Less Is More Whilst Shopping

Signs-You-Have-Too-Many-ClothesNothing in life is better when you go shopping, end up breaking your arm due to too many clothes to try on, and then end up liking everything. Right!? It’s genius. Well, maybe, it’s kind of a double-edged sword.

But during my first voyage to Century 21 Philly, the stars aligned and I ended up liking 98.7% of everything I brought into the fitting room. And mind you, I could only bring like 8 items with me at a time, and had to swap out clothes three different times. In fact my right arm hurt the next day from carrying it all around (sad, right? Muscles is something I don’t got).

So then I was faced with the deadly question, “can I afford everything I love here,” which was WAY too much shit. Like too too much. I was high on clothes, what can I say. Questions like, “do I need to eat this week,” and “how does one sell their eggs” crossed my mind … true signs of an addict. But I stopped myself because I have a problem called, “quickly falling in love with an item, not thinking it over, buying it, then never wearing it.”

Enter palazzo pants stage right. I bought them in early spring from Zara, red and wide-legged to the max, imagined myself strutting down the sun-kissed streets, hailing cabs and flipping my Herbal Essence-like hair in them and immediately fell in love with the idea. I become so immersed in this vision that I neglected the fact that they were COMPLETELY see-through. Then I just wanted to set fire to them.

These “visions” are why I buy things and never wear them. What can I say, I have a vivid imagination. But during this trip to C21 Philly, I decided to stop this pattern that only wastes my precious dolla-dolla bills, pull over to the side of the store and think shit out.

I encourage you all to do this. I know, I know it is all “go, go, go,” but taking a second to think it over and decide if you REALLY love the piece or if you’re just picturing yourself as something you aren’t (i.e. Kate Moss on a spring day) is UBER important. For the first time, I walked away with really awesome pieces, that I love, fit amazingly, and that I look forward to wearing and styling in different ways.

So before you buy, and end up with a closet full of “meh” items, or if you are like me, ones you want to set fire to, consider these things:

1. Is it seasonally appropriate? Will it keep me warm? Will it be too hot? Can I layer? (Real talk, I almost bought a pair of pants that were paper thin. It is going to be 20 degrees tomorrow. Genius, self, genius.)

2. Is this in my color palette? If you don’t wear pink and things with bows on it, why buy the shirt? And if you don’t have a color palette, work on it, for the love. No one likes looking like ROYGBIV vommed all over them (Side note: I almost purchased a shirt that was pink with bows on it … I told you I was high on clothes)

3. Do I own this already? (We are creatures of habit. I have the same black sheer shirt in 5 different styles … and I could easily buy more)

4. Is this piece see-through, or defective, pulls, rips, stains … and if it is see-through, think about how your under garments can work with it. Do you have to go commando or do you have to purchase some weird ass contraption that will turn this $40 top into a $95 top?

5. How will this piece hold up? Will I need to get it dry cleaned every time I wear it? It is fabric that wrinkles when the slightest wind blows on it. (I have a white button down that I cannot wear because if a mouse coughs, it wrinkles … nobody’s got time for that nonsense). All of these things will add cost, time, and annoyance to your life.

Fear And Loathing Of Crowds

holiday-shopping-crowdI wouldn’t say I have claustrophobia issues. And I wouldn’t say that I’m a recluse who lives in her basement, petting her cats whilst eating canned goods. I’m totally good going out and functioning as a normal human being with the rest of the general population.

That is … until there are crowds.

Yesterday I attended a pre-party for a store opening. Philly is bursting at the seams right now with amazing new shopping venues. Which you would think would make me the happier than a clam, which, in a way, I am, don’t get me wrong. But when the words “pre-party” and “free” and “tote bags” and “alcohol” and “free alcohol” get tossed around to the public, it gives people this idea that they can act like complete assholes in public and not consider their fellow man. So run. RUN FAST.

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I don’t know what I was expecting, a butler wearing white gloves serving me a chilled glass of champagne as I walk in, greeting me with a, “welcome kate, your shopping destination awaits,” escorting me in to another butler who hands me a tote bag filled to the brim with branded good and gift cards. The aisles are cleared and the perfectly organized designer goods on the glimmering silver racks wait patiently as I prepare to shop. A few lovely, calm people in pristine outfits flutter about me, shopping quietly as they sip on their champagne. As I make my way to the second floor, another butler in white gloves notices my champagne needs to be refreshed as I make my way to the shoe section. As I go to sit down to try on a pair of Louboutins on sale for $100, the butler comes over and offers me a lovely shoulder massage.

And then I woke up.

In real life, pre-party store openings aren’t like that. You think it is all exclusive and shit, but it isn’t. It is like walking into a jungle. You need to take off any extra layers, remove your hoops, and go in ready for battle.

I wish I had a pic of my face the minute I walked into the store. First of all it was 100 degrees, and second of all, there were SO many people, I could barely tell if I was staring at men’s clothing or women’s clothing. And no one moved. No. One. It was like I was having an outer body experience and didn’t exist to these people. I started walking around just to well, walk around. I think I was scared that if I stayed stationary too long someone would try to buy the clothes off of my body.

The only way I could describe the look in these people’s eyes was ravenous. You could tell they would do anything and everything for the free goods and insane deals before anyone else got their hands on them. I literally was a bumbling fool, wandering around in circles, making my way through people (which was no easy task) as “excuse me” didn’t work, and pushing past them only led them to offer me with a lovely, “ummm bitch” comment.

I looked around and saw some people had their shopping bags filled to the brim with goods, and I wondered how they could shop in such conditions. I contemplated exploring the accessories section, as it looked much calmer than the rest, but the idea of picking up a statement necklace and having some crazy broad bite my hand off (literally and figuratively) freaked me out far too much. So I went to make my grand escape.

I shoved through people, who, again, literally did not give a shit that I existed, only when I went against what I believe in and shoved past them without an “excuse me,” which awoke them from their shopping haze to notice that I was, indeed, a bitch messing with their space. Yikes. I ran to the exit, only to find that it was only an “entrance.” What? There is clearly a door to exit here, but no no … I’ll walk across the entire store through these crazy free shit hungry bastards to the OTHER “real” exit, no worries. I’m sure I’ll emerge unscathed.

I took a second to find a safe path, free of crazytown shoppers, which entailed a lot of zig-zagging through racks of unimpressive men’s clothing (these people probably thought I was the crazy one). I finally made my way to the real exit and was greeted by a man who met me with a, “I hope you enjoyed shopping with us!” I rolled my eyes at him and shoved through the revolving doors, wanting to rip off my clothing as I was sweating profusely.

Annoyed. Hot. Overwhelmed. Anxiety-ridden. And not a new piece of clothing on my person. I was straight up miserable. You would think all of that commotion happened in hours, but it truly happened in less than 15 minutes. I won’t give away the name of this store because I do adore it, and look forward to the day I can shop there in peace. Without the free goods. Without the insane people.

But for now, until everyone gets over their “new shiny penny” syndrome, I will be calmly and quietly shopping at the old dusty stores people are SO over. Because one thing I learned about myself is mama cannot handle shopping crowds.

Malls Give Me Anxiety

CluelessAliciaSAs a teenager, hanging at the mall after school was never my thing. I believe my generation was more into going to the movies or hanging in someone’s basement. I looked at going to the mall without my source of money (my mom) sheer torture, so what was the point? Even if I asked to go “chill with my friends at the mall,” my mom would have said no because at that time only derelicts of society hung out there, shopping at Hot Topic and buying out Annie Anne’s and such. Luckily we saw eye-to-eye on this hot topic.

Some odd years later, as a grown adult, I have no desire to step foot into a traditional mall. Now I’m not talking about the gorgeous outdoor malls you would see in Miami with beautiful architecture, clean sidewalks, and high end stores that have soothing sounds of Sia remix playing. No. I’m talking the old school malls with glass ceilings, fake trees, and kiosks selling hair ties that say your name in over-sized blinged out letters lining the walk ways.

Even though my mall I have gone to since I was a young person has done some major renovations and now has a Nordstrom, two-story Forever 21, and Henri Bendel … it doesn’t really take away the “ick” factor for me. They even tried moving the food court far away from all the “trendy” shops in hopes it would attract the shady balls elsewhere, but I’m going to go ahead and say that didn’t work.

To me, a stroll through the mall is straight up overwhelming and brings me one step away from an anxiety attack. You have the women with double strollers taking up the entire aisle so you can’t pass and have to walk at a snails pace, the people walking down the wrong side of the mall making you play a ridiculous game of chicken, the mixing scents of leather, food, and Abercrombie and Fitch swirling magnificently together, the punk kids who are loud and obnoxious (shaking fist), and the kiosk people who basically come at you with a hair straighter exclaiming that your hair looks like shit and how great they can make you look in a thick accent.

Ps. If you know where this image is from, we are officially best friends.

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And you will always see someone you know. That saying, “always dress like you are about to run into your worst enemy,” is basically for people who frequent malls. It is the perfect place to play, “this is your life.” “OMG Kate is that you!?” is the most terrifying statement in the world when all I want to do is find some God damn leather over-the-knee boots and go home to watch Will and Grace reruns. You want to run, you want to pretend you had a tragic scuba diving accident and have lost your memory, but you can’t. Insert torturous small talk here. “Yeaaaaaah it HAS been a long time since pre-K :::rolls eyes:::”

And kids … the kids. The crying kids. The parents who let their kids scream bloody murder. It is like the bad elevator music of every mall. “SUZY! IF YOU DON’T STOP CRYIN’ :::mother continues to shop as daughter continues to scream her brains out::: I SWEAR I WILL TAKE YOU HOME RIGHT NOW!” Jesus. YES! Take her home. How can ANYONE shop with a screaming toddler? Seriously. Yet I see it all the time. I don’t even have kids, but when I’m shopping and I hear a kid start to scream and carry on, I vacate the premises immediately. I’m getting a headache just writing about it.

The idea of having everything in one place may seem like a dream, but something happens to the general population when they step foot into a mall that I just cannot take. I don’t know if it is the bazaar and abnormally hot temps or the absurdly loud techno music from Abercrombie, but everyone just gets a little crazytown. A little too crazytown for my liking, if you ask me. I blame Abercrombie.

Outdoor malls or even city shopping is much more my jam. I think it is because when you vacate a store, you get a breath of fresh air, literally. You get to remove yourself from the crazy for a mere moment until you find your next destination. And if you had too much crazy, you don’t have to walk through another wave of ultimate crazy to get to where your car is. Kid is crying like he/she is being murdered in the store you’re in? Go outside, there is probably a park somewhere to sit and meditate and get your brain waves back in order. It’s genius.

Down with indoor malls. We have all these innovations in life, yet we still shop like it is 1985. “Let’s like ditch and go to the mall :::twirls hair/pops gum::::.” Nope. NOT up in here … NOT. UP. IN. HERE.

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Bitch, I’m Stealing Your Look

CaptureWhen in elementary school, or middle school even, sharing a look with a friend was completely okay and insanely cool. Much like “On Wednesday’s we wear pink,” I would call my best friend up and exclaim, “tomorrow let’s wear white crew neck Gap t-shirts and Gap boot cut jeans!” (Yes … I actually literally did such a thing) And we would walk down the halls thinking we were the bees knees when in real life we were the biggest bunch of clowns that had ever existed.

Even if I saw a fellow classmate, you know one of the “cool” girls, rocking a piece of clothing or a pair of shoes that I coveted, I would have no qualms going out, buying them, and then sitting next to the girl wearing the same thing. I saw nothing wrong with it.

Nowadays, in this place called “adulthood,” that shit don’t fly. If you go out for drinks with a friend and find you are wearing the same thing, it is mortifying. Simply because well A. you look like you’re auditioning for Deal or No Deal, and B. all night you will deal with drunk assholes slurring being like, “jjjjuuusssguyys twinsssooorr ssssumthhiinn”?

And in the office when you walk in wearing the same thing as a fellow employee, you smile and exclaim “twinsies!!!!!!!!!!!!!!” and maybe take a pic and post it on social, but deep down, you know it sucks and is uber annoying. And not because you think you’re the most original person on the planet by wearing a black maxi on a Monday, but strictly because you are an individual who detests every five seconds hearing, “omg Susie in Accounting is TOTALLY wearing that outfit, too. You guys should take a pic.”

But this weekend I found myself falling back into my elementary school ways. Scrolling through Instagram, I stumbled upon the most perfect pair of heels that ever existed that my friend Sarah had just purchased. Drool dangling from my mouth I commented, “I want to go to where those shoes are.” And like that I had started the “bitch, I’m totally going to steal your look” process, something I hadn’t done since I purchased the same pair of Puma slide-on sneakers as the coolest girl in the 8th grade.

The difference was … I asked. I asked my friend Sarah if it was okay. Yes it is a free country and yes I had every right to purchase said shoes without her blessing, but to me, fashion is sacred. When you buy something as fantastic as these heels were (see above) you do so because you adore them and can’t live without them and find them to be something special. By not asking her if I could steal her look, I felt like I would be destined to strut around in them with some bad ju-ju. You know, falling face first into a puddle, the heel cracking off and spraining my ankle … normal stuff.

When I asked her, which felt like I was proposing marriage, her response was quite refreshing … “I take it as a compliment when people want to steal my look, go for it, girl.” And then I jumped up in mid-air and ran off skipping and kissing said heels. No that didn’t really happen, instead I kept asking “are you sure, are you sure, are you REALLY sure?!” until I was REALLY sure she was going to hit me.

So I bought the shoes. Now we are shoe twinsies … we should take a pic and post it on social (psyche). But no in all seriousness, it is normal to covet another person’s look. I do it all the time. Strangers on the street? Bitch, I steal their look all day errday and never ask. “Excuse me kind lady, may I go to the store and buy those shoes you are wearing, pretty please?” Umm no. But when it comes to friends, co-workers, your dog walker … you ask. Because that is the right thing to do. Otherwise you are tacky, my friend, straight up tacky. Admit that you envy their look and want it so badly you can’t stop drooling. It will make their day AND you’ll get something you desire out of it as well … without any bad ju-ju.

TWINNING … I mean … WINNING!

Stress Shopping

tumblr_mbnhm9ULPH1qcuglxo1_500When faced with a confrontation, or find yourself stressed out to the max, or perhaps receive an email that makes you want to pull your hair out slash punch your fist through the wall, do you ever just want to … shop? Some people work out, mediate … I shop.

This past weekend I found myself in a situation where I was so annoyed that I just needed to be surrounded by style. I didn’t even know what I needed or wanted, I just needed to be in a store to relieve some stress. All of a sudden I found myself driving to Old Navy. Why? Because I love their jeans. To die for. And they are like $20, you can’t beat that … aaaaand I happen to be in the market for a white pair of jeans.

But what I found was over stimulation. Holy colors and graphics, Old Navy, holy colors and graphics. I tried to take a deep breath, close my eyes, open them and take my time sorting through the insane amount of clothes, but it was too much. The large volume of people, and the lights, and the strange hipster music was literally making my head swirl.

My breaking point was when I tried to get into a new section of the store, and was blocked off by a mother, pushing a cart, with two rambunctious children, immersed in a conversation with her friend. First of all, why do clothing stores offer carts? Are you REALLY going to buy THAT much product that you need a damn cart like you are shopping for Thanksgiving dinner? Come on. Last time I checked they only let you bring like six items max in a dressing room. So hence my confusion around the cart convo. All they do is clog aisles and make fellow non-cart using customers, like yours truly, infuriated.

So back to the cart lady blocking the aisle. I politely, with a smile on my face, said “excuse me,” which got no response. Her children still danced around me like candy possessed nightmares as she yelled to her friend, who was at the end of the aisle, to “get her the right size, NO NOT THAT SIZE, THE OTHER SIZE. YEAH YEAH … THAT ONE. NO NOT THAT COLOR.” I said “excuse me” one more time, which still fell on deaf ears, when I decided to suck in every ounce of fat on my body to squeeze past her. Only then did she acknowledge me as I snaked past her, which made her send me a look of death that probably would make babies cry. Really? Seriously? Did you not hear me … oh whatever.

That’s when I said, “I’m out.” Before I made it out the door, my frazzled self became eye-to-eye with a bohemian-style maxi dress. I stood there for a bit figuring out if it was “me”. Does it go with my sense of style? Could I pull it off? Before I knew it I was waiting in line to check out with said maxi that I was still unsure about. I didn’t even try it on. I just bought it. What in the hell? The funny thing is … almost a week later … I STILL don’t know if this maxi is “me.” Do you think this maxi is “me”? It’s so not me, I’m probably going to return it.

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The fact that this silly maxi dress that I purchased for $39.95 at Old Navy is hanging in my closet is due to a little thing that I like to call stress shopping. Although this specific experience was stress on stress on stress due to ignorant women and insane children running amok. Oh yeah … and carts. Those damn carts. Can’t a girl just shop in peace?

If you need me I’ll be at Old Navy making a return.

What A Gal Needs To Holiday Shop

mediateYou would think I would say a bottle of Jack and Kevlar … but you’re sorely mistaken, my friend.

I personally don’t believe in handwritten lists. I loathe them. I loathe them because I take precious time to write them and within seconds it is like they get sucked into a vortex never to be seen again … therefore I’m back to good ol’ square one. But going holiday shopping blind or with a mental list is just as bad. “Oooh there is the shirt my brother wants, but I need to get a shirt for my sister, too … EEEE something shiny! Squirrel.” Yeah … listless, that is what goes on in my head.

So if you are like me and hate writing lists, but don’t want to torture yourself by going out shopping blind, buying things on random ridiculous whims … there are certain things you can do to save your sanity. Organized shopping means quick shopping. It also means the less you have to interact with the insane holiday shoppers traditionally acting a fool.

You’re welcome, in advance.

Tweet-a-le-dee: If you don’t believe in Twitter, I can’t help you. But it is wise to get yourself a handle and start following your favorite stores/designers. They tend to post sales, special offers, hidden gems within the store. And yes, some may even respond to you if you have questions or concerns, or if you want to show them a little love and tell them how much they rock … or want to partake in a bitchfest about how much their customer service sucks. Ahhh sweet technology. What can’t you do?

Booze: I was just kidding about the lack of Jack above … CLEARLY. After shopping, cocktails are always a must. Or if you are really going into the shopping trenches, maybe pack a flask. Just sayin’ …

Today Will Be a GREAT Day!: If you are in the slightest bad mood, do us ALL a damn favor a stay home. No one wants you out. The deadline for holiday shopping, in my world, is Dec. 24 11:59 p.m. Trust me, if you aren’t thinking positively, you aren’t going to accomplish shit. Instead you are going to get frustrated, start honking your horn for no reason, and saying things under your breath like, “no … seriously, I’LL move out of the way … that’s right … your huge cart with ugly things definitely deserves to take up the entire aisle. My apologies. Let me just kill myself scooting around it so you can add more to your pile of crap properly … whore.” Seriously, bad mood equals staying at home and binging on a really great TV series … not interacting with sales associates and innocent shoppers trying to make Santa dreams come true.

New School Lists: If you absolutely can’t go listless, use the Notes function on your iPhone … or whatever notepad function other phones have (hi, iPhone snob here). I know it seems like common sense, but I would be useless without this. I have numerous pages of random nonsense written down, that probably doesn’t all need to be written down, but when I need it … it’s there. I literally have a list that is like blog inspiration, blog topics, buy shampoo, Comcast log in information, and cat bow tie. Not lying.

Map It Out, Yo: Plan your route. Think about the stores you need to go to, what order is the best to visit them, and exactly what you need and where in said store they are located. That way you are in and out in seconds. My only other piece of advice would be to not make eye contact with ANYONE … that way you are sure to avoid any obstacles. No. Eye. Contact. Ya heard?

Dress for Tropical Temps: Jesus. CHRIST. I was in American Apparel and I thought I was going to faint. Rainy and cold outside, equator inside. Not cool … and not a surprise why I have a sinus infection right now. Bastards. But I’ve come to realize that I would rather be freezing my face off walking around, then sweating inside a store when I’m trying to accomplish holiday shopping tasks. There is nothing worse than having your hands full, standing in line with a bunch of clowns, sweating to death, waiting as the woman checking out is contesting $2 on a damn pair of tights. All you want to do is hurt someone. Like badly. Wear a sun dress and shut up.

Hello, Interwebs, Is It Me You’re Looking For?: Listen, the more people shop online … the less insanity we will all have to deal with. Doesn’t the thought of being curled up on your couch in your Snuggie, with a warm cup of tea, Christmas music playing in the background … taking care of your holiday shopping with just a few clicks? No crazy bitches. No heatwaves. No non-enthused sales associates drooling. No people running you down in parking lots. Just Bing Crosby, your credit card, the Interwebs, and you. :::Sigh:::

Holy SPANX! A Strapless Bra I DON’T Hate?!

pSPXNA-217_BLACK_packaging_e500Strapless bras and myself have become known arch-enemies. Tom vs. Jerry, Dr. Evil vs. Austin Powers. Kate vs. Strapless Bras. We just don’t like each other … well, more like I don’t like them and they don’t give a shit because they are inanimate objects. It’s quite unfair, if you ask me.

And since launching my blog years ago, people have asked me why I loathe the garment so much. Why would I go to such extremes as to naming a website dedicated to my pure hatred of them? Well … number 1, we aren’t all about strapless bras here at Life Sucks In A Strapless Bra (read my About section for further explanation), and number 2, it basically comes down to:

1. They cut off circulation, yet still manage to fall down

2. They do nothing for knockers … of any shape or size

3. They never fit properly under clothing. Like Never. Never ever.

This massive feud I have brewing in my life has a silver lining to it, though. This feud … has proven to me that there is still good and genuine kindness out there in a world when sometimes it is hard to believe that people still care about one another. Yet people surprise me every day by suggesting shiny and new strapless bras to try out that may heal my negative feeling towards them. And as much as I appreciate these kind gestures, they just never end up swaying my opinion.

But my lovely friends over at SPANX were not okay with me feeling like this. They wanted me to lock eyes with a strapless bra from across a field of poppies, slow motion run towards it,  embrace it with open arms, and swing around in a pleasant little circle with it.

Enter the SPANX’s Bra Cha-Cha stage right. First of all, I’m a sucker for a product with a fantastic name … and this little number is a sassy bitch in the best way. Second of all, they call it the “stay-put strapless,” which trust me, when I saw this, I gave it one of my epic eye rolls accompanied with a, “psshhyeeeaahh right!”

I won’t give you a play-by-play of my entire experience wearing this bra. You don’t want hear about how I walked to the train and it didn’t fall down, or how I went for cocktails with Bra Cha-Cha and it didn’t fall down even more … or as SPANX refers to it as “jug tug,” which honestly, I mean can we get a slow clap for that.

I will explain it to you like so. My experience with the Bra Cha-Cha was much like …

This:

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And this:

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And that:

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Oh and totes this:

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Mmm hmm …:

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And of course …:

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But let’s not forget this happened:

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Disclaimer: I will not be changing the name of my blog. And I still hate strapless bras … except this one.