Friday, May 11, 2012

Shopping

I used to be a good shopper. An enthusiastic shopper. I used to be well-dressed and relatively stylish. Something has happened. I have become my mother who hated to shop. She would grind her teeth and roll her eyes and moan and despair. It was embarrassing and now I am doing the same thing.

I know what the problem is. It is that I shop now because I am looking for something. Something specific that I need/want. I am not shopping opportunistically as I once did, where you just regularly browse the favored stores and you see something, quite by accident, that speaks to you. Good stuff, I have determined, must be found by accident, not by purpose.

My birthday was last month and my daughter gave me a Macy's gift card, which was such a thoughtful gift and I thought, "how great! I will use it to buy a new lightweight jacket." So I headed out to Macy's and then another Macy's and then another. That is the thing about Macy's. They are the store that ate all the real stores—the ones we loved. For me it was Meier and Frank and before that, The Bon Marche. Now they are all Macy's and Macy,s, let's be truthful here, just isn't the same as those old beloved stores. But Macy's is what we have now. And they did not have a jacket for me. Nope. Not even close. What I had in mind was something unlined in cotton duck or canvas or denim or some such. Not black. I already own all the black jackets in the world. A color. Not Navy either, and preferably not gray. Remember Barn Jackets that were popular about 10 years ago? Something like that.

But not beige.

Since they did not have my jacket, I wandered through Macy's looking at other things. I found a pair of yellow shoes I liked. I've never owned yellow shoes! They did not have my size. Nor did any of the other Macy's stores I went to. Nor did Macy's online. I bought a coral colored summer shirt instead. It will probably become my favorite shirt ever. See how that works? It was not what I was looking for.

Then I went to every other store in the mall to look for a jacket. Then I left the mall and went to all the other stores. And I didn't find a jacket. And by then I was doing a fine imitation of my mother, whining and moaning and dragging myself around like a cranky old lady.

So I went to the fabric store. The only fabric that seemed possible was a pretty strange color—kind of purpley berry color. It wasn't black. I bought it. I bought buttons and thread. I could not find a pattern. I took it all home and made a copy of an old jacket I kind of liked, except made it a little longer and made the sleeves long enough to roll up a cuff. And I made my own damned jacket. And here I am wearing it with my new coral shirt and my new yellow shoes, which I finally ordered online, but not from Macy's.

 I still have about $25 left on my Macy's gift card.


28 comments:

  1. I am laughing with you. When I lived in Seattle and worked, I knew Nordie's by heart. A trip to Portland always included M&F. Now I go to the Goodwill. It isn't because we are poor. I just don't like the clothes I see. I hate to shop. I too am becoming your mother (mine still loves to shop at 80). I don't need clothes that hug my body and show that I am not 25 anymore. No one needs to be reminded of that! I love your new outfit. Wishing you many happy memories as you wear it and look so stylish! Love the yellow shoes!

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  2. Oh how I can relate to this post. An enjoyable read, by the way. One thing that irks me to no end is when I have a few items on my list of "must gets" and the product I want is not there because the space where it was on the shelf is totally empty. Don't they know how hard it was for me to make my list and get to the store in the first place???

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  3. I think you need chunky coral and yellow earrings to go with that outfit! Of course, if you went to Macy's looking for them, they would not be there. You might find a nice kitchen gadget though. ;-) You shop like I do. Except that I'd never actually get to making the damn jacket. I have a dress pattern and fabric laying around for that very reason.

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  4. Beautiful, practical and custom made! You can't beat that. I am in exactly the same situation you are and have come to the same conclusion. I used to make all my clothes and could make them 'mine', then I concentrated on quilting. It's now time to step back into garment sewing for me. I know what I like, I know what fabric works and I can't afford $85 for a tunic-style top. It's a no brainer.

    You look great!

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  5. I am just like you, I used to love to shop but now I barely budge out of the house. The problem is that clothes which I once loved to shop for are now made for anorexic teenagers or exhibitionists. I may be getting older but I still want to be stylish. What is a girl supposed to do?? Grumble, moan.

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  6. your jacket and shoes are great!

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  7. I know you hate to hear it, but I love Macys. My Macy's card says -Cardholder since 1976!! I hated MF because it was so crowded and disorganized that I could not find anything. When we moved here 6 years ago, Macys followed me. Mr C says that I had a reserved parking spot at Macys when we lived in San Jose.

    Love your shoes!!

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  8. Terry, you're a hoot! I love reading your blog posts.

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  9. And you 'made it work' with a scarf that pulls it all together! Sounds like my story, I never go looking for something specific because it just isn't there! And I don't like Macy's any more at all- too much stuff, too hard to navigate and they took over Filenes, boo too. I hold department store grudges.

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  10. You are like a SUPER Hero! You MADE a jacket. That's like cold fusion of atoms to me.

    I also don't like Macy's. It's crowded with all sorts of stuff I don't want and very little that I do want. Yesterday, finding the little tunic dress at Target was probably the best day shopping I have had since I found a beautifully fitting girdle at Walmart. I didn't know what to be more amazed by--finding a girdle or Walmart. I am so old the I like wearing a girdle under a pencil skirt.

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  11. Anonymous6:30 PM

    Dear Terry,
    You are definately still stylish!! Not to mention talented....
    missy from the bayou

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  12. Good for you for making your own jacket. It looks great.

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  13. Turns out you are not the only one who does not care for shopping! The older I get, the less I enjoy it. I am envious however that you could just take an old jacket and make a copy of it -- love how the whole look turned out!

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  14. This is very funny and I am glad to know that the story ended up with you fashionably (if frustratedly) clad. When I am in your situation (which happens almost every time I go searching for something) the thought crosses my mind that i could make it but I don't even bother getting the supplies. I know it will all stay in the bag. :-) I love the jacket and coral color and shoes! (And I don't like Macy's much either. Give me Nordstrom any day.)

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  15. yeah, I'm laughing too. maybe if more people sewed again. Macy's would be facing some stiff competition.

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  16. Glad to see I'm not alone! This was a great post. I read your blog regularly but seldom if ever tell you how much I enjoy it. I do.

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  17. Anonymous5:37 AM

    May I suggest checking out LLBean for barn type jackets. That's where I always find one.

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  18. I'm sooo impressed with your jacket. I haven't sewed any clothing for many years after many years of making nearly everything for our three daughters and myself and occasionally a suit for my husband (now I quilt). The shoes are darling! I LOVE them..... worth your search.

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  19. Oh I feel your pain!! I am making a new apron for the studio, and spent at least an hour looking for a pattern...I don't want a cursed frilly thing, but one like my grandmother had, sort of a smock/apron hybrid, have the demin washed, but that is as far as I made it. Barn coats at LLBean were my staple, until they changed their pattern.

    You are looking quite stylish there, so you still got it, shopping be damned!

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  20. Sometimes 'shop' is a 4 letter word. That's when it invites 'creativity.'

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  21. Jean S.7:55 PM

    Shopping for clothes is my least favorite activity. I can't wear any of the new styles without laughing/crying and I'm at the point like you where I'm tracing off my favorites and making copies in different colors. Sad, but it works and I'm happy. Love the ensemble from head to toe Terry. Bravo!

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  22. I laughed through the whole post.
    Sounds familar. So true.
    You outfit looks good.

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  23. I HATE Macy's. They ate everybody here in New Jersey, too - and I don't know who they cater to - but it''s not me. Worse, still, I used to work there and they were absolutely horrible to work for - long story. This is the biggest reason I don't shop there unless I have looked everywhere else and/or am desperate. Rare occasions.

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  24. You look great! and what a wonderful post! Just this past week I was complaining about shopping and realized, I too, sound just like my Mom!! I found a shop online that I use almost exclusively - heaven forbid I leave my house to join the masses in the stores!

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  25. Anonymous9:59 AM

    Terry, come to ventura, california. It's a thrift shop economy. I have several wonderful jackets. Not to mention Carole Little and other high end clothing. thelmasmith

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  26. Love the outfit... Curious about the horned sheep.. Fascinating the way the horns have grown. Found you from SAQA

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  27. Seems like a lot of us ladies of "a certain age" or becoming our Moms and shopping can be a chore. You've made a Great jacket, Terri. It is interesting when frustration drives us to creativity. Check out advancedstyle.blogspot.com. I don't have a place to wear their kind of clothes but the blog is inspiring toward each of us doing our own thing.

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  28. Tee Hee. My Mother dislike shopping and I dislike it as well. Oddly enough I have more clothes now than ever before! I found a brand that really works for me and Ebay has become my BFF - I've been a somewhat conservative dresser and beng able to pick and choose from one brand that works has been a godsend for me. I don't have to go to a store and I don;t have to feel very guilty about the cost!

    Love this post !
    PS: I fond art to be somewhat the same way - the more I think and then over think - the worse the piece becomes. There's something about the kismet and joy of discovery that works!

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