Clothes, Shopping and Image


Looking back, I find it hard to believe that I was a conservative shopper. I pored over catalogues as a teenager, and tried things on to locate clothes that suited and flattered my small frame. In and out of body casts and spinal braces, I found pleasure in selecting beautiful clothes that were well-made and would last. I still have some of these pieces, and they are still adored. I would try clothes on, and carefully decide upon a purchase. What the hell happened, Raphaela?!

Nowadays, the thought of trying something on appalls me, and I just grab whatever seems to be in my size and buy it. I gravitate to the sales racks, simply because the items are cheap. I know I am busy, but how many times do I go to my wardrobe to grab an item to wear, only to find it doesn’t fit? The same applies with shoes and hats. I have a big head and huge toes, meaning items you would anticipate fitting, actually don’t.

I went through my wardrobe the other day, and made myself try everything on. Some of the items were bought at op shops, an addiction I relish. I filled several bags with the clothing that didn’t fit or wasn’t flattering. Some were passed on to my daughter, whom at nine is almost my height! When did I start to become so haphazard about my fashion choices? When did I stop caring? The only thing I became concerned with was the price. Mind you, if I added up a few of my sale items, I could have bought a carefully-selected pair of jeans, a timeless coat or tailored dress. I stared at the bags of clothing I would never wear and came to a realization.

clothes colour

Shopping has to be incorporated into your self-care regime. It pays to take stock of your wardrobe, and make a list of what you need. Over a year, save up and take a little time to find jeans that fit you and a coat that flatters you, whatever your height. Take time to seek out a pair of boots that suit your legs, and dresses that sit just right! Find a local tailor that will make necessary alterations. For years I’d heard recommendations by local women regarding an elderly Italian tailor, who works from his home and does a spectacular job. By chance, I moved around the corner from this gentleman, yet I am still to take him my jeans and trousers to be taken up. I really have come to believe that taking your time, trying things on in-store and saving up for quality purchases is an act of care toward yourself.

With this in mind, I will no longer say “this will do,” grabbing items off sale piles that I know don’t suit me, and wearing clothes that don’t fit my build. I will still look at sales, but shall dutifully try on the items before buying, seeking out quality over quantity. A new way of shopping and wearing clothes is being born!

Postscript: Raphaela went to the shops and bought some jeans that actually fitted her 4’10 frame! It is a new way of being!