Friday, March 15, 2013

Spring Wardrobe Cleanup and Rant

I was wearing one of my all-time favorite black cotton v-neck sweaters yesterday when it dawned on me that I've owned it for more than five years and that it was showing its age. That's kind of an embarrassing realization in the middle of the office kitchenette one fine, workday morning. So I decided to begin a cleanup of those items in my closet which have, by now, run out of their nine lives.

There are a number of twill pants that don't and never have looked good on me. There's a couple of sweaters and cardis that look faded. I want to stock up on colorful long-sleeve tees but it's almost impossible finding any during the spring-break fashion rush. What's a gal to do?

I can always check online, and look at brick and mortar's online realms before heading there in person to  check items out. I can also check on YouTube and blogs for updated trends that I can synthesize by color or accessory to keep my style updated without breaking the bank. Accessories surely make an outfit much more ka-pow than expensive, short-term trendy clothing pieces.

I began looking for potential replacements or new wardrobe additions at JC Penney and Target, earlier today, but the clothes they carry right now are at the wrong price point for the quality and selection. I was a little upset when I walked away after a 40-minute shopping expedition without a bag or hanger on my arm. I didn't find one single thing I liked. Am I really that picky? Well, let's see...

Bright, trendy colors and shapes are best bought economically, since their residence in my closet are at best short-term. Also, the quality of the clothes these days doesn't say much for cost-savvy off-shoring enterprises that manufacture them. Cotton tees and sweaters are see-through and flimsy, when the style is fitted, wearing a cami underneath becomes impractical. The tee shirts I saw at Target and JC Penney hardly hold their shape on a thin hanger, so what on earth will they look like on me while I fill it out?

Another concern is poorly sewn buttons, zippers, and linings. Speaking of linings, what happened to blazer and jacket linings? Is it really that economical to skip out on the lining? Because I personally prefer well-lined apparel that can take some wearing and keep on ticking. I also like my buttons to stick onto my apparel for longer than it takes me to walk the bag out to my car. Zippers should be solidly built so there's no snags and the pull stays in place after several dozen wears and washes.

Jeans these days come in a variety of trendy colors. This is great to add a playful touch to your wardrobe and to stay away from the more dramatic colors we wore over the fall and winter. However, when you launder your own clothes is there going to be a lot of color leaking out in the wash? Will these pants fade severely on the first try? By just running my hand over some pants I can feel the thick color wash. Thick color affects the quality of the weave and any stretchiness the product might boast. How will my other, similarly-colored apparel fare in the same washer tub? I hate color carryover.

I am almost giving up on shopping at my old standby stores: Kohls, JC Penney, Target, etc. because I just can't find the apparel I'm looking for, in the right the price point, with the right quality standards applied to the design, shape and manufacture, and that will suit my physical shape. I can't really afford to get every single item tailored, and I'm not good enough of a seamstress (puhleeze, don't even go there!) to try my hand at it.

If all I had was disposable income and a rail thin body, I'm sure purchasing a see-through mis-shaped tee shirt, a cami to go under it, and a pair of jeans that will lose the vibrant spring color in the wash wouldn't really make me bat an eyelash. Then again, I live in the realm of tight budgets and curvy proportions, so I'm probably the wrong target audience for these products to begin with...


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