I am the product of my parents, who are SUPER money savvy. Growing up, our house had one 25″ TV, and we thought anything bigger was just plainly excessive. I learned early on that Sears was THE place to shop for clothes, and only if Mom had coupons to lump with sales. Luckily for Mom, I hated still hate clothes shopping. I was cheap/easy to shop for…I just told her to choose whatever in a cart and we’d go on our way.
When I got older, I became the person who would water down my shampoo until the suds no longer existed. I never even thought to visit a make-up counter, because, well, Cover Girl was just as good for $5 (that has changed ever so slightly in recent years…just slightly). When it came to clothes, t-shirts and cheap jeans were the way to go. I trekked across campus in my Old Navy flip flops regularly.
I had a hard transition into the workplace. I would give serious side eye to pants that were over $30, and shirts? Why are they more than $10?!? I remember getting my first paycheck, which was leaps and bounds more than my college paycheck. I sucked it up and bought 3 pairs of work pants, and 5 shirts. It was a little over $300, and I almost choked. $300 for 8 pieces of clothes? What is going on?
I’m not what you would consider poor, but I am crazy crazy cheap when it comes to things like clothes and accessories. I can tell you I still own and wear blouses that I had for college banquets. In fact, I still own stuff from when I used to work at Lane Bryant, about 5 years ago. This is me and the LSU chancellor in my fantastic leadership days…gah I hate being at the bottom of the totem pole now!
See that shirt? I’m wearing that very shirt right now. It’s missing the top button now, and I’m just too lazy to care, so I wear a camisole underneath it. I can’t believe I’m admitting the extreme of my cheapness right now. That shirt was like, $30, but I needed a collared blouse for banquets and had no time to wait for sales.
I cringe at the thought of designer stuff. The thought of $80+ jeans, $300 purses, and $400 heels really frustrates me. I can’t get into it. Mainly, who the heck is staring at my shirt tags to see what I wear? I can get the good stuff at JCPenney’s for a FRACTION of the cost of something from say, the Ralph Lauren line at Dillard’s.
I can understand the women who think that it gives them a confidence boost, but honestly, I’m the klutz who spills salsa on my shirt at lunch. My Tide-To-Go stick gets more usage than my office pencil most days, so why spend excessive amounts of money on clothes that COULD get ruined and no one else knows about but me?
This weekend, I cringed when I handed over my debit card to pay for two pairs of jeans and a bra at Lane Bryant for $60. I needed jeans…my old ones wore down into making holes in the legs, but gah, I was really hurting at the thought of trying to keep up with my Drab to Fab promise this year. I’m sure this new wardrobe thing will be harder than I thought.
I’m sure I have some readers who greatly disagree with me, and that’s fine. I’d really like to hear your thoughts on why the label matters to you, though.
Also, any tips on how to get me to stop cringing at the thought of spending money on new clothes? It’s pretty bad..