The following is a full account of my shopping habits:
I delight people who work at Lids, shoe stores, Wrigleyville Sports, and places that sell Citizen watches. Those employees probably leapfrog each other to be the one to get to “sell” me things which requires nothing more than having me try it on, find the right size, and say, “That is awesome.”
I shop for cars like you shop for a candy bar — “Eh, today I want a Snickers.” “Eh, today I want a Kia Sorento.” — same difference for me. I bought a house while my wife was on a plane to Beijing. I have a legitimate book buying problem. I have more office supplies in my house than I would ever need (and still can never find a working pen or envelopes). I have some trouble deciding on what kind of smoothie I want, but I persevere anyway.
But oh my god do I hate shopping for clothes that are not sports apparel.
To put this in perspective, I mentioned to my mom in March of 2017 that I would really like to buy some new jeans. I have approximately three pairs that I really like wearing and all of them were purchased at some point in the aughts. I have random other pairs (that are even older) that I don’t like wearing as much and a couple I downright hate.
Have I purchased new jeans since March 2017? No. Have I even attempted to go clothes shopping in that time? Not one little bit. My motivation for such an outing is peak zero percent. And it’s not because I’m embarrassed or afraid of dressing rooms or anything like that. I just loathe shopping.
But then a really fun thing happened: I started hating all of my clothes. It’s probably a byproduct of summer where my entire life is spent in athletic shorts and t-shirts. This summer, in particular, required this attire. It means that putting on clothes with buttons and zippers and whatnot sort of feels like I’m strangling myself.
However, I also had the insane urge to upgrade my wardrobe so that I could perhaps look like an adult lady human once in awhile. Which is why, on a whim, I signed up for Stitch Fix.
You can research the specifics yourself, but it’s basically a subscription clothing service where you sign up, fill out five questionnaires about your “style,” and then someone, somewhere reads your information and chooses articles of clothing for you. They ship five pieces as frequently as you sign up for and you pay for what you keep and ship back what you don’t. It is a lazy person’s shopping outing (inning?) that really brings something into focus: How do you describe your style to someone who cannot see you and will never meet you?
[Editor’s note: They encourage you to send a link to your Instagram. Her Instagram is currently 88 pictures of dogs. Not going to be helpful.]
I entered into the system my measurements as I guessed them. For “Dress Size” I wanted to enter in “Never” but that was not an option. “Bra Size” was a complete shot in the dark. “Skirt Size” was measured in “WTFness” but I could leave nothing blank. “Do you like hats?” Yes, finally, I love hats. Then they listed off nine or ten different styles of hats and not a single one was labeled “baseball” so I had to Google a lot.
The “How do things typically fit you?” section was awesome. “I do not buy clothes that fit me,” I wanted to write in the comments, “because I visualize myself as somehow both much bigger and much smaller than I actually am.” This was not the comments section, though, so my answers were limited to “Just right,” “Loose,” and “Tight.” I had no “just right” buttons clicked and thought, ‘Maybe this is why I hate all my clothes.’
Finally, we got to the page where it invited me to “Tell your stylist what they should know about you.” And then, some poor person somewhere was assigned my “file” and had to choose fashion options using the following paragraph:
“I feel like all of my clothes make me feel “dumpy” (as though that is a fashion word) and would like to feel… undumpy. I am not the least bit feminine but have boobs I cannot hide and hate wearing anything that emphasizes them. I would probably wear more men’s clothes than I do except most of their styles do not incorporate my chest or the fact that I have hips. Designers apparently feel like someone my size is typically 5’3″ and, yet, jump immediately to 6’5″ if I try on “long” anything. Also I love wearing hats — baseball caps mostly — so if you have something that goes with that, that would be cool. I’m sure you don’t. I’m also open to weird or funky or more stylish hats. (I am totally willing to become the “weird hat” woman in town if necessary.) You asked if my ears are pierced and they are, which I did in a fit of wanting to coordinate everything I bought at Maurices in sixth grade, but I never wear earrings and the last things I shoved through them were Christmas ornaments for an “Ugly Christmas Sweater” party in 2013. I work a variety of jobs so we don’t really have to coordinate for anything in particular. I don’t bother with careers in which I can’t wear jeans. Also I’m going to do my second stand-up routine soon so if you have something for that, that would be cool; last time I wore a flannel. I like flannel, but I’m okay with that being a subdivision of my overall style. No dresses or skirts for any reason. I don’t need to show off my shoulders or arms all that much, but I do have some ink on those that I don’t mind showing off. Above all else, I am unconcerned with what others think of me overall, but I want to feel powerful and confident when necessary while retaining all of my quirkiness.
“Also I really like watches. Do you have watches?”
Everyone bow their head and pray for that person. I cannot wait to see what they send. I assume it’ll be cowboy boots and a poncho.