Shopping.

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Foggiest of fogs this morning as my body and brain rebel against the -21C (-28C windchill) weather outside. The temperature has been on such a roller coaster the last few weeks that the temptation to actually hibernate is very high. Nothing’s functioning a full capacity. My legs ache just from the 25ish minutes of walking involved in my commute (each way – I spend less time on the bus than I do on my feet). Remember, I was biking 100+km a week for most of the last year.

Is it socially acceptable for a grown up to wear snowpants even if it’s not *that* snowy? ‘Cause I want to wear a dress today. ‘Tis the season. In the 12 or so weeks a year that I’m not on a bike every day, I wear skirts and dresses a lot more often. Every year, this results in comments like ‘Oh, you’re wearing a skirt today!’ Yes, this happens every year. Last year, I even bought some leg warmers because skirt season’s coinciding with winter is inconveniently chilly. (Leg warmers that I fear will not be enough for this morning’s iciness.)

Unfortunately, I don’t have a huge selection of dresses that fit me well. Some of this is because I did lose some weight in early 2011, but also it’s because I do a lot of shopping online (but not as much lately) and until recently was extremely lazy about tailoring (I still have three bought-long-ago pieces to take in). The former is because I abhor malls, changing rooms (and crying jags within – I’m not proud), and, most especially, browsing. This makes me a anomaly in my family and circle of friends – I come from a long line of bargain hunters who crossed international borders to score whatever deals they could. I went to the Salmon Run Mall in Watertown, NY, a lot as a kid.

But I find it impossible to go into a store and look around hoping for fashion inspiration. I either see something, or I don’t. Online, it’s easier to shop for purpose. And for cheap. I used to play on eBay a lot, and have plenty of nice items from there, but I’ve gone off it a bit lot because of the dominance of ‘professional’ sellers (what happened to just buying a Banana Republic dress that a woman in Vermont is someone’s tired of?) and because I’ve been hearing so many horror stories (only some resolved) about a certain giant online payment company lately.

I bought a dress last month, but it’s one I had seen way back in August in a not-particularly dressy store and remembered when I was in that shop to buy some Christmas things. It is not in the least bit warm, so on a day like today, I have to abominable snowman it up to wear it to work.

But, as a bonus, that dress fit right away, which rarely happens. I am a classic pear with fairly small boobs (at least in relation to my butt). Wrap dresses look ridiculously gappy on me, but shifts, after tailoring (seriously, find yourself a good tailor – it could change your life and make your size 10/12 top and size 14/16 arse work together marvellously), look great, though, so I’m looking into wearing more of them. But as I work in a silly place, I don’t want them to be too corporate or expensive. And I want to wear my Blunnies with them (so fashionable!) sometimes. Most of all, I want at least one to be tartan, preferably in green or blue.

Something like this, but not so pink or light. Blackwatch, maybe. (And in a size I could conceivable wear.) But this is the only version I’ve seen anywhere. The internet is bereft of what I need, at least via my usual sources (including eBay). Do I need to go custom? Because I don’t think I can afford that right now. Or can I? Can anyone help without forcing me into the brightly lit, chemical-smelling hours of the shopping mall?

3 thoughts on “Shopping.

  1. Alison

    I would say get Ana to thrift you something from East or Monsoon or Dorothy Perkins or somesuch. She finds the best dresses. I check her blog every day just to see what new spectacular find she’s pulled out of the Oxfam shop. I wish I’d had time to thrift in London! Ah well, something for next time.

    • megan

      I did *no* shopping in the UK – I didn’t even stock up on tights and underwear at M&S, as I usually do. What a fool I am.

      I like Monsoon’s stuff, but I’m not super familiar with the others. Will have a poke around the intertubes later.

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