What I’ve Learned From Clothes Shopping

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clothes shoppingI had a moment yesterday when I inserted my card into the chip reader. The moment where my nose crinkled, my heart fluttered and my brain got a little warm. I was spending a hefty chunk of change on some new clothes…for me.

Not my kids, not my husband, not on house necessities, but all for me.

I was remembering back to my early twenties and my journey through the last 10+ years. It used to be that all I had to do was think of myself. I remember regularly going to the mall and boutique shops. Going out on a Saturday night? I needed a new outfit. Going to the gym? I needed fresh workout clothes. Meeting a new client on a work trip? That was a must for new clothes.

As a young adult I was never one to think about the future, but luckily I met my now husband who helped corral me to save for a rainy day. Thankfully we started to save money. I knew “someday” was going to come soon enough for having kids, and I didn’t want to worry about buying diapers.

Though we saved, life took a different path and we ended up having bills, home expenses and medical bills with our first born child.

As time went on, whatever I had in my closet became permanent. It wasn’t for one or two outings; it was for multiple uses, week after week, event after event.

I got lucky with hand-me-downs and clothing exchange freebies (with tags on was a bonus!). I would save anything extra to buy clothes from target, with maybe one lone shirt/sweater/pair of shoes from a department store per year.

The thing about this all is that we weren’t poor. Did we struggle? Yes, we did. But it’s because we were investing in things like life insurance, trying to buy a home and our children’s needs. Other things besides material items took precedence.

I became the mom who would envy as I watched friends, acquaintances and even bloggers dress to the nines while walking a dog, wearing a baby or eating superfood smoothies. Meanwhile, I was wearing my five-year-old pair of yoga pants that I washed for the third time that week.

When it got to the point when we did start to have a little extra, I would almost consider it a game of how to not spend money. Coupons and sales racks were my friends, and I always tend to find excitement in finding bargains. Shopping for clothes has evoked such a range of emotions inside of me; from pure happiness to overwhelming envy, I’ve felt them all.

Coming back to reality and signing for my major purchases today, I realized that life’s turns have made me a better person. Though it’s a lot of fun to purchase great clothes, it’s better to be thankful for what I have daily. No designer jeans have ever filled a void; nor have they ever held the key to my success.

I’ve been humbled through clothes purchases, and now I realize that I’m perfectly happy to put several years of wear and tear on some new booties.

clothes shopping

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Heather Moulden loves all things Orange County. Heather met her husband of 10+ years at Canyon High School and graduated from Cal State Fullerton with a B.A. degree in Communications. These days Heather juggles being a Realtor® in North OC, and keeping the family bonds tight. She has two wonderful, school-aged children who fill her days full of joy. She is active in the community, at church and makes her friendships a priority. (Because as we mamas know, friendships are important!) Some of Heather’s favorite things include staying active in the gym, finding new ways to cook healthy food and keeping up with current home design trends. Heather is happy to be a contributor to Anaheim Mom’s Blog because she has also been passionate about writing since she was five, where she used to create fake magazines with high fashion and intriguing articles.