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Friday, February 22, 2008

My "Africa" pants!

I used to be a fashion snob. It's true. In high school, I would not blink at spending $100 for a cute pair of pants, or $60 for a nice shirt. Of course, it wasn't MY money, it was my parents'! I would buy ONLY those name brands deemed worthy by my fellow peers... Guess, Girbaud, Gap, Banana Republic, Ralph Lauren, etc. I even had to wear Victoria's Secret undies! Like who's gonna see my undies?! (Actually, I really miss how they fit and felt....and all the cute colors and patterns......) My tops usually always matched my socks... I mean exactly! I never left the house without full makeup and hair. I don't like to say I have let myself go to pot, but now that I am spending my own money on clothes, things are very different!

I think in College is when I realized all those name brands don't matter. In college, it's kind of cool to look, well.... like a starving college student! I think people actually turned their noses up at me on my first day in college. I remember wearing a cute printed button down shirt from the Gap, and my tights matched the print of my shirt exactly! (looking back, it was pretty nerdy in a "Some Kind of Wonderful" - "Amanda Jones" kind of way. I had on a pair of really expensive alligator shoes, and really big hair. (Yes, it was reeeeeaaallly big!) I quickly learned that I was waaaay to overdressed for the real world. Granted, when I got an office job, I had to look the part, but none of my friends or classmates wanted me to look like I was at work when they were with me. So, I donned a pair of well-worn jeans, and comfy sweater, and began my life as someone who doesn't care what brand my clothes are, or how much they cost.

With that said, I just plunked down $45 dollars for a pair of jeans. Yes, they were on sale, (originally $60.... gulp!) and I happened to be using my Macy's gift card my sweet husband gave me for Christmas, so it wasn't really my money, but I still feel like I am yanking food out of starving children's mouths somewhere in Africa. Yes, I really like how they feel, and they may make my butt look a little smaller... (like a Rhino's as opposed to an Elephant's), but even as I wear them, I am filled with guilt. (I tried to get a picture of the jeans actually ON me, but do have any idea how hard it is to take a flattering picture of your own behind?!)

I am a "What Not To Wear"- aholic. It's a show that takes really badly dressed frumpy people and teaches them how to dress to flatter their figures, and show their bodies off in the best way. Sometimes I cry when I see the change in some people. (The model-looking girl who wore safety pins all the way up the inside of her dress pant leg, who had no self-esteem made me bawl like a baby.... of course, it was that time of the month!) I try to take ideas from that show and work them into my own little life. It's hard, though. I am a stay-at-home mom with nowhere to go, and nothing to do but clean and do laundry and shop. It's not like I'm going to wear dress pants and a nice blazer every day. Besides, I have this uncanny ability to spill all over whatever I just put on within 5 minutes of putting it on. So, it's usually Old Navy T's and jeans for me!

Which brings me back to the jeans. I own one pair of jeans.... (well, up til now it was only one.) I usually wear them every day for about a week, take them off to hurry and throw them in the washing machine, wait and wait to leave the house until they are done drying so I can wear them again for another week. Sure, I can afford to buy more, but I really like these jeans, and I don't think I can find any others that make me feel so cozy, and I'd much rather dress my husband and son cute! But, taking a good hard look at my sorry jeans, I had to admit that I really should go get more. I got these from Old Navy.... on sale for $4! Where am I going to find another deal like that again? But, I had this gift card burning a hole in my pocket, and Merritt said "Go buy yourself something nice" so what do I get? Jeans. I got some other killer deals more up my price alley, like $80 dress pants for $9.99, Cute $70 jacket for.... yep, $9.99, so I guess splurging on $45 jeans isn't so bad when you average it out. It would be like I spent $21 per item, which is not bad at all. I guess I'll look at it that way. Then I won't feel horribly guilty every time I wear them. Then again, maybe I'll just call them my "Africa" pants to remind me of how unimportant expensive clothing really is in the big picture.


Heather Gardner said...

Okay this made me laugh because I picked up the bad ( and good) habit of thrift shopping from my parents. It is now impossible for me to spend more than $10 on an item without feeling guilty. But I read this great book called "The Hot Mammas Handbook" and I've been able to break out a little. I love your blog, it is always so fun to read! And you go girl on those aprons, very cute!

Anonymous said...

I love this post. I feel the same way about clothes. Actually I take it back. If I had $100.00 to spend on some hot jeans or VS lingerie I have to admit that I would do it. But now I can't come to terms with buying anything for myself unless it's cheap. I feel like such a frump!!

Also, I LOVE "What not to Wear." It is my favorite show! I know you wouldn't be able to tell by the way I dress. Stacy London is adorable and I just want to eat Clinton up! I wish I could get away with telling people how it is like them.

Whit said...

Hey, it is a great thing for us to splurge once in a while. We are always taking care of everyone else. With that said I am a frump too! Just like Ruth said. Although I don't ever think she is frumpy! And Erin, you always look so beautiful and trendy! You make the cutest clothes!