Apparently, I am a slow learner.

In the flush of my new decision to try out items that seem more "avant-garde" (and without a very clearly defined idea of exactly what I mean by that) I did something very dumb.

I went shopping.

Oh - and I hadn't been shopping for ages. And things were on SALE. And I have sale-buying itch, which I usually try to scratch with thrift or consignment shopping (figuring that my mistakes or risks cost me less overall that way, it satisfies the itch -- and sometimes I come out with a real winner.)

Oh boy.

Let's just say that I HOPE this can be a positive learning experience.

I bought two items. The good news is that this "experiment" (if I can dignify it with that name) did not cost me TOO much. And I can always consign the items right away if necessary...or use them on my upcoming trip to China. At least they will not wrinkle.

The damage:

Item #1 - Made in Paris, no less! Ooo la la! And of a very wicking fabric so great for travel - can be washed in zee sink, Madame, and will dry overnight! Can also be layered with a top under and/or leggings.

Husband says: "That makes you look pregnant. I don't like that one."
Daughter says: "That dress is weird. So what if it has pockets if it looks weird on you?"
Mother says: "That dress makes you look fat."

Item #2 Made of a lovely drapey jersey. Great colour. I am influenced by both of these factors, and the saleswoman's decision to knock down the already half-price item by an additional $30.

Daughter says: "What IS it??"

Mother and husband have not seen it. Because I feel so downright weird in it I can't imagine wearing it, inside or out!

So. This is the thing. Much as I was hankering after "avant-garde" drape and shape, when I actually have it, I feel OFF in a major way. Not like myself.

Is it a question of simply needing to push a bit at my style boundaries? Or am I right that this type of item just really isn't "me" in some important way -- doesn't express what I want, or even if it does, doesn't work for me, personally?

I keep feeling as if I need some crisp lines, some angles. After trying these on, I have a great hankering for tailored, fitted jackets. I tried on two at Zara yesterday that I quite liked. You can see them here:

and here:

I loved the back detail on both and the black one was shot through with gold that sort of picked up my hair and a teal and copper thread as well. But I did not buy, because I felt guilty about wanting more jackets. I already have a lot of nice jackets....and anyway. I can't wear jackets all the time.

Help me, YLF friends. If THIS is not the way for me to go about it (and I am pretty convinced it is not) how CAN I add...I won't say "edge" because Angie is tutoring us on the proper use of that word....but perhaps I will say an "urban attitude" to my style...short of dressing ALL in black and charcoal grey, I mean.

Is a suit the way to go? What next?

And should these items go into the consignment bag or out the door to some YLF friends?

BONUS: two new pairs of shoes that I think were a greater success. Clark's sandals - SUPER comfy (I walked about ten miles carrying heavy bags in them yesterday) and simple black flats that actually stay on and were also on sale).

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