Around this time last year, I started to update my wardrobe in preparation for my first overseas trip. I was heading to London and I needed clothes fit for an International Traveler. Oh hell, I just needed clothes that fit. I tended to wear clothes that were a couple sizes too big for me. See when I sized out of the Juniors’ section and went to the Lady section, I just went to the next size up. I was happy as a clam in my roomy clothing and I thought I looked pretty darn good. I didn’t think anything of how my clothes actually looked on me – even when the mail-girl offered to bring me in one of her old belts – every single day of the week. I wear shoes made out of rubber – do you honestly think I cared how my clothes looked?
Now, the pop psychologist in me would venture to say that I didn’t care about how my clothes looked because I have issues with my appearance. But really, it’s because I hate shopping. Well, that’s not altogether accurate. I mean, I love shopping for books and Donald Duck collectible figurines and applesauce. No, really, I just hate clothes shopping. I think it has something to do with all the mirrors. And maybe my large thighs.
I hit my fashion high note when my mom was still picking out my clothes. Once it was up to me, my fashion choices tended towards stirrup pants – the first time they were trendy and oversized graphic tees – including an awesome one with quotes from the movie Forrest Gump on it. Sadly, I think I got rid of it a few years ago. There was also a phase in high school when I experimented with grunge. But I couldn’t even do that right. I basically wore my dad’s flannel shirts to school. There was one bright, shining moment in my fashion bio…in the third grade, I had a pair of sweet white boots with fringe on them. God, I loved those boots.
Anyway, in college, I was a commuter so I didn’t care what I looked like and neither did anyone else because, well, I was a commuter. Who cares about commuters? Besides when I wasn’t at school, I was working at a grocery store. Where we got to wear uniforms. Best job ever. I didn’t have to put any thought whatsoever into what I wore. Plus, I got to wear an apron all day, every day. I loved that apron.
When I got my first real job in the real world – working 9 to 5 in the big city – there was a slight improvement in my fashion choices. I discovered Ann Taylor Loft. And store credit cards. I was making 10 bucks an hour. Can you say credit card debt?
Fast forward to 2010 when I found out that fashion isn’t always about comfort, pants should actually fit snugly, and sometimes you need to wear underwear that doesn’t give you panty lines. Trust me, I’m still trying to figure out how to handle the panty lines. So, last year I started building my wardrobe. I’m not saying that there were several fashion shows in my office but if there were, it was only to make sure I was heading in the right fashion direction and, oh yeah, to make sure that my panty lines weren’t showing.
One piece of advice that I was given that I try to keep in mind every time that I shop – still dress like you’re Denise. So, you’ll never see me in one of those cool scarves that so many of my friends can rock because, well, Denise is not a scarf girl. No, seriously, I’ve tried. That’s okay. Not everyone can pull off wearing Crocs like I do.
My fashion journey is still a work in progress but I think I’ve come a long way since stirrup pants and flannel shirts. But if anyone sees a pair of white boots with fringe on them, let me know.