First off, we arrived home before sundown. For that, I’m mighty grateful!

And now, the post you’ve been waiting for. Have some Richard if you’re not interested.

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This post was originally slated to be a tongue-in-cheek, let’s make fun of Zee’s shopping habits sort of post. Nothing serious at all! 

Sadly, it’s become deeper and one I fear will come off as an egotistical road trip through my closet. Overkill, overdone, over-spent, no self control, whatsoever!!!

You know; First World Problems.

But I digress and as I go through this, hopefully, you’ll see something besides the closet of a shopaholic with no self control.

In discussion about this with Michele, I often thought she thought my closet looked like this…

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Or at best… this!

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I fear she thought I had no color to my wardrobe…

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or – horror of horrors – no prints whatsoever!!!

 

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As you can see, this isn’t the case at all.

Before I had Spawn, when I was young and had no financial worries save my car payment, my insurance payment and gas in the car and party money, I had a kick ass clothes habit. Even in High school, I had clothes! Seriously had clothes. Mom sewed and she was pretty damn good with the sewing machine, so I was NOT clothes poor.

And I was thin. Disgusting. I was a clothes whore and a clothes horse. Loved them.

And then Spawn came and he was sick and I never lost my weight and then there was the divorce and I went from having a lot of clothes, to having a lot of clothes that were way too small and no way was I ever getting back into them or at least, any time soon. So off to church clothing stores they went and I started shopping at cheap places and wearing cheap things until they wore out. Didn’t matter if they were flattering or I liked them or what. My son had needs and wants which came first and my needs became wants. My wants never come before needs or Spawn’s wants.

When I got my first teaching job, I did add to my wardrobe. Spruced it up. There was Lane Bryant and a Avenue shop around the corner and every pay day I added one item or one outfit. Remember. I got paid once a month! I did that for about a year and then we moved into our own place and I wore what I had until they wore out. When I moved way south, I have 5 outfits and over the span of 3 years, I added about 2 pairs of pants and 6 tops. One pair of shoes. I was good with this. Mom bought me a few things. I stocked up on a few cheap, but wearable items.

I’m going to say this – I don’t want to say never say never, but I really do NOT want to EVER shop at WalMart for work clothes, ever again. WalMart is good for summer throwaway grubby t-shirts. Exercise pants, shorts. Jammies and socks.

Underwear.

So either, when I’m teaching, I would add something once a month, a piece or an outfit. Usually, from Cato. Always from Cato.

And then the last year I was in Brunswick, I gained weight. A lot of weight. And it was probably at that time, I developed Diabetes. Also, we had furloughed days, budget cuts, our salary was cut. And I stopped buying clothes.

And when I moved home, a lot of clothes I couldn’t wear, went into storage,

08 clothes in storage

Can I be honest? That’s not a lot of clothes. 3 feet.

And I moved home, where I had no closet, only a clothing rack and just a few things.

I bought a top here and there as I was substituting, but I had one pair of pants and the few tops. When I started interviewing in earnest, again my mom bought me a dress, a skirt and a top and then we hit the Consignment shop near us and bought me a few other things to wear. I’ve never been so grateful to pre-owned clothes before.

So when I moved to Savannah, my closet wasn’t impressive a bit.

09 clothes at motel

That’s everything – work clothes, not work clothes, church clothes you don’t wear to work, jammies, tshirts… I had 2 pairs of shoes – a black pair and a brown pair. Usually, I would grab dinner on my into the motel, strip and eat in my underwear or my jammies. I didn’t go back out.

Living in the motel for almost 4 months was sobering and humbling. This is poverty, this is being stuck between a rock and a hard place. I knew I was coming out of that, that I wasn’t bringing my son into that, but folks, we have people who LIVE this way. It’s one thing to live in this situation because you’ve just moved and you’re looking, but we have people who LIVE this way and it’s better than being homeless. I remember my itty bitty stove and my itty bitty sink and having to wash my 2 pots in my shower and that itty bitty refrigerator…

and that itty bitty closet that I hung everything on and still had room. 3 feet long.

And I had so little to wear to work. 2 pairs of pants and 4 tunics. The first check, I bought a pair of jeans, because the pair I had were worn out between the thighs. No thigh gap on this girl!

And then I started on doing what I’ve always done in the past – each paycheck, I purchased an item of clothing. The first was a long white tunic from Zulily, I kept my eye on it for 2 weeks and bought it the last day. I felt SO guilty. But it arrived and I fell in love with it and the next paycheck I bought an off the shoulder burgundy top and a black pair of leggings.

And I started to breathe.

A good friend of mine sent me the link for Woman Within because finding affordable foundation garments that fit was difficult and when I looked them up finally, I found not only Woman Within, but Roamans, Jessica London and Full Beauty. Ellos. All of them affordable, and not only foundation garments that wasn’t a FlowerBali (which is all I had worn for a decade because it was the only style anyone had in a 46DDD that was under 50.00) that were affordable, but shoes in a double wide!!!! People I wear a land yacht and here they have affordable cute and colorful land yacht shoes!!!

 

And beautiful clothes made for the bountiful woman!

And rather than buy a piece each paycheck, I signed up for emails, discovered sales and set a limit, a budget, and used the sales to expand my wardrobe. And so what started with a long tunic, black leggings and a burgundy tunic, expanded to a teal cardigan and more.

When I moved into my house, the clothes I had in storage went into the 3rd bedroom closet. Things were put in it and that door didn’t open again for 3 years. For some reason, I thought everything was a 16 which I still can’t get into. I didn’t think of them. I had a new wardrobe in the making.

Things went well until mid-May when in my Roamans sale email was the following blurb –

You’ve been approved…

I’m thinking, yeah right! My credit sucks!

But I responded thinking, what the hell, I’ll get 15% off just for applying.

And much to my surprise, they approved me for $250.00

Now for me, a 250.00 credit limit for clothes was wonderful. This card is good for Roamans, Woman Within, Jessica London, Ellos. I spend 100.00, pay it down or off, spend again…

By the end of the summer, the limit was raised to 500.00

and then to 800.00…

1000.00

1350.00

1500.00.

And at that point, I told Roamans to stop being nice to me. For the past year, I get it down to 1400.00 and then I buy bras or Easter.

 

 

Either way, my sucky credit rating isn’t so sucky anymore. It’s not great, but it’s not sucky.

Last October, I was perusing Zulily. I’ve bought things here and there and I received an offer – apply for a Zulily credit card and get 15.00 off your order.

Well I was eyeballing a 14.99 top and figured, what the heck! All I’ll pay is shipping and handling for … 250.00 again???

Nope. 700.00

This is a bad thing, because I nitpick shop as items are usually only available for 3 days now. And my mind set is – well, it’s only 14.99… and even thought I’ve paid it off twice, I’m up to almost 500.00 and they’ve raised my limit to 1499.00 and I’m seeing they don’t just sell clothes. There’s quilts and sheet sets, nice sheet sets for cheaper than walmart and bulk goods and furniture and rugs and curtains….

And I’m thinking… I’m doomed.

So what does this mean?

It means a shitload of clothes, is what it means. I didn’t mention The Pyramid Collection, Holy Clothing, or Cato, which is across the street. Right after I moved into my home, I agonized over a beautiful peacock top that would eat my entire monthly budget before just biting the bullet and buying it.

14 peacock-top

I have discovered a love for kimonos and vests and tunics and embellished jeans. It’s insane, is what it is.

I have black clothes

 

white clothes

 

beige clothes

 

blue clothes

 

brown clothes

 

burgundy

 

Yeah, the one looks purple, but I have it in burgundy! It’s my favorite!!!

green

 

Look at the embellishment of this pair of beauties!!!

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And I swear, these three long tunics are damn near the exact same color of olive green!

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This is due in any day

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and if I had absolutely NO self control, I’d buy the matching sandals! No, I don’t have them!

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Edit: I was in a mood today and decided to purchase these. Luckily I checked the reviews and there is no zipper in the back and the buckle is next to impossible for the fuller sized woman. So nope! No springy sandal for me! 

grey

 

Okay, not a lot of grey, but I have some grey!

orange

 

Pink

 

purple

 

I have a lot of purple. The large sweater at the top, at one time I had a mock neck turtle neck and a pair of stirrup pants that went with it. Don’t know where they went. I had a kelly green set as well.

red

 

turquoise

 

yellow

 

 

I got a bad ink pen stain on this one 10 years ago. Since I’ve now discovered how to remove ink (hand sanitizer) I’ve washed it 3 times and it’s almost gone. Hopefully in the next wash… then I’ll have to lose weight.

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The biggest problem I’ve come across is at times, I’ve bought the same top in different colors.

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I have that bolero in white as well. Go back to my orange clothes…

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I love this little swing top!

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Okay, those 2 cardigans are NOT identical, but close!

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I have this top in 3 colors 

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Now before you say anything, these two are not only 2 different shades of red…

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They are different sizes. The bigger one is a 26 and I’m down to a 20 now, so needless to say, the 26 is kinda huge!

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It’s falling off me!

These look like identical shirts!

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Well, they aren’t! The one in the front is a lovely button down dressy tunic and the one in back is a suede jacket!

I have animal prints

 

See those wide shoes??? I have wide feet!

I have music clothes! Guess what I do???

 

I have music boots somewhere…

I have dresses – I love dresses and big pants and tailored clothes and sloppy clothes.

At one point about a year and a half ago, I had tops galore and a pair of black jeggings and a pair of white jeggings. Oh and black fake leather pants. I decided to fix that with the rule being if I bought colored anything, I needed at least 2 different tops to go with them.

I bought a lavender top with these pants –

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but I’ve worn them year round with a navy blue cowl neck (which I also have a beige cowlneck just like it) as well as a hot pink sweater and a hot pink flyaway blouse.

The same pants with the black and orange flowers – I have several black tunics I can wear, along with several orange tunics…

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And I have shoes!

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It’s NOT right.

All in all, I have 37 pairs of pants and jeans, 41 blouses, 70 tunics, 34 pull over sweaters, 25 cardigans, 9 vests, 21 tank tops, 20 tees, 14 dresses, 3 skirts, 29 pairs of shoes and 5 pairs of boots.

When I counted up these numbers, I became ill, because these numbers DO NOT INCLUDE the clothes in my closet that I’ve not worn in years.

I have whined about this on several occasions. Yes, my sister has gotten quite a few things in my closet and those aren’t counted in this either. This is clothing gluttony, In talking with my mom, she made the following comment.

Honey? You’ve been a clothes Commando all your life. I made you that way. You were a clothes commando in high school and in college. And then you had Spawn and I watched as your focus changed. You went without many times so that he had what he needed. And even when you did have some money, you didn’t buy a bunch – just enough. How long have you lived in 2 pairs of shoes? One pair of shoes? Cheap and uncomfortable shoes? One pair of pants? 3 blouses? So don’t feel guilty for buying things that you like that make you feel good about yourself.

 

At this point, I know I have more than enough clothes and seeing that I’m moving, I don’t need to buy anything else. Zulily can take a long time. I bought two bras last night and a pink velour top on my wish list that was on sale for under 6.00. Even then, with the sale price and my reward certificate, even with S&H, I spent just around 30.00 and I didn’t use my credit card.

I want to be ashamed; I am ashamed, but then I look at THIS closet again.

09 clothes at motel

And I don’t feel so much ashamed anymore.

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