Okay, admittedly I am having a birthday this month but I am sooooo NOT old. Last week I went to the outlet mall (If you are even in San Marcos, Texas we have the BEST outlet malls). I ended up feeling a little “old”; maybe it wasn’t so much “old” as “out of it” or not “up on the latest fashion”.
My younger, single self always kept up with trends. Not that I actually participated in the trends but I knew what was trendy and “how to wear it”. Perhaps I should post some pictures of my “trendiness” from over the years. My secret (or not so secret) indulgence….shoes. I have a memo pad that sums it up for me. It says, “Shoes are proof that God loves us and wants us to be happy.” When Dennis and I married he wanted to know why I would need 37 pairs of shoes….he only had 4 pair. I explained to him, he was actually in a shoe crisis. Seriously…he had NO brown dress shoes or black casual shoes. He’s doing much better now, he has at least 8 pair of shoes not including flip-flops (they really don’t count anyway).
I believe that I actually have “shopping favor”. Seriously. I enjoy shopping and I seem to always find extremely good deals. I have a system. First, I pray. Then when I walk into a store, I walk directly to the back where the clearance racks are…that is where I start looking. Then I work my way back to the front of the store. Let me give you a few examples of “shopping favor”. Several years ago, I was at Dillard and found (on clearance) a Franco Sarto black platform, open toe sling back shoe for some ridiculously low price like $19.99 (Franco Sarto heels usually run just under $100). How is this shopping favor you might ask? Well, I have very small feet…I wear a 5 1/2 or 6. I know for a fact that Dillards only buys one 5 1/2 pair of shoes per style, per store. That means that I rarely find a 5 1/2 on clearance at Dillards. In this case however, the salesman could not find the match to the shoe. I left him my name and phone number and PRAYED. He called me two days later. I went back and bought those beautiful (and comfortable) shoes. I still have that pair, although they need to go to the hospital. Another example…recently, on our “tax-free” weekend, I went to Kohls (not the one in Kyle…the one near Schertz). I found a cute pair of Dana Buchman shoes that I had seen before but did not want to pay $80 for them (oh, yes, I have paid far more than that for a pair of shoes, but now it somehow seems opulent) and they were on sale for $26 BUT they did not have my size. I tried to make the 6 1/2 work but they were obviously too big. The next day I tried the Kohls in Kyle. I found the exact shoes in a 6 (fit perfectly) for $13.99!!!! Woohoo!!!
Back to the feeling “out of it” thing. One of my friends and my sister have been wearing leggings. I am not so sure about it. It looks so cute on girls/women with skinny legs but I am not sure it will work for me (not feeling so skinny these days). I bought a pair. My dilemma is what shoes to wear with them. I like the shoes I’ve been seeing that are kind of have a “T” strap in the front. I wore flats with them one day but I wasn’t “sure” about the look…and I felt short. I love wearing heels because 1. I have really high arches and heals are usually pretty comfortable and 2. I like adding a couple of inches to my stature.
Back to the outlet mall, I went into the Nine West Store. It used to be one of my favorite stores; the smell of leather, heals everywhere and I know I am a perfect size 5 1/2 there. As I looked around, I realized that I really didn’t know what “went with” the leggings. I asked one of the sales girls; several college age girls were working. One girl told me “anything” goes. To be honest, I didn’t value her opinion all that much because she wasn’t sporting a very “pulled together” look…she was a bit on the “trying but not quiet there” side. I was trying to talk to another girl and the first girl just kept interrupting. In any case, I did find a pair of boots that look a little like UGGsthat I liked…nice chocolate brown but then I find myself thinking, if I am going to spend $80 why not just spend $40 more and get the real UGGs (which I really, really like) I need to sell more cookware and knives. When I was working full-time, I would not have hesitated to buy the boots now I feel a little guilty….all you single ladies out there, a side-effect of marriage is you no longer feel so “free” to buy whatever you want. (That creative financing you do…you know what I’m talking about…the crazy stuff like taking back something or selling something to buy something else isn’t as easy to get away with) Shopping becomes a guilty pleasure (meaning guilt attaches). Believe me when I say this….my Dennis has never, ever said anything to try to make me feel guilty about shopping. It is just like something turns on inside of you that make you think you could purchase something for your house or spouse rather than for yourself. I think this may be what God was saying to Eve in Genesis when He told her, her desire would be for her husband (Genesis 3).
As I was chatting up the sales girls at Nine West, I thought about how I used to love to dress up and knew what was cool. I had the opportunity to travel and work for a company that required suits and heels in the office and took me to exotic places like New York City and Danforth CT (okay, Danforth NOT so exotic). I got to shop on 5th Avenue and in Greenwich CT. Yes, the Banana Republic in New York City is way cooler than the one at our outlet mall (sorry outlet mall but two levels and solid shoe section wins). When you are in another city, by yourself with nothing to do but browse or stay in your hotel veg out…well it is much easier to stay “up to date”.
This experience made me think back to a week before when I went out to dinner with some of my girlfriends (Girls Night Out….I know I can get a “WooHoo” for that). One of my best friends, Suzy showed up “dressed up”. Mind you, Suzy is a jeans and flip-flops kind of girl (nothing wrong with that). And I “dressed up” a that night too. One of the girls commented on Suzy’s outfit. She said, “I knew Casey would dress up.” I thought that was funny until we later met up with another friend, Candace and she was looking soo cute, wearing some sexy high heels (her husband picked them out). We were all telling her she looked cute. She said, “Casey always dresses up when we go for coffee”. (Wow, I somehow raised the standard! Who knew?). So even thought I’ve been feeling “out of it”, maybe I really wasn’t.
My thing is this…. keeping in mind I have not been married as long as some of my friends, but when I was single, my girlfriends and I would not be caught dead out somewhere looking less than “together”. What if we ran into someone? Why should I lower my standards because I am married? My husband likes to see me looking good too.
Like Forest Gump, my mom gave me some advise growing up… Mamma always said, “Put clothes and make up on every day even if you are only going to see your husband.” I know, it’s so “1950s” isn’t it? My husband rarely comments on the kitchen being clean but he always has something nice to say when I “doll-up”.
I will buy myself some boots this year, since I haven’t purchased any since my big Kenneth Cole splurge 6 years ago…and there is no “healing” (shoe hospital) for those boots…they are well past their prime. I will have to save for the boots…anyone need pots and pans? baking stones? the perfect knife?
BTW, my big finds that day; a pair of very nice jeans at the Ann Taylor outlet and a cute flower pin/alligator clip at Maurice’s.
Does anyone need a personal shopper?? 😀 I’ve always wanted to put my passion for fashion and shopping to work for me.
Any suggestions on what shoes to wear with leggings?