The Horrors of Shopping this Season

I support women having the OPTION to purchase trendy items, but when every single professional clothing section (especially my go-to of Nordstrom) has their standard nice work clothes destroyed by the the following trends:

  • Ruffles
  • Bell Sleeves
  • Fringe
  • Oversized Everything!
  • Flood Pants

Ok, so the Velvet trend can be acceptable, but not in its current incarnation paired with the requirement that the velvet garment also have giant sleeves. No, no and no again.

With this new job, I figured I’d treat myself to some new professional-looking clothes. I didn’t want to spend a fortune, but I figured 3 basic outfits that look nice would do. Maybe that would cost me about $600-$800, not cheap, but not as much as the ONLY THING I COULD FIND THAT WAS NOT HORRIFICALLY UGLY… a $300 Theory shirt that was beautiful, but, $300. F that.

Ok, so I moved on to another store. Anne Taylor. The bell sleeves and on-trend everything was a bit more reserved, but still quite present. I couldn’t bare to try on any more clothes that made this 5’3 curvy figure look like a literal clown. I went home, defeated. I thought – at least I returned $500 worth of items and didn’t spend ANYTHING, so there’s that. Do you KNOW how bad the fashion has to be for me to leave the mall EMPTY HANDED? Yea, it’s that bad.

Ladies – where do you buy your work clothes?

I have a bit of a conundrum as working in Silicon Valley in a business-side role, I can’t overdress, but I can’t underdress either. Quite frankly, I have no idea what to wear. I used to love shopping, but not any more. I need help. This is important because I need to look executive without trying to hard to try to look like an exec since I’m not one. I recall the one female VP I met with (who is, of course, amazingly skinny), wore skinny jeans with a nice blazer. It looked effortless. But I feel underdressed in jeans. I used to wear dresses to my last job, but I always feel silly in dresses and fat since anything that covers my stomach doesn’t look professional… so spanx and tight-enough-to-show-my-PCOS-belly¬†sheath dresses it is.

It’s not the end of the world, but the reality is my inability to figure out what to wear every morning, and feeling ugly in what I put on, doesn’t help in my getting to work on time or feeling confident to do the job I was hired to do. I want to look great and feel great. Is that so much to ask?

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One comment

  1. If you know what kind of garments you like and your sizing, you can buy secondhand online from eBay, Poshmark, The Real Real, etc. Way cheaper than buying new.

    As far as work clothing goes, I have to do business casual so I mostly wear either sheath dresses or silk shirts and slacks. Brands that have worked for me include: Everlane, Equipment, Ann Taylor, Theory, Elie Tahari, Rag and Bone, and vintage Tommy Hilfiger and BR (but that was a long time ago).

    If you’re feeling self conscious about your belly area, maybe you can try to find high waisted garments that are looser around the midriff, e.g. peplum tops, empire waist wrap dresses. Or alternatively, you can go the high waisted jeans look, which works well with curvy body types.

    Also, MM Lafleur is a women’s workwear brand that does in person consultations. Their clothes are pricy, and some of the bottoms may not be great for petite sizing, but a lot of their fabrics are very stretchy and drape well against different body types.

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