Could use some encouragement getting started

Started 10 years ago. There are 12 replies by 9 different members. The latest reply was from catwomanbert.
  1. Hi all, I'm an almost-42-year old mama to lovely 3-year old and 1-year old boys. In the past 4 years, I've been pregnant 3 times, gained and lost over 50 lbs twice, and gotten a few more gray hairs in the process. I want to feel pretty again! When I got my recipe book for shopping, I got all excited, and wanted to run out an replenish my very depleted wardrobe (have been purging like crazy down to the point where I have 2 pairs of jeans, a couple of skirts, a couple of tops, a couple of jackets, and about 4 dresses). None of it really goes together, and I'm missing a LOT of basics. For a number of reasons have gotten completely sick of wearing black, whether for its slimming effects or the fact that it's been all that I've had in my wardrobe for years now. So I'm purging out most of the black, too. Anyway, the stuff that comes up is this: 1) when to shop? 2) what money to spend? it's tight! 3) where to start? 4) how to add one basic at a time and still feel like I'm making some progress 5) how to feel pretty when I don't 6) need to get a good nursing tank (found a great site and a great one here: Anyway, just putting all this out there to say help! I am grateful for all the advice in the articles, and could use some encouragement to take these baby steps. Oh, and did I mention, I consider myself a "terrible shopper." Blergh. Looking forward to the journey . . . Sharron

  1. I started MSP 3 years ago and she is so right about - don't wait to lose an inch or a lb; start where you are 2) I studied the weekly newsletter like I would for an academic class; 3) I only got one thing at a time and I wouldn't buy anything until it met ALL her criteria for my body type, coloring, etc. I have less than half the clothes I started with but every one of them is just right. I have to go shopping for longer times and more stores now but it gets easier as time goes on. Total $'s spent are also way way down. I spend more on each pair of shoes but only have 5 basic pairs of shoes/sandals plus walking/running shoes. Just take your time. Diane

  2. Re 5) * Experiment with earrings and necklaces. (They don't have to be expensive. Look in the supermarket?) * Prettier shoes? * A little make-up. Or change something about the make-up, if you already wear a little... * Hairstyle. Subtle changes. (Don't suddenly have long hair cut off to very short...) * Perfume / fragrance? * Have your eyebrows shaped (not too severely...)

  3. (That was supposed to come out as a nice neat bullet-point list, but it came out as a jumble, sorry...)

  4. Hi Sharron. You can do this! It just takes a little time and determination. Decide in advance what your colors are going to be (two neutrals and one accent color), and buy only what you need in those colors. Plan your shopping trips so you know exactly what you are looking for (sheath dresses, date night tops, blue jeans, etc.). I shop almost exclusively at Goodwill and Salvation Army, and I have found some excellent quality items for much less than retail. I just bought a Talbots brown linen dress for $15. It's in perfect condition, is one of my neutral colors, and fits like a glove! I plan on wearing it year round. Have some patience, and stick to your plan!

  5. I'm pretty new to this too, just about 5 months into it and I have 5 kids and have gained and lost 60 lbs with every pregnancy (still have 30 lbs to go and the youngest is almost 3!... sigh), so I know how you feel. One thing I wish I had done when I started here was to just pick one neutral in my color season and to have bought a dress, skirt, pants, shorts, ballet flats and waterfall cardigan in that color. You can always add a splash of color in your top or your jewelry. You can work on other neutrals later on. Hope that helps. I shop at our thrift store too, but have done well on ebay as well. I try to wait until I can get an item under $10 if possible. I've had a couple of buys that didn't fit and I had to play around with them and my sewing machine. I managed to turn them into something useful, so that ended up OK>

  6. MSP's advice is practical for building a new wardrobe of things you love, after you purge your closet of things that don't fit or that you don't like. If you are a nursing mother, you'll need washable clothes. Try adding two pairs of cotton pants (not jeans) in dark colors and four patterned cotton tops to what you have listed. They won't show stains and drips as much as plain colored tops and light colored pants will. And they'll go in the washer and dryer, unlike rayon, tencel or modal. Polyester is especially uncomfortable in summer. Cotton or cotton blends are wonderful. It's much, much easier (and cheaper) to shop without kids along. Leave the kids with your husband or a babysitter. Allow about an hour and a half or two hours of shopping. With travel time to the store, that'll work out to three hours between nursing sessions. I'd try Target and Penney's. End of season sales are going on the next two weeks or so. You can get some great buys on tees at both places, any time.

  7. If you know what your size generally is, order one or two basic items to fill out your wardrobe from the weekly MSP recommendations for your body type. Do your shopping online during naptime or after the kids are in bed; if you have to guess sizes, order two, then return what doesn't fit. If you have brick and mortar stores of the same kind near you, you may be able to either have stuffed sent to the store for you to pickup (so you don't have to pay shipping), or be able to return items that don't fit to the store. Watch for sales plus coupon codes plus shopping through cash-back sites to save as much money as possible.

  8. It might be hard for schmendelowitz to get out shopping with the kids(or, without the kids), but I think part of the answer to being a good shopper is, go shopping more! Give yourself permission to spend three hours loafing through the local mall. You don't have to buy every time, just look. While you are there, make some notes of things you like. If you do find a something, it's a bonus!

  9. And, after viewing what is at the full-price stores, plan to spend a whole afternoon at Goodwill, Ross, Gabe's, and your local consignment shop. Check them first.

  10. Dear Sharron, Hi, I'm Ruthie, your identical twin syster. You've gotten some good tips so far. I'll address question "5) how to feel pretty when I don't." Women are the ones who take care of others. We are self-sacrificing, too. Aren't we great? But sacrificing ourselves for any but the true emergency situation drains us of our charming lightness, the bubbly teasing quality and that wonderful attribute of "feeling pretty". Usually you don't need to look like a beauty contest winner to get compliments on how great you look. It's FEELING PRETTY which makes the magic. And we are a magical gender! Allow about 10 minutes more for taking a shower or bath. Use some of those body cleansers and lotions which have been sitting on the shelves. Some intentional care fills you back up with strength for another day. Get to bed a few minutes earlier. Either work faster or skip something (or delegate it.) You need your rest. Dump any sleepwear which is grungy and worn. Buy an inexpensive new item in a flattering color. Something comfortable, easy care and not expensive. Light turquoise looks good on most people. Do an online search to find this inexpensively. How do you feel, Sharron? A little bit prettier? This is a step by step plan which doesn't need a lot of time or effort every day. It gradually changes you. Beginning to massage Burt's Bees lemony cuticle cream (I recommend it)on your nails every day changes you into the kind of lady who takes a few minutes to apply a coat or two of clear nail polish. You are now doing something FOR your own welfare, a mentally healthy act! Please keep writing. I just turned 60 years old and this is going to be the best, most exciting year of my life so far. With a better wardrobe.

  11. Thank you all so much for the wonderful advice and encouragement. A quick update - after doing a full closet purge and studying up on the closet mistakes, style e-book, must-have basics list, etc., my 13-month old and I dropped his big brother off for his second day of school and on my husband's advice, hit up TJ Maxx. Spent a total of three hours there, and in that time tried on about 3x more than I actually took home. Thanks to a very sweet grandmotherly lady who kindly came into our dressing room with a bag full of sparkly fun things for him to play with once he got super-fussy (did I mention he's cutting about 6 teeth right now?), I was able to try on a *lot* of things. So, here's what I got: accessories: a mustard yellow hobo handbag some fun red peep toe heels (so not practical, but they are adorable) green suede ballet flats cream and rust colored scarves basics: short-sleeve white t-shirt short-sleeve brown t-shirt short-sleeve orange t-shirt short-sleeve black t-shirt short-sleeve blue t-shirt fun short-sleeve blue t-shirt with interesting neck long-sleeve green t-shirt pants: some fun purple boot-cut jeans also got: a really pretty blue-green button down shirt a fun navy tank top with gold polka dots At home I have one brown and one tan skirt, one pair of skinny jeans, and one pair of boot cut jeans - all these need alterations to fit properly, and I've found a local seamstress who can do this. Since I went shopping, I've looked and felt about 1000x better than I did before. I'm sure it's ridiculous to be so excited about a closet full of t-shirts, but I was vigilant about making sure that I did not buy a bunch of stuff in black (even took back a really cute pair of black mary jane slingback heels), and going for colors that looked really good (I am an Autumn). This took every bit of birthday money that I think I will get in 3 weeks when I turn 42, but it was worth it. Now I need to take notes on all of y'all's ideas (like getting some pretty pjs), for the next steps. Thank you so much for the encouragement. Once I got started, it was really fun!

  12. Good for you!

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