The older I get, the more complicated clothes shopping becomes. Ten years ago, my main question when shopping was Have they got it in a size 2? Now it's more like Will I look like a total tool in it? I'm certainly not ready for high-waisted jeans and appliquéd vests yet, but I don't think I can pull off velvet blazers and tartan schoolgirl miniskirts, either, never mind pants with a two-inch rise. I really, really don't want to end up like a former boss of mine, who was in her mid-fifties and wore nothing but inappropriately youthful low-cut tops and tiny skirts. She had skin like beef jerky from four decades of tanning, and every time she stood by my desk, with her weathered cleavage right there in my face, I vowed that when my time came to stop dressing like an 18-year-old, I would know it and give in gracefully.
On top of the style problem, there's the delicate issue of bulge control. I wear a size 6 and am in decent shape, but post-baby, I was left with an abdominal bulge that's still with me almost seven years later. (Sounds like a biblical punishment: And for seven years shalt thou suffer the pains of the abdominal bulge; yea, and the next generation shall point at it and snicker and say, "Mom, your tummy is jiggly!") It's not even really a solid bulge -- it's more like a pouch, probably from having my stomach muscles sliced and stapled back together. The right clothes hold it in; the wrong clothes let it glob around or spill over my waistband in an alarming manner. Unfortunately, there are a lot of the wrong clothes out there.
Despite all these challenges, I am managing to find clothes to buy with my birthday money and gift cards. I've bought a pair of (non-mom) jeans, a corduroy skirt, two sweaters and a jacket so far, and I've still got about $125 left to spend. Yay! I was practically in rags before, and now I think I may actually get through the winter in some sort of style. Always a good thing.