I hate shopping for clothes. I hate the time I spend doing it when I could be doing something I enjoy more, like watching “Once Upon A time”, playing The Sims, hanging out with my bird and eating my weight in popcorn, or having some quality time with my boyfriend and making an epic dinner. I also dislike the concept of paying almost as much for a leather jacket as I could for a professional graphic design quality LCD monitor, especially as I have a functional jacket, and need a better monitor.
In my pre-spoonie life, I loved clothes shopping: I had more time on my hands and more disposable income, and my skin wasn’t so sensitive to fabrics. But life has changed, so I streamline to make room for more important and more enjoyable stuff.
1) Stretch jersey all the things.
I don’t have time or room for three dress sizes in my wardrobe. Pulling out something that is either too tight or too loose is a source of annoyance and low esteem that nobody needs.
Enter Jersey/t-shirt fabric. It’s a miracle if -like me- if you tend to go up and down a dress size over the course of a year. I buy a uk size ten, and it’ll stretch when I’m bigger and fit a little on the loose side when I’m smaller, but it always fits.
It’s also an amazingly soft fabric, so me and my sensitive skin are always comfortable.
2) Any colour Black.
I do like colours, but
a) they fade or run in the wash b) colours are very specific to seasonal trends (e.g “royal blue” instead of last seasons blue, “plum” instead of purple) and each brand has it’s own formula for that colour, so mixing and matching separates can become a chore.
I don’t need extra chores.
Black will always go with black. Black enables me to open and pull something from my “bottoms” drawer, open and pull something from my “tops” drawer and be sure those two things will work together. I like that level of simplicity.
This can work with neutrals too, like beige and sand colours, although they need to be lined to work with my skin tone.
3) Buy mix and match separates
Tank tops. Pencil skirts. skinny fit t-shirt. Maxi skirts. Midi crop tops. Long sleeved polo necks. These work for my body type. Find what cuts work for you and mix and match.
A tank top + pencil skirt = perfect for cocktails little black dress.
Polo neck jersey top + the same pencil skirt = a business meeting outfit/overall classy look.
For everyday around the house wear, yoga pants allow me to vacuum under the sofa and retrieve earrings from behind the sink without worrying about the seams splitting or showing too much of myself when I get down to repack my grocery bag.
4) Shop online.
Everything about high street clothes stores are set up to make us feel bad about ourselvesand stress us out (to encourage us to buy faster and free up changing room space). Avoid that hell.
I shop at boohoo.com for tanks, pencil and maxi skirts; Amazon for print legging andstretch t shirts; American Apparel for yet more leggings; and ASOS for statement pieces. H&M and toptop also deliver and have good basics.
Try clothes on in your own house, with your own music, and the mirror that you are used to seeing yourself in.
4) Accessorise for variety
Blazers, necklaces, scarfs, handbags, nail polish give pops of colour and variety to my all black clothing.
5) visit TK max for those rare finds, whatever your style is
Some of my most original and most commented on items of clothing were TK max finds that were never seen again there. You probably won’t come out with an item like what you hoped you’d find (I’d often come out with a jumper instead of a pair of running pants), but don’t underestimate what you’ll find there.
That’s it! That’s all I can think of as far as my personal style goes.
I’d be interested in hearing from any other “not in love with shopping” types on how they deal with the whole “needing to be clothed and respectable in public” thing on a budget and without spending too much time on clothing.