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March 2010
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In search of pants

The time has come for new pants. My old pants still fit, although loosely. They aren’t worn out, just worn down a bit. But styles have shifted. My awareness has shifted. And I would like to have some pants that contribute to a feeling of competence and attractiveness rather than just being serviceable. I want some every day clothes that don’t proclaim motherhood quite so clearly. I want a greater variety of professional clothes. Also, on an average day I can count the amount of time I spend outside my house on the minutes of one hour. It was time to go shopping.

Pants shopping is not my favorite thing. I find it more tolerable when I go to Savers with a coupon for 30% off, because I don’t have to deal with quite so much sticker shock. Also I frequently find amusement at the clothes that someone somewhere spent full price on, but which I can laugh at for free. The disadvantage of shopping second hand is that when you find something that is perfect except for being a little too small, you can’t go back for a different size. One of the major advantages is the variety. Very different styles are on the same rack instead of in different stores.

I was in search of pants, so naturally I started by looking at shirts. Some days are good shopping days. These are the days where it seems like everything in the store is just right. Other days I can spend hours flipping through racks without finding a thing I care to try on. Today was a good shirt day. It was not such a good pants day. I still count it as a win when I come home with eight items of clothing for less than $24. Especially when 1/4 of the clothes actually fit the category I went to the store to acquire.

I also came home with an awareness that I don’t really know what I am looking for when it comes to clothes. I kept standing there at the shirt rack, remembering that I have outfits at home which just lacked a single piece to be perfect, but I could not remember what pieces I was missing. So I brought home pieces of new outfits for which I will now have to find additional pieces. I need to approach this whole “renovate the wardrobe” project a little more systematically. I need to go through my closet and make lists. While I am at it, I should probably inventory the kid clothes too. Then I need to carry that list with me and go visit the thrift store every couple of weeks until I’ve filled the gaps.

I know this stuff. I used to do it all the time. It was survival during the lean years. But then I got busy and stopped keeping track of clothing other than to dump it through the laundry machines and occasionally fold it. No wonder my clothes feel out dated.

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