This is going to sound stupid

I did three things yesterday that improved my mood. One of them surprised me a bit.

So if you know me, you know that (a) as interested as I am in clothing generally, (b) I am very uninterested in my own clothes or appearance. If I have a style it’s probably normcore. I hate shopping. So I tend to buy strong-quality items that are a bit more expensive and wear them to pieces.

So it came to pass that my last big clothes buy was August 2011, with brief interruptions for a job interview in 2013 and my mother’s funeral later that year. And I bought a pair of jeans to wear to the theater in November, 2016. So, last June after the term ended, I thought, you must go over your wardrobe and make some purchases. And then: stroke.

As a consequence — the week before spring break I realized I had practically nothing to put on the bottom half of my body that I wanted to wear to work, a combination of non-purchases, things wearing out or breaking or getting stained / bled on, and losing a jeans size during dad’s physical therapy. I had one pair of jeans that fit okay but with a broken zipper (and if I don’t have time to buy jeans, do I have time to replace a zipper? I think I did that in home ec in 8th grade and once in my twenties), three pair that were so baggy I was worried they might fall off when I walked around, and a pair that was only somewhat baggy but had bloodstains I couldn’t remove anymore.

I finally squeezed in a quick trip to a clothing store Monday morning and emerged an hour later after an orgy of trying on, voila, with a pair of black jeans that fit, which I wore to work today.

I can’t understate how much wearing the right size jeans improved my energy. I wasn’t worried that they were going to fall off, I wasn’t worried about what someone might see. I had a new spring in my step! My students even remarked upon how much more energetic my lecture was today. “You must have had a good spring break,” someone said.

[coughs]

So I guess I’ll buy another pair or two.

[coughs]

It’s just so weird how people say take care of yourself and I say I will and then I don’t do the simplest things.

[coughs]

Next: tennis shoes.

~ by Servetus on March 27, 2019.

62 Responses to “This is going to sound stupid”

  1. YES! You ARE one of US!!!!!!!

    Liked by 3 people

    • Uch, I have done enough shopping now for the next year or so. All the mirrors. Blerg. At least with tennis shoes you can just look at your feet. However, I am happy to know my correct jeans size again now and to have the jeans.

      Liked by 1 person

      • I buy most of my clothes online. They have a great exchange policy if it doesn’t fit. Luckily for me, their stuff really does fit well! And they have shoes that fit my aircraft carrier tootsies. Oh and undergarments…. that’s import too!

        A girl can NEVER have too many pairs of any shoes or too many pairs of jeans!

        Or tunics

        Or cardigans

        or t-shirts

        or comfy pants…

        I’ll shut up now.

        Liked by 2 people

  2. Other people saying “take care of yourself”- it’s not that I don’t want to. What part of my responsibilities would they like to shoulder to free up some of my time?
    But it’s true, just the smallest investment in yourself pays off in spades. Even if it’s the simplicity of NOT having to think, “let’s keep a hand on the waistband every time we stand up today, shall we?”
    Good work!!

    Liked by 3 people

    • yeah, and it’s also timing — it’s been incredibly hard to find the necessary time during daylight hours, when the store is open, to do anything that was not dad- or work-related. (I was supposed to have that time in January and then taught another class). And I don’t know why I didn’t get it, but for someone who doesn’t think about her clothes the stress of having to worry about them falling off was pretty significant. And there was just no reason not to have clothes that fit. I’m not impoverished. I’m not Croesus but I can afford the clothes I need.

      Liked by 2 people

      • Yes, everything’s easier in the summer! I’ve found that I stick to one store and shop or order from there, taking the guesswork out of sizes and keeping me from having to wander in the mall, ugh!

        Liked by 2 people

        • the educator’s life. (I’ve been trying to get dad to understand this to no avail; there are things I just can’t do during the academic term). And yeah — wandering in the mall is worse than even just going to one store. Mindblowingly dysphoric.

          Liked by 1 person

          • It catches me, that you still try to get him to understand your position. I often sat and looked at my own dad wondered how different my life would be if I too had been catered to my entire adult life and for whatever reason never had to put myself in someone’s shoes. How do you listen to an explanation and have no understanding of their situation?
            Funny, huh, I have the same problem he did…

            Liked by 1 person

            • it explains a lot about politics, too, why the request to people to be fair is interpreted as victimizing them. But yeah — I do expect my father to be able to understand and apparently he can’t.

              Liked by 1 person

  3. Excellent! I probably buy too many clothes but I’m with you on the mirrors ( as well as lighting, snooty staff and weird sizing). So I stick to a couple of walk in stores and a couple of online stores where I know my size, and how they are likely to fit. This this makes the experience pleasant rather than torturous ( and mostly keeps my self esteem from plummeting). I feel clothes are part of my armour – if I’m suitably dressed I perform better so it’s a worthwhile investment.

    Liked by 2 people

    • the sizing issue was part of the problem for me too — it wasn’t just that I was going to have to buy the jeans but that I didn’t really have a good idea of what size I needed, having not bought any in so long. I think they do this to women’s clothes on purpose to keep us trying on more and more stuff.

      I think I’m with you — I just don’t want to be thinking about my clothes that much. Have them on and not worry about them so I can get on with life.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Congratulations on getting some new clothes that fit and gave you an unexpected boost.when it gets warm enough to show your toes, get a pedicure. That’s a mood elevator too. Frivolous, but what the hell. Go for it.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I’ve been debating crossing the sandals boundary this week. But it’s so wet out still as everything is melting.

      Like

  5. 🎂📬,

    🛒👟🌵. 🗣

    🔫

    Like

  6. The last emoji was actually a water pistol here, will probably be translated differently in US.👻

    Like

  7. You called it “stupid”, but you know what – this was actually a lovely post to read, despite the difficulties described in the intro. It’s all worth it for the “spring in your step”. Doesn’t mean that you have to go clothes shopping every time you want to feel good. But it’s good to know that it may actually be a short-cut to a little more energy and less self-reflection.

    Liked by 3 people

    • As Zee and I can tell you they don’t call it RETAIL THERAPY for nothing…good for you!!!

      Like

    • I wish I had time for self-reflection. We did, however, get dad’s taxes submitted (after a lot of unpleasantness from dad) and now it’s midterm grades. I missed the deadline for about half my students but I still need to give them an idea of how they are doing. Really, part of the problem is that I have no time to think; I’m always working or responding to some problem of dad’s.

      Like

  8. Can I ask where you purchased your jeans? I’m very tall and buying jeans that are long enough is always a struggle. I envy those who can purchase off the rack

    Like

    • The story I used doesn’t have a tall option. I have a tall friend though who usually goes to Target. And Kathy Jones may have an idea? She’s quite tall.

      Like

    • It depends on how much you want to spend, Cindy. Old Navy has tall jeans, for very little money. Soft Surroundings website has tall options, a bit expensive. I haven’t purchased new jeans in at least a year or two. I live in yoga pants, which my climate permits all year long and can never be too short or too hard to zip up. Hurray for spandex. I guess you can tell I am not a fashionista. But I am tall.

      Liked by 1 person

  9. Nope, not stupid at all.

    Liked by 2 people

  10. I shop online only..

    Liked by 1 person

    • That doesn’t work for me especially well — I never like anything and then the stuff just sits around until I pay for it and donate it to a thrift store. I just really don’t like buying clothes that much. (Sorry to let everyone down.) It doesn’t give me any joy as an activity. However, having clothes to wear obviously does, so I need to not let myself get below that particular baseline again. That’s my takeaway.

      Like

  11. Good for you! It really does improve the mood to have clothes that fit and are comfortable and that you feel good in. I tend to power shop as I have so little time. I “stole” half an hour from the beginning of my son’s hockey game to buy jeans a couple of months ago at the practical Marks Work Warehouse. Then on Saturday night, I realized at 8:15 that I had 45 minutes until the stores closed, I drove to the big shopping centre to the one boutique I like, tried on a dozen tops and bought five. I cram my shopping into short bursts and stick with one place at a time. Solid colours that fit well, are comfortable, and generally are versatile.

    Liked by 1 person

    • that’s more like what I used to do — quick strike, in and out, no casualties. I’ve gone ahead and ordered two more pairs of jeans in this size now. Luckily my tops are still in acceptable shape. Really need new tennis shoes though. It’s so hard to schedule it!

      There’s this thing now in the US called “Stitch Fix,” where you have a personal shopper and they send you a package of stuff they’ve picked, on approval, every month. I’d been wondering about it, but it looks expensive and having to return the clothes in three days is too much pressure. Nobody in my life gets three day turnaround at the moment except dad.

      Liked by 2 people

      • I worry about buying on line or a service like that. Will they fit? What if they put me in flowers! Or pastels! Yuck… at least on me.

        Liked by 1 person

        • I guess you fill out a questionnaire and you can also do a pinterest board and give them access. The people who love it, really love it.

          Liked by 1 person

        • Sue my sister in law tried Stitch Fix and sent back stuff because of sizing issues but for me the quality and taste level of what she got was not great IMO. My sister tried another outfit Thread bare or something like that last year and didn’t like it and sent stuff back. She showed me what she kept and I thought their stuff was less than stellar for what she paid for it.

          Liked by 2 people

          • I think what you’re really paying for someone else’s labor, not so much the clothes. If you compare it to these food services that basically send you all the components of a meal, nd then you cook it, it becomes a bit clearer. I’d never do that — I can pretty much always, and easily, come up with a good meal, and now that we do grocery pickup I’m never out of ingredients for stuff dad likes to eat. But if you didn’t have time to shop, didn’t have a lot of kitchen skills or experiences, or, most of all, didn’t have to want to decide to eat, it could be a good deal for a price, and better than going out for a restaurant meal. I would consider Stitch Fix for those reasons: I don’t have time to stay up on what’s considered stylish, I hate going to stores, and above all I hate having to think about it.

            Liked by 1 person

            • Yep it’s a good point … about the Hello Fresh or the bastion of food services around which I don’t do either but not b/c I can cook like you but more I stick to very basic things and find that I would waste the ingredients and then get upset that I’ve wasted money. I don’t go out to eat by myself and I have tried to haul in my Chic a Filet runs to maybe once a month as a treat at a certain time of the month. It is individual preference and taste and like Zee I am a clothes whore so I enjoy buying and like Bollyknickers so eloquently said clothes are part of my armour as well and really jump start my confidence level especially in the last few months.

              Liked by 1 person

              • Agreed. And ( on a general note – not because anyone in this thread has implied it) I don’t think clothes – and the enjoyment of having something nice – should be seen as frivolous. Women have to get a lot of stuff done these days and if having well fitting suitable clothes that boost our self esteem helps with that then bring it on, IMO. I think part of the problem is that we supposed to enjoy shopping for clothes and this thread show that for various reasons a lot of us don’t. There’s also a huge and welcome move towards people buying more thoughtfully because of the environmental and ethical impact of cheap clothes but that’s a whole other conversation. However I think we’ve been sold a lie about clothes that suits the industry more than it suits us. So really you are a trailblazer Servetus!

                Like

                • The thing is that it’s not that I don’t like clothes per se (or think they are frivolous — as you point out no one has said that but it does lurk in the air). Those early posts I wrote about Armitage’s tailoring come in part from my mother giving me sewing lessons. I used to love going to the fabric store with her and looking at all the possibilities in the pattern books and the fabrics and anticipating what we’d sew next. The construction of clothes is fascinating to me. Just not shopping for them.

                  I was heavily influenced in my buying habits by my German friends in the mid 1990s, who put more stress on clothes that would hold up. And then the other thing that got to me was having to clear out all of her stuff in December of 2013 — i blogged about it at the time — it gave me a lot of pause about having too many clothes. Mom was an extreme case but I think about that a lot, off and on.

                  Like

          • I’ll stick to my power shopping, I think, although the boots I bought on Zulilly worked out and for a low price.

            Liked by 3 people

      • I use stitch fix and so do both my daughters. I love it, mostly because I have no sense of style and rely on them to put together options for me. I have never found the three day turnaround a problem, except when I received an order the day before my mom died. I ended up keeping it all because I didn’t get a chance to return it. Usually it’s the other way around, I want to keep more items but can’t afford them

        Liked by 1 person

        • I have the impression that the people who love it REALLY love it — so you’re obviously not the only person with the lack of knowledge or time to put clothes together. You’re not the first person I’ve heard say they wish they could buy more of it. How often do you get a box?

          Like

          • I get a delivery every three months but would do it more frequently if I could afford it. And I find the items to be of very good quality, unlike a previous poster. The sizing is usually accurate, only once have I returned an item for being too small. Overall I think it’s a great service

            Like

  12. Amazing how wearing something that makes you feel good can really change how you feel. When you find something that you like the way it fits and looks it is a marvelous feeling the you wear it most times you need a boost or if like me if I really like the style and fit will buy several in different colors.

    Liked by 2 people

  13. I feel you in that clothes battle. I need to buy at lest one more pair of pants not jeans for fieldwork as this place I have to wear professional dress. Last place I could wear scrubs so i didn’t buy anything new. hard to say what i will have to wear once I get a job so might have to start over again. I just plain hate shopping.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I’ve been so lucky with work so far that there’s no problem wearing jeans to teach in. I would totally wear scrubs! There are a lot of nice colors and assuming they fit, it’s nice to not have to make that decision every day. I hope you find the pants you want.

      Like

  14. This sounds good! Great to hear you’re doing something for yourself!

    Liked by 1 person

  15. […] you know how I feel about buying new clothes. I had actually resolved to get new ones way back in March. But maybe I can wait till the back to school sales? Or maybe I should just go ahead and pay full […]

    Like

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