I have a serious problem. And I’m going to admit it right here in front of the world:
I’m addicted to shopping!
I absolutely love shopping for clothes, shoes, accessories, and beauty products as well as home décor and kitchen gadgets. In fact, I fully endorse “retail therapy” because I find the simple act of just being in a store and looking at new items so completely enjoyable. If I’m in a bad mood or stressed out, popping into Ann Taylor or Banana Republic, Target or TJ Maxx instantly makes me forget about that annoying director at work, or the stupid thing my husband said that morning, or the fact that Atlanta traffic is the absolute WORST. I don’t even have to purchase anything, although that does make it more fun!
Ever since I was a little girl, I have loved clothes. I went through an awkward chubby stage in my pre-teens, like a lot of girls do, but I remember even though I didn’t like going to try on clothes at that point in my life, I still poured over Seventeen Magazine, taking in all the cute outfits and makeup tips. The only time in my life I recall not really caring about clothing was during a 4-5-year period when I was in my baby making years. I was overweight and struggling to get my body back, but none of that really mattered because we were so broke back then I wouldn’t have had any money to shop anyway.
I’ve now entered into a totally new and strange time of my life. I’m officially middle-aged (assuming I make it to 92), my kids are both adults now, I have a good career, and I recently lost nearly 60 lbs. The last item on the list meant that I had to shop for an entire new wardrobe—twice. It took a full year to lose all that weight, so when I hit 35 lbs. down, I went out and bought new clothes. I didn’t really anticipate losing another 25, but when that happened I had to go and buy clothes all over again.
So what’s the problem you may ask? I’m not always entirely sure how to dress. I feel like I’m walking a fine line between wanting to look stylish and fashion-forward without looking like I’m trying to be 25 all over again. While it’s always fun to get the “you look like their sister” compliment when out with my daughters, I don’t want to be “That Mom” who tries to look like the sister instead of the mom. I don’t want to leave the impression that I’m fighting with Mother Nature or living vicariously through my college aged-daughters. I recently began following a lot of fashion bloggers, and have found that they inspire me to seek out pieces I probably wouldn’t have otherwise shopped for.
Dressing for the work week is no problem. There are plenty of stylish, professional looking work clothes that are neither too young nor too old and frumpy looking. Pencil skirts, smart blouses, ankle length pants, pumps, blazers – that’s the easy stuff. It’s how to dress in the evenings and on weekends that stumps me. Are my cutoff denim shorts too short? Am I too old to sport a Coachella t-shirt? Are rompers appropriate for middle-aged women? If I trip and fall in my 4” wedges, do I risk breaking a hip?
I finally decided that I was wasting entirely too much time worrying about what others thought of me. Is it comfortable? Do I look good in it? Do I like it? Does it make me feel sexy? Those questions are more important than “What will people think of me if I wear this?” So I wear my cutoffs all weekend when I’m out running errands, and rock my favorite rompers when I go to dinner, and let my lace bralette show through my sheer hippie bell-sleeve top, and pair wedges with all of it because, damn it, they make my short legs look longer! My new mantra is wear whatever you want to wear, but do so with confidence. And don’t look back.