Struggling and Suits

I am struggling right now. I want to shop and buy because the summer clothes I have are too tight and I have a trip to a warm place coming up in a few weeks. I have tried to wait but the closer the trip gets and as we start making plans the anxiety sets in of oh my god what am I going to wear. How can I possibly enjoy the trip without new clothes? In reality I could make do, but would likely feel self-conscious and uncomfortable and I would have to wear the same few things every day. I could do that, but I want to look good and feel good. I want to look my best and not feel self-conscious. But maybe I need to get a lot more comfortable being uncomfortable.

Truthfully, there are some things I need. I need a new fashion swimsuit. I have a lap swimming suit, but it’s not cute. I hadn’t bought a non-exercise swim suit since my honeymoon over 8 years ago. But, instead of buying 1 or 2, I bought 3. Now, granted I love them. Black and two colors. And we are going to be gone for 10 days, and on a beach the whole time, so maybe that’s not too extreme. But I’m giving it thought. I did buy some shorts that fit and I have a couple skirts that will work. I am struggling with not having the things I want to have.  Why is so hard to accept that you just can’t have what you want when you want it sometimes. And that you will BE OK and still have an enjoyable trip using what you already have. In fact, you will probably have a better trip, right?

Speaking of suits-I  also purchased a suit jacket last minute for the interview I had yesterday. I was so nervous and excited for this interview. I only own one suit as I had gotten rid of the others a few years ago thinking I wouldn’t need them. When I had a job interview a few months ago that fell out of the sky and I had less then 2 days to plan I ended up having to buy a “stress suit” in a great neutral color that looks great on me, but the fit of the jacket was not good. I simply couldn’t find one that had matching separates in the few hours I had to shop before my interview-my time was better spent preparing for the interview at the time. Lesson learned: always be prepared and have a suit on hand. Especially, if you profession requires you to have a formal suit for an interview, as mine does. It’s way better to have one waiting for you in your closet, then to have to rush out and settle for something that costs $250.

So all week I stressed over buying the jacket to go with the suit pants I already owned. I had the pants and skirt, but had not bought the jacket last fall thinking I didn’t need it right now when I was buying new dress pants, so I didn’t get it. I didn’t need another suit right then-and didn’t think I’d be interviewing again soon. Another assumption one should never make as you never know when an opportunity will come your way.

I knew I wanted to feel good in the interview and the suit jacket I owned just did not look flattering. If I was posing for a head shot it would be fine. But to be confident and sit up straight and lean in  and perform in an interview, I would have been very uncomfortable. So I bought the other suit jacket. It’s gray. It looks fantastic. It fits me like a dream. Boy do I wish this manufacturer made this same jacket in other basic colors, but they don’t. As a curvy woman with a chest it is really hard to find suit jackets that are flattering . You have to fit the chest and then likely the waist is too big or if you fit the waist it puckers when you button it. as the chest is too big. Meh. I paid for rush shipping and bought 2 sizes and one of them fit perfectly.

In the end, I felt great at my interview and rocked it. I am so thankful for that. I will find out if I have a second interview this week. Then the issue is what to wear to the second interview. I am not going to buy another suit and spend hundreds of dollars. If I could find a suit jacket that goes with the dress pants I already own I might do it, but the thought is so exhausting. I wish I had a black suit, but loathe the idea of looking for one. Do I wear the same suit to the second interview? I think not. So I may have to wear the sub-par suit and just deal with it, but boy the thought of that makes me cringe. Given that my interviewers were mostly men I doubt they will recall what I am wearing, but there was one very stylish lady sitting right next to me and I bet she would remember.

Maybe I won’t even get a second interview and all this whirling stress will be for not. Either way, the stress leading up to the interview just made me want to shop. And I did. I spent too much and have taken some of it back. But sometimes going back to the store is even worse. But, I was incredibly aware of what I was doing and made some hard choices between some items whereas in the past I would have bought it all.

So, I need to recommit to not going into stores for the remainder of the month. I made it 11 days and then took a step back. But that’s ok. Onward. No shame, only a commitment that I am worth examining my behavior and improving it.

I am way overdue for continuing my closet inventory. This is partly due to being embarrassed at the numbers to come. But they need to come out so I can examine them in a scientific way and understand what they mean and symbolize. The bottom line is I have been spending between $500-$1000 (during the worst months) a month on clothes, shoes, jewelry, fitness attire and that is Way. Too. Much. It may sound like a lot to some, but it’s very easy for it to add up. Tracking all my spending has been eye opening as I can’t deny it anymore. And I see how often I am shopping and going into stores. I honestly don’t remember it being so often so that’s eye opening.

So the inventory-I have turned into something of a blouse whore. I used to own only a few and I lived in stretchy knits, especially when I was slimmer, as I enjoyed showing off my curves more. Now that I am a bit heavier I am loving fabrics that skim and don’t cling. And I fell pray to buying many multiples of things when I finally found some blouses that fit my shape and didn’t need to be altered. Like jackets, blouses are generally much too big on my waist if they fit my bust and hips well. I have a very defined waist and hourglass figure and have spent hundreds of dollars at the tailor having him take in the waist of blouses I love and it was worth every penny. They look great on me and give me shape instead of looking like I’m wearing a box. I also have gravitated to more blouses as I have gotten older and feel like I have entered a new fashion phase in my mid-thirties where the styles I generally wore before seemed too young which prompted a lot of updating and re-setting of my closet contents.

Awareness has brought me the following realization. When shopping I often find myself experience a lot of fear, especially if my body is in transition.  Fear that I wouldn’t look nice or find things that I loved that would allow me to express my personal style. Fear that I wouldn’t find something like this item again. I find it hard to say no and leave things that are beautiful prints or colors in the store. I find it stressful to not have a particular part of my wardrobe not “set.” I may have a pink casual top, but what about a pink dressy top? I may have a 3/4 sleeve sweater in that color, but what about a long sleeved? I have pants in that color but what about capris? You get the idea. But you know what, I continue to buy because there continue to be beautiful lovely things to buy, so why do I keep fearing a shortage of clothes, like blouses? Time to examine this more. Ok, onto the inventory.

Have you heard of the Express Portofino Blouses? I have a ridiculous number of them acquired over time as you will see. They are my go to.

Blouses (Long Sleeved)

  1. ATL black/white flowered
  2. PF Cobalt blue
  3. PF black
  4. PF bright pink
  5. PF mint green
  6. PF ivory
  7. PF dark purple
  8. PF forest green
  9. PF navy
  10. PF red orange
  11. PF teal
  12. PF aqua
  13. PF coral
  14. PF black and white pattern
  15. PF black and white dot
  16. PF white and pink dot
  17. PF navy with pattern
  18. PF light blue with white pattern.
  19. BR green and black geo pattern
  20. ANA black and white geo
  21. ANA pink/white/gray pattern
  22. ANA magenta/gold pattern
  23. ANA black
  24. ANA pink
  25. ANA blue with black trim
  26. NY and Co. magenta (thrifted). This was actually the first blouse I owned.
  27. Candies perriwinkle
  28. Candies black and magenta floral chevron pattern
  29. Apt 9 light purple with pockets
  30. Apt 9 black/blue/gray floral

Good Grief. I could wear a different blouse everyday for a month and not repeat them. That’s absolutely ridiculous. I am so appalled and embarrassed. But it’s out there now. And those are just long sleeved blouses. Here are the 3/4 sleeved. Not nearly as many though.

  1. ANA magenta
  2. ANA purple
  3. ANA teal
  4. ANA black (a bit snug)
  5. ANA blue (a bit snug)
  6. Lim black and white
  7. Cobalt and white pattern
  8. Merona green
  9. Merona aqua

Well, there it is. Ugh. How do you let go of your clothes when you clearly have so much excess? It is SO HARD for me!!!

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