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Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Bye Buy Clothes: Mission, Accomplished.

Day 367, or Day 1

I did it. First I want to send a heart-felt thanks to everyone who supported me in this year-long challenge. I tend to be a very private person so making my challenge so public was a little unsettling at first. But in the words of John Donne, "no man is an island." Or woman. My experience was richer for having shared it and more bearable with your words of encouragement.

So today, I could shop. As I said yesterday, I had $35 in Kohl's Cash and coupons that expired today. I didn't plan to spend this entire New Year's Day shopping but I'd be a fool to let Kohl's Cash expire. If Kohl's had a Black Card, I would have it. Up until last January, I was a Kohl's regular. The associates knew me.

I fixed myself up and set out to the store. My husband was not interested in joining me. On the drive over, the anticipation grew. I was imagining the entire staff at Kohl's lined up outside the store. There would be happy, welcoming faces on each side of my path to the door. Clapping, high-fiving, glad to have you home. The store manager would open the door, hand me a shopping bag and cheers would erupt. I would be back.

There was no team of associates waiting for me, but I was still excited. I walked through those door and headed over to the women's department wearing the biggest, stupidest grin you ever saw. I was pretty sure my fellow shoppers thought I came directly from a New Year's Eve bash. I kept trying to make eye contact with someone, anyone. "Look at me! I'm here! I can buy stuff." I guess they were all wrapped up in their own shopping because barely anyone even looked up.

My rules for today:

1. No looking at price tags (hence the blindness brought on by a clearance tag)

2. Everything MUST be tried on in the store (if it looks good int that fitting room, it will be FAB at home)

3. Whatever I chose to buy had to be right. Not close, RIGHT.

Within a half hour, my arms were loaded to capacity. I struggled into a fitting room, stripped off my clothes and got to work. I had no illusion that I would love everything but I had given my needs much thought and felt certain I could enhance my wardrobe today. 25 items in the first round. 1 pair of pants were nice. A pair from the Narciso Rodriguez collection I was so eager to try. The dresses were awful and I had been certain they would be perfect for me. Round 2. Back to the sales floor to load up with 25 more items. Nothing. I decided I didn't need pants that had to be dry cleaned, so I put the Narcisos back. Round 3. I was getting very aggravated by the messy fitting rooms. My closet at home was now beautifully organized and neat. I wanted to stop and clean every fitting room. I continued on, even venturing over to Toddler Boys.

2 hours later I was in line at the checkout. Want to know what I bought? A black tank top that I desperately needed, a hat and mitten set for my grandson and a neoprene travel case for our tablet. Did not even spend all the Kohl's Cash and coupon. I was no longer buoyant and happy, I was crabby and tired. This is what I have been missing? Poorly made, ill-fitting, wacky colored, barfy printed, stupidly styled clothes? Crazy thing--I was certain I would have bought many of those items last year.

The good news: there has been a real change in how I view what I will buy.

The bad news: so far, the clothes out there suck.

I'll be out at the malls this week. If you see me, please give a high five, or at least a smile.

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