Online shopping and a “Night Out”: not for me

It is time to update my wardrobe. Every so often, I realize that I have so many things that I do not love and I want to purge it all and start over. (Then I realize that is too much work and so I  just donate a few things and buy tee shirts at Target and more workout pants.)

I am trying to switch to a model that I am calling “European” (it’s fancy, not lazy) where I have fewer things that I completely love. To accomplish this model, I have to be much more thoughtful about my shopping: not just things that are kind-of cute or on big sale. Things that fit a particular hole in my wardrobe, that pair with other things already in my wardrobe, that make me feel amazing.

I started browsing online. Lately I have been feeling pretty cool towards online shopping because there are 2,397,000 “tops” in the world and I need them to be better curated. How do you even find stores that sell things you like online? How long are you other online clothing shoppers spending at this? I think I could spend an hour a day just finding stores that might sell things I like; then I have to carve out more time to actually look at those things. And in the end, the checkout process takes longer than I think it will and I give up and go read a magazine. Am I alone in thinking that successful online shopping sounds like black magic? No wonder I subsist on $12 “Favorite” tees I get when I’m actually shopping for toilet paper and cheaper-than-at-the-grocery-store juice boxes. Plus, if your kid gets a runny nose when you’re out of the house and you don’t have a tissue handy. . . well, you know, favorite tee to the rescue.

 But, I am ready to class it up. (Low bar, right?) So I have been shopping at Nordstrom. A great start, to be sure, and I am obsessed with their return policy–which might be the most important part of shopping–but it still leaves a lot to be desired.

Take, for example, the Night Out tops selection for women, sampled online on May 5, 2015. I am looking for things that I can still wear to work but are perfect for date night. Nordstrom is a classy place, so I figured they’d catch my ‘married-with-kids, trying-to-stay-awake-past-10’ date night vibe. I guess not. As I scrolled through pages of options, I felt like a stranger to this planet.

Who wears that? Never, in my entire life, have I seen someone wear something like that. And I thought I had been to lots of places.

Where do you go such that you feel like that is a good idea? Are the other people sequined racerback tankwearing things like this as well? I grant that a lot of it is probably “clubbing” attire (do they still call it that?  Last time I went I wore a work blouse and stood in the back complained about how loud it was.) But clubs are dirty and the people don’t care what you’re wearing because its dark and everyone kind of smells. So, who is buying the $1,400 sequined racerback tank for those events? And what do they do if the “Night Out” occurs on a cold evening?

Are old people–like, over the age of 24–allowed to “Go out”? I mean, I thought that is what I was doing all of these years on Saturday nights with MI, but it seems like I DO NOT have any of the clothes I need for it. So, I guess I have been doing something else.  What have I been doing?night out sheer tunic

Clearly, I am out of my league here. I have given up online shopping (just like I did in a fit of anger in 2012) and set up a consultation with a personal stylist.

She asked me to send ideas of what I liked; I found some things. But a large part of my email was dedicated to “Things I Don’t Like,” in which I mostly felt like I was describing . . . clothes these days.

I am quite curious to see what she comes up with.

If all else fails, I can fall back on wearing gym clothes all day. My happy place.


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  1. Well if you really want to upgrade, Eddie Bauer t-shirts are my favs. And dress yoga pants are a hit, right?

  2. Let me know what you think of the Nordstrom personal shopper. I went to one recently and it was an epic failure. Next time I see you, I will show you the photos to prove it. Hope your experience was better than mine!!! My newest strategy is to find friends who clothes I like and then ask them to shop for me.

    1. Ha, I totally want to see the pictures of your epic failure! lol. The session for me was mixed. I ended up with some nice pieces–a new dress for work/dates, two pairs of casual pants, a couple of t-shirts, and a blouse. So, pretty good. It took quite a bit longer to get to that place, though. I was there an extra 30 minutes (and for a while thought the time would have been better spent just browsing that long myself…) The first batch of things she pulled for me was pretty weird. I think my emphasis on how much I didn’t want things that were too “trendy, revealing, or shapeless” lead her to think I dressed like a conservative old person. We slowly got there, though. And the shoe picks were a big fail. I firmly stand by my policy, though, that if I can’t run in it, its not for me.

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