When a junker ventures into a retail zone

When visiting at my sister’s for Christmas dinner, the gals were showing off some new duds they just got. You know the kind… skinny jeans, cute longer tops, and boots. I sunk lower in my chair wearing my frumpy baggy jeans, short tshirt and hoodie ensemble.

 Let me give you a visual. This is pretty much what I wear every day, minus the scarf belt.

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NOT to be confused with a slightly more trendy and form fitting (and skinnier) this.

I know how to look ‘cute’ if I really want to. I worked in retail clothing for 13 long years so I use to do cute every single day. But these days kneeling down in dirty truck bays or slinging paint doesn’t exactly constitute dressing to the nines. So thrift shop clothing finds do just fine.

Until I saw what the 2010 cute was all about of course! But I didn’t know WHAT to really look for these days to be hip. So, they prepped me well. They told me what store to go in, and what to look for. Instructions: look at a mannequin you like, then GET IT.

Well heck… I can stare at a mannequin and copy this look, right?

 So, I had to run into town today to drop off my son and and stopped by where I knew the store was.

It was the BIGGEST MALL ON THE BUSIEST SHOPPING DAY ever.

Everyone and their dog, entire families and long lost cousins were shopping for the best smokin’ deals ever. And made sure they brought 3 vehicles per person. Not sure how they pulled that off but they did. The parking lot told me so.

Me, small town folk with one 3 way stop as the ‘busy’ intersection.  I was clearly out of my element. But I got there and by golly I was gonna get cute today!

So I strut in with my dirty runners (sneakers to USA’ers)  completely optimistic to become brand new today and then my jaw dropped. I didn’t know which isle to walk down.  I’m use to one isle in our local yokel mall. This one needed a MAP.

Here’s a technical difficulty to make things interesting. I suffer from small bouts of what’s close to vertigo from time to time. It’s a neck injury thing. What the condition basically does is temporarily remove your smarts. You’re left with virtually no memory of what you just did. Some call it getting old. Call it what you wish. You’re safe, but it’s best to do the same ‘ol over and over again some days so you don’t HAVE to think. You’ll soon see why I told you this.

So I ask a shopper where the certain store is and they point me in the right direction. No need to work at this more than I have to, right? One store and I’m outta there. EASY.

 I get to the store and it’s a zoo. And everything under the sun is on sale. Ok, bonus I guess.

All the manniquins are dressed in SALE tshirts. Red shirt, big white letters. That’s it. Nice.

So I go to a salesgal and spew out my troubled frumpy story and asked if she could help me look cool. She couldn’t. She was suppose to fold stuff. I asked another and they were suppose to do something else. They could help with my sizes but I had to take care of the rest.

So I whip around and find some rather cool combos. Long black T with short short sleeves and scoop neck, a nifty scrappy looking scarf, worn looking skinny jeans, a cool black jacket with a fur lined hood and head for the fitting room. This was gonna be gooood….

Fitting rooms CLOSED. Apparently sale day is too busy to let you try on things.

So I start trying on stuff over stuff I wore in. Not fitting and not working. I leave the store.

I go past other stores and enter a couple. Nice, but expensive. And everything’s starting to look the same. And expensive. I apparently have exceptional taste and after you see the best you cannot back down. NOW I remember why I don’t go to malls. I leave the expensive pretty stores and resolve to try and find what I desire in a thrift some other day. I was now well educated after all.

And then I get lost. I had NO idea where I came from or what I just walked past. None. It was all gone. And let’s just mention the isles looked like ant filled highways.

I walked for awhile and I mean, I didn’t panic or anything. But I also didn’t want to come off as a wacko so I simply went to a shopper and calmly asked where a certain street was. Good job, he led me the right way. Except I wasn’t parked on that street. Riiight… So I resolved to go for a NICE LONG WALK outdoors in the rain to look for the right entrance so I could find my truck. What the hey, it beat ant filled isles.

I found it in no time. But I’ll admit it felt like falling into the arms of my mom when I spotted my truck. And I couldn’t wait to get home, jack up the heat, put on my pj’s, cuddle my cats, eat Christmas chocolates and turn on the computer. I wanted all the comforts of home NOW.

Are you still here? You deserve a treat! Help yourself and see you when you get back. You rock. And thank-you. Here, I’ll mark off where you left at…

*
*
*

You’re welcome.

So I drive home and I pass my fav coffee shop. Pumpkin spiced lattee… wimper… next one I pass, I’m stopping I promise myself.

30 min later, I pull in the drive through and get one. YES. And on my way out of that mall strip, I pass a store I haven’t frequented in some time. And I had a gift card for it from a year ago! So I park and start wandering in with my fluffy coffee to enjoy the browse.

And I see thing after thing that blogland is making for free. Good golly… this was going to be difficult.

(below photos were taken with the iPhone, not too bad!)

Hey Miss Mustard Seed, does this look familiar? (wasn’t priced)

MMS’ mirrored side tables.

How about these? [email protected]

MMS’ were approx $65 each, for chair and materials

Now these were cute! Burlap covered trunks! But for all 3 it was just over $100. I got jittery over these.

 Check it out.. this one even had my name on it. Think it was a sign I was suppose to buy it? Nahhh… don’t even go there. Now looking at it again and my house? They could totally work in front of my picture window…NO. STOP IT.


Now, I really did like this pillow. Ruffle city! But at $25, it stayed. I was after deals after all.

 What did I end up getting? Some Christmas stockings, pj pants and new white shortie sport socks. Not exactly the cute I originally had in mind but new socks are a good start, yes?

Getting home, I was excited to hang the cute new 1/2 price stockings. But to my surprise, they were too fancy for my decor.

 So I rehung my grain sack, burlap sand bag and pillow case and called that a bust as well.

I then yank out leftover turkey fixings and have a nice freebie dinner. (thank-you my seester!) While wearing my new flannel plaid pj pants with my old hoodie and old frumpy black tshirt.

The lesson I learned today? 

All it takes to apparently make this girl happy is the odd $5 fluffy coffee, new white sport socks and flannel pj pants. Because she has, will find, or will make the rest.

Lesson #2. 

Malls are for SHOPPERS, not junkers.

Besides, I’d probably end up feeling like THIS GIRL anyway.

p.s. my 2nd Christmas tree dried out too. I give up.

So my thrifty friends, have you too stopped shopping retail for the most part?

Where’s your fav place to pick up cute and chic clothes?

Merry Christmas from me!
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  1. I am not a fan of Malls, only go for my 11 year old and NEVER spend full price. Best spot to find fabulous chic clothes…Marshalls and TJ Max. You have to love a hunt and get giddy with the bargains. Just bought a pair of True Religion Jeans for under 100.00. Hope you have these stores in your area 🙂
    ~ Molly in California

  2. Wow! Did you want to smack the “sales girls” who wouldn’t help you? My daddy was a clotheshorse, so I practically grew up at Nordstrom, where quality customer service was key. I was taught that buying quality classic clothing that lasts pretty much forever is much better than filling your closet with trendy things. Nordstrom Rack is a good source for cute things…good sales!

    : )

    Julie M.

  3. I do most all my clothes shopping on line. With free shipping offers and no hassle returns…they have me!! So I have my scruffy clothes and then I have my “going to town” clothes which are more trendy. See!? You can have both!! So I do still shop retail, but sales only! And they have good ones on line. Give that a try!
    Hugs
    SueAnn

  4. I hate malls and I hate clothes shopping. I am a home body. I shop thrift stores and get some really good deals on what appeals to me. I am past the age of wanting to look hip.

    Your story was cute and a reminder of why not to shop malls. Glad you made it safely back home.

    Love and hugs to you ~ FlowerLady

  5. Oh my goodness, this post was great… and right on target! I hate malls.

    There are lots of things working against your shopping venture. First – your style is perfect for you. You look “mah-va-lous” in your style. Those other styles are cute but truthfully, not so much better that they warrant spending a fortune.

    Second – With the money you saved, you could have gone junkin’ and bought a whole lot of treasures! Once you become a thrifter, it’s hard to go back.

    Third – Malls and big crowds and sales people who are too busy to help suck (I hate that word, but I guess it applies here).

    If you ever feel tempted to go back, just re-read your post and look hard at that crowd photo you took!

  6. Here! Here! Great post. Having a closet full of business suits that I no longer need…I have been living in my jeans, flannels and T’s and loving it. I hate crowds and malls and stay far away… however I live really close to a large Anthropologie and sneak in at off hours and have found a few funky and unique things in the sale racks that are awesome.
    You tell a great story! Enjoyed your foray into the mall scene and felt your pain!
    Take care, Laura 🙂

  7. What a cute story. And you so reminded me of me! Considering we have like two good size malls here in town. Being the second largest city in Michigan you can gather how many people flock there. It is overwhelming. I stay clear, I get to annoyed and people are rude. Luckily for me we have big stand alone department stores and several stand alone clothing stores and thrift to shop. I am golden. Can’t stand the mall!

    And by the way, why do they model all their clothes on 6 foot tall models and when you get to the mall for a pair of jeans and a top nothing is for anyone over 5’8? It is crazy. I am 5’11” and I rarely can find jeans long enough at the mall. I could go on lol. But will stop 😉

    Hope your Christmas was Merry!
    Deb

  8. Donna, after a day of hell I can’t believe you didn’t buy those suitcases… it had your name on it afterall… now go back there and get them before you kick your butt a thousand times… they make great end tables, bed side tables, great storage in the washroom… etc. etc. etc.

  9. I have to agree that the trunks have potential, but know that should you desire to, and if you can ever find some “free” time, you can recreate them and most likly do something that will have us gasping and applauding.
    I have not been in any sort of busy mall for years. Having discovered comfort dressing and its practicality I am not switching back. When expected to “dress up” (weddings, etc) I can borrow an outfit.
    I am also from one of those low speed traffic towns. If it were not for the invention of roundabouts (no- they will never be considered a good idea) we would not have or need traffic control. Both malls (40 minutes away, one each direction) are one major store ghost towns, OK, let’s say 2 stores each counting Sears. For me shopping retail is the tractor or hardware store where yes – they also have clearance items, and jeans and boots and socks.
    If I were to be in a busy mall full of prices high enough to give me sticker shock –
    argh, my heart palpitates at the idea, and not in a loving heart racing way.
    Those of us enlightened should not desire to backslide.
    Economic stimulus should not equate to wasteful spending. (Is anyone else again thinking roundabouts?)
    Malls on a busy day are wonderful places to study human behavior.

    Oh- fav place to get cute and trendy clothes?
    Hand-me-ups (inherited) from cousins and nieces and yes, even male members of family should the clothing survive.

  10. Loved your story.
    At my age I am not concerned with what is trendy. I am more concerned with what is comfortable.
    I love thrift shopping and do so most of the time.
    I just bought an XL Eddie Bauer red and green plaid dress for $3.00 and I know it is going to be part of Christmas next year. Tablecloth,couch back cover or something.
    I love all that you do.
    Keep it up

  11. I feel your pain…I hate malls and I had to go into one the other day because the ONLY place I could get a gift for a certain someone was the mall. In and out. My fav place to go is my local consignment shop. I just check out what everyone else is wearing and then go and try to replicate it. My mom’s also a huge fashionista, so I get all her hand-me-downs. At 75, she dresses like 25, so sometimes I have to tell her, “mom, that’s too young for ME!”

  12. I have to say that you described my experience exactly when I go retail shopping. Down to the thoughts and getting lost. I have panic attacks when it’s that crowded so I just stopped going. Knowing how to sew is also a problem because I look at the clothes and say “I can make that for a lot less $.” or “The stitching on this is just not quality. It’s going to fall apart soon.” or my favorite “Why would you chose that fabric for this design?” My problem is that I never get the time to actually make the outfit so I resort to a t-shirt from Target or Academy. I will say that Blogland has inspired me to make the cutest scarves and I’m getting quite a collection 🙂 I’ll only get to wear them for about a month, but I’ll wear one every day that month.

  13. There was a time when I had little panic attacks and a mall full of people could easily set it off. I once went and left within 15 mins. It hasn’t happened in a while, but I am not a big mall person. I did go several weeks ago to buys some awesome boots. I also have trouble dressing cute. I wear scrubs to work and then love comfy clothes. I like your look Donna. You don’t need fancy clothes to be cute. I enjoyed your story though.

  14. Awesome. I luv reading UR stories. For me, I go to San Antonio Shoes (SAS) cuz I have to have a special shoe that I can put a riser on the right foot….there go the boots but could also put a riser on the boots. As far as shopping…WalMart….I buy nongrocery things there as well as jeans. Panties & bras I get from jockey online…luv the no seam ones as well as socks….a bit pricey but well worth it. Tops I get from WalMart if I can find them. I have to be careful with the neckline cuz the nerves on the back of my neck R very sensitive and if they R touched or something lays too heavily…they talk to me. It has been sometime since I’ve been to a mall. Usually, I just go to JC Pennys for bedding & towels. Have a great week. Happy New Year

  15. Cute and chic? Heck no … I never worry about it. If I want to look cute I just take my kids with me. They’re the perfect accessories. lol! And I avoid malls like the plague P.S. I like your look. It’s comfy and functional. And some day when we’re old and gray, we’ll still be buzzin’ around in our sneakers and the fashionable people will be complaining about aching backs from all those heels they wore in the day!

  16. Oh my goodness, there is someone else out there just like me! Thanks for the morning chuckles to start my day. I especially related to the part about just wanting to get home and snuggle up in a cozy environment.

  17. OK ~ I snorted coffee thru my nose this morning reading your post. First off you are a brave brave woman or crazy to have even gone into the mall yesterday! Ours were closed yesterday and today everything is open, but we are in the middle of a Noreaster so I am having a jammie day. I may venture out tomorrow to pick up some wrapping paper for next year… As for fashion I tend to buy classic pieces and build around them.

  18. Great post! I’d rather go to a flea market or antique shop than go clothes shopping for fancy things. I do like to get dressed up, but only with bargain clothes! Alyssa of Boston Bee

  19. I loved your post. You are special just the way you are. However, if you want to add some pieces to your already great look, go on a week day when its not so crowded. If you’re like me it takes a while to make a decision when you do find something you like. Love all your fabulous, creative visions for “once junk”.

  20. I am laughing with you here! I don’t like malls, and I hardly ever buy new, unless it’s a REALLY good deal!
    I am betting you can find something just as wonderful at your favorite thrift place!
    Love your blog by the way, I am a new blogger. I like your burlap sack and old feed sack better than the fancy stockings!
    Have a great day! I am off in a bit to do some thrifting myself, haven’t been for awhile.

  21. Funny. And then some more funny! ;D

    Can I relate!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!?

    I don’t have a neck injury and I get that way in Walmart. The florescent lighting and smells and road maps needed…I want to scream!

    And besides, I am apparently NOT the cookie cutter body – what with monkey long arms and legs that start at my neck…it makes it just a tad difficult to find clothes!!!

    I say, you know yourself well. Trust that. It fantastic! And cute can be as cute as you are in your baggy jeans, tee and runners! THAT is a fashion statement.

    xo
    ~Kolein

    ps – and oh my goodness with those pieces of furniture?! I was drawn to Marian’s more….there was a wonderful creative LOVE touch in hers!! Something truly special about ONE OF A KINDS!!!! ;>

  22. I totally feel your pain! I hate shopping at the mall…especially around the holidays. I do like to shop at Old Navy because although they might be busy, they’re usually stand alone stores and I trust that most of their stuff is “cool” (since I myself have mostly lost touch with “cool”). Glad you treated yourself to your coffee…it’s the little things in life 🙂

  23. I think I quit the malls after about 5 minutes back in my 20’s. It is just not me…I hate to shop and I wear just about the same clothes you do! I was a painting contractor for many years and so thrift clothes made so much sense for me…after I got home. After wearing whites all day and being so dirty, I didn’t really care what I wore as long as it was clean. I figure all the money I saved can go to new tools!!!!

  24. Malls! Yuck! We only go there if extreme fashion needs are on the line. I can’t believe you tried on clothes over your clothes in a busy store…I can just picture it! LOL! I too am dying for some mirrored bedside tables, but I will wait to make them. They are WAY too expensive for me. Have a wonderful week! Lisa~

  25. The mall and Walmart both give me the heebie jeebies. I try to stay away. Which is odd since I would go to the mall all the time as a teenager to hang out. I can’t remember the last time I have been to the mall.

    I hate having to find something to wear. In the winter I rely on my short trench and a scarf and call it a day. It hides a lot, including my growing rear end. Your black MILF t shirt cracked me up!

  26. I confess, I’m a mall shopper. BUT I don’t go on certain days of the year or any time when it’s going to be crazy. I like to go on Monday mornings when every one else is back at work.

    I only buy on deep discount which happens a lot around here. Once my mom and I went and she bought a sweater for me that was originally like $75 and she got it for $0.87. Yes, malls do have those types of deals too if you know how to play the mall game. I also get coupons in the mail from my favorite retailers and ask for gift cards to those stores.

    I used to shop thrift stores, but I honestly don’t have the time for the hunt anymore. I shop the occasional discount store, but I find really great deals at the mall and the clothing is usually better quality and lasts a lot longer.

    The one thing I absolutely hate, though, is too many choices. It gets overwhelming so I stick with a few basic styles and that’s it.

    Don’t feel bad. I never know where I parked.

  27. LOL! That was a great read. Since I’m pregnant I can’t even look at all the cute clothes without wanting to cry. I’ve gained a whopping 4 pounds (I’m 23 weeks), but things have shifted around and nothing fits me right anymore. Thank goodness I have all my cute shoes. They make me happy.

  28. Am I looking in a mirror? I really don’t like malls either. I don’t even remember the last time I was in one. I did all my Christmas shopping online this year! My favorite store is Goodwill (that’s the best thrift store we have around here). I just LOVE going on my treasure hunts! I think my hubby is tired of it lol, but I keep reminding him of all the money we save by me not shopping at “regular” stores. I wish I had your eye for junk, you come up with such wonderful ideas. I am getting better though, I have only blogs like yours to thank for that! Merry Christmas! PS – LOVE the milf t-shirt! =D

  29. No one has addressed the Christmas tree issue…

    Did you cut about an inch off the bottom after you bought them? When they are cut at the tree farm they seal themselves off with sap. When you purchase them you’re supposed to cut that off so that the bottom is no longer sealed and that way it can absorb the water you are hopefully giving it every day. The tree sales person should have told you this!!

    I am a jeans/capri and tee shirt person! Take it or leave it. In my late 50’s so what you see is what you get. There are some mall stores I go in, but they are usually the anchor stores so that’s a quick in/out!!

    Be true to who you are!!

  30. So sorry!!! That has actually been my thrift store experience this past few months. I look at the prices and say “what?” $6 for used jeans, but I can get new ones at Forever 21 or Ross for that price.

    I am sure you have cute clothes anyway. You are too fun not to.

    PS – I am sure that wonderful Donna trunk will go on sale someday. Then…

  31. I love this post! That is so me. Our Home Depot is right next to the Mall. Even driving by the mall gives me hives. I can’t look out that side of the window when going to the Home inprovement store. Every once in a while I have a desire to be fashionable. I give it a go, end up feeling ridiculous, and change back into my old t-shirt and jeans. Maybe one day. . .

  32. Love it Donna! Did you hit Metrtown on Boxing Day – I would sooner jump of a bridge that venture into that mall, actually any mall on that day. Silly shoppers don’t realize those sales are on all week and then things get cheaper the following week! Hey comfy always beats style!

    Love the mirrored drawers by MMS, wanted to do that but found the mirror guys charged me a minimum price per piece and it was going to be ridiculously expensive, so I silver leafed the dresser instead {linked it up to your recent SNS}

  33. This is such a true story, this happened to me last year. So I did not even go near a store yesterday. The only time a go to the mall is with my teenager and never pay full price (Well at least I try not to, you know teen girls?)
    I always get giddy over finding a bargain and she is finally catching on at 15 🙂
    Have a Happy New Year!
    Chrissy

  34. I don’t like going to a mall that is packed like that, I hate shopping for clothes unless they are right in front of me, people scare me and I am like you, a $5 cup of Chai, cozy socks and a fuzzy pants and a t-shirt….that MILF t-shirt might be a good! 🙂 I applaud you for trying!! 🙂

  35. go to the mall for 4 reasons, and 4 reasons only. 1, to get my nails done (when I used to keep acrylics). 2, to go to the card store for special days. 3, the 50% off sweater sale at Christopher & Banks, and 4, to eat bourbon chicken in the food court. That’s it. No mall shoping for me anymore.

    I totally get where you’re coming from. However, I’ve always shopped in thrift stores for furniture and home products, but never clothes for myself. My mother has always told me I should. A few months ago while in a thrift store, I decided to look at clothes, and would you believe – I found 9 Liz Claiborne blouses – IN MY SIZE, with the store tags still on them – for $4 each! Needless to say, I spent the next few hours looking through all the clothes racks. I scored new Riders jeans and mew Sonoma jeans – both are my favorite fit.

    I rarely clothes shop anymore at all, but now I’ll certainly do it the thrift stores first.

    Your story is funny, and I can see you going thru all of that. I’m a jammies gal myself. If I don’t have to leave home, I don’t get out of them until right before hubby gets home from work. 😉

    Oh…..I think you should go back and get that ‘Donna’ trunk even if you don’t get the rest. That’s one of those things you may never happen upon again.

    I hope you and Cody had a great Christmas!

  36. Oh boy do I despise the malls! I do everything within my power to avoid them. I am okay if the store I want to go to is accessible from the outside of the mall because that way I do not have to actually enter the mall and mingle with the hordes of people there. I do not do well at all in crowds like that. I am the same way with Wal-Mart and avoid it like the plague! I prefer to do my clothes shopping online, in stand-alone boutiques or thrift stores. Since I work in an office I tend to avoid trendy and stick to classic pieces that can mixed and matched and last for a long time. Even with my casual clothing I tend to naturally avoid trendy and go with comfort. I must do okay because no one seems to be ashamed to be seen with me in public! Sure I would sometimes like to wear some of the trendier clothing, but it is just not me…

    Love those trunks! You are a much stronger person than I because I think they would have come home with me! Not only are they great looking, but they make for great storage which I my home is seriously lacking.

    ~ Tracy

  37. I think I could have written this exact same post! I can shop all day long for my home but when it comes to clothes, ugh! And for me, the mall is difficult because it’s too much information – I do much better at smaller boutique-y shops. And thrift stores. 🙂

  38. I wasn’t offended…. just didn’t know what it meant, so I googled it.
    I think deep down inside we all want to be a milf. I probably wouldn’t wear it on a T-shirt though. Ha!!!! We learned something new today. 🙂

  39. Oh goodie, I’m not the only person who doesn’t particularly care for malls or retail shopping for that matter.

    It’s been about 5 years since I set foot in a mall and the last retail store was Dress Barn in October and that was ONLY because I needed something newer than 1999 to wear to my graduation. I went in scoured the store, grabbed the items I wanted to try on, went in the dressing room once, sent iphone photos to my daughters for their opinions and to the checkout I went. Most of what I own (and wear everyday) is older than dirt but I like it, it’s comfortable and my office assistants think I’m dressed to the nines!

    Now I will tell you I do like IKEA, PB, etc. but then I’m not trying to outfit my bod. I get great ideas (and some glassware bargains) in those stores. Most times I see something and think, I could make that for ½ or less, snap a photo and home I go on a mission. Whether it ends up looking as good as the store version is usually not an issue. I made it for less and more importantly the fun I had in the process is priceless.

    I’ve always had expensive vision with realistic funds. For me, it’s the hunt, the thrill of finding bargains, and the elation of the victory when I complete a project. I just don’t get those vibes when I hand over our hard earned cash for ready made.

    Donna, you are not alone; if malls and retail stores had to depend on my business they would have gone belly up years ago.

    (I didn’t know the MILF either till I ask my 30YO daughter, Yikes was my response too)

  40. Hilarious!

    I think you’re fine just as you are, Donna. But then again I’m sitting here in what my teenage daughter refers to as my “weekend uniform” – black stretch pants, miscellaneous t-shirt, topped off with a black cardigan!

    Not only do I not go to the mall, I don’t go much of anywhere to clothes shop. I even thought about going to the new Goodwill for some “new” clothes, then thought twice. Realized that I don’t need anything else.

    When my current “uniforms” wear out, I suppose I’ll have to do something, but until then, I’m good!

  41. I really can relate to this post Donna. I have trouble with sense of direction and I know for a fact they make malls hard to get out of so you stay and have to shop, so they can be scary to me. I have lost my car as well! I shop at Marshalls or TJMaxx. The straight racks in a box shape store are simpler. You are on a hunt for the bargain, and they mix all levels of quality clothing in together, so it is kind of like thrift shopping I guess. I was brought up shopping there at the first ever built Marshalls in the late 1960s by my mom. Do you have those stores where you are? At any rate, I find all kinds of “designer” and mall store brands here. My sons shop here too now, they love finding a bargain, they work too hard for their money. I have come to understand that basics look better on me as I get older, too trendy and you look kind of foolish. So update the cut of the jeans, but stay away from the gym pants with words printed on the butt, you know what I mean?
    Nothing like being in the comfort of your own space too~merry christmas!

  42. You make me laugh out loud…I used to work retail too, now it gives me rashes, not to knock those who can Do it…just not me! Relax and stay cozy and blissful and happy just being you…there’s no better way to be than that! I Love your home, your blog and your style!

  43. I am so not a stretch pants wearer. Oh gosh no. And everything that touches me is 100% cotton. Can’t button shirts, too constricting. And generally very little if no pattern. PJ pants an exception. While my needs are relatively simple, I do have my standards. 🙂

    So, no fear of that last one, Amy! LOL

    Donna

  44. Your experience was one we have all lived through and vowed to avoid at all costs. At the Loft on 2nd we strive for a comfortable, inspiring, and yes economical fashion experience. You can browse through racks made from re-cycled chippy doors and plumbers pipes. Patina, worn wood and lovely distressed colors surround you as you browse. Our hand picked clothing is modern, stylish, sometimes new but typically vintage, gently used or handmade. We greet you with a smile and hope that we are every eclectic junker girls dream. Providing one to one service is a joy and what motivates us to do out best for every customer or someone who is “just browsing” for we know if not today, maybe tomorrow they will return for their one of a kind purchase. Best yet is our owner’s skill at mixing clothing in with an eclectic mix of home decor and furnishings. I love going to work every day and our customers love coming in just to visit. Listening to our customers wants, wishes and junking experiences motivates us every day. It’s a joy and honor to do what we do every day. We are “livin the dream”. Could life be any better? Thanks for listening 🙂

  45. Ugh, hate shopping, especially for clothes. I’m so not a girly girl and nothing ever fits right. I always seem to be between sizes. I will get in and out as fast as I can. I’m a t-shirt and jeans girl. Gotta be comfy. I wear a uniform to work so I don’t even have to think about what to wear. Nice! I have what I call a “shirt of the year.” Once I find a new shirt I actually like I will wear it out of the house as often as possible. You will probably see me in it for every holiday or anytime I think a pic will be snapped of me. I really hate shopping. lol.

  46. You are to funny Donna. I just told my sister the other day, I’d rather be comfortable than stylish. I love to wear hubbies flannels and a pair of jeans.

    As far as shopping goes, I went out and shopped in my own shed today. It was an inexpensive trip and I got to keep my PJ’s on while doing it…

    Take care,
    Lisa

  47. Look at all of those stores copying me! What a rip off! 🙂

    I feel the same way in a mall. Give me a flea market any day. I don’t have to try on chairs and ironstone… jeans, however…sigh. I’m not a stylish girl and I think that’s why I like to style my home. It never gains weight, it doesn’t get lumpy after having kids (although a little more stained and cluttered.)

    Thanks for sharing your shopping trip with us.

    By the way, I can’t believe the second tree died already! I had one cut fresh, so I think that made a difference. You never know how long they’ve been sitting around.

  48. Oh, Donna…you are such a hoot. I laughed as I got a mental picture of you in that mall.
    Never heard of a store closing their dressing rooms…good grief.
    Now, you probably need to go back and get that trunk. Sounds like it would be adorable in your house. 🙂
    As you know, I am OLDEN so I depend on daughter and grandgirls to keep me straight in the clothing department. Not that I wear what they wear..(too youngish for an old lady) but they help me keep 1/2 way fashionable. 🙂
    hugs, bj

  49. It’s kind of funny that I work in mall management but outside of work days I rarely shop at all. I have my preferred shops where I know I will find clothes that are right for me, but recently I had a bad experience at one of those. What can you do? 🙂 I like to buy used for most things, but I make an exception for my clothes.

  50. Too funny! I can relate. Keep it simple and don’t waste time, right? I’ve even gotten to the point of making my own fluffy coffee. About the tree, next year find “tree preservative” at the hardware store. Add it to the water when you first set up your tree. Add it to one or two more waterings after. From then on your tree will pretty much be plastic and you won’t have to water any more.

  51. You’re either a high maintenance girl or a clear thinking junker. My husband I both are glad that I am a junker. It doesn’t take diamonds and Mercedees to make me smile and my heart go pitter pat. ;} I like you, don’t like the mall.

    Happy New Year!
    Shelley

  52. Girl, I live in zip up hoodies during the winter, so I’m right there with you!! Thank you so much for keeping us updated on Lisa. Happy New Year!

  53. My favorite part of the story? The mannequins wearing the “sale” t-shirts. Of all the luck! I do like fashion but I don’t always get it quite right. I’m a Marshall’s/Target/catalog gal. I haven’t been in a mall in ages but when I go it MUST be a weekday morning during the non-holiday season. Otherwise I start sweating and seeing stars (for real). 🙂

  54. LOL – You just made my morning. I so enjoyed reading your witty account of your shopping ordeal. I can so relate to this!!! I only shop at my local stores, never on a Saturday or a public holiday and if it’s looking too busy, I grab essentials (like bread and milk!!) and head for home!!!
    And FYI- those burlap covered trunks definitley have your name on them- they are gorgeous!! Go back!!

  55. You certainly aren’t alone in your frustrations. I go to the mall maybe twice a year now for real, where I buy as much as I can for the season at once. Yes, the sales ladies love me cause they get a great commission that day. Despite me only going to the mall once a season, there are clerks who remember me. They are surprised I spend so much at once, but I remind them when you only venture there once or twice a year, you got to make it count.

    You are brave for venturing out after Christmas. All the money in the world wouldn’t make me do that!

    On the bright side, at least no one is talking about your muffin top or worse yet, nobody’s seeing half your behind in cute clothes. I always say if 90% of the women in cute clothes could see themselves from the views the rest of us saw, they wouldn’t be wearing cute clothes either!

  56. Donna, I rarely read posts about clothes and I have been guilty of just looking at the photos and reading the highlights but I don’t know what you did but you had me from beginning to end on this post! (That was WAAAY to long of a sentence!) I am totally with you! I hate shopping for myself and would rather puruse the home accents section. It looks like you were in a HomeGoods store or the Canadian equivilent. That’s my kind of store. Generally, when I’m in the mood to shop that’s my best bet.
    Thanks for the fun post! I enjoyed it!
    Oh, and if it makes you feel any better, I often forget where I parked my car! Thank goodness for key fobs and car horns!

  57. Donna!
    loved this post. You are so real- and it’s true- we junkers just are NOT drawn to the Mall are we?
    as for the Tree? You wrote:

    p.s. my 2nd Christmas tree dried out too. I give up

    It’s because of the premonitory limerick I wrote for you, isn’t it?
    Nah! I don’t really believe in all that ‘jinx’ and stuff…yet. somehow. I knew…

    hmmm…either way. The trees are coming down now anyway!

    love ya! you keep me rolling with your funny stories…

  58. This was a great story, I’m sorry you had to have the experience to tell it, but I loved it because I can so relate! I detest going to the mall, had to do it for a couple of things for Christmas but got out of there as fast as I could. I check out the latest styles but love vintage so I try to put things together to pull off the latest looks at the thrift store. I hope your Christmas was wonderful! Theresa xoxo

  59. My sister and I have been saying alot lately, “we hate malls”. Your story is so funny, and soooooooo right on!!! We did most of our shopping at flea markets and TJ MAXX/homegoods. Wishing you a relaxing New Years in your flannel pjs and t-shirt. Take care, Jeanette

  60. Donna What a great post! I have to agree with Molly. TJ Maxx and Marshalls are great stores.
    One of the places that I was schooled in fashion was to watch WHAT NOT TO WEAR years ago… I was abhorred to see how closely my closet identified with some women on the show… Dressing for my regional weather, my own lifestyle and personal budget are my first considerations. I live in the midwest where we experience all four seasons so cute pointy toed shoes don’t work when there’s 3 feet of snow and I have heard of a ‘black rut’ where a person has too much black clothing. Guess I’m in it. Black is my ‘Mommy Uniform'{we have 6 children and I stay very active keeping up with them}. A long sleeved Gap t-shirt and proper fitting jeans with boots, or a black cashmere sweater with a warm scarf and jeans, or to date my husband of 22 years~ a dress with boots and a scarf with a jacket are commonly my safe yet purposeful ‘uniforms’.
    I love thrifting! I have found such amazing quality at thrift stores~ many of my cashmere sweaters have come from ‘Treasure Hunting ‘ trips!
    I think your ? was “How do you or Where do you find your style?”
    I say do what you do with your home decor:
    * study photos, etc
    * ask the ?s -what’s me?
    -what do I like?
    -get husband/family input,etc
    Such a great post, Donna!
    Have a wonderful week!
    deborah

  61. I absolutley appreciate and love this post. My sisters get on to me all the time because I have this certain velour sweatsuit that I have in 3 colors that I wear ALL the time. They call it my “Uniform” SO for my birthday in November, my baby sister who is oh so fashionable took me to the LOFT. She told me I could be comfortable and cute at the same time. OKAY…I guess it was worth a shot to get them off my back. I did like what I came out with but I will admit..I’m not so sure I could go back in without her:) BTW- I loved your video. It was amazing and gave me chills. Casting Crowns is one of my all time favorite Christian Artists. You did a great job…and I love the picture of your mom. Blessings to you my friend!
    Kelli

  62. Great post! I love clothes shopping, but not at the mall. I like clearance shopping at Target or Old Navy. It is much like junking, hunting through a lot of trash to discover the treasure. I like to try new things, things that are different from what I might normally pick. I also love hunting the thrift stores. I got a new sewing machine for Christmas and I can’t wait to hit the thrifts today to find some clothes to repurpose. Looking at fashion is much like junking, pay attention to trends, but find unique inexpensive fashions and make them yours. Think texture, color combos, scale and balance just like you do with your decorating. Have fun with it (and don’t shop the day after Christmas).

  63. I give up! I would love to have a favorite line of clothes and the perfect line of shoes to go to when I shop! I don’t think it’s too much to ask. It just doesn’t exist. When I’m out, I always notice how cute everyone else looks and I would love to attempt to do so if only I had the perfect store/line to go to. I too hate the mall. I’ve resorted to Ann Taylor loft (usually clearance)or Target and sometimes Old Navy. I think Ann Taylor has nice quality, but only when affordable (very rare, maybe twice yearly). Thanks Donna, misery loves company! Lets’ just all be comfortable!

    Marie

    http://www.sisterpickers.blogspot.com

  64. I like to wander around the mall from time to time but usually come home empty handed. MY eyes seem to widen as I look at the price tags for things made in China. I am a clearance rack gal through and through. Trudgiing through a fleamarket, thrift store or yard sale makes my day!