fashion shopping

My Shopping Uniform

Tracee over at BlogFabulous muses about Marcia Clark’s makeover and whether or not one should dress to please others. This makes me think of a habit I’ve acquired when I go shopping in high-end stores.

If you’ve ever been snubbed by a salesperson in a chi-chi boutique, you know that appearances matter to those people. They often gauge the size of your bank account by the quality of your hairstyle, the brand of your shoes, and the sparkle of your bling. While I personally won’t ever return to a store where the staff was rude to me, occasionally I need to go to a fancy store to buy a specific item (or just to window-shop). In order to ensure the best possible shopping experience for myself, I plan ahead.

The women who salespeople most want to see walk into their stores around where I live are either rich, matronly types or their teenage daughters. Since I am too old to look like a teenager, I adopt some aspects of the matrons’ look.

  • Enough makeup that it’s obvious I’m wearing makeup.
  • Some of my nicer earrings and a necklace, plus an extra ring.
  • Nice, designer-name-brand if possible, shoes and purse that are not worn-out looking.
  • Hair as neat as I can make it, held back in a severe ponytail if necessary.

I realize that some people probably dress like this every day, neat and tidy and dressy and pulled-together. I am not one of those people. My hair defies most attempts to tame it. Many of my clothes acquire mysterious stains throughout the day, and a good many of my shoes are kind of worn. Most tailored clothes do not flatter my body type, and I rarely need to dress up much anyway because I work from home. I consider my personal style to be colorful, casual, a little trendy, and a little adventurous.

But when I want something specific, I’m willing to sacrifice a little personal style for that goal. In my mind, it’s just like dressing up in a costume for a stage play. I’m not selling out because I still know who I am inside, and I’m going to return to being myself as soon as I leave the stage and take off my costume.

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  1. I on the other hand went and bought some cute work-out clothes because I realized that I was the only one wearing cast-offs to work out in. After reading my post on Marsha Clark one friend told me “I want to live in Tracee world where other women don’t judge you by the roots in your hair and visible panty line.” Taking a class and realizing I was the only one who looked similar to a bag lady was my final clue.

    I said, “So do I.”

    But, apparently, I realized this is not the way the world works, no matter how much I want it too.

  2. What a great post. I can just imagine me walking in wearing my overall and Tevas. I am so oblivious at times. Recently, though, I have started dressing like a fashionable girl (a little). I even bought my first pair of heels in roughly ten years!

  3. Go becca! I wish I had more opportunities to wear heels.

    Someday I need to post pictures of how I dressed in college and just post-college. I went from bag lady to What Not to Wear poster girl. That’s part of the reason that I think I look better now than I did when I was in my early 20’s.

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