Shall We Glide?

Now that I have thoroughly documented the universe’s unfairness toward me in the mammary department, it is time to move on to a story with a more satisfying end. It is a classic story, actually, and one that is ever evolving. From time immemorial, women have sought to drape their bodies with shimmering fabrics in which to glide by the populace as a  vision of grace and beauty. No doubt  the first garments were coarse and mean, but as our skills with weaving and sewing increased, so did the varieties of women’s clothing throughout the world.

And women noticed. At the well, at tribal gatherings, at the place of worship, I am sure every woman knew what every other woman was wearing and uttered words, such as “Hey. She’s wearing the same loosely draped toga type dress that I’m wearing!” As civilizations grew in complexity, so did norms  of what women were expected to wear. The invention of the printing press made possible the fashion magazine. With the Industrial Revolution came ready to wear clothing though many women sewed their own dresses. Styles came and went, causing the need for women to refresh their wardrobes more often. We continued to notice clothing and to see it as an extension of ourselves.  Women all over the world were united with this ubiquitous phrase: I have NOTHING to wear!

In today’s world, as a post fifty woman, I have found shopping  for clothing to  be almost as difficult as balancing a twenty pound basket of laundry on my head, walking to the river, and pounding said laundry with rocks in the  hot sun in order to have something to wear for the next day’s religious rites. I have found it as tiring as sitting in front of an industrial Singer sewing machine  in a locked factory for twelve hours a day sewing men’s shirt collars in order to buy three yards of muslin for an every day dress. It has surely been as taxing  as using the green velvet dining room curtains to make an alluring gown for Scarlett O’Hara.

I'll never be unfashionable again! Source: wtw4ever.com

I’ll never be unfashionable again!
Source: wtw4ever.com

Styles are different now. One can wear anything, except that one can’t find anything suitable. What goes with what?   Is that thing a shirt or a dress? Do people really wear shirts that show their bra straps? Are we expected to go back through the bell bottoms and maxi skirts we already wore in college?

Been there, done that. http://11even.net/2010/09/womens-fashion-1970s/kreativ/

Been there, done that.

P15449

Source: Old Pueblo Traders

Or, since I am over 40, am I relegated to the Sag Harbor department, to forever deck myself out in elastic waisted  twill pants with matching jacket? That, my friends is not what I call a vision of grace and beauty!

While I am grateful not to live in a world which requires me to appear in a blue wool suit with gloves, hat and hose, I long for some of the “go to ” stores we used to have back in my youth: Casual Corner, Franklin Simon, the Clothes Horse. Back then we had salesladies who helped us with our selections and brought us other sizes. We could buy an entire outfit, including accessories,  all at the same place. Those were the days.

But even if we still had those stores, I don’t wear junior sizes anymore. The stores we do have are largely chains, but with the rise of the Internet they don’t carry the inventory they did before. And I am not interested in wearing what everyone else wears anyway.

Clearly my style is not based on current trends!

Clearly my style is not based on current trends!

And though I long to express my magpie leanings through clothing, I am not going to pay $200, or $100, or even $75 for a shirt. I think a shirt should cost no more than  $19.99 if new. If the shirt could be found  gently used at the thrift store for $1.50, that would be preferable. I don’t need many dressy clothes. I wear casual clothes to work, but I want DIFFERENT casual clothes to wear out. Do I sound picky?

I also think I should say that although I want clothes, I don’t want to go shopping. It takes up too much of my time.  I don’t enjoy driving, especially from one store to another: too much getting in and out of the car. I further dislike trying on clothes. Too much work putting all your clothes back on to flip through the racks for the correct size.  I might do it twice in a shopping trip, but that is the limit. Then I have to go through a line, and get out my wallet and all that. Please, just boil me in oil!

For the last few years I have basically “made do” with Marshall’s, because it is close to my house. Often I have simply grabbed something and bought it without even trying it on, and either wearing it only once or twice, or not at all. Sigh. Black shirts and pants are “safe”, but how many of those does one magpie need? Internet shopping has been hit or miss, with items arriving that are either too young for me or not looking the same as in the picture.

Surely some clothing manufacturers understand that over fifty doesn't mean over the hill?

Surely some clothing manufacturers understand that over fifty doesn’t mean over the hill?

And now for the happier ending. Someone finally invented a way for me to get new clothes and ENJOY it !!!! I am passing this on not to promote the company, but because if any of us find an acceptable way to find clothes, I believe we are honor bound to share it. My new magpie find is called Stitch Fix.

My daughter told me about it. It seems you give them all your information, from your sizes, to your likes and dislikes, to your price range and they send you clothes. You keep what you like and send back what you don’t. I admit I was wary. Maybe they only catered to the young who can wear anything? But I filled out the info and I reminded them of a few things, such as that it is hot as Hades down here, so don’t send me a bunch of long sleeved shirts in the summer. Then I hit that send button to schedule my first shipment. What did I have to lose?

I’ve been a “member” for maybe five months, and girls, it has been MARVELOUS!!! Here’s how it works. First, a box arrives in the mail. Everybody knows how exciting that is. Here’s how it looks. Aren’t you excited?

DSC_0272

Then I have this very nice card from my personal shopper. I think she really likes me.DSC_0275

Next we ( I feel as though you are all here with me, so it’s become “we”)  rip open that tissue paper and see what we  got!! Yippee!!DSC_0274

Each month there are five items. And each item has this handy card that shows us  ways that particular piece can be worn.DSC_0272

Now we  try on the clothes. We have three days to decide what we want to keep. Then we go in to Stitch Fix and tell’em what we want and what we don’t want. Whatever we don’t want we simply mail back to them in the postage paid envelope.

Here are some recent selections.

Pay no attention to the man behind the shirt.

Pay no attention to the man behind the shirt.

DSC_0279DSC_0729DSC_0735 Thanks to Stitch Fix, I’m feeling kind of sassy again. They have sent me things I might not have picked out for myself and that I haven’t seen other people wearing. The clothes are not too young for me, nor are they too old. And even if they were, I wouldn’t have to keep them. Really, Stitch Fix 2013 has replaced my long gone Casual Corner of 1976 and the other shops I used to hold so dear.

And if all that were not enough, this month’s box came with an bag for ThredUP, which buys gently worn clothing. I will get Stitch Fix credit for whatever Thredup accepts from me. What a great chance to get rid of some of the things I bought at Marshall’s just because they were on the clearance rack!DSC_0284

Well. enough gushing. Whatever you are doing in these complicated times to obtain clothing so that you can leave your home, I congratulate you. If you are finding the search to be frustrating, time wasting and morally degrading, I don’t blame you. But don’t give up. Something will work. Something will fit your style and personality. When something does work, pass it on. All of us girls want to glide by the populace, wrapped in shimmering garments! Shall we?

14 thoughts on “Shall We Glide?

  1. This is hailrious and awesome! And I like the man behind the shirt, and your clothes so lovingly draped over the red chair. Also, I must say, you are so adorable in your beret! I long to drink coffee and read the newspaper with you on your outdoor gazebo, my lovely! I am totally tweeting this to StitchFix too! Also, I have heard people say good things about finding clothes on ThredUP too. The site was a little too overwhelming for me, and I don’t really need anything right now, but you might like it! 🙂

  2. Great blog post Mindful. You always seem to make me laugh – put a little highlight in my day. This post was most informative as well! I do wish we had shops on line like this in Australia.
    Oh and actually I had to go looking for your post as it didn’t just drop into my reader. I’d been wondering why I wasn’t getting any posts from you. Well now I realize I wasn’t following. I do think I’ve fixed that up now as I certainly want to get more of your posts. There always fun to read. Thank you.

  3. Hi there Mindful,
    I’ve nominated you for a WordPress Family Award. I’ll be posting my own award blog with your nomination early this evening. I just wanted to say a big thank you to you and let you know you ARE like WordPress family to me. I just love your posts. As always I know it can take considerable time and effort to keep our blogs going. Thanks for putting in the time so we can all enjoy it.
    KidazzleInk – Michelle Davies-Stuhmcke – Kidazzleink.com
    You can find more information about the WordPress Family Awards Here on Shaun’s WordPress Site at this address: Shaun @ http://prayingforoneday.wordpress.com/

    • Thank you so very much! I have been so behind on things I am just now responding to this. I will have a look right now at the site and see what I need to do. Thanks for thinking of me; I too appreciate you and your hard work.

  4. I will say I am intrigued with Stitch Fix! I may have to check it out! Those duds are pretty kickin’! I have been more mindful about what I wear since becoming a parent, and since hitting my mid-30’s. I feel like I’m in this weird limbo where I’m too old for The Limited but too young for Coldwater Creek. And like you, I like my clothes at reasonable prices.

    You look pretty fabulous in these pictures, I might add 🙂

  5. So many reactions! In no particular order:
    A) I want to glide with you! Shimmer, baby!
    B) I think I’m going to try this service. Awesome tip.
    C) “Been there, done that” with the knit shorts – really?? Inquiring minds want to know.
    D) Your photo instantly makes me want to hang out with you. I think it’s the beret.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s