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Me - Shopping for New Clothes

So, the BlogHer conference is just a few weeks away and I'm trying to get ready.  I've never been to a blogging conference before and I have no idea what to expect.  I'm spending a lot of money to attend and I want to get my money's worth, so I've been reading everything I can find about helpful tips and tricks.  One of the topics that pops up endlessly is "What the fuck should I wear?"  There is a lot of angst out there about fashion and the need for 3-4 ensembles a day, cocktail attire for night, 16 different handbags and 24 pairs of shoes, not to mention the various hairstyles and head gear to go with all of these outfits.  Most people suggest packing each outfit and the accessories in ZipLoc bags and labeling them.  Are you fucking kidding me with this?  The Hubs is too cheap to pay to check a suitcase.  Everything I'm bringing must fit in a carry on!

Originally, I ignored a lot of the lists of what to pack, what to wear, and/or how to dress for the XYZ party, because I felt like I'm Jen.  I am who I am.  You get what you get.  I'm not a fashion blogger. I'm a humor blogger.  I'm cargo pants, Crocs and Coach (my 3 C's of fashion).  I don't do cocktail dresses or up dos.  I could give a rat's ass if there are 15 hot ways to tie a scarf around my head this summer.

But then I read a compelling argument written by a BlogHer veteran.  She explained that one of the reasons most of us are attending BlogHer is because we'd like to network with bigger websites and sponsors and we'd like them to take us seriously and help us grow our blogs and in order to do so, we need to at least try and look the part.  She's not advocating formal wear, but she did suggest business casual, or at the least a clean shirt.  I realized, Son of a bitch! How can anyone take me seriously in Crocs and cargo pants?  

This is how I found myself at Macy's this weekend with my mother and my children shopping for clothes that I hope convey to people that I'm a funny, sarcastic, witty, hard working, casual yet put together, carefree but detail-oriented blogger who can be trusted with their brand.  Fuck me, this is never going to work.
Hi.  Do you like my new dress?  It can be dressed up
or dressed down.  It says I'm fun and flirty and only a bit
socially awkward.  Call me!

My mother is a fashion plate.  She wears multiple layers and matchy, funky jewelry and shoes that complete her ensembles.  (She probably tied scarves around her head the first time that was in style.)  She's not a name-dropping label whore, though; rather she's a bargain basement clearance rack shopper and she knows how tell me honestly when something does or does not look good.  Also, sometimes when we shop together, she pays for stuff, so that's a nice bonus.

It was not an ideal situation, because the Hubs had to work, so I was forced to bring my children along.   Adolpha loves to shop and thinks she's got style (actually her look is unique and kind of cool - I could never pull it off as well as she does, though).  Gomer hates shopping unless we're at the Lego store.

My mother (and Adolpha) found me several articles of clothing to try on and we all ended up in one dressing room together so I could model everything.

Here's how it went:

Gomer:  Mommy, you look beautiful just the way you are.  Why do you need new clothes?

Me:  Awww....well -

Adolpha:  She needs new clothes, because her clothes aren't....nice.

Gomer:  Well, I think you're beautiful, Mommy.  Can we go to the Lego store now?

Adolpha:  That shirt doesn't look good.  It's too...pink.  (That must have been hard for her to say and it must have been hideous if even she thought it was too pink.)

Mom:  That dress makes your boobs look too big and it pulls in the back - not your best look.

Adolpha:  That shirt looks so much better, but the black pants makes it blend in.  You need white leggings.

Me:  Adolpha, I will never, ever, ever wear white leggings.

Adolpha:  Why not?

Me:  Because white leggings are the least slimming thing I could ever wear and I need clothes that look slimming.

Gomer:  That top is very slimming.  Can we go to the Lego store?

Mom:  I like that dress so much better!  What shoes will you wear though?  You only have flip flops.

Adolpha:  You need shoes with spiky heels.

Me:  Won't wear those either.

Adolpha:  That skirt is not...slimming....it's fatting.

Gomer:  Mommy, I think you always look beautiful.  What time does the Lego store close?

Mom:  That dress is perfect.  That should go in your buy pile.

Me:  I don't know...it's kind of trendy.  Does it come in solid black?

Adolpha:  You have a lot of black in your buy pile.

Me:  Yes, black is slimming.

Mom:  Try this top - yikes, no, no, no.  Take it off.  Not good at all.

Adolpha:  Yuck.

Gomer:  Mommy -

Me:  Yes, Gomer, I know.  I'm beautiful.  We will get to the Lego store, I promise.  Just let me finish here.

As we exited the dressing room we ran into an older lady who had been outside the door waiting.  "Sorry we took so long," my mom said.  "We didn't realize anyone was waiting.  Plus, we had a bit of a crowd in there."

The lady replied, "Oh I know.  I've been standing here listening and enjoying the show.  Kids are the best critics to take shopping."

You better believe it, lady.

In the end I found 2 dresses, 3 shirts and a pair of shoes - all in various shades of black, black and white or gray.  If you see me at BlogHer, please tell me how slimming my outfit looks.  

37 comments:

  1. bring overalls~ It's good luck for you!

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  2. I'm glad you avoided what I get when I'm in the dressing room with my 6 year old son; "Ew! Mom, put your clothes back on!". The kid is traumatized.

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  3. I love how transparent Gomer was. I've tried involving my boy in my fashion choices, but he's always pushing pink and orange in me. Gross.

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  4. You should attend a romance writers' conference sometime. You can find the big awards shindig by following the trail of sequins through the hotel hallways. The most stressful conference ever for me was in Dallas -- 2500 published and aspiring romance writers in the same conference hotel with about the same number of Mary Kay sales ladies. Being a jeans-and-Skechers-and-Target-bag type, myself, I was definitely out of my fashion element, but I thought I'd made myself professionally presentable. And then I got into an elevator with a group of Mary Kay ladies, one of whom said, "Honey, we could help you with that complexion. Bless your heart." (I, um, wasn't aware that I had any problems with my complexion).

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  5. Anonymous09:11

    Adolpha: That skirt is not...slimming....it's fatting.

    Ok that killed me. I didn't spit my coffee out as some might say or "pee my pants" O_O but I LOLed

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  6. My kids put Stacey London and Clinton Kelley to shame. Once I heard my youngest daughter whisper to my oldest (after I'd tried on swimwear) "Momma looked like a chupacabra in that green swimsuit."

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    1. Anonymous09:24

      HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHHAAHHAHAHAA!

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    2. LOL, chupacabra! love it

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    3. Oh my gosh! That's so funny in a horrible way!! I love your daughters imagination though!

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  7. I don't know... blogging is like radio to me - who cares what you look like? I think you should have listened to your son and gone to the Lego store!

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  8. I so sympathize. I'm a fashion disaster wearing 99% jeans and t-shirts. When I had to pack for a trip to Vancouver to go to my brother's wedding, I quickly realized a shopping trip was necessary. Bringing my mother was a huge mistake, though, except for the paying part! I'm not 60, Mom.

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  9. But, but, you never got to the best part of the story? What did Gomer get for a Lego?? Dammit, you can't leave us hanging like that.

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  10. Anonymous10:38

    If we tell you your outfit looks slimming will you buy us some legos?

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  11. My 6 year old is a fashion DIVA. She has a doll sized dress form and she actually makes clothes. She uses the words "fabric" and "seasonal". She HATES my clothes. For her birthday, (she had a fashion themed party. I am not an OAM, my sis makes amazing cakes and made her a Fashion star one, but besides that, it was all pink and purple decorations and NO goody bags) Anywho, I told her she could pick out anything in my closet and I would wear it. She came out 15 minutes later and threw her hands in the air, screaming "THERE IS NOTHING I CAN WORK WITH IN THERE!" So I wore a pair of jeans I had cut off into capris and my standard v neck cotton shirt. Hey, I tried!

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    1. "THERE IS NOTHING I CAN WORK WITH IN THERE" XD your daughter sounds hilarious :):)

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  12. Blog Her is amazing I went in 2010 and I am going again this year. Dude I wore jeans in the day and a dress at night. It was fine. Be you. Please look for me!!

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  13. My kiddo isn't talking yet, but my mom tells a great story about shopping with me. We were in a dressing room when I was about three, and I yelled at the top of my voice, "Mommy, why do you have FUR down there?" She still hasn't forgiven me.

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    1. Anonymous20:14

      That is hilarious. I have been laughing for 5 minutes over that one!

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    2. Kathy, my 4 year old niece got me with that this past weekend. "You have hair on your girl" (she calls it her 'girl'). "Yes, when you get older, you will have hair on your girl, too". (Cocks leg up on tub, bending over to look) "Do I have any hair on my girl now? NONE?" I don't think I ever had "girl" conversations with ANYBODY at age 4. OH, and I am never forgiving her for asking me if I have a baby in my tummy...to which I had to respond "no baby I'm just fat."

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    3. omg this made me laugh so hard, i cried.

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  14. Totally wondering if Gomer made it to the Lego store?!

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  15. Gomer sounds just like my son, so now I want to know if he got his lego?

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  16. I'm much more concerned about the wardrobe than I thought I would be, but then again, if I showed up to the conference looking like I do when I actually blog, I'd be in PJ pants, bra-less and barefoot. Not going to win over new sponsors that way...and like you said, I'm trying to get my money's worth from this thing. As far as hair-do's go, if NYC is like summer here in the Mid-Atlantic (and I know it is), I'm fucked. I hope I can meet you in person at this thing (still not sure what to expect); I'll be the one with the afro in the hot pink unitard (those are ALWAYS in style).

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  17. I hear you on the fashion color thing. I ADORE purple and navy blue so it's one or the other (or both) every day. I only wear hot pink in a pattern with purple or blue and my wardrobe is rather based around those colors, black and white. I rarely wear skirts, although I do have some in my wardrobe. I'm also with Gomer on the Lego - I am fixated on the Pick-A-Brick walls in any store I find. Good luck at BlogHer, it's going to be fine.

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  18. Have fun! I bet you'll rock it. Gomer probably meant every word - the great thing about little boys is that they really do think their moms are gorgeous. (Yea, little boys!) To be fair, my 13 year old daughter is always sweet to me too and tells me I'm beautiful. My kids are much better for my ego than my husband is. He's very nice...but the kids are better about telling me I'm pretty. :)

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  19. You'll do great! A genuinely sincere smile, a confident handshake, and most importantly... eye contact. Oh, and maybe Altoids... and tinted lip balm. You're going to have a great time. Everybody there is going to love you, Jen!

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  20. Anonymous15:27

    Here's a good article with tips on packing a carry on: http://rookiemag.com/2012/05/a-handy-guide-to-power-packing/

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  21. I love my boys - there's nothing like a little boy's love for his mother. Still wouldn't take him shopping though - you're very brave!

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  22. Best change room conversation ever!

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  23. If you still need clothes, check out this site - the clothes fit true to size, are excellent quality, ship quickly, and the prices are amazing! Plus, if you search for coupon codes you save even more!

    Woman Within

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  24. You need a nice pair of black slacks (you can wear more than once if you don't spill anything on them!), a nice white blouse, and a dress that you can dress up or down. I generally like black jersey because it doesn't require ironing and it usually looks nice regardless of what my tummy is doing. (If it is more gut-like, I go for a distracting print! LOL) Fortunately now, flats are in so you don't have to hurt yourself in high heels, especially since you'll be walking around winning over all the people you meet.

    I truly believe that. You are excellent and I get sad when I check for a new entry and you haven't put anything up.

    Good luck!

    Single Lady
    www.singlebutnotbitter.blogspot.com

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  25. Sell out, if you really care.If you have the courage of your convictions, you don't give a shit what you are wearing, you are who you are.

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  26. I.Hate.Shopping.For.Clothes.
    And shoes to walk/exercise in. I want shoes that I can put on, forget I'm wearing and forget where I took them off. Sadly, I have plantar fasciitis and my foot doctor had a stroke when I went in wearing Payless flats. Orthodics mean ugly shoes that you have to *put on*.

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  27. My 13 year old has a perfect figure. Not uncommon when you are 13...but amazing in its perfection all the same. I can't walk through a store without seeing a cute sundress or something that only 95 pound super model (and my daughter) can pull off...and buying it for her. I am buying for her my dream clothes that I never got to wear...and watching her put them on is so damn fun. So I needed an outfit for my parent's 50th wedding anniversary in Hawaii...and I took my fashion plate shopping with me. I am 41...not 80...but as I pull out options to try on she keeps telling me it is too "teenagery" or "boobalicious." I realize that she doesn't even want me in Banana Republic business casual...she wants me in sweat shorts and a large T like she knows me and anything different is gross. I think my wrinkly, sun-damaged, old lady skin paired with the saggy boobs is so disgusting to her she just wants me in mom mode 24/7 so she doesn't have to think about it. I know she loves me and thinks I am a super cool mom...but talk about honest opinions...ouch!!!

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  28. I will tell you how slimming oyu look if you tell me how quirky *but in a good way* I look. Deal?

    I feel much better. It's always nice to know I'll have someone to tell me pretty lies.

    Now. . . off to Macy's! I hope I'm brave enough to buy something in the color Lemon.

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  29. Just wear pajama's

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  30. I'm not going to BlogHer this year, but I can feel the stress and anxiety. I'd be worrying about my wardrobe too. I hope your new clothes give you lots of confidence and you impress the hell out of them. Your writing is terrific!

    P.S. I may need to borrow your mother and your daughter the next time I go shopping and need to be fashionable!

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