I know what’s wrong!

Courtesy of LL Bean

Courtesy of LL Bean


You all know I love shopping. There is nothing like a new purchase to perk me up. It’s cheaper than a shrink! I’ve been having a harder time finding what I’m looking for. I have finally put my finger on the reason.

I like to shop in the season! In fact you SHOULD shop in the season! You know exactly what you need. You are wearing the stuff that goes with it.

The first rule of shopping is that you must wear the new item within 24 to 48 hours. Buying something for next month will allow you too much time. You will forget you bought it or where you put it. Worse yet, you will second guess your decision and return it.

Our retailers make us shop a season in advance. Summer started on Saturday and the final clearance on summer clothes is on with fall clothes cluttering the aisles. I am not ready to try on fleecy shirts. It’s 90 degrees out there!

Last week I decided that I need a new pink tee-shirt. I wanted a nice clear pink not too pale and not too bright and no sequins — something for jeans and everyday wear. How hard is that? Very hard indeed.

A lot of this year’s colors are washed out or dusty looking. The best colors must have sold out in March while I was still shoveling snow. How can you even think of buying summer clothes when you can’t wear them within the 48 hour timeline?

I was in several stores. I found exactly what I wanted on the LL Bean website (not the store). Alas, it’s on clearance in larger sizes only. There are none available in the stores.

Six weeks ago I was wearing flannel shirts with socks. I had no interest in summer clothes. I wasn’t even sure we were going to get a summer. Why waste the energy if it wouldn’t happen?

Every time I put something light weight on, I would end up wearing my hooded sweatshirt on top.

It isn’t only LL Bean, it’s a retail conspiracy. I am not sure of the strategy but it must have to do with money. Logic doesn’t play into it at all.

A while back I needed a swimsuit in the early fall. What a production! They were no longer available in the stores and I had to resort to the internet. Now we all know how much trouble it is to buy any swimsuit. You have to try several hundred on before you find one that doesn’t make you look like Attila the Hun or R2D2 or doesn’t squish your boobs or pop them out. (The last one is very unlikely to happen here but it could!)

It’s even worse on a website. Which size should I buy? What do the colors really look like? How big is the print? One piece or two? I ended up buying from Lands End in basic black because I could accurately predict what black would look like. Sort of….

I have put a note in my January 2015 calendar to look for a clear pink tee-shirt. In the meantime I will keep a lookout for a stray one that someone returned. I have as much chance of that happening as I have of winning the lottery – the really big one.

Given my druthers, I’d prefer to win the lottery. Then I could buy a tee-shirt company and have any I want!


26 thoughts on “I know what’s wrong!

  1. I think even here in sunny Southern California there are still seasonal trends in clothing, just perhaps not as distinct as you would need in states where the winters are harsh. And your observations are absolutely spot on. It’s very frustrating to me, too, to already see fall colors and warmer clothing when it’s just now summer. This is an excellent rant, Kate. I’m right there with you! Hope you find your pink t-shirt!


    • Found my pink shirt yesterday. It’s not as pretty as the LL Bean one — no picture but it will do until next year. I am intent on buying the prettiest tee-shirts in January while I am still shoveling. (or more accurately, while my husband is shoveling)


  2. I totally agree and your astute observations had me laughing – out loud! Buying for the season you are in is only possible by buying in the off season you are not in. Sometimes it makes sense if I am buying something in winter that’s springtime or summer fresh for my relatives who live in California (who rarely have seasons anyway). The whole marketing maize has me utterly confused.


    • What’s confusing to me is that I would expect summer clothes to be available all year round for those who live in warm climates and cruisewear. How can you be out of something as staple as a tee-shirt in the middle of June?


  3. It’s like the stores are worried they made a mistake and want to shove out the “normal season” stuff and haul out the next season “new” stuff in an attempt to beat other stores putting theirs out.
    It’s summer – why are bathing suits and shorts I like already MIA?
    Swear I was back to school stuff huddling ready to jump out in Target.
    Nuts. One thing about this climate, the companies will ship all their spring/summer stuff from “up north” to their stores here end of summer since we have warm weather until Christmas practically. (I think in January it’s renamed/repackaged as “cruise wear” )


  4. I hate how stores rush the seasons. You’re right, I’m already seeing Fall clothing and it’s not even the 4th of July!
    Nancy’s right about Bell’s…I loved that store when I lived in Florida. Perhaps Nancy can ship you a nice pink T-shirt…


  5. One more reason to add to your “Why I Should Move To Florida” list ~ Bell’s has t-shirts and swimsuits for sale 12 months of the year! AND you can wear them within 48 hours.


  6. I love that pink T-shirt. Must. Have. Shopping in season is torturous, Kate. For all the reasons you mentioned. I bought 3 pair of jeans yesterday that are still light weight. I know if I were shopping up north that I’d be staring at aisles and aisles of hooded parkas. But, bathing suits? Sorry. We’re out of your size. Thanks for the chuckles. 😉


      • You can stop the envy, Kate. When I want a jacket to ward off the cold – yes, it does happen here for about 2 weeks every winter – most stores do not sell them. They also don’t sell gloves. I recall wearing gloves at school one year for nearly a week because of a malfunction in the system. 😉

        If you want, you can come visit and buy all the summer clothes there are. I’ll even treat you to a Starbucks latte. 😉


  7. The worst part about buying clothes out of season is that right as you start wearing them you see they’re now on sale! The cute summer top I paid full price for at Talbot’s back in March is now half off, with months left in which to wear it!


  8. I so don’t like going to a store and shopping for clothes, pretty much for the reasons you outlined above. If I can’t find what I want when I want it, I never look for it again. These stores have one chance with me, then they lose the sale. But you, Kate– carry on with your shopping adventures. I enjoy reading about you dealing with the frustrations that are part and parcel of buying clothes. Better you than me. 😉


    • I thought I would never buy online because I like the “experience” of stalking the purchase. Maybe it’s because I’m older but I like places like LL Bean because I know the right size for their clothes so I can do it online. Shopping for wool or fleece right now makes me itch.


  9. I like your 24-48 hour rule. Sometimes I find stuff in my closet and go “Hey! Look new clothes!” It’s fun if I find it in the right season, not so much if I find a cute swimsuit I didn’t know I bought in winter.


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