Perimenopausal, Pandemic Wardrobe Haul – Fall/Winter ’21 and ’22 @showmeshannon

I gained a few pounds over the last year or so. I’m perimenopausal and less active since the COVID lockdowns. I had to modify my wardrobe last season to accommodate the extra pounds. I donated several items to Goodwill or gave them away to acquaintances. I learned that it’s pretty expensive to replace a lot of your wardrobe at once. JC Penney and Amazon were my go to retailers.

I had to get rid of almost all of my slack and jeans. It started one morning when I was getting ready for work. I went through several pairs of pants and I couldn’t fit any of them properly. I don’t wear jeans often but I tried mine on to see if I could fit them. I don’t think I could fit any of them.

Many of my slacks were from Express. Express slacks run around sixty dollars at least. That’s a bit steep but I worked for Express in the past so I got an employee discount and used it often. I’ve also been on their e-mail and preferred customer list for years and I took advantage of sales and coupons. I’ve been the same size for most of my post pubescent life and the clothes were good quality so they’ve lasted for years.

I replaced my slacks with merchandise from NY & Co. The quality was not good but they were cheap and I was having an emergency. They will do and I can put better quality items into my wardrobe bit by bit. The construction of my NY & Co. slacks are squirrely. The pockets don’t lay flat. It’s as if Denise Huxtable made them. But they were about $30 a piece. You get what you pay for and I needed new pants. I also found a nice pair of black Calvin Klein pair of pants at Ross.

I also bought slacks from Old Navy. I have a complicated relationship with Old Navy. I may write about that a different time because my explanation would take a bit. Let’s just say I think they’re partially responsible for the decline of Western civilization. That’s for a different blog post.

Old Navy pants fit me a little odd. I ordered the pixie cut. I bought a size bigger than my old size and the pants were still tight. I bought the size up after that and they were still tight in the thighs and behind but they gave a lot of pooch room. My pooch isn’t that big. It’s almost as if they are maternity pants but I checked and they’re not maternity pants. They’re just for people with big pooches.

I got new jeans from Amazon. I chose high waist or mom jeans. I’m not a mom but I have a great deal of respect and appreciation for these jeans. Jeans are expensive. It’s also difficult to find jeans that aren’t torn, high water or some sort of weird wash. I bought two pairs of Gloria Vanderbilt jeans for around $40 each.

I’ve shopped at more expensive retailers in the past but I made purchases piece by piece so it wasn’t as costly. One of my favorite retailers is Express. They are on the expensive side in my opinion but I took advantage of their Black Friday sales. I bought a new suit from Express. It’s nice and the suit is made with a material that is almost like a fleece.

I bought several suits from Express in the past. Their suits have always been great. They were sharp and fit like a glove. Their current selection doesn’t match what they offered in the past but it will do. You can’t look at my suit and tell it’s made from sweat pants material. Express did what they needed to do to cater to people that want to wear jammies and yoga pants everywhere.

I had a job interview last Fall and I couldn’t fit any of my suits. I didn’t have time to buy anything new. I pieced something together but after thinking about it I think the blouse may have been a little low cut. It didn’t matter that much because I wasn’t offered the position and that’s OK. I don’t blame the lack of success on the the low cut blouse. At least that occasion prepared me for the next opportunity.

I’ve learned how to manage a pooch. The first thing I learned is the value of good underwear. I have what I call dress underwear. I call them dress underwear because they work well with dresses. Pants are a lot more forgiving and sharp looking. Dresses are more complicated.

I purchased my dress underwear at Target and they do a great job of sucking in my pooch and making it less obvious un. I also learned that A line dresses are great for camouflaging a pooch. Sheath dresses are less forgiving and reveal the pooch a lot more. You have to give yourself plenty of room while not having the dress fit like a bag. Dresses that fit well are sharp. Tight dresses are tacky.

I didn’t buy new shoes last season. However, I have a pair of white combat boots that I’ve gotten more use out of than I thought I would. I got them from Shoe Carnival for around $50 or so. I also got some new accessories. I got a few belts from JC Penney and jewelry.

The last year has taught me to wear clothes that fit. It sounds simple but it’s a bit of a hill to get over. I wasn’t interested in trying to lose weight because I don’t think I’m an unhealthy weight. I’m just middle aged, perimenopausal and going through natural life changes. I think older women that strive to be very thin look a bit strange. There are a few Hollywood examples of this. Dress for the body you have and wear good underwear especially if you are in a dress.

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