Yesterday, my family of 5 headed off to the mall. This isn’t the first time since #3 has been born that we’ve done this. I’ve even taken all three kids by myself, which by the way does not happen often. There’s not enough coffee in the world for that mess. This trip however, was a bit different. For the first time in 3 years we were shopping for me! When I say this, I mean normal non-maternity clothes. I was at the point where I no longer need leggings all the time, it’s too hot for the one pair of jeans that don’t really fit, and I was wearing the same articles of clothing every week. I felt miserable and shapeless and tired of constantly wearing my workout clothes outside of the gym.
Before we left, I took the time to actually fix my hair and put on makeup. My husband asked me what I was doing and my reply was simply that “I wanted to look like a human being for once”. Plus, it’s a confidence booster when you see yourself in a changing room mirror and not look like a tired, hot mess. So, dressed and feeling rather good about myself we set off. Our first stop was to grab one of those mall carts for Alyssa (the 2 year old). Alexavier was in our umbrella stroller and of course Aurora is old enough to walk and not run off into the crowd. It makes it easier to have them in carts/strollers that can maneuver through the clothing racks rather than our double stroller. This was in the bathroom during our 3rd trip…
We started in H&M because it was the first store with women’s clothing. I strolled through the aisles grabbing various things in various sizes; while Aurora also brought me various things in more varying sizes than even I had 🙈. It was interesting to see the styles out there now for women. I was glad to see waist lines that were higher for these post-baby hips. But it seems that the shirts have gotten shorter too. I was still able to fill up a shopping bag to take into the dressing room. Which is where things got a bit interesting. Aurora went with me, she is good about giving an honest opinion, and I really needed that…at least I thought that I did. We had 15 or more items going in. I received the following comments: “you look like a pirate”, “it’s a tent mom”, “that doesn’t look like you”…I’ll admit, it wasn’t turning out so well. Before you start to think that this was a complete disaster, I walked out with 4 items. Not what I was expecting but I had not given up yet. What is it about escalators?? We rode these up and down at least 5 times!
We left the store and Travis asked where I wanted to go next. This was a really hard question for me. You see, my entire young adult life I have been a mom. It has consisted of having stretch marks, a cesarean scar, and a little extra fluff. And while that’s not a bad thing, it’s hard to dress for your young age and to dress for a mom-bod. I had no clue where to go, so I just started walking until I saw other women with strollers going into Charlotte Russe. Being hopeful, I followed them inside and started looking around. I didn’t find much; it was filled with a lot of crop tops, clothes with holes in odd places, and my girls started complaining about needing to use the bathroom again (this had happened in H&M too). I know that this style is very popular amongst my age group, but I don’t really care for clothes that I can’t chase my kids in. Or that I can’t walk up to Aurora’s school in. I walked out with two pairs of shorts. My confidence was slowly going down hill. Then I found this awesome store that had exactly what I was looking for. With excitement building I went in, picked up a shirt to try on, took one look at the tag and immediately put it back and walked out. No matter how old my clothes are, or how terrible that they may fit (or not fit) I will NOT pay $90.00 for a shirt! That was really hard on me. Seriously, after thinking that I finally found the perfect store the let down hit hard.
At that point we went to the food court to eat dinner. I told my husband that we should go and get some summer clothes for him while we were there. Might as well make good on our trip right? After dinner we headed to one of the few stores that we can shop for his size in; American Eagle. It was while browsing the store to help him that a woman approached me to ask if I needed help. For some reason, I started telling her about my horrific experience so far at the mall. She didn’t look at me with pity, but understanding, and then proceeded to show me mid-rise shorts, boyfriend fit shirts, cardigans, and tanks. All without random holes. I hit the dressing room once more and to my delight I fit into everything and even got a thumbs up from both Travis and Aurora. I even found sweaters in the clearance racks that were marked down cheaper than on Black Friday. These are just a few of the items that I bought 🙂
It was a great end to our mall trip. Though it was filled with a lot of bathroom trips for the kids, disappointment in the fit/price of too many items, and a lot of used energy I learned a few things from it.
- Clothes shopping for women is cruel and atrocious. Sizes should not vary that much. I bought items ranging in sizes Small-Large.
- It is possible to find a helpful person working or shopping in a store. The woman in American Eagle was the sole factor in me finding clothes that fit.
- Taking someone with you to give you a thumbs up or thumbs down is helpful but can sometimes make you feel less confident. I’d really rather be the only one to know that most of my items looked terrible than for others to see it as well. Unless you take someone who just sits and doesn’t say anything but smiles at you the whole time.
- There’s a reason that mom’s don’t shop for themselves. It’s exhausting! Especially when your kids would rather head over to a toy store, or candy store, or constantly feel the need to go to a public toilet. I honestly don’t know how we even ended up in the LEGO store
- I will most likely stick to online shopping with Zulily and Jane.com now that I know my sizes and what styles to look for. Seriously though, if I can shop while sitting on my happy butt while watching Bubble Guppies or Octonauts I’d much rather do that. There’s no judgement, no dressing rooms, a price filter, and no public toilets.
I may just start throwing a shopping party for my mom friends. Or any women who hate the dressing rooms. We can trade off on who hosts and all bring refreshments. That’ll be more fun. We can all sit around on our phones or computers scrolling through cheaper clothes while stuffing our faces and laughing. Oh, and the kids can watch a movie or play without the need to chase them. That’s definitely a win! So who wants an invite?