Sep
01
2009

  Getting Ready To Shop

Since my time in NYC will be limited, I'm going to take some time to plan out my shopping strategy in advance.

I already got a fashion magazine (I haven't routinely read them since I was in my teens, I just get them before my spring & fall shopping trips) so I can figure out which of the fall trends will work for me. I flagged a bunch of items I liked when I first flipped through the magazine, this week I'll go through and think about what pieces I'll need to put together a coherent fall/winter wardrobe, using my flagged items as inspiration.

Tonight or tomorrow I'll update my measurements on MyShape.com. I'm a very different size now than I was before I got pregnant and so the site's recommendations will be useless until I update my stats. I don't know that I will necessarily get anything from that site, but I am curious to see what silhouettes it comes up with to flatter my new figure. It better not recommend the Nordstrom "Not Your Daughter's Jeans" since I tried them on this afternoon and they were horribly UNflattering on me. I need less stretch, more support around the hips from my jeans, otherwise I look all saddlebag-y. My maternity jeans are more flattering since they do hold my hips in, it's just stretchy around the waist where I need it.

Before I go to NYC, I should probably try on the fall & winter clothes I already own, and see if anything fits. I don't have high hopes. I'm way too big to fit into my pre-pregnancy clothes, and my bust is larger now than it was the last time my waist was as big as it currently is during my pregnancy. And while that wouldn't affect any skirts, I don't think I wore many skirts then. I mostly wore dresses when I was pregnant, but I can't wear them now since I'm nursing. I need separates so I can pull up the top for feedings. The sweater dresses I used to sport, while flattering, will not work at all for breastfeeding.

I haven't been wearing heels since my joints are so creaky I can't even THINK about putting on heels when I can barely walk up and down stairs with confidence. And I DID try carrying William in his sling while wearing heels, and let me tell you that is very difficult. Not necessarily because of the weight-- my own excess weight dwarfs his current weight, so my own proportions are working against me more than his. But because of the way the baby in the sling changes my center of gravity-- I totter around enough on heels when I'm alone, with a child strapped to me I'm dangerously unstable. Still, it's been over a month since I've tried to carry him in heels, maybe something is different now, I should give it a try around the house and see how I do.

If it turns out that I CAN carry my baby while wearing heels, I probably won't have to do much shoe shopping. But if I cannot, then I'm going to have to get shoes to match my new outfits. Because I was wearing high heels about 7 months into my pregnancy, and only stopped when my feet got too swollen to fit into any shoes except old Birkenstocks. Apart from the flip-flops I've been wearing all summer, I really don't have many shoes with a low or flat heel.

Once I've planned what type of garments I'll need to make a wardrobe, and determined what, if anything, I already own that will work, then I need to decide where to shop for what I need.

The latest Lucky magazine (the fashion magazine I'm using for reference) has a big section in the back describing the editors' favorite stores in Manhattan. Even in neighborhoods I used to be quite familiar with, they list places I never heard of, but I'm not surprised there has been some turnover during the years I've been away from the city.

I figure I'll do some shopping when I arrive on Thursday, and then try to finish up before & after my doctor appointment on Friday. I'll look at a map and plan out the most efficient route to get it all done as quickly as possible.

We'll be hanging out in our apartment all day Saturday visiting with friends. I prefer to not shop on Sundays, so perhaps that day we'll do something fun with William, maybe take him to a park. A park with more kids playing in it than the total number of kids even living in Crozet, most likely, it'll blow his little baby mind. If the weather isn't great Sunday, I'll shop then so we can do something fun Monday before we leave town. I got us on the list for the afternoon flight home, so we'll have a little time in the morning to enjoy the city. If I can figure out if we've got a place to leave our luggage, at any rate.

While I had originally hoped to be back to a more attractive size by the time I had to get new fall clothes, it's obvious that's not going to happen. But rather than go another season with a limited, makeshift wardrobe (like I did this summer), I'm just going to bite the bullet and get clothes that fit me now. Even if I do lose the weight over the course of the fall & winter, I doubt it's going to come off fast enough that I won't get decent use out of the "fat" clothes I'll be buying now. I'll try to plan on styles that I'll be able to take in if necessary. But if I don't lose the weight until I start chasing William around, I suspect that'll impact my spring clothes more than the fall clothes since he's still not mobile yet, nor does he seem particularly close. He IS close to being able to sit on his own, but that will require LESS effort on my part, so I could actually be sitting around even more in the coming months than I'm doing already, so that isn't a recipe for weight loss.

I'm also going to try to get some clothes for William while I'm up in NYC. The selection is much more interesting than down here, so I'm also looking forward to that. Last time I was in the city I didn't know if I was having a boy or girl, so didn't buy too many clothes. Now I not only know I have a boy, but I also have a decent idea of how fast he's growing, so I can get the right sizes for future months.

And I'm going to see if I can plan ahead for my spring doctor's appointment, and see if there will be any tax-free shopping weeks next year. If those dates are available, I'll do my best to schedule my trip around that time. Although I seem to recall that inexpensive clothes are never taxed in NYC now, I think Bloomberg brought back that Giuliani policy sometime after I left town.