Fashionably Challenged

I hate fashion. And I don't mean hate in the "I-don't-care-how-I-look" way ... I mean it in the way that you secretly feel sad inside when you want something you can't have. It's more like envy, I guess: I envy those who know how to look good. Because no matter how much I try to educate myself about it, y'all, I just don't ever feel fashionable, and I have trouble keeping up with what's cute and what's not.

It's not like I walk around looking like a slack-jawed skank. I don't have a closet full of "What Not to Wear"-worthy attire or anything ... it's just all boring and outdated (and, um, black). Despite the stacks of women's magazines I subscribe to - Marie Claire, Allure, Self - I wouldn't know a trend if it came up and bitch-slapped me ... which is exactly what I feel like is going to happen when I'm shopping. I browse unconfidently through the racks, choosing pieces timidly, like some squad of savage fashionistas is going to eat me alive if I pick the wrong thing.

I think it's because a lot of the fashionable women I know are so judgy. They can spot a designer knockoff or a cheap imitation from a mile away, and almost always call out such style misdeeds in the snarkiest way possible. I mean, why do you think worst-dressed lists are so popular? People love to hate on other people's style ... or lack thereof. And I don't wanna get hated on, y'all. So I just stick to the jeans-and-tee basics, and blend boringly in.

Here are some more reasons why the contents of my closet could put you to sleep:

- I'm not cutting-edge. I can't spot a trend until it's splashed onto every magazine page, until every celebrity is wearing it, until I see it on every cute-looking twentysomething in the grocery store.

 - I'm just clueless. I don't know what is "so last season." By the time I do pick up on a trend, and trust that it's stylish enough that I won't get made mad fun of, it's on its last legs. Last night, for example, I stood in the shoe department for twenty minutes agonizing over whether or not to buy a pair of black flats. Flats have been "in" for a while now. So does that mean they're almost out? I ended up not buying any ... and by the time I do, they'll be fashionably obsolete.

- I hardly ever like a trend when it first hits. I thought Uggs were ugg-ly when they were all the rage. It wasn't until I saw enough people wearing them, and looking cute despite them, that I thought ... hmm. Maybe they're not all that bad. Maybe I'd even rock a pair. (I never did, though). And now? I want to barf when I see stuff like those horrible jean-leggings (jeggings?). But again: give me a few months, and just as I start to warm to the trend, it'll be out the door.

- I can't figure out what goes with what. Just because you give somebody a bunch of rhyming words doesn't mean they can write a good poem. Likewise, I can be surrounded by trendy clothing and accessories without the slightest clue how to match them up.

- I can't figure out how to do any of it on a budget. I mean, outside of shopping at cheap places. I've got three kids and a mortgage. My entire wardrobe, save for a shirt and a pair of jeans from Guess, comes from Target, Old Navy, and Walmart. (Yes. Really. Walmart.) The last outfit I bought was from Old Navy: a sweater, a camisole (on sale for $3 and some change), a scarf, a pair of jeans, and a pair of boots (with a 50% off coupon). It cost me somewhere around $75. That's relatively cheap I suppose, considering all I bought, and yet ... that's just one outfit. There are seven days in a week. Y'all do the math. At that rate, I can only afford to look fashionable, like, two days a month.

Come to think of it, I'm not even sure it is fashionable. I mean, it's a really basic outfit. But it has a scarf ... and boots. Boots are trendy now, right? And I wore my jeans tucked into them, which is cool, yeah?


Here. Let me just show you. Here is the sweater ...

... which I wear with this cami underneath ...

... to match this scarf ...

(You can't really tell from the pic, but it honestly does match the rest of my stuff.)

... with these boots:

And, you know, some dark wash jeans.

Seriously though, it took me like an hour to pick out just this one outfit ... which may or may not be on-trend - I'd never know. Ugh. What I need is a stylist: someone to hand me some pictures, like the ones I just posted, and be all, "Okay Rita, this goes with this and this. Go buy it."

Anyone offering classes in Remedial Dressing 101? 'Cause I'm totally in.


  1. I stopped reading at "slack-jawed skank" just because of the mental image I got. I'll try again later. Here is my fashion advice. Maybe don't wear a bra next time.

  2. I like the outfit you bought!

    I like this blog for inspiration. Even thought I couldn't pull off most of the looks I think J does a lot with a little $.

  3. I love the new outfit, and I'm sure you look great - and fashionable - in it! You've always had good taste in clothes. I think the problem is that, once you have kids and a mortgage, you feel the pressure to buy things that last a long time and won't go out of style quickly. AND, you're always under pressure to hurry and make a decision. I remember feeling that way until you girls got in high school and we could shop together!

  4. That outfit is smokin'! Just get it in a few more colors and you will be all set. ;)

  5. I like how that outfit didn't have any pants! ;)

  6. I love the boots! and I have never been able to be trendy either. I just don't have the fashion sense, shoot, my husband has better fashion sense than I do!

  7. I love your outfit! We have similar "jeans and t shirt" tastes. I love those boots and most boots I see and yet I only own one boring black pair. Anyway, don't worry! I'm sure you look cute! Target has so many good things for cheap.

  8. Hi Rita,

    I've been following your blog for a while but have never commented before. I laugh frequently and bawled over your Andy story to my husband on the phone - try explaining to someone that you are so upset you are sobbing but over a dog you've never met who belonged to a family you don't know...he thought I'd lost the plot.

    Any way that outfit you picked out IS my wardrobe, that is precisely how I dress when I'm making an effort, otherwise I am a jeans, trainers, t-shirt and hoodie woman. And I'm in my 30s. Needless to say I thought it was lovely.

    Great blog by the way.

  9. Yes please! I'm in my early (ish) 20's and I still don't feel like I'm ever in fashion. If you find someone to run a class, I want to enrol!

  10. When you get my come to realize that all those fashionable women are having just as much stress trying to STAY fashionable as you are trying to GET fashionable. And they are probably letting their kids and mortgage suffer trying to keep up with the latest trends.
    Loved the blue outfit- you did a good job. Just be yourself and ignore those judgy fashion skanks!:)

  11. I am not alone. I not only need a personal shopping but a personal dresser. I went to MEXX and this woman brought me clothing that matched and were on sale. Good sales person is what you need - and a second mortgage.


  12. that is a cute outfit!

    Have you ever seen 50 first dates? "What's with all the skank and the beetches talk? What are you drunk or something?" hahahahaha!! sorry but that is hilarious. I love that movie and that is what this blog reminded me of. :D

  13. People must love to hate me then cause I have no fashion clue, I'm a fashontard.

  14. I'm terribly fashion challenged. Mostly because I ean't work myself up to care. Right up until I need to go somewhere fancy, and realize my jeans and t-shirts just aren't going to cut it.

  15. I could have wrote this myself ! I am so much the same! I do like the outfit, and heck, it would have taken me 1.15 hrs to get that!

  16. Hey, you dress better with me. For one, I wear my Sketchers everywhere. I don't have a pair of boots.

    And, I mainly wear t-shirts with funny sayings on them. Like I have one that says, "I'm not short, I'm fun sized."

  17. Oh girl....I FEEL your pain. I have ALWAYS been at the tail end of a "trend." And even then, i don't know if I'd call it trend, or just safe. I don't get fashion, I could care less about it as well. I just buy what looks good and fits. Not always easy.

    But, I must stop you right now....No jeggings. NO, JUST SAY NO!! You've seen my posts on this right? Never give in. They're bad. Ok, I have said my peace.

    Oh and also, what's wrong with getting clothes from Wal-Mart? I've been known to get a thing or two there. Is what it is.

    Just hold your head up and walk proud!

  18. Can I get a "Whoot Whoot" for the gals that are seriously unfashionable, but want to be?


    I am the same there Rita. I still hate 80's fashion and now it's trying to get me to like it again! Oh I don't think so, 80's. You can't pull one over on me, you sneaky little bugger!!!


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