Outsourcing my fashion sense

I’m not particularly interested in keeping up with fashion.  In exactly the opposite of stereotypical feminine behavior, I find shopping for clothes to be time-consuming, frustrating, and bad for my self-esteem.  Unfortunately, I do care a bit about looking good, or at least looking normal.  I’ve been the weird one my whole life, and I’ve learned that I can disguise that a little by wearing the right clothes.

Which puts me in a bit of a conundrum: I could put a lot of effort into trying to look fashionable, or I could stay in my literal comfort zone and wear what’s comfortable.  Things have come to a bit of a head recently, as time and motherhood made my wardrobe rather out-of-date.

Wandering Scientist’s recent post on style as a skill is relevant here:

I’ve recently had an epiphany on the style front. I’ve realized that if this is something I want, I’m going to have to invest either some time or money in developing this skill.

Time or money.

Well, I didn’t want to invest time, and certainly time is not something I have in abundance, so money it was.  I signed up for Stitch Fix, which takes a bunch of information on my preferences and sends me a box of clothes, which I can choose to keep or send back.  The “invest money” aspect is that all the clothes are billed at full retail price, rather than coming with the discounts I could find if I were to go out shopping myself.

Thus far, I’ve kept just a few of the pieces they’ve sent.  Only stuff I really like and that really fits.  I was content, but wasn’t totally sure if it was worth it until this past weekend, when we attended a party hosted by my husband’s relatives.

You see, my husband’s large extended family includes a number of women of approximately my generation.  They always seem to have it together in the way that people who have always been popular always do.  Big houses, adorable children, casually gorgeous style.  This time, most of them were wearing variations of the same outfit: skinny jeans, strappy sandals, and a flowy top.  And guess what?  I’d put together a Stitch Fix-based outfit for the day, and it was… skinny jeans, strappy sandals, and a flowy top.

That may not sound terribly remarkable, but to feel attractive and comfortable while being dressed like the in-crowd was a huge deal for me.  What’s more, the skinny jeans and cute bow-tie shirt I was wearing were both things I wouldn’t have picked out for myself in a store.  Outsourcing my fashion sense to a paid professional worked!

How about you, readers?  When do you choose to invest money instead of time?  Do you like shopping for clothes?

(P.S.  I promise this post isn’t an ad for Stitch Fix; I’m not getting anything out of linking to them.  Just a genuine “hey, this thing worked for me.”)

3 thoughts on “Outsourcing my fashion sense

  1. So I think I’m almost there at this point. I’ve been a pretty faithful thrift store shopper for the past ten years. But it takes time to browse through the racks. I’ve noticed that in the past few years (since I’ve had a child), I’m more likely to just find a new dress shirt that fits nicely and buy 10 of them in different colors.

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  2. A lot of my friends love Stitch Fix, but I just can’t get behind spending the money. My weight and size have fluctuated a lot recently (mostly due to having a kid, and I’m on my way back down). Since I hope to have another kid soonish, I don’t want to invest a lot in a wardrobe that might not fit for awhile. But I do feel you on figuring out how to look nice at these casual sorts of events. Why can’t I just wear a darn t-shirt and be happy? That’s my crowd. Sigh.

    Maybe when I’m done having kids and can feel like I’m in a stable place . . .

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    • That makes complete sense (not wanting to invest in lots of expensive clothes when you’re planning another pregnancy). We’re considering having a second kid, so who knows if these skinny jeans will fit me after that… 😛


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