I used to love to shop. For clothes. For me. I shopped sales, I sometimes splurged on fancy things, and I had to seriously keep myself in check when hitting our local outlet malls so I’d still have money left for monthly bills. If you sent 10-years-ago me a picture of me now…she would probably wonder what happened. You see, I still like to shop now and then, but I’ve completely lost the ability to shop for myself. Since having kids, I find plenty of outfits for my boys and my husband, and nothing for myself. Remember the show What Not To Wear? Remember when the token mom getting a makeover would be sobbing in Macy’s that she was overwhelmed and stressed and wanted to leave? I used to think that was absurd, but now…that mom is me!

I am currently working part-time for a children’s museum as an educator, teaching both in local schools and at the museum itself. My work clothes need to be comfortable and practical, yet still neat and presentable. Fortunately, since I am only part-time, these “work clothes” are also a-okay for my “other job” as a mom to 4 and 6 year old boys and a volunteer in many local organizations. Last year, Cora, one of our CTWorkingMoms writers, so generously wrote Blogger Style: Sarah for me, helping me figure out what the heck I am supposed to wear. This was fabulous. I bought the outfit she suggested, and I loved it. Unfortunately, my size changed, and that outfit doesn’t fit anymore. Oh, and, I only bought that one outfit (Cora, I am hopeless!).

Right now, my wardrobe consists basically of the following:

*Two pairs of jeans; both over 7 years old, both flair leg opening

*Assorted ill-fitting shorts

*Two pairs of khaki capris, around 8 years old

*Three cute maxi dresses

*Assorted inexpensive v-neck tees, mostly from Target

*Jean jacket

*Yoga capri pants

*Two fabulous CTWorkingMoms hoodies (Thanks, Michelle!)

*One million rib knit tank tops in every color under the sun

I went shopping sans kids about a week ago. I left determined, sure I’d find some summer capris for work, or at the very least, jeans. Nothing. Nada.

My main issue? Where does a thirty-something part-time working mom shop? My budget isn’t huge, but as Cora taught me, I am focusing on cost-per-wear. I don’t mind spending a little more on quality pieces I can wear often. Bonus points to anyone who can point me toward ethical, sweatshop-free, fair trade companies! Suggestions? Anyone want to come shop with me?? 😉

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