I owe part 2 of my Pyschology and Games intro, I know.  None of the stress has gone away (though my attitude is holding pretty steady, thxuvarymuch), and I’m just not ready to tackle anything heavy.  So, soon.  For now, I am going to discuss a much more important topic, clothings!  Hey, it’s Friday, I can’t be bothered to be too deep, right?

I am now completely obsessed with this blog.  I am just recently emerging from wearing mostly black, brown, dark blue, and maroon shirts with either jeans, dark colored pants, or varying ranges of muted toned skirts, so the fact that I now have a baby blue and two purple shirts (as well as some crazy colored paisley skirt) I wear regularly is actually a vast improvement.  It’s not like I haven’t been trying lately, but the results are a mixed bag.  Outgrowing clothes (or, more accurately shrinking out of clothes) doesn’t help.  When I find a gem of an item like a beatiful lime green sweater (in the picture, damn I looked really cute for being 40 lbs heavier) or a sweet pair of bright red trousers, they only fit for a few months, and it’s hard to replace stuff like that – the season is over, it’s been through the bargain bin and is gone, or it is 8 years old and been out of style so long it’s almost back in but not quite.  Believe me, I am not complaining about the weight loss in the least, but I see people like that who are dressed so bright and cheery looking and think “damn, I need to be more colorful”.

I love bright red but alas all the red shirts I have are either dressy only, too big, or just a wee bit too small (or I haven’t found the right bottom to go with them and not make my tummy bulge).  My way-too-orange tank top (from the rock wall video) is too big, and the orange retro tee I have is both too sheer and a bit too short.  The yellow tank with a rainbow stripe just fits funny and my yellow threadless rock at work tee is begging to be worn but alas it is dress length and I have yet to get brave enough to try to make it shorter.  Green is always an utter failure on me although I would kill to have a lovely assortment of sage and lime and emerald and forest to wear.  The only two I have that might be considered green are so muted they are almost grey.  Then there is my many blue shirts, two purples, two greys, and sea of brown and black.  I have just inherited a cotton candy pink shirt, which I will wear at least once, but I don’t think I can rock the pink.

I guess I also need to get over the fact that I can wear different colors together, like today – I’m wearing brown pants, a brown patterned shirt with red and green, a brown sweater, and brown shoes.  After peeking at that blog, I might consider wearing my green sweater instead, and realizing that I have a maroon sweater that just almost exactly goes with the lettering on the shirt – duh, why did I go so brown?  Shoes?  Well, I guess I could have gone with the nude colored wedgies, but they aren’t comfortable.  Now, I could almost see rocking this outfit with some loud yellow, red, or green shoes.  Great, I *just* finished getting my summer and winter foot needs in black and brown (as to match everything) in both casual, dressy, and bootish, now I am craving ridiculous colored shoes to wear.  Zliten is going to kill me.  My shoe closet is already so, so full.

At the heart of it, I’m just happy I can enjoy my thrifty and silly version of fashion again.  It really sucks to be stuck in one outfit (skirts and tank tops) because nothing-and-I-mean-nothing-else fit and freak out when having to don anything else because of weather (actually, I can’t really complain about that freakout because it’s what started the less-of-us movement) .  There are many things that I can’t wear still and probably never will (those babydoll dresses make me look ginormous, any fitted blousey non tank without stretchy material makes my muscles cry and shoulders look hulkish, those long shrirts both in the tight and loose varieties, the below the hip jeans, etc etc) but I at least have more options (the simple fact I can wear pants and shorts and knee length skirts without being uncomfortable is good), and keep obtaining more as the weight falls off.

That being said, I need to try for more colorful things.  All I can do is keep shopping my little heart out, though I will probably wait for the weather to be fall-ier and gravitate towards sweaters and long sleeves since I pretty much have to replace my entire winter top collection because I’ve lost 40+ lbs since I’ve touched any of it last February or previous.   I long for bright argyles, vibrant reds, beautiful greens, ocean blues, and crazy patterns/decals.  I guess I just have to make a concerted effort this time to stay away from the same ol’ same ol’.  I tried the “find a tshirt you like and get every color” trick, and it just did not work.  I would always return or trash the light blues, the violets, the yellows, the oranges, and the light greens because they never looked right on me, while the black, red, brown, and blues looked as fabulous as they did at the store.

Instead of just lamenting about my dark closet rainbow, I might as well share something useful, besides my shopping face.  One thing I *have* picked up in the last few months/years/decades are some general clothes shopping guidelines.  This is mostly for chicks, because most of the dudes I know go out to a store or 2, grab a few things in their size, and head home without much of a care (or order everything from Threadless – you know who you are :D).

-Pay attention to what you’re wearing when you go to the store.  Generally speaking, if you want to find clothes you like, you want them to make you look cute/sexy/awesome, and it’s easier to do that if you’re feeling that way already.  Make sure your hair is in a low maintenance do that won’t get ruffled badly by shirts going on and off in dressing rooms.  Wear a cute pair of jeans that fit perfectly and go with anything (so when you try on shirts, you can see how they look with something that you might wear them with).  Your shirt should be something short sleeve or tank toppish (changing in dressing rooms is hard and sweaty work) and a plain color that goes with a lot of things – I prefer black but that’s just me.  Your shoes should be comfy enough to withstand a few hours of standing and browsing, but nice enough that you could try them on with a dress.  I like my all purpose black wedgie sandals with the cushy soles.  I know this sounds completely overthought, like most of my life is, but I’ve found that the mood and plumage going into a shopping trip directly effects the outcome.

-Don’t go after a huge meal, or when exhausted, hungover, or on a totally crampy/bloaty day.  This is just setting you up for a miserable mood.  If you absolutely need to go that day, stick to specific needs, and kinda squint at yourself with one eye and repeat over and over, “this will look better when I’m better” and squint at yourself with one eye in the dressing room.  Hey, if it still sucks later, you can take it back, right?  Unless you can’t – then just don’t get it.

-Go through the sale racks first.  I usually try to limit myself to them, but sometimes I will see something at the front of the store I MUST HAVE.  I try to make sure I try it on last, after I’ve either frustrated myself with all the crappy sales clothes or finding so much for cheap, I don’t want it anymore.

-That being said, if you find pants you love for 30 bucks, and pants you like for 20-25, go for the ones you love.  They will be worn much more than pants you like.  This goes for anything.  Splurge every once in a while and get something full price if it makes your heart sing and you think you will wear the hell out of it.

-Try everything on.  Even if you hate trying stuff on, sizes are so different everywhere that you never know what will fit.  I’ve tried on 2 of the same sizes, same cuts, same everythings of old navy pants and one was too big and the other too small.

-Try to have an idea of what you are looking for, but don’t be completely clothes-minded (har har).  I’ve gone looking for jeans and came back with an awesome pair of leather pants, I’ve gone looking for skirts and found a rad jacket, it’s simply not always in the cards to get exactly what you want (but I’ve found some of my favorite things not looking for them).  For example, on my next shopping quest, I need new black and nude tights, a white tank top or tee shirt, red pants, a grey sweater, and I’m always on the lookout for cute bright clothes like orange, yellow, and green stuff.

-Shopping is a workout.  Do your gym thang before you set out with your plastic and high hopes.  I never succeed at getting a workout later because it tuckers me out.  Then again, I rarely spend less than 3-4 hours out.

Thrift shopping has it’s own set of rules…

-Take someone patient with you.  The best partner I’ve found was Zliten’s mother.  My mom got impatient, Zliten was allergic to all the cat and dog hair on the used items since everyone and their mother has a pet, apparently, but she was a trooper and had fun (and even bought stuff) too.

-Realize that this is your afternoon.  It takes a few hours to properly comb through a good size thrift store (I’m either lucky or cursed to have two warehouse sized ones that I know of within a few miles).  You want to try everything interesting on, and that is usually a heaping cartload.

-Try things you would never usually wear.  Chances are if it’s kinda cool, it’s cheap enough to give a go.  Like my 7 dollar leather pants.  I cannot wait for colder weather for that one reason, I’m going to embarass the hell out of my friends and wear them everywhere.  Granted, I have a handful of things that ended up not working out and are in the pile to give back, but some of the things I purchased are at about 10 cents per wear.

-Look carefully at the condition of the clothes.  Having someone with you helps with a second, impartial set of eyes.  I mean, I’ve been almost ready to buy something I really liked anyway and had to be told firmly no (which is a good thing).  In your piling-the-cart-high-to-try-on-things joy you might miss the rip or stain.  I found the most AWESOME pair of bright orange pants, which fit divinely and made my ass look…spectacular.  However, someone had bled heavily on the inside of them.  Ewww!  As hot as they were, I could not deal with that and let them go.

-Keep an eye out for sales – I know it’s a thrift store, but how much cooler is half price thrift store clothes?  It makes the little inner Jew sing (being half-blood, I can make fun of half of myself, so step off)!  Also, donate old clothes back.  Our Savers gives you a 20% discount that day with a donation.

Man, now all I want to do is go shopping.  I know there is a perfect emerald green tee next to a cute, hippy, boot cut pair of red pants on a sale rack somewhere, just waiting for me to unearth it.  And maybe even some yellow shoes.