Confession: I hate clothes shopping. This is really a shame as I LOVE clothes. I also love to wear them, see them in my closet and look pretty. This creates quite a conundrum. An interesting twist is that I married a man who adores to go shopping with me. Well sorta. He really only likes to shop for dresses and skirts. All the other stuff and his eyes glaze over. I explained that even though I wear dresses and skirts every single day, I still need tshirts to wear with these skirts, lounge-y clothes for nights at home, shoes, bags and work out clothes. I therefore tend to pick up a few dresses throughout the year hear and there and put off everything else until I need something specific.
This past march when I celebrated my 36th birthday (I have to throw in the year just to shock myself every time I read it) Adam suggested I go shopping for summer dresses. A wonderfuly sweet suggestion, however...my body had not adjusted to living in the south yet and even though it can feel like summer in march, I still am my winter version at that time. I learned my lesson swiftly my first year in Austin when I bought my usually stack of summer dresses when they first hit the stores and by June they were falling off of me. So I held out. I held out until the dresses I had bookmarked started to sell out and then I panicked and just ordered an entire season of clothes all at once online. Because, the thought of going shopping was more then I could handle at that moment.
There are pros and cons to both doing all of your shopping at once and doing it online:
1. You can shop in the comfort of your home and take as long as you want.
2. You can read reviews on sizing (invaluable with Anthroplogie).
3. You don't have to try anything on and be sad when it doesn't fit your body type.
4. There are always clothes available online only.
5. If you shop all once, its a painful but quick. Like pulling off a band-aid.
1. You cannot try anything on, feel the fabric or have an array of sizes to choose from.
3. The total lack of instant gratification.
4. If things don't work you have to send them back or bring them to a store to return/exchange them.
5. Sometimes dresses look horrible in a photo and amazing in person...you'll miss out on these if you shop online.
6. You're stuck with whats available at that moment, where if you spread out your shopping over a season, new pieces are stocked.
I ordered from 4 stores. Anthropolgie for dresses, Gap for lounge-y shorts and work out shorts, Banana Republic for tshirts (I buy 6 in black, 6 in white of the same shirts and bam!, I'm done) and Nordstrom for a pair of yellow flats (to alternate with the green and fuchsia pairs I already own).
How did I do? Well, the shoes were perfect, the lounge-y wear was so great that I exchanged that mistake of an orange cardigan for 2 more pairs. I did have to go to the mall for this...ugh. However, it worked out well because the 2 patterns of shorts I exchanged for looked much better in person and I would never have bought them online. The tshirts are so basic and fine that I just have to say I was sufficiently restocked for the year.
As for the dresses. Well...I ordered 8 and kept 4. They were sent each on their own and some took forever, so I ended up going to the store 3 times in a month to exchange things. On the 3rd trip, Adam joined me and he picked out dresses I normally would never have tried on that were awesome, so that worked out well. The dresses that were online exclusives (the 2 pink ones on the far right) ended up looking the worst on me, so I'm not sure it's worth dress shopping online. I'm pretty sure it would have been quicker to just go to the store to begin with.
Both online and in the store there were some major fails though. 2 were heartbreaking as they were by a designer whom I usually swear by and these both flopped. The dressiest dresses didn't work at all, major bummer as I have a wedding to attend in July that I was hoping would be shopped for. Also...it makes me sad when you try on something and it makes you feel bad about yourself, especially when its on a silhouette you love but a slip has been added that is in the opposite shape, wtf is that all about?? Anyway, it looks like I'll have to shop for that wedding as it gets closer. I will however, go right to a store this time. Other than that...I am done for the season...except I need a new bathing suit, but that is an entire sitiuation in itself that I'm avoiding at all costs.
p.s. The best part about shopping all at once? A major pre shop closet clean out. After I weeded out a dozen or so dresses, I laid them all out in the guest room and during a recent girls night at my house had my girl friends go at it. Everybody wins this way!