The Juniors Department

Sometimes I make brilliant fashion decisions (read: jeans that fit, and shirts that cover the button that holds them together) and other times, not so much (read: Von Dutch hats, anyone? Popping that polo collar a la 2005?) That being said, there seems to be a fine line between “age appropriate” and “how old am I?”

I’ve been on the hunt to spend some birthday cash that’s burning a serious hole in my pocket-not that I generally wear pants with pockets because: leggings and because: two kids. Anywho, this nagging desire to get rid of the moolah rudely convinced me that I should go into Abercrombie & Fitch and try on their jeans since they fit so well when I was 19 ( 9 years ago..) and they were on sale. So in I went. With my 4 year old and 10 month old children. I looked like I belonged on one of those half nude posters on the wall, nary a stitch of black eyeliner or love handle to be seen. I was on point in my oversize Jayhawk t shirt while pushing a stroller.

I found the biggest size they had, pulled them on up sixteen inches, and realized this wasn’t going to happen. Where in the world am I supposed to shop as a 28 year old woman whose bust is deflated, ribcage had expanded, and has clearly long past the days of no hips and going with the ever-changing flow of what’s “in?”  The thought of paying more than $15 for a single item of clothing is irritating. Which is why Target is usually where I grab stuff. I’m already there buying twelve other things I don’t need so why not up that number to fifteen? “Why yes, Handsome Husband, I did need that sweater as I ran in for lotion and a kitchen brush. You’ll  thank  me later when I don’t recycle the same outfit for date night. Target sweaters really scream “We still intentionally purse each other weekly which is why I pulled on this little no-fuss number. You are welcome.”

The craziness of needing to fill my closet brought me to Dillards and Nordstrom- their Juniors sections. Where high school aged kids and sorority homies shop. Places no well intentioned mother should go. I don’t need a shirt that says “Shine Bright Like A Diamond” or “Turn Down For What?” I just need something that pulls up easily so I can feed my kid when he’s thoroughly unimpressed with his surroundings and loose enough for me to chase after a little girl with all day bed hair.

Why can’t I just accept that those clothes are cut for kids. For little girls. For children. I DO NOT HAVE MY LEARNER’S PERMIT! I CAN DRINK BEER WITHOUT A FAKE ID. Heck, I can afford some Dornfelder and a good craft Double IPA-the days of Franzia and Corona are long gone, sister. You have arrived.

I need to shop somewhere that’s not Justice or Gymboree while not yet committing to Talbots or J Crew for all of my outfitting needs. I try to keep my vanity in check but I’m SO OVER TUNICS AND LEGGINGS. I’m tired of them being my default to cover the weight I’m never going to lose from bringing these two baby tornadoes into the world. I’ll make time for Shaun T and his Insanity ways soon enough, but right now, WHERE TO SHOP?!

I need clothes that allow me to feel like I’m not turning into a hag. I’d say there’s nothing wrong with wanting to feel confident in your appearance. I don’t live and die by the label on my shirt but in my own experience I feel significantly less guilty about eating extra french fries or dessert for the third time that day if I feel confident in my statement necklace and functional top. And so the journey to Where to Shop continues. Today I’ll lounge in my pajamas without the pressing issue of what to wear in public because my only leggings and yoga capris are in the dryer. And people who can’t wear clothes from Abercrombie have laundry to finish.

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