Why is shopping so soul destroying?

Today I went into Melbourne city on a shopping expedition.  No, not Christmas shopping as you might image at this time of year.  I was on a mission, and not one of my choosing.  Thanks to the massive redundancies that happened last year at my workplace they asked for 'volunteers' to help assist with graduations.  Sure, I could do with a few extra bucks so I signed up.  Like everyone else I was surprised to find there was a uniform of sorts.  To my horror it included a white top.  Now anyone who knows me or has seen me at all in the last 10 years would know I dress mostly in the hue of black.  Black is the new (and old) black in my eyes and is my comfort colour.  It's my happy place.

So today I spent hours traipsing around the CBD trying on what seemed like every white top.  It just reiterated why I don't wear white now.  Most white tops are opaque and all my bras are black or coloured.  I also wear tops with lots of stretch in them.  To my horror every top either strangled my upper arms (lets call them 'tuck shop lady arms' shall we), clung to the soft roll of my belly, gaped between buttons around my boobs or wouldn't even fit over my head.  You see the shops I usually shop in (for skirts) only really do colourful, patterned or stripy tops.  So I went into the big chain stores and I hated it.  The environment made me feel more out of place than the piece of clothing I was looking for.

Wandering aimlessly through the new Emporium, in a sea of regular people, I saw a girl in her 20s.  Short cropped bob, black tshirt, tattoos, red polka dot shorts and gym boots.  She was short and chunky and I loved her.  I smiled as she looked more out of place than I did - but didn't show it her her stride.  It made me realise that I was trying to shove my square self into the round hole of 'regular people'.  For many, many years I've know that I am left of centre.  I have found my style, my look and it doesn't include plain white tops.

Today reminded me of all those years of shopping where my body shape didn't fit the clothes that most people wear.  Shopping was a horrifying experience.  Soul destroying.  There's nothing quite like looking shit in a changing room to trigger that old self-loathing gene.  I bordered all day between laughing hysterically and crying.  I watched young, lithe girls in tiny cut off shorts try on the latest fashions and I wanted to die.

It's fascinating to realise that I haven't tuned in to any magazines (apart from occasionally at the hair dresser) and most of the people I follow on social media are just busy being themselves.  All shapes, all sizes.  Unique, interesting, diverse.  I actually follow a number of curvy retro pinup girls, and this is the aesthetic I love.  If only I wasn't so lazy and learned to do victory rolls in my hair.  I salute these girls commitment and style.

I guess growing up, I looked at what forty-something women wore.  My greatest fear was the mid-life look of short hair with a body wave, over shirts and 3/4 pants.  The good news is that as I've gotten older I see a wider variety of what women can wear.  Role models for interesting, edgy, stylish clothes - showing personality, flair and perhaps hotness.

I have hidden in black for such a long time.  I wore lots of colour in my 20s but somewhere along the way I retreated into my uniform of comfort.  Maybe this is why the white shirt freaks me out.  I can't hide and I'm so completely out of my comfort zone.  The good news is that I managed to find a white shirt that fit me.  Thank fuck for that!  So I just looked at the internet for inspiration.  There are amazing older women rocking the white shirt.  Perhaps I'll try to channel them next weekend. What a bunch of babes.







Thanks ladies <3 p="">


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