I found it interesting, randomly, yesterday when my boss said my dress was cute that the first thing out of my mouth was, “Eight Dollars!” *BigProudGrin* “Thank you!” She couldn’t believe the price I paid for the dress and honestly? Neither could I! I actually bought two of the same dress (two different prints, of course), on clearance at Target. I have found that by going to a different Target location, one can come across a variety of different clothing options and clearance section madness.
Later that evening at a work meeting in San Francisco, one of the company partners placed his bag beside him in the restaurant booth. I took note of the style and brand and realized in that moment that his messenger bag cost more than my entire outfit, head to toe, shoes/bag/clothing/jewelry/teggings…The lot of it! Wow! We’re not talking billions here, like $100 approximately (for the bag, not my shit! Ha-ha!). Why did this matter to me, though? Why make such a random and comparative assessment?
I’m the poor kid. Any time I can “fit in” or “pass” I feel accepted. Anytime I can accomplish that and pay way less than retail? It feels like I win! I don’t know what the fuck I win, but it’s a rare feeling and it seems to be hitting my brain’s reward centers and thus the cycle continues. Those tacky red and yellow clearance signs are my beacons of hope! Those awful bins of random shit no one wants to dig through, let alone try to organize, those are my honey pot!
I may never be able to afford to buy a thing from Kiyonna or Igigi or most classy-as-hell plus size retailers, but when I can look fabulous and pay next to nothing and get compliments to boot? That is my fix! That is my badge of honor in some way. It is me, the poor kid, striking a blow to all of the mean-rich girls who picked on me growing up. My $5 Doc Martens? A prized possession! Yes, they are a size too big, but they are so comfy, and go with everything, so I wear them often.
I refuse to suffer for fashion. Comfort is my priority always. But it doesn’t mean I don’t want to look cute, for me. It’s not all about other people or “winning” and whatnot. It’s about feeling good, on my own terms, on my own dime! These insane bargains (same Target trip got me two super-soft and comfy tees for $3 each) feel better than the $90 dress I longed to own for months before buying (and now have to have altered and thus I still haven’t worn). Yes, I must look harder and my options are slimmer because I’m a death fatty, but all the more “win” when I get something that is cute, fits and is at a price I can afford.
I know to some blurting out my dress’s bargain price is tacky. I get that, but there was no thought in it. It came out before I could even think about it or why I wanted to say it. I realize that may be a red flag for something, wev. It was like the ultimate fatty-dress jackpot and I wanted the world to know of my victory! Ha-ha! I want people to know that they, too, can get glasses online for $20 (or less, or free) or that you don’t have to pay $129 for Docs or that craigslist is an awesome place to find a great car at a cheap-ass price! I want people to know that they don’t have to go into debt to get the things they need or want.
For me it was always about access and options. I mitigate these issues with my bargain hunting. It’s not perfect. It’s not for everyone. I have the time and the desire to do it. But damn, it just looks good on me! 🙂