Monday, May 24, 2010

The Challenge

By now you probably know that I live in a small city in Northern California. We love living here. My husband has a commute time of 7 minutes to work each day. We are surrounded by beautiful mountains, lakes, rivers and so much more. We live near 3 sets of my children's grandparents and 3 great-grandparents. But the down side is that the shopping is limited. It's better now than when I was a kid, because now we have a Macy's, Old Navy, TJ Maxx and a few others.

It got me thinking about what people do who live in other small cities and even smaller towns. Thank goodness for the internet. My sister in law who lives in a VERY tiny town, does much of her shopping online. But sometimes nothing satisfies the shopping desire like going to a bricks and mortar store having your senses edified. Feeling the textures of fabrics. Being visually stimulated by rows of clothing racks. The sound of the hangers sliding across the metal racks while sifting through layers of colors and textures. Spotting a garment from across the room, rushing over to see if it's available in the right size. Not to mention the value of being able to try something on before you purchase it. Oh....there's nothing quite like the physical act of shopping.

So here's the challenge: To find fashionable, affordable, modest clothing at stores that even small towns might have. Not just one or two pieces, but an entire outfit. Let's make that two outfits at each location; one casual and one dressier. Budget: $150 per outfit; head to toe, including accessories and shoes. So...which stores shall I choose?? about.... 1.
Walmart 2. Thrift/Consignment Store 3. Sears 4. Local Boutique.

I'll report back, once a week for the next 4 weeks. Wish me luck!

Saturday, May 1, 2010

The dreaded swim suit

I love summer. The lake, pool, ocean, beach, waterskiing.....ahhhh I can't wait. But there is one thing I hate about summer....buying a bathing suit. YUCK. Swim suits, jeans and bras are my three least favorite things to shop for. Why can't swim suits be like shoes. I love shoe shopping. Shoes always look good, they don't make you stress over the size of your thighs or the fact that I no longer pass the Pencil Test.

So the other night when my husband kicked me out of the house, insisting that I needed some time away from my children (apparently I had run out of patience after listening to a whining 4 year old all day. But that's another story for another time). Anyway, I happily accepted his offer to send me off shopping, kid free. So after picking up my dear friend Kelly, we headed out to shop for the dreaded swim suit. Just the idea of having to do this venture alone, was more than I could handle. Plus I needed an honest opinion of what looked good, and what did not.

Wandering the swimsuit section of the department store is more complicated than one might think. Once there, it's a tricky matter trying to decide on what is age appropriate without feeling frumpy. I want to be young, but don't want to end up at the lake in the same suit as my friend's 16 year old daughter. I am not in a frame of mind (or body) to be wearing anything to revealing. I don't do bikinis. And I hate one pieces does one use the restroom without sitting in the bathroom stall stark naked, just so you can pee? So.....that doesn't leave much to choose from.

But, I did finally purchase one. I am not in LOVE with it, but I think it will do the job.

KOHLS $34 (original price)
Croft & Barrow® Fit for You Paisley Swim Separates

I bought this Croft & Barrow paisley top, but I am didn't care for the swim skirt, so I opted for these Candies bottoms. And of course I almost never pay full price for anything so, they were 50% off the original price.

Candie's® Plaid Swim Separates

Good luck with your bathing suit shopping adventures. If I can find something in my small town, there is hope for you too! And if you are like Kelly, and prefer to buy online so you can try it on in the privacy of your own home, here are a few sites to try: Shade, Newport News, LimeRicki, Hapari, DivineModestTee, Lands End