I actually asked if they offered personal shopping

18 Dec

I have never  really put much effort into shopping mainly because I seem to struggle with finding just the right fit, style and colors.  I am short with a petite frame which means most things are either too long or too big.  To make things even more interesting, I had to start wearing shoe inserts not too long ago because apparently child bearing weight has caused a couple of bones to separate in my right foot.  The shoe inserts seem to only fit into my New Balance sneakers which means my outfits are not only put together with my 2 year old in mind, but they must also look great with my sporty and fun street shoes.

Recently, I received some money for my birthday with encouragement to please “spend it on yourself.  You deserve it!”  I finally felt like taking that advice so I decided to treat myself to a little visit to Anthropologie.  I consider Anthropologie to be that piece of cake you reward yourself with after a week of “being good.”  Except in my case it’s more like I’ve been on a diet for 2+ years.

So, I decided to go to Anthropologie shortly after I got my birthday money and wouldn’t ya know ….the outfits I picked on my own looked terrible.  I selected a pair of cargo pants that were on sale and a couple of shirts to match.  The pants were too big (because I have no idea what my European size is) and the sweaters I chose turned out to be boxy and shapeless.

I was starting to get a little down when it suddenly occurred to me to ask if they offer personal shopping.  I have never done this sort of thing before so it was shocking to hear the words “Do you offer personal shopping services?” come out of my mouth.

Anthropologie’s personal shopper just so happened to be working that day and the dressing room clerk paged her for me.  When she came into the dressing room she asked me what sort of style I was aiming for and I froze up.  I didn’t know what to say.  My natural reaction is to say “something for work” or “something to wear out to dinner.”  Neither of those apply right now.  Dinner, occasionally, but apparently not enough to make me want to oomph up my wardrobe in some time.  I managed to cough out “well, I’m a mom and I have a 2 year old.”  Then I just stood there, awkwardly.  She smiled and said “so you just need something you could dress up or dress down depending on the time of day.”  Sure, let’s try that.

It seemed like seconds before half the store was hanging in my dressing room.  There were sweaters-cardigans and pullovers, Tees-long sleeved and sleeveless.  Colors of gray, burgundy, navy blue, mustard yellow.  4 Different types of pants-cargo, straight-legged as well as skinny jeans, even jeggings (which I had not heard of before until I came across them in Kohls while shopping for my daughter because her wardrobe is way more up to date than mine).   Everything was paired together perfectly and ready to be tried on.  I felt like I was getting ready for the runway.  I was informed that any of the outfits could be “dressed up or dressed down by adding a cute ballet flat or boots for nighttime.”  Note to self: get more shoe inserts.

As I went through each outfit, things seemed to be way off and did not work for several reasons:

– Price: None of the pants were below $100 and the tops ranged from $78 – $128.  The first outfit – gray cargos, a short-sleeved tee and a jersey cardigan – $294.  That’s just one outfit.

– Style: The pullovers were loose fitting with cowlnecks and asymmetrical hems which made it look like I was swimming in a sea of fabric. The cardigans were made of light weight fabric which caused them to hang open without any belt, clasp or closure of any kind.   I couldn’t picture running after my daughter while fidgeting with my sweater.  I feel like I’m moving around so much during the day that I need to make sure my clothes are secured to my body.

– Cleaning Instructions (and this could even be considered the most important): Most of the items were delicate, requiring Dry Cleaning or Hand Washing.  I don’t even hand wash the dishes.

I decided to head home and think some more about what I’d like to have in my wardrobe.  As I was getting dressed, I spotted a navy blue hoodie in the corner of the room.  It must have been hiding under a few outfits.  It was a glorious sight!  I went for it and it fit perfectly.  A match made in heaven.

After 4 hours in the dressing room (plus the aid of a personal shopper) I found one excellent hoodie!

The At-Ease Hoodie, making motherhood fashionably laid back.

It’s called the “At-Ease Hoodie.” Enough said.  I actually love the longer length and the gather at the waist makes it flattering and feminine. This would be nice for lounging around the house OR going out to run errands without looking like you are wearing your frumpy clothes.  It’s loose without being baggy and the sleeves can be rolled up and snapped in place. It also has 2 nice deep pockets to store a cell phone, keys, rocks or any other treasures small hands like to find.  It comes in 2 colors – navy and moss (olive greenish) and it’s MACHINE WASHABLE!  Look out boogers and pizza stains!  I chose navy because it worked better with my skin tone.  It is $88 and I can honestly say that the price is worth it.  I have been able to get a ton of usage out of it…rain or shine, playground and playdate.

Though it was rough in the beginning, I feel like my personal shopping experience ended well and helped me identify basic requirements for the clothes that would work with my life as a mom.  I approached the personal shopping experience thinking that I needed someone to tell me what works because getting dressed has become such a mechanical process (tainted by the demands of caring for a toddler).  In reality, it comes down to comfort and simplicity for me.  I want clothes that can look good and be comfortable without a whole lotta fuss.  Utilitarian fashion, if you will.  I found that in the hoodie, as well as some other items that were on sale in the store.  I was pleased and I will definitely return.


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