I tend to have a love-hate relationship with my wardrobe, and right now I find myself leaning more towards the hate side. I’ve never been one to spend a lot of money on clothes. I would say the vast majority of my outfits come from Kohls, and generally from the sale racks. Many of my clothes have been hanging in my closet for literally years, because, up until recently, I had always prioritized other things above clothes shopping and figured that if it was still clean and presentable, why get rid of it? But the other day while searching for something to wear on my day off, it hit me. I hate most of my clothes.
For the last couple years of college, I was completely aware that my wardrobe was more fitting for a high schooler or college freshman(not a surprising observation, as most of my clothes had been recycled over and over again since high school), but I was okay with it. I didn’t like it, but I was on a shoe-string budget and the clothes weren’t ratty, so I made do. But then I got a job at AAA, an establishment with a business casual dress code. I spent a few hundred dollars putting together a working wardrobe. Hanging side by side with my high-school/college apparel, it makes the latter look that much more shabby. I don’t want to look like a 19 year old on my days off, I want to look like a 22 year old. In years, it’s not a large difference. In maturity and stage-of-life terms, it’s an eternity (for me, at least. A lot of other 22 year olds in my office still act like they’re 18 and in a sorority….).
Fueled by this loathing, I scoured the Kohls racks last week, searching for what I like to call a budget-chic every-day wardrobe. It was much harder than I anticipated. I want to look good, without spending a fortune. I also want to look young and…well, chic…not matronly. Here’s the problem: I’m too small to wear adult-sized clothes and have them look good (ex: while searching for work pants for AMC, I ended up getting a girls–not juniors, girls— size 16 because they fit soooo much better than the smallest women’s size). Even extra small shirts look like mediums on me, which means I still do most of my shopping in the juniors section. There are some juniors shirts which look mature-and-yet-chic enough for me, but many of them look cheap or are too trendy or too slutty, etc. Oh the issues associated with being a young, thrifty (re: cheap lol) professional…..