Shopping Is Not an Equal-Opportunity Activity

If you’re “of a certain age” you’ll remember the Byrds singing “To every thing there is a season  . . .”      I know the words are loosely borrowed from the Book of Ecclesiastes, but my generation will forever add “Turn, turn, turn” in our minds, thus giving it its own identity.

“A time to buy, a time to refrain . . . “

All right, so those words aren’t in the song, but they’re true nevertheless.   It might sound like heresy to a dyed-in-the-wool shopaholic, but there is a time to refrain, and I’m not just talking about when the wallet’s a bit thin.

ColorsI learned in my teen years that shopping was not an equal-opportunity activity.   Oh, I could go to my favorite stores any month of any year and find lots being offered, but what I couldn’t do was go any month of any year and find things that were complementary to me – my body type, my coloring, even my personality.    Sometimes everything I saw seemed designed specifically for me, but at other times it was just the opposite:   Nothing that was popular looked remotely good on me.

Just because something is popular or “in style” doesn’t mean that it belongs in your closet.   It’s a hard lesson to learn, especially if you like fashion, and it’s one that many women never do learn.

I’m long-waisted for a woman, so when fitted waists are all the rage, I’m going to have a very hard time finding a dress whose waist comes where mine does.    I can also be pretty sure that a peplum will sit higher on me than it was designed to do.     Sometimes a “tall” size will do the trick, but unfortunately they’re not very common anymore.

Where the waist falls is a simple matter of fit, and it can be gotten around with seamstresses or other means, but there are much more serious problems when it comes to matching “in style” with your own needs.

Huge Earrings - GlamcheckHow about color?    What colors are “in” changes  season to season, but your own coloration stays quite consistent.   Everyone has colors that make them look terrific and others that make them look terrible, and what those colors are doesn’t change simply because some designer announces a new favorite shade.     If you look washed out or marginally sick in chartreuse, the fact that every mannequin in the store is wearing chartreuse won’t change that fact.   You’ll still look awful in the color, so this may be a time to refrain.

Accessories too have their seasons. If you prefer classical understatement, the year that every earring weighs more than your cat and that necklaces can be seen from the space station may not be the best time to grow your jewelry collection.   Refrain.

Having a wardrobe that works hard to make you look good means shopping in feast-or-famine mode.   When the popular colors or styles are “your” colors and styles, buy and buy again.    Unless you suffer from fat wallet syndrome, try to get things that will look good for a long time, not ones so obviously faddish 18184810_sthat everyone will know exactly what year you bought them.   Then, when what’s popular turns against you, sit the season out and save your money for the next feast.    In the meantime you’ll look terrific wearing a wardrobe that enhances your looks.

Don’t allow yourself to look less than fabulous just because some designer decrees Garish Green to be the color of the year.   Stand your ground.   Refrain.

Have a great looking month!


Attributions- earring picture is from and color chart is from Woman’s Day

One thought on “Shopping Is Not an Equal-Opportunity Activity

  1. Those times are a changing from what is old is new again!
    During these times I have found resale and antique shops are affording a wide selection of blouses, jewelry (thought gold anything is hard to find) and accessories such as purses, scarfs, belts, shawls can be had in a wide selection.
    Your are correct in choosing color coordinating accessories to match the look you want to convey….compliment your style correctly will make you look and feel wonderful!

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