Thursday, August 2, 2012

Shopping Outside of the Box

Recently, I went away on what has become my annual girls weekend.  Mrs. Mynd, me, and two other friends packed up the car and headed to the beach.  Now, the girls and I have a strict Vegas type rule regarding our beach trips: "What happens at the beach, stays at the beach."  We have this rule mostly because one of the friends we go with is our boss and nobody wants tales of the boss' drunken tomfoolery causing problems in the office.  But, as what I am about to write about happened when everybody involved was sober, I think it will be okay to bend the rule just slightly.

As our final act of beach relaxation, we always head to the local outlet mall for some discount retail therapy.  Normally, the least patient shopper in the group is otherwise occupied by her part-time beach bartending gig.  But, this year Peter Pan finally grew up and turned in her martini shaker so the outlet trip ended up being a bit more fast paced than usual.  In spite of this, I still managed to spend way too much and find some fabulous clothes.

I love going shopping with friends, something I seem to forget every year until we head back to the outlets.  Friends help you to shop outside of the box.  By that, I mean that my friends have a different fashion sense than I do.  I don't mean that as either good or bad, just different.  One friend may like things that are more form-fitting, more ruffled, more shoulder baring, more boldly printed, etc.  They see clothes differently than I do and will select things for me to try on that I wouldn't pick out for myself.

Clothes shopping with friends requires some faith, a little courage, and a bit of thick skin.  Faith that your friends will select things meant to flatter your figure and not their own, courage to come out of the dressing room in outfits you aren't sure about and a thick skin to stand there while your friends critique the outfits pros and cons.

Friends will tell you when you've found a fabulous outfit.

Friends will also tell you what you need to hear,
like the fact that you ain't never gonna have no eighteen inch waist again.

Even Marilyn Monroe didn't like
what she saw in the mirror.
My friends shared a new shopping rationale with me on this trip.  I was told that you have to take friends with you when you go shopping because we all have a skewed perspective of our body.  We are all looking at ourselves in a fun house mirror, if you follow.  We all have parts of our bodies that we are hyper-critical of when we look in a mirror.  Whether it's your hips, your chest, your stomach, when you look in a fitting room mirror the parts that trouble you take on an unrealistic emphasis.  You don't see that the top really flatters your bust, if all you're worried about is the way it too closely hugs your love handles.

This is what my friend saw when
she looked into the fitting room mirror.
I wasn't sure I believed this until one of my friends, a skinny minnie of the first order, told us that she wasn't sure about a pair of capris because she had wide hips and thought the pants illustrated her point.  I was floored!  I am a rather tall and curvy girl which often makes me feel big and awkward compared to others.  But, this friend was all of a size four.  I could probably fit my hands all the way around her waist with room to spare.  Okay, that might be a small exaggeration, but you get my point.  She does NOT have wide hips.

Life Lesson: The fun house mirror effect is why you need friends with you while shopping.  They can look at you and see what's really going on with an outfit.  They don't know that your hips worry you or that you wish your bust filled out a top better.  At least, not until you open your mouth and voice the thought aloud.  They just know that your butt looks really good in those pants or that they wouldn't be seen in public with you if you dared to wear that too-tight micro mini skirt out to the bar.

I bought at least four items that I would never have given a second glance if my friends hadn't made me try them on during this shopping trip (and I've only returned two of them since coming home -  being fashion forward is nice, but busting my budget is not acceptable.)


  1. LaineyLifeLessonsAugust 2, 2012 at 8:51 PM

    So, according to my honey, this post is not going to be that enjoyable for my male readership.  Sorry, fellas!  It's great that you guys enjoy reading my stuff, but every now and again I am going to remind you that I'm a girl. Just sayin'. 

  2. Haha, I didn't make it past the sex in the city picture...  Just kidding.

  3. LaineyLifeLessonsAugust 8, 2012 at 8:48 PM

    Your comment made my honey laugh and also made him say I told you so.  At least you made it down to the comment section, even if your eyes may have glazed over before you got there.