And in this corner: Heidi of Skinny Jeans & Yoga Pants
SJ&YP Intro: As many of you know, I have quite a few friends who are moms and fellow bloggers. One of them is Amber, the mastermind behind the book blog, Me, My Shelf and I. I met her when my bestie and I crashed her 30th birthday party a few years ago. We share quite a few passions, like love of YA novels, Supernatural, and Doctor Who. We do not share a passion for fashion. Amber has been instrumental in helping me get started as a blogger. In return, I have been trying to be instrumental in reworking her wardrobe. This battle has been raging on for years now. The following guest post is the story of our shopping adventure from yesterday. We hope you enjoy!
My name is Amber, and I am a reluctant fashionista.
OMG. I’m so glad I got that out in the open. Did you see the weight lift off my chest? Well, maybe you missed it – it looked a lot like a top from the juniors section.
Here’s the deal, I’m small. Or, well small-ish. I have believed for the past fifteen years that if I could still fit into the clothes in the juniors section, I was in fact still a junior. This has been my way with coping with the inevitability of being an adult. I would turn my nose up at the woman’s section as I passed, waving my size 7 juniors jeans like a club flag as I passed for the check out lane. Sometimes laughing maniacally. (SJ&YP Note: Dude. That is just wrong.)
I had this misconception that the Woman’s department was filled with ugly patterns, elastic waist mom jeans that rise to my chest and frumpy moo-moos. I’m here to tell you, even as it pains me – I was wrong (SJ&YP Note: We got this in writing!!!). The reason this pains me, is because now that I know there is far more to be found there, I can no longer avoid the woman’s section.
Yesterday, I found myself in a bit of a fashion emergency. After two solid hours of shopping alone for some new clothes for my upcoming trip to New York, I was downhearted and frustrated.
“This is cute, but how do I accessorize it?”
“Okay this is literally see through, what do I put under it and not look stupid?”
“These jeans are ok, but I look like a plumber when a squat down”
“How the frack am I suppose to zip this dress with no one with me to help?”
It was time to call in reinforcements. I imagine the text message Heidi received must have been a little like what happens when you find out you’ve been nominated for a Grammy. Some happy jumping, a little screaming, and some running around in victory. (SJ&YP Note: That might have happened……)
She all but appeared out of thin air at my side, ready to do what she has been dying to do to me since the day we met, fix my wardrobe. (okay the day after we met, the day we met I was dress as Bella from Twilight for a party and as she was dressed as Carlisle, she couldn’t really cast any stones…) (SJ&YP Note: Um, that was a costume party. ONE of us doesn’t dress like that everyday. Since I rarely dress like a sparkly vampire doctor, you can guess which one of us does. Also, I can’t believe I posted this picture…)
Now, you’re probably thinking she’s your friend, she didn’t think you were that bad (SJ&YP Note: Yes, I did). She once threatened to call What Not To Wear on me if I didn’t ditch the hoodies with every outfit (SJ&YP Note: Yes, I did.). No lie. When she’s at my house I have to keep her from my room because I see her spidey senses tingling when she’s that close to that much non-fashion.
Heidi and I started at a cute little store called Francesca’s Collection. It’s the kind of place I look at and think: This is cute stuff I probably can’t afford. I was wrong, again. I found the most adorable top and white jeans. Yes I bought white jeans. I even have decided that I will go back to this store, over and over. Now, while not everything Heidi handed me to try on was “me”, I obliged and let her dress me up. Had you been there, you might have heard this from me:
“Oh hell no.”
“Is this a fishing net?”
“I wouldn’t put my toddler in that”
“You’re kidding me, right? Right!”
“I look like I’m going to be in an Austin Powers Movie”
“I hate you.”
“I hate this.”
Heidi’s default response to all these, and more comments = stern look with eye roll while thrusting the clothing into my arms. (SJ&YP Note: Along with the following retorts: Try dressing like a grownup, Trust me, I hate you too, and an evil grin thrown in for good measure.)
After I successfully made a purchase of an outfit I loved and she approved of (that’s a first!) we went across the street to Hot Mama. Yes, the very same company that Heidi works for (SJ&YP Note: A store I was told she would NEVER shop at). If being asked to help dress me like a grown up was a Grammy-nomination like moment for her, getting me across the threshold into a Hot Mama store and secured in a dressing room was probably like a stylist’s orgasm for her. (SJ&YP Note: Little bit!)
Here’s the truth about Hot Mama. Some things can be a bit expensive, but they do have well priced items that are affordable and adorable as well. This store just does not carry “ugly”. I always avoided Hot Mama because I know me. I know me pretty damn well, in fact. And if I went into Hot Mama to buy a $28 shirt, I would see a $68 shirt or $189 pair of jeans I wanted more, and then be horribly depressed as it was out of my price range. Why would I set myself up for that kind of disappointment?
Lucky for you, you need not go through what I did. You can skip that bit of worry and jump right into the store because I’ve developed a fool proof way for you to shop at Hot Mama on a budget (if you’re like me and are easily distracted by what you shouldn’t be buying…this will work even better):
- Go to the store (this part is key…)
- When one of the fab stylists approaches you. Tell her what you need and what your budget is.
- Lock yourself in the dressing room and don’t leave, let them bring you clothes.
If you can be strong, and avoid what you can’t afford on that day – you can skip the 3rd item on the list. Though I suggest using a dressing room at least for trying on the clothes…just saying. (SJ&YP Note: ALWAYS try on the clothes.)
The gals at Hot Mama are not snobby brats like in Pretty Woman (SJ&YP Note: Wow. I really hope she didn’t think we were really like that before…). The stylists actually just want you in their clothes so much because they believe in the lines they carry and they truly want you to look and feel good. They don’t care if you spend $30 or $300. They will not grab you a $200 pair of jeans and toss them into the dressing room, when you’ve said you don’t need jeans and you only have $100 to spend that day. They won’t. They won’t lie to you about how you look (SJ&YP Note: Nope. That is not how we roll. But we are very nice about it). And if you do try on pants expect to have the area around your butt grabbed to see if they fit ok. It’s ok, I promise. (SJ&YP Note: I am laughing to hard to respond to this.)
I left Hot Mama with the freaking cutest top and tank top to layer under it. I made my first Hot Mama purchase (SJ&YP Note: YAY!!!!!!!). Heidi photographed the momentous occasion; I think I even saw her wipe away a tear.
In the end, between what I got before I met up with Heidi and what I got after – I have 2 fully interchangeable, outfits made of pieces I can wear over and over with nearly everything I already own. Well, that Heidi approves of any way. I even popped into Sephora to pick up some foundation and found out – I LIKE RED LIPSTICK! Right? It was a big day for me. (SJ&YP Note: Well, she had to meet my cousin. Everybody should. Now Amber won’t stop talking about the red lipstick!)
I can’t say I won’t still peruse the sale racks in the Juniors departments – sometimes they have cute tops I like and I am a graphic T-shirt addict after all. I’m not trading in my beloved trademark Converse for heels, not entirely. And I’m not ditching all my hoodies. I just know now that there’s a time and a place for each of those things, and with the right outfits (with the exception of my hoodies really…) I can still be a grown up and wear them out in public!
SJ&YP: A huge thank you to Amber for including me in her shopping adventure. She was a trooper, trying on almost anything I would hand to her. Naturally, she looked amazing in so many things, it was lots of fun (ok, probably mostly for me). Amber helped me accomplish one of my goals, to invade her closet. Now if only I can help her achieve one of her newest goals, to get Tom Hiddleston to kiss me (Um, yeah. That is seriously a goal of hers, not just mine. She told me.). Amber, please know I will always do my best to help you succeed.