…for buying most of the enduring, timeless clothes I regularly wear to work. Because apparently fashion has been pretty dried up since about 2009. Sometimes I look back, aghast at how much I used to spend on clothes and shoes. And I make excuses like how that was when I first got my good job, and had finally kicked my freshman 15 from college. But on days like today, wandering through the racks of crap in the mall, I am glad I took advantage back when clothes makers made an effort.
This stuff you see now is charmlessly designed, poorly fitting, and/or smelly (I can thank my mom for this discriminating test). And even though I remember spending a lot a few years back, clothes cost the same or more now – at a fraction of the sartorial value. Even though I intended a spring wardrobe invigoration today, I could only bring myself to buy two blouses (at $30 and $40 respectively). For some of you this may sound like a ridiculous sum to spend on a summery, short-sleeved cotton top. It does to me.
But I hold work clothes to a higher standard than casual clothes. I believe in “dress for success” and “dress for the job you want.” I’m not saying a brilliant flip-flops wearer could not manage to move up in the corporate world, but I imagine the thongs would make it much harder. So I unwillingly pay a little more to skip looking lumpy, rumpled, squarish, see-through, juvenile, muffin-topsy, ironic, and many other ways that can result from settle-shopping. I know how to make my look reflect my kick-ass, name-taking personality, but the mall is not providing me with the right tools lately.
So as a result, most of my (now rare) shopping trips are fruitless. And I actually have started worrying that my clothes are getting too old and limited. But I would rather wear a worn, yet quality garment I was able to find when the getting was good than a deliberately threadbare, hipster rag that is available now. It amazes me that my newer (and pointedly cheaper) Target and Old Navy clothes are undergoing strange transformations of misshapenness and permanent wrinkles, while 5, 6, and 7 year old garments from Banana Republic and Express are virtually bullet-proof, taking repeated beatings and showing only light signs of wear.
Whereas years ago my life was literally a big fun shopping spree, I now feel like it is a raging student loan storm through which I am navigating a small vessel. I’m glad for the reliable armor I can count on to get me through until the clouds part and the sunshine of additional options embraces me. Banana Republic: I’ll be back for you some day, and I hope you’ll still have sick clothes.