The local Girl Scout Council was holding a Sweetheart Dance, also known as a Daddy/Daughter Dance. Cassandra wanted to go this year, so I talked myself into it.
The poster said "semi-formal", which is pretty-close-but-not-quite-the-exact opposite of how I dress now. I have a few pairs of black pants, a couple of button-down shirts (I wouldn't even call them "dress shirts"), a drawer full of sweaters that are slightly younger than my children, and a Santa Claus tie. I forgot that I also had a lone suit in my closet that had gone neglected for so long it was practically a blind spot in there, but it's just as well that I had--when I tried it on later, my waistline said, "Yeah, forget about it."
I decided I needed to buy some new clothes for the event. This was momentous because I am not a good clothes shopper. I usually get frustrated and angerbuy a few shirts on my way out of the store, and then I don't venture out clothes shopping again for at least 6 months.
I was thinking of getting an entire suit, or at least a blazer. I wasn't sure what would be worse: if I were left to my own devices, or if I went somewhere with salespeople to help dress me. I ended up at Kohl's, for no reason other than it seemed as good a place as any to start.
I spent probably an hour trying on various coats and suits, slacks and a few shirts. I surprised myself with how much I ended up getting, but in the back of my head I was thinking, "If I bring home a few choices, maybe at least one will end up looking presentable." I had a pretty good haul for just under $500: 3 suit coats/sports jackets, 3 pairs of pants, 3 dress shirt/tie combos (a godsend for someone like me who would panic at having to select both a shirt AND the tie to go with it), a pair of dress shoes, a few undershirts, and a wool coat. I figured at 41, I should stop being okay with the winter-jacket-over-suit-coat look that seemed fairly reasonable when I was 25.
$500 seems to me like a large amount of clothes to purchase at one time, even though I know real, actual grown-ups might not even blink at that. And, hey--if I believe the Kohl's propaganda they print on their receipt, I SAVED $900! I'm a little bummed they didn't make me feel really good about my purchase by arbitrarily making the "original" price 2 or 3 times higher, so I could have saved even more.
So now I have a few more outfits in my closet that will help me not dress like an eternal twentysomething. I just have to remember to take them out and put them on once in a while.