Sometime in November 2016, we made a trip to Shellharbour which is the largest of the nearby shopping centres. We being my parents, the other half, and myself. Mother loves Millers and I am not adverse to the place because I find a lot of great shrug cardigans there. In fact all the shrug cardigans I own originated at Millers.
Sometimes Millers have stuff that works for me – it can also skew very “Queen Mother” from time to time, mixed in with stuff you might find in the wardrobe of Duchess Catherine.
They had these dresses which had silver foil metallic printing on them, plus these round metallic spots which are kind of sparkly. I’m always on board for sparkly, in fact one of my nicknames is sparkles. So I grabbed a size 16 off the rack without even thinking about it, tried it on, and it was far too big. The 14 was brought to me – still too big. Then the 12 – which fit.
I tried on a shrug cardigan in large – way too big. Medium, still too big. I ended up with a small that fit perfectly, and after purchasing both of these items with glee, I left the store somewhat in shock. The last time I bought shrug cardigans at Millers, I bought the EXTRA large. XL – L – M – S. That is a huge change for me.
Sizes are never the same across stores. You can be a 10 at one and a 16 in another. Over the years I learned not to let the sizes concern me greatly. When everything that fit was XL, that was actually pretty easy.
My body might be smaller now but my mind is still stuck in XL, it seems. I cannot look at a piece of clothing and know whether it will fit or not – and if I try, I end up with something way too big. Now I just keep trying things on until they actually fit which means a visit to a store can take 30 minutes to an hour.
The bottom line is – I am smaller, fitter and healthier than I have been for many years – and this means much of my wardrobe no longer fits me well. Some of my most favourite clothes which have been reliable wardrobe staples for years are now way too big. Most of the stuff you see in that photo up there is 2-4 sizes too big.
This meant it was time to do some shopping, and over the past few months I have tried to do that with limited success. You would think it would be fun, right? NO. Especially when you already have things you love in your wardrobe, like this Alfani asymmetrical tunic from Macys which has little black sparkly crystals all over it and cost me something like $10. I have had this for 5 years.
Or like these style and co tops from Macys which I loved so much I bought in every single colour they had, for the huge price of $15 each once they took off all the discounts. These I have had since 2010. They have a little sparkle, they were perfect for work or going out. The amount of wear I got out of these.. and they are all still wearable, for someone else but sadly not for me. Just too big.
Fashion runs in cycles, and right now walking into any “trendy” store is like walking into my closet in the late 80’s early 90’s. It is fashion deja-vu. Velvet bodysuits. BODYSUITS WTF. Hotpants. Cropped bomber jackets, some in velvet, one of which I did buy. Floral dresses akimbo – some of which I swear I actually owned back then. STIRRUP PANTS. Need I say more?
Given that we are listening to 90’s tracks in the car a lot right now, walking into those shops after driving there listening to the music I would have been listening to back in the 90’s feels about right. And sometimes I will see a thing and it takes me back to a moment in time or an outfit I used to wear, and I am right back there. What I am trying to say is, this fashion time warp is really freaking me out.
In order to find anything worthy of adding to my wardrobe, I have had to pick through an incredible array of Shiznit I Would Never Buy Or Wear In A Zillion Billion Years. I have had to walk past a lot of plus size shiznit which I totally WOULD buy but cannot get in my size anymore.
I know who I am fashion wise – it would be described as quirky, eccentric, unusual. You can’t just find that anywhere, though it is easier to find that in the plus sizes than in the smaller sizes. I like bright colours, metallic accents, foil prints, crystals, animal print and plays on animal print. I like to layer.
Actually finding those things, well, that is another story. It requires patience, time, effort, and a willingness to hunt through the junk to find the gold OR finding a store that is full of stuff you like in sizes that fit you.
Out of all the “shopping mall” stores in Australia right now, the one that is probably closest to my style is Noni B. They also have some stuff that can skew very “Queen Mother” but in between that, they have some stuff which seems to have been designed with me in mind.
Like this Billie dress – this is exactly me, in dress format. I did not buy it because Sephyroth just brought me a bunch of great dresses from the USA when he visited back in October.
Next week in part 2 – using layers to expand my options.