I am not destined to be a fashion icon. Most of (read: all) of my clothes are covered in cat hair. I don't buy things that say "dry clean only". While I own an iron and ironing board, my fiance uses them much more than I do. I believe clothes should be easy to wear, easy to care for, and not expensive.
I like pretty things, but I don't always find them comfortable or practical to wear. My Pintrest "Clothing Dreams" board is filled with ballgowns, dresses, and skirts that I adore. But then I think to myself "Would you really wear that to work?" and I answer myself "No." For one, my place of employment is always vaguely dirty; black pants never come home black. For another, I frequently have to climb over book bags, work boots, and desks; these are not the ideal conditions for Mad Men-esque styles. I would love to wear cute pumps, but has anyone ever REALLY found heels they could wear all day? If so, please let me know.
So, where am I going with this? I cannot find clothes to wear. Or rather, I can't find the clothes I'm looking for. Two summers ago, it was cotton sundresses that weren't at c-level (my father's phrase). Yes, I could find sundresses, but they were rayon/polyester; or if they were cotton, they were far too short for a woman in her thirties to decently wear, regardless of how her legs look. (Mine are rather nice, but I have my limits.) I finally found a few items that more or less met my criteria, but I'm still having trouble with "breathing" pretty summer numbers.
A few weeks ago, it was jeans shorts. Five or so years ago, when Bermuda shorts for women came in to style, I found a pair at Banana Republic that I loved. Almost to the knee, but fitted, they fit below the belly button but above the underwear. Of course, I wear them whenever I go out, so they've begun to fray. They aren't bouncing back quite as tightly in the dryer as they used to. So when I went shopping with my mother a few weeks ago, I was in search of just one more pair.
Obviously, I tried BR first. They did have some of the longer shorts I was looking for, but the 8s were too tight around the belly and the 10s were too lose. I also found them to be too tight around the knee, giving my ample thighs a lovely bulging look. The next five or six stores we went to lost my business on several fronts: wrong color, wrong length, wrong material. If I could find jean/denim shorts, they were either colored (red, yellow, green) or came to the wrong spot on my thighs. Alternately, they came up over the belly button, where I do not like to wear my shorts, or were too tight around "the pooch" and I had a delightful muffin top as a result.
I found a pair that was close-enough at Calvin Klein, but they're still a little too baggy by the end of the day. I just hope they don't look like Mom jeans.
I don't know if it's my age or my temperament that makes clothing so difficult to find. The juniors section varies between whorish and ridiculous on a thirty-year-old body; the women's section reminds me of something an elementary school teacher in her seventies would wear and something my mother would pick out for herself. Not that my mother has poor taste in clothing, but she's a mature woman so she wants different things out of her clothing than I do. (Incidentally, my mother is really good at picking out clothes for me: some of my most-complimented shirts were birthday or Christmas gifts from here.) And so I mostly wander clothing stores helplessly, wishing I could find a balance between floozy and fuddy-duddy.