It was now January of 2009.
None of my pants or jeans fit well anymore. My sweaters from the previous winter were huge! Most of the clothing I had was in sizes 18/20 women's. I had no clue what size I was now, but 18/20 wasn't it!
I had to know what size I'd be, I just had to know!
I'm not the best shopper. It's not typically something I look forward to doing. I don't usually know what shoes or accessories go well with an outfit. I don't layer styles really well. I used to have no clue about where the hemline of my pants should be or what fabrics shouldn't be worn together.
But, I decided to at least make a covert trip to Gap. I LOVE Gap. I'd never been able to shop at Gap. They didn't sell women's sizes in the store. (I had tried almost a year previous to cram myself into a pair of 16s there and it just wasn't happening.) I walked in and kind of slunk over to the jeans section where I brazenly grabbed a regular size 14 Long and Lean - I liked the sound of that. I dashed back to a changing room before anyone could offer to help. I stood in the changing room looking at the jeans. The legs just looked sooooooo skinny. "There is no way those jeans are going to fit on my body!" I thought. I stood there for a moment debating.
I just had to know!
I started tearing off the jeans I was wearing (the size 18 Levi's) before I could change my mind. I grabbed the Gap jeans off the hanger and thrust each foot into a leg. I took a deep breath and began to pull them up. And they kept coming up. I did up the button and the zipper and looked in the mirror.
I let out a silent scream and did a happy dance around the dressing room. Then I stood there for a few minutes and tried to decide which girlfriend to call first. I prayed. I thanked God for that size 14 pair of Gap jeans.
As I headed out of the changing room, an associate asked if I needed any help with a different size. "No," I said, beaming, "these are a 14. Last year at this time I was wearing a women's 18. These will be just fine. I'm going to buy them right now." And I did.
On the way out to the car I called my sister. I was going to need her help if I was going to do any more shopping!
For years Jeanette worked at a clothing retailer. Jeanette knew how to shop for clothes and how to dress in them! Any credit given for the put-togetherness I now demonstrate goes entirely to the tutelage of my dear sister.
Sassy Lookin' Sisters!
This is what Jeanette's taught me about how to shop:
1) When you walk into a store and they ask you if they can help - take it! That's what they are paid to do. Tell them what you want, how and where. For instance, "I'd like to try every style of jeans you have in sizes ___ and ___. Can I use this fitting room and start in about 5-10 minutes?"
2) Grab everything you'd like to try. Don't worry about if the color or style is the "right" one for you. You HAVE to try it on. Things look different once they're on. Grab different colors of the same thing and 2 sizes of everything. Try it on. Try it on. Try it on.
3)Unless jeans are only supposed to be ankle length...and only a few body types pull that style off well...they should touch the floor while you are wearing shoes!
4) If you don't LOVE how it looks on you, don't buy it! There are many, many options to choose from. You just have to be patient and willing to look.
5) Do not take the tags off of anything until you're going to wear it. You may not like it as much as you thought and then you can take it back if you find you just don't wear it.
So I put together a list of things I thought I'd need to get me through the next couple of months and we spent a day shopping.
I enjoyed every minute!