Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Change is Messy

My poor family. This is our dining room table:

If you look carefully you will spot the (deservedly) much maligned broccoli sweater and a whole pile of scoop-neck Faded Glory acrylic sweaters. Also a Norma K cheetah skirt and top ensemble I bought because P thought it was cute and kind of sexy. There are purses and never-worn shoes, too, and an entire bag of things I bought in on my last St. Louis trip. Oh, and the most hideous swimsuit ever. But, hey, it was October and the only others on the rack were way frumpy skirted one-pieces or shiny bikinis.

Yesterday I received an email from WalMart asking about my "recent return experience." Uh, which one? I know many people have been banned from returning things to Target because they return things too frequently. I suspect that I'm near my limit at WalMart--and I have about $250 worth of tagged stuff to go back.

When I ended this project almost two weeks ago, I found myself in a bit of a daze. Honestly, I felt as though I'd just been let out of fashion jail. It took an act of will not to go automatically to the rack and shelves where I kept my WalMart clothes. The night I realized I could wear one of my favorite Flora Nikrooz gowns, I was so excited I almost cried. Then I wore the shearling coat I blogged about last time every day for a week. I didn't want to take it off! So there I was in fifty degree weather wearing a coat meant for thirty degrees. Does anyone else find that a little sad and kinda shallow? Sure, I learned a lot from the project, but I don't think it changed me all that much. I'm still a sucker for an awesome coat. Oh, well.

I had done a pretty good job of stowing all of my pre-WalMart clothes. One of the pictured laundry baskets is full of them. WalMart and pre-Walmart laundry is mixed together in the second one. I had stacked all my sweaters--two piles deep--on my top three sweater shelves, so all I had to do was pull one out to get dressed. Most outfits/dresses/skirts/jackets are still on their regular racks, ready to go.

But now I find myself in one of those awkward seasons--you know, like late September and October, when it's hot enough to wear shorts one week, then cold enough for jeans and a cotton sweater the next week. The fashion trade calls them transition periods and designs whole seasons of clothing around them. I used to make sure I had at least two pairs of khaki chinos and a khaki skirt for transitions. I got out of that habit about five years after chinos went out of style--or, at least, I stopped wearing them. In transition periods, I always have tons and tons of laundry about until around November, when I finally get around to putting the warm weather and transition stuff away.

Complicating my WalMart/pre-WalMart transition is the fact that I'm actually keeping about 1/3-1/2 of what I bought during the project.

Here's a list:
Everything from Sam's Club, with the exception of the broccoli sweater, a couple broom skirts and swim coverups that still have tags, and the toasty warm orange Green Tea hoodie that I might have kept if I'd followed the Dry Clean Only instructions.
LS cotton tees, Danskin workout wear, tennies, yoga and sweatpants that I bought for workouts/sleeping
Bras (because I hand wash them, they're in great shape and will last out the year)
Hanes cotton underwear and socks
2/3 of the jewelry
All camis (a cami is a cami)
All Sam's Nine West blue jeans and CK cords (though I'm not bowled over by the CK cords--they haven't washed so well) 
Leather shoes and sandals, and all Norma Kamali Shoes
Almost everything Norma Kamali except: the polka-dots I bought out East, the cheetah stuff and a few thin sweaters that are too big and not flattering. A strapless jersey dress I'm too fat to wear now. Two pairs of black career pants, matching vest and jacket (too flimsy). And this, because buffalo plaid is only flattering on seven year-olds and attractively-coiffed pencils.

The stuff I'm glad I bought and am delighted to keep:

This Norma K dress ($20). I felt great in it and love the red shoes.

Norma K. black cords--fine wale, wash very well.
Scarves! Love them all!
Australian F'Uggs. (Seriously--if they had the Uggs label on the back, I couldn't tell the difference. They've held up great.) (Sam's)
London Fog All Weather Leather handbag from (Sam's)
 Calvin Klein brown hooded down coat (Sam's)
Those plain camis. ($7 under a $150 sweater? You bet.)

Dr. Scholl's athletic mules. Fabulous for slipping on with workout socks for the exercise bike. Does anyone else hate to have to strap on tennies for that?
And, last but not least, That Damned Necklace.

In fact, I think That Damn Necklace should be celebrated. So I'm awarding a new That Damn Necklace in Brown/Bronze to reader Branda because she thoughtfully took note of it often. Lucky you, Branda. Wear it in good health--or not!

I'll let you all know how the mixing, sorting, returning and donating goes soon. Plus, I still have a couple of piles of yummy mysteries to give away.

Thanks for dropping in. I've missed you all!


  1. Thanks for the update!! : ) I'm glad you're keeping that dress. It's so flattering & you can tell from the photo that it makes you feel great!

  2. Thanks, Carrie. I should have updated sooner, but I think I was too into that liberated feeling. The best part? Not having to take my picture everyday. Though it means that I don't always get as dressed as I should each day, lol.

  3. It brought a smile seeing a new post from you. Nice to hear the recap on what you feel is worth keeping. Maybe I should forward it to the Sam's buyer for clothing? :-) Even buyers deserve to be told something positive for a change. We all tend to just gripe at them.

  4. Hi, Sally. Oh, yes. Please do give them kudos. They've particularly improved in men's clothing. My DH loves to pick out his own jeans/khakis/sweaters there. I will say that the ladies' IZOD sweater/attached dickies things for spring are kinda tacky. Just because it says IZOD doesn't mean it's a good thing. So there's my report! Glad you're still around. :)

  5. I love that black dress. That came from Walmart? I would have never thought.