don't wear the shoes and usually forgo the jewelery except earrings, which I am never without.  I want to change this habit and one of the best ways to follow through on something is to tell others you are going to do it.  So today I am announcing that it is my goal to put on the clothes that make me happy and to share them on my blog even if I am not going out.

5.  I deserve to wear my favourite clothes every day.

It took me a little while to figure out how I wanted to wear this outfit.  Trial and error left me hating the look of it with a regular belt around my waist.  I would like to try a wide one of contrasting colour but I don't own one.  I do, however, own a plethora of scarves so I tied one around my waist and was quite satisfied.

The skirt is thrifted, the tee shirt is Walmart or Target, the shoes, are brand new SAS thrifted for me by my mother.  She was so pleased with herself because she even applied her senior's discount.   They are so comfortable I am likely to seek out more of that brand.  The bangles are all thrifted as well.

Is this one of my somewhat frumpy looks?  Why yes it is but I am happy that way.  I can't inflict too much of my sexiness on the world or It would cause trouble and I'm much to considerate for that. And yes, that is a label on the scarf that needs to be trimmed off.  I'm right on that!

As you know, I really needed another red bag.  I found this one at the thrift shop for a few dollars.  It's a little bit beaten up but I love the rustic look it has.  The strap not showing is the part of it that has the most wear.

Here is a close up of the bangles.  My arm was shaking so it's a bit out of focus.


The pirate cat is already in her life raft.  She must have seen the rats leaving the ship so I had better go too!


Do drop by and tell me what your shopping rules are.  There are a few more life rafts around and about so you will be perfectly safe.

29 comments:

  1. I love seeing you having so much fun with your pretty things! I think we all need a bit of Vix's attitude towards dressing up, or kids attitude really. I remember my daughter looooved dressing up (princesses dresses etc), and myself as a little girl - just loved playing with my mom's or auntie's dresses and shoes... I don't usually dress up when I am at home, I love feeling relaxed and often am naked at home (scandalous, I know).

    As for shopping rules, I am like you figuring out just now that if it's cheap, it doesn't mean I need it. :) I am more selective now than a few months ago. I actually used to be super selective, especially when I lived in Russia. Stuff is just so much cheaper here, it's hard to resist sometimes. :)

    I embraced expert fitting when it comes to bras. And I find that, at least for me, it is worth to buy new bras once a year - my size changes all the time. Two years ago I had a bigger bra than today. And five years ago I had much smaller bras... My body is always changing, it's challenging.

    The bangles seem pretty, I wish I could see the pattern better. :)

    I don't know what else say about rules as I really don't follow any. I started filling the gaps with basics about a year ago or so, Look where it brought me. I sure added some basics, but I bought much more fun statement pieces along the way. It's just too boring to have a standard approach to wardrobe...

    You are very funny, but you are not rectangular, Shawna. I think you have such pretty X-like proportions!

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  2. I am giggling to myself as I imagine what a shock I would give the window cleaners who are doing our windows today, if I were like you and was usually naked at home.

    I wear those bangles a lot so I will try to photograph them again and do a better job.

    Bras stretch out after about a year of wear. I tend to try to get two years out of them but probably shouldn't. Also, like many clothes, different brands fit differently so we may need different sizes depending on the brand or style we buy.

    the puzzling thing about my body shape is that it just manages to be an X or hourglass when I am wearing something very close fitting but as soon as I put on reguarly clothes my waist just disappears and generally belting it does not help. There is lots of trial and error involved but the main thing is just to feel good in what I have put on and then be able to forget about it.

    I am still very selective when I shop regular retail and am quite likely to march into a store, take a quick look around and walk out again. I know what I am looking for and it's pretty easy to see if they are featuring the styles and colours I want. Thrift shopping is about rummaging for treasures. (more of the pirate theme) and I have so much fun doing that.
    xo

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  3. I have no shopping rules, I follow my heart that always takes me to second hand.
    The skirt, the bag, ahhhhhhhhhhhhhh
    Just fantastic Shawna.
    XXXXXXXXXXXXx

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    1. I like to follow my heart too, though my heart used to lead me to some very ill fitting clothes. So now I am hopefully using my heart and my brain. :-)
      xo

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  4. I couldn't agree more with your rules...learned through experience as well for myself.

    I used to be lured often by the notion of something being so cheap at a thrift store that I had to buy it. Wrong wrong wrong. That takes up valuable closet space. Now I try to be more selective. I will say that is one thing about buying items at say, Anthropologie where I love to shop, I am very choosy when it is big $$$ I'm shelling out. Also I find that I often wear those pieces more. Is it because I know I paid more for them? I don't know. I do know it is almost never that I take those pieces into the consignment store. I love them too much.

    That red handbag is gorgeous! you have quite the talent for finding great bags.

    bisous
    Suzanne

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    1. I don't have access to an Anthroplogie store but I love the things I see online. I am much to cautious to make online purchases though. If I had easy access to Anthropologie I am sure I would indulge in a few purchases too! I think it's also easier to settle for a poor fit when we are only paying five dollars and paying more makes us choosier about quality and fit which is perhaps a better use of money in the log run. Of course, I am a skilled rationaliser. ;-)
      xo

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  5. I just found a hole in your wardrobe! You need a wide coloured belt. Permission to shop! I wonder if fitted dresses make you look more x shaped is because they come in under the bust, whereas loose fitting with a belt doesn't quite reach that area. Bangle shots on the arm are hard! I buy second hand and allow myself treasures because they are usually more fun than the basics I have left from my male dressing days!

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    1. I am always on the lookout for coloured belts and shoes but not really having any luck second hand so may have to buy retail. Though actually the last time I shopped at target all their belts were just brown and black. I think you are on the right track with the fitted dress vs belt issue. The fitted dress emphasises the right spot which is maybe a bit higher up and also doesn't have any extra fabric that can get bunched up. I find that bunching of the fabric that happens after I belt a garment kind of takes away from any sleek and slim look I may have achieved. I look best in a body skimming empire waist, not to be confused with the voluminous empire waists I wore when pregnant-lol.

      I am guessing that your treasures are your colourful of funky things. Do you have some favourite shops for those? Do you find things readily in second hand? I wonder why when you dressed like a male you didn't go for flamboyantly colourful male. LOL Maybe there is some sort of happy medium in there somewhere.

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  6. You don't have any red shoes?! There's another gap. I got lucky finding a wide black belt at the thrift store. It looks good on almost everything! I like how you've used your scarf though. You get a lot of color and a nice accent piece - it looks really pretty with the blue top.

    My mom loves SAS shoes, too.

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  7. I know, it's shocking not to have any red shoes. I'd like some blue ones too. I truly am looking out for the right pair but of course I do not wish to pay full price. I do have a couple of wide black belts and a brown one but I wanted something more colourful. I'd like to start with blue and red as with the shoes. I really don't think that's asking too much! ;-)

    I love Clarks shoes but they seem to be more suited to wide feet, which I don't have. Actually I have duck feet, with a normal width toe and a narrow heel. I like Rockport's too. I'm definitely a fan of sensible shoes though I quite like a chunky
    1 1/2-2" heel if I can get one and the shoes are comfortable.

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  8. I can't comment on jeans, since I don't have any, but I can attest to the power of the properly fitting bra! Getting yourself measured and fitted by a professional can be a revelation. And I agree about buying stuff just because it's cheap, I try hard to be more selective and hard-headed about that now.
    I find there is no difference in what I wear in any given day really, apart from taking account of the weather. I don't have a set of clothes for going out and another for staying in, they are all the same! Why not wear something beautiful to sit and read or listen to music or sew or look at blogs?
    I really like that soft blue on you, Shawna - Whenever you wear that shade, I notice how good it looks.
    So a wide belt then, yes! Tan goes with everything and doesn't overpower, which black can. And red shoes are A Wardrobe Essential!
    PS. What is it with cats and boxes? xxxx

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    1. I'm starting to think I might be missing out on the fun of boxes. Perhaps I should try sitting in one to test it out. Red shoes are on my must get soon list! Other than owning a couple of what you might call party dresses, I don't have a deliberately distinct wardrobe of stay at home clothes and going out clothes, but I still have an instinct to save the stuff I really like for that who knows when moment that I might go out. It's quite silly but habits can be a challenge to break. I'm working on it and my blogging friends are clearly going to help me!
      xo

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  9. First of all, I don't think this outfit looks frumpy at all. I really like it. It's fitted so it's not quite Bohemian, but it looks comfortable and feminine and streamlined all in one. Maybe it's the color blocks you used mixed with the stripes and colors at the waist.

    I am thinking if you spread the scarf out so it is wide instead of skinny and let it hug close to your natural waist, you'd see that waist definition you're talking about.

    It sounds like you and I may have some of the same figure flattery patterns with clothes. If you're broad-shouldered and blessed in the chest department (well, I used to be), clothes that don't skim or hug you at the waist can fall straight from the shoulders/chest and make your waist disappear.

    Then, if you have hips or sturdy ninja legs, there's no sudden boniness/skinny thing to balance out the loose waist. There's a reason I wore big jeans and tight shirts forever. (;

    Lastly, I'm really happy for you that you're grabbing dressing for yourself by the horns. I have a lot of anxiety, and one of the things that helps me get ready for the day or for going out is dressing nicely, whether I leave the house or not. My family keeps asking me if I'm going to a party, haha.

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    1. Thanks, Aya! Yes I think we do have similar body types only you are in better shape. I agree with you that dressing in something that makes you feel stronger is a really powerful thing to do. I also feel that being true to yourself is powerful. Tell your family that life is a party and you are definitely going to it!
      xo

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  10. Love you in that skirt with the scarf as a belt and yes, why do cats insist on cramming themselves into any box but the pet carrier - when they'll spread eagle themselves so wide that it's impossible to cram them in?
    I have no rules except I don't visit shops I can't afford. I buy what makes my heart beat faster regardless of whether I need it. hence I live in a rough industrial town in the British West Midlands and have the wardrobe of a 1969 groupie living in San Francisco.
    That bag is a stunner, now go and get yourself a pair of red shoes. xxxxx

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    1. Okay, I really want to ask you if you love me out of the skirt but that might be too rude. After years and years I learned that the easy way to get a cat into the carrier is to put it in backwards. They go in ever so docile that way.

      Staying out of shops I can't afford is more of an instinct than a rule for me but definitely I do that too! I also stay out of shops that look like they sell beige things with matching beige things.

      Yes, off to get some red shoes ASAP!
      xo

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  11. Not camel toe tight is probably the best fashion advice anyone can give or take! I love it. And your outfit is so fun, I love that skirt on you!

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    1. Yes, it might well be the most important advice going! LOL Just wait till I pair that skirt with the new red shoes I bought today. I'm so excited!

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  12. Shawna, you do make me laugh. Like you, I can't always trust my heart to lead me to the right clothes as it often leads me to things which are too big (mainly) or I get lured by an item because it's cheap for a good make but it's not really right for me. I am trying to be more considered about what I buy, but I do love the looking around not knowing what you are going to come across and find that an enjoyable way to spend my time.
    I love the red bag and agree with everyone else, red shoes should now be on your 'I need' list. x

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    1. Jayne, I got some red shoes today and I am soooooo excited I could talk like a teenager! I might become an addict. I might need more red shoes!
      xo

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    2. That was quick! No hanging around there.

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    3. LOL-when I decide to do something I do it right now!

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    4. Ha ha, I laughed at this!!! Yep, I have about 4 pairs of red shoes, and some red Polka dot ones too!!! It's addictive! X

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  13. I'm going to try out rule # 1 ... I've already discovered the truth of rule # 2 ... my only other rule is "wait for it to come on sale" ... almost everything does eventually.
    xx

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    1. It took me ages to get the right bra size because I started out by guessing and when something kinda sorta fit I just went with it. Then I read some good information on how a bra is actually supposed to fit and realised I was wearing too small a size. Apparently most women do. The brand and style can make a bit of a difference too just like it does with all clothes.

      I love to get something on sale, but if I really love it I don't wait because I wear a really common size so it usually sells out by the time the sales come around. I hate it when I spot something gorgeous on the sale rack and it's XS or XL I suppose I make up for not getting sales too often by shopping second hand or discount stores. I'm guessing you are rather tiny so perhaps you find your size on the sale racks often.
      xo

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  14. Hey Shown, it's lovely to meet you! I don't really have any shopping rules, I just tend to do it when I want and I love charity shops! I have far too many clothes so I shouldn't do any more shopping really! BUT, reading what you said about bras stretching, I rarely buy bras-that's terrible!!! I don't really try them in either!!! Eek, feeling a bit shamed now!!! X

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  15. Hi Kezzie, it's nice to meet you too! I don't think it's terrible that you rarely buy bras unless you mean you are wearing ancient ones that don't fit properly. Then yes, your girls deserve better! I am not really one to give that lecture though as I hate spending money on the clothes nobody sees. I know this may sound a bit weird but having been a very late developer and thus spending time as both a small busted woman and a large busted one, I would rather be small busted and not have to wear a bra at all. I think boobs are quite overrated and it's amazing anyone would spend money to get them! ;-)

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  16. I am trying a new rule altogether which is telling my mean inner voice to do one!! and then throw the guilt aftermath under a bus!! I am my own worst enemy shopping, it's ridiculous! your red bag is gorgeous, how fab and a scarf tied around the waist makes me feel quite chic (I may not look it haha!) x x x

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    1. Yes throw that meanie under a bus! Chic is all an attitude, don't you think. I love your attitude and how sassy looking it makes you and sassy is much more fun and interesting than chic anyhow.
      xo

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