If you’ve been around this blog much, then you know my good friend, critique partner, and fellow author, Deb Marlowe. She’s joining me today to talk about shopping. Why? Because at this time of year it’s on everyone’s mind and even in the news—and we’ve both always been the ones who didn’t like to shop on a good day, let alone on Black Friday.
Deb: Yes, I definitely missed the shopping gene, much to my mother’s dismay. She is never so happy than when shopping. But I’ve always dreaded a trip to the mall—even when you didn’t have to worry about pepper spray. I was always the ‘Get in, get what you came for and RUN!’ kind of girl.
SJ: Hubby and I call that a surgical strike. And that’s what I used to prefer, too. Why did you like that better?
Deb: Two reasons: the girls. You know what I mean. Even when I was at my thinnest I had a big chest and it was always hard to find something that fit and didn’t make me look like a lightskirt, to use the Regency vernacular.
SJ: For me (with a relatively tiny chest), it was the overall size thing (I used to be a size 26/28). Also, I never had any fashion sense. I’m not visual, so I don’t pay attention to clothes. Thus I have never known what was in and what was not. Not being visual also meant I had little sense of what looked good on me.
Deb: But we’ve both come around a little in recent years. You might actually find us out shopping for clothes these days—and not hating it! Why? Three words: Shopping with Girlfriends. Real girlfriends. The kind who love you, support you and aren’t afraid to tell you when you’ve pulled something hideous off the rack. And more specifically: Shopping with Claudia.
SJ: Yes, our own Goddess Claudia Welch/Claudia Dain. If she ever gives up the writing gig, she could make her fortune being a personal shopper. Thanks to her, I now kind of know (a little … sometimes) what looks matronly, what looks tacky, and what Claudia would glance at and say, “No. Oh dear, no. Never.”
Deb: I know just what you mean. Claudia has wonderful taste and could give Stacy and Clinton from “What Not to Wear” a run for their money. Somehow she just knows what looks good on a person, and what doesn’t. She’s not afraid to tell you, either. And she’s a whirlwind, breezing through the sale rack, past the jewelry section and bam! She’s put an outfit together that flatters you tremendously—in about 30 seconds.
SJ: She even makes allowances for personal style and individual shape. She’ll pick something that I love, but that I know she herself would or could never wear. She appreciates that I like a little flash and flare. And she’s practical, too. She’ll point out that a particular shirt might fall apart after a few wearings or might require constant ironing. I’ve started paying closer attention to everything about the clothes.
Deb: I never thought shopping could be fun, but going out with girlfriends, we have a blast! Even the retail workers remark on how much fun we have, and how honest we are. And it’s true—even when I am out on my own, I start to hear their voices in my head, saving me from myself.
So if you hate shopping for clothes, consider finding your most fashionable friend (or Claudia) to shop with, and then hit the stores. It makes all the difference!
Do like clothes shopping? Did you go out and hit the sales for Black Friday? Do you shop with friends or alone? Do you prefer a “surgical strike” or a meandering day at the mall? Oh, and one lucky commenter will win a copy of Deb Marlowe’s latest, How to Marry a Rake!