Saturday, November 28

My deep dark fashion secret

In the spirit of full disclosure, I am going to reveal my deepest, darkest secret where fashion is concerned.

I loathe clothes shopping.

There, I said it. I know many women and girls love shopping for clothes. They love trying on a billion things and scouting for bargains. They love the rush of a great sale when the blouse they've been eyeing is suddenly half off. And I used to be one of them. Really, I did.

I'm not sure when this change happened. But now, I buy nearly all of my clothes online. I only shop in stores if I absolutely have to. Part of it, I think, is that I have a very unusually shaped figure. Nothing that's currently in style looks good on me, and I'm that weird not-quite-petite-not-quite-average height so nearly everything is either too short or needs to be hemmed. If I'm going to tack on $10-20 for each piece of clothing to be hemmed so I don't look like I'm wearing my husband's castoffs, I'd better like it. Which, sadly, is a rare occurrence.

There are pros and cons to ordering online. The pros are, most obviously, convenience. And with so many online retailers offering free shipping this fall, it's a no-brainer. Especially if you can return it to a local store's catalog dept instead of paying for return shipping.

The cons are many, however. Colors often don't look the same on screen/in catalog as they do in real life, sizes can vary widely, and sometimes things are tucked or twisted on the models so they don't actually look the way they do in real life.

Sometimes it's worth it, and sometimes it's not. I placed one order this year for tall boots, skirts and sweaters for book signings. Since most of my wardrobe consists of yoga pants and polar fleece, upgrading my wardrobe is a priority. This particular order was probably a dozen items, of which I hoped I might get lucky and find three that worked. Imagine my surprise when I kept every single one! It was like winning the shopping lottery, I tell you. I even did a little dance, I was so giddy.

And then there was another order I placed. I ordered the same pants in the same size in two colors. One fit perfectly around the waist but was an inch too long and the other gaped around the waist but was the perfect length. If I could've combined the best features of these supposedly identical pants, they would've been perfect. And they were almost 40% off! So... I ended up deciding to order those pants again, but order a couple of each figuring that surely I would find a keeper in each color that way. I also ordered them in a third color because they're perfect wardrobe builder trousers (and I often order basics that fit me in several colors because it's so hard to find good basics that work on me).

Anywho... 7 pairs later, I managed to find two pairs that were mildly close to fitting properly. Not even a great fit, just an okay fit. The other five varied in length and waist size regardless that they were the exact same pant, exact same size, just in different colors. Crazy.

So that's my deep dark fashion secret. Even though fashion plays a role in my books, I secretly detest having to do the shopping thing in a real store. What about you? Do you like clothes shopping or are you an online shopper extraordinaire?



David A. Bedford said...

As a male YA author, I can say I share your sentiment. I have a man's build (though slim) but I'm 5' 7". Men's sizes don't go down small enough, so the shirts are way oversized, while boys clothes may fit right in the shoulders and in arm length, but are too small across the chest. But I observe that there are many men my size, so what gives? Well, the main character of my newly released YA novel, Angela 1: Starting Over, feels similarly awkward. For those interested in finding out more, please clikc on my name and follow the link to my web site. Also read my blog at Thanks!

Rhiannon Hart said...

I love clothes shopping--especially op-shopping and bargain shopping. But I HATE shoe shopping. My feet are wider than average and I'm too tall for heels. ("Hello down there, dear boyfriend.") On the plus side tho, that means I don't have to wear damn-silly heels on the dance floor.

Sara Hantz said...

I've never shopped for clothes online. And I hate shopping too! Clearly there's no hope for me :)

BookWhisperer said...

I hate clothes shopping also, never my size in anything I want. Always know what I am looking for but never find or refuse to pay the price they ask me to pay

Kay Cassidy said...

Isn't it funny how we all have our pet peeves when it comes to clothes (or shoe!) shopping? I used to LOVE shopping, but now I can't really recall why. ;-)

Stephanie Kuehnert said...

I have a love/hate thing with shopping. I really hate malls. Something about them just makes my head spin. But I love thrift store shopping. I'm mixed about online shopping because there are pros and cons. I do shop for shoes online from zappos though since they make returning so easy!

Alyson Noel said...

I used to love clothes shopping--but not so much anymore. Like you, I do a lot of it online, or I scout it out online first, so when I get to the store, I know what I want!

Melissa Walker said...

I shop online ALL THE TIME. Rarely in stores. It's dangerous, but that's what I love. Often I see something one someone that I like in person, ask about it, then stalk it online!

Amanda Ashby said...

Great post, Kay! I've never done any online clothes shopping (wish I could say the same about books!) mainly because I really love retro/vintage clothes so I tend to shop in charity shops for special little treasures!!!!!