It's Flu Shot Time
INTERESTING STUFF – 7 September 2013

Shopping While Old

A side issue that came up in the recent conversations here about elder fashion and mean (old) girls is shopping which got Crabby Old Lady thinking about how much she despises it and wondering how others her age feel.

As Paula commented in part,

"I'm a big fan of shopping carefully, trying things on (including the dreaded bras), doing alterations, etc., etc., BUT I realize this can be a LOT of work...

"If I didn't feel well, had recent surgery, or had worse caregiving responsibilities than the ones I have already, I would be wearing my two favorite pairs of yoga pants...

"I totally get why people do what fashion types disparage as 'giving up.' It's apparently unfathomable to them that life sometimes has other plans beyond a 'pretty blouse.'"

So true even if you can't find one that fits.

Crabby hates shopping for clothes (and pretty much anything else) so much that for the greater part of her working life she did it only twice a year, spring and fall, almost entirely at a certain shop in Greenwich Village (now long gone) where a wonderful, young sales woman kept file cards about what Crabby had bought in the past.

At the beginning of those seasons, Crabby did an inventory of her closet, made a list of what should be replaced, what was still good to go, along with the colors that needed complementing and any fripperies she was interested in having.

Then she set a total price limit and with that terrific sales woman, Crabby could get out of the shop in under an hour, before the irritation of taking clothes off and on turned her into a screeching harridan.

Pretty good, don't you think: two hours a year for all the clothes she needed.

Of course, back in those days, well-constructed clothing in good fabrics and classic styles that can be worn for years didn't cost hundreds of dollars and sizing was standard then, too.

Let Crabby Old Lady, who is 5 feet, 2 inches tall and currently in her weight loss program at 135 pounds (with 15 more to lose), give you an example of sizing insanity.

A week ago in an actual store (as opposed to online), Crabby tried on (which as noted above she despises doing), a pair of pants that from looking and guessing, seemed to be about the right fit.

Maybe she's not accustomed to her smaller body yet; they were so big Crabby could have fit two of her into them.

And what was the size? Wait for it: 0/1 – whatever that means – and not mislabeled, according to the sales clerk who said it was the shop's smallest size. Since it was not a fat women's store, Crabby wants to know what smaller people wear.

Never mind – that's not a real question.

It is probably true that Crabby Old Lady is not the one to discuss shopping of any kind. Seven years since she left New York City and she still doesn't understand how to shop when you drive everywhere.

For the 40 years Crabby walked to most destinations, she window shopped along the way. “Ooooh, that would be a nice gift for Mary.” Or, “cool shoes; I check out this place next time.” And when there was time, she stopped in newly opened stores or wandered the aisles of others making mental notes of what was available.

Crabby has no idea how people who don't walk around their cities and towns know where to go when they need to buy a certain item. No one can tell what's available driving by and anyway, most stores are set back from the street in little strip malls.

Don't get Crabby started on malls. Awful places. She was forced into visiting one a week ago and as with all others she's ever seen, it was filled with nothing interesting – only chain stores and restaurants that, by definition, are bland and boring to appeal to as many people as possible.

It was late morning on a mild, sunny weekday and hardly anyone was there – mostly old women window shopping but not buying, if their lack of shopping bags was any indication.

But the biggest shopping difference in Crabby's life at age 72 is this: there is nothing she needs. She has furniture to fill her home, enough crockery and kitchen utensils to stock a small restaurant and so far, her appliances are in good shape.

Books and food are Crabby's main expenditures and she wonders if this is common among her age group; if after a certain age we just lose interest in shopping or as Paula noted, her “life has other plans beyond” wandering stores in search of what Crabby probably can't find.

Even when there is an item or two that she wants to buy – especially something she needs to see and hold rather than purchase online – she often doesn't because it's more effort to drive and check out several stores than to live without the item.

This is a much too long and amorphous post without much of a point but if it rings a bell for anyone reading, Crabby is eager to hear from you.

At The Elder Storytelling Place today, Marc Leavitt: On the Subject of “Race”


Hi Crabby: My idea of HELL would be an eternity in a shopping mall. I don't want to be sprayed with some stupid new stinky fragrance--stand in line to buy one pair of underwear---be told by one more salesperson that I "look fabulous" in some poorly made, cheap, too short, too tight dress, and I certainly have no desire to walk past one more phony, scantily dressed albino mannequin advertising something I would never consider wearing. AND I have felt this way since I was 20!!! Grumpy

My shopping involves food and fabric. I like to sew, but I don't need much in the way of clothing so I have started to make quilts. Honestly, I donate used clothes all the time, but my closets keep filling up. I don't know how it happens.

Oh yes, it strikes a chord with me! This is the happiest shopping time of my life for two reasons. First, like you, there is just very little that I want. For example, yesterday I went into Williams Sonoma to get a gift card for s wedding gift and all I came out with was the gift card. That just wouldn't have happened 20 years ago! And second, I have found a solution for the clothes shopping ordeal. I buy my everyday wearing clothes from LLBean online. 2 pairs of walking shorts and 2 tees for the summer and 2 pairs of slacks and 2 mock turtlenecks for the winter. Shoes are sandals for the summer and lace ups for the winter. Underwear from JCPenney online. I like the all stretch type bras which I have also found online. Dress up clothes are from Chico's or Coldwater Creek but in all honesty, I don't dress up all that much anymore. Wheeee!!
I am so thankful to be retired every time I get to do my grocery shopping in the middle of a weekday when the meat and produce are fresh and well stocked and the aisles aren't crowded. Joy, joy!!

I can relate. Simplicity is my middle name. I recently ran into a heatwave in Ireland ill prepared with cool tops and bought a couple for 2 euro apiece in a Thrift shop to the astonishment of family at my parsimony. the smallness of the store appealed. I have two pairs of shoes and boots and sandals. My clothes don't need ironing and mix and match and are minimal.
Like you, I despise malls and believe they contribute to depression and lack of creativity.
My few purchases are books and DVDs as I don't have teevee by choice.

Right now as I too lose weight and am in recovery from surgery, I'm not shopping much. Yes, "Land's End." Now there's well made clothing that comes with excellent customer service. Malls. Lovely flat places where I can walk until I can climb hills again. Macy's has a good fat lady section. A good tiny people section too.

Best of all, tho out of my price range is Nordies...speaking of good Customer Service as well as wonderful shoes that actually fit. They have a shopping service. Use it once, find clothes and designers that fit you, and you are done. Just a thought.

You are reminding me of the time in 1992 when I was cleaning out my mother's apartment after she died.

Her closet shocked me in its bareness - one or dresses, three or four pairs of pants, several blouses/shirt and that was it.

She was 75 when she died. Now, 21 years later, I am 72 and have no problem understanding why her closet was so empty.

I don't like to shop OR eat out. My only 'pleasure' expenditures - outside of taxes, utilities and food, are for my pets, art supplies and a couple of magazine subscriptions. I still get all happy when I see an issue of Time in the mailbox.

After a move which involved getting rid of far too much accumulated 'stuff' I promised myself I wouldn't bring in anything unless I had a need for it immediately. I don't want my son to have to haul off endless bags and boxes of items that should have been thrown out long ago when the time comes for that unpleasant chore.

I'm with you here, Ronni: I hardly ever need any new clothes. I came to Spain 11 years ago with a lot of old faithfulls - good quality fabrics and classic styles - and they're still going strong. I love pretty shoes but have such small fat feet that I go for comfort now. It's so hot from end June to mid Sept., I more often than not just wrap a sarong around me. Bras are my problem (I'm a 34G) and I buy on line from Bravissimo in the UK. I'm not a pretty sight pottering around in our big secluded garden but who's to see!

To give you the MALE perspective, like you, I have everything I need: furniture, appliances, household furnishings (rugs, blinds, carpets), and wall art, kitchen utensils (pots, pans, and dishes).

I have closets stuffed with never-worn-any-more-at-all expensve suits in every shade of blue and grey (so far I've just been too lazy to get rid of them, and besides, the closet doors are always closed, and I forget they're there); I wear polo shirts, shorts and boat shoes when I go outside in summer;sweatpants and sneakers when it gets cold.
Any shopping I do, almost exclusively books, I do on line.
I've always hated shopping; I always went only when I knew exactly what I wanted, found it, paid for it, and left.

I have already related on a previous comment that I have to do my shopping on line. So if I find something I like (like LL Bean t-shirts) I buy one in several colors. Then I try to buy slacks in coordinating colors to mix and match. I am giving away almost all of my dressy clothes as I rarely go anyplace to wear them. I still have far too much in my closets and just gave away a big box of clothes. Eventually I will pare it down to two dressy outfits (no dresses), one skirt to wear to the dermatologist (so I don't have to drop my pants to have my legs examined) the t-shirts and turtle necks for winter and slacks. I am also keeping some sweaters for those chilly days. Who needs more? I have gym outfits, but can no longer go to the gym so they must go the next round of 'give-aways' I collect. It is taking me too much time to be able to part with things and I need to become less attached to favorite outfits. If I haven't worn it for a year it should go. If I loved wearing it and it still fits it's really hard for me to say "I don't need this anymore". I freely admit that is not an admirable attribute.

My clothing shopping days are over, ended, kaput and nevermore.

At age 70 I'm the opposite of these women. I'm petite, slim with a small waist in pretty good shape from daily yoga. Have issues so can't. Hole and dance wildly. Finding comfortable shoes difficult. Miss my sexy shoe collection given to a young friend like Cinderella. I have an eclectic assortment of chic thrift store finds mostly. Fill in with sales at the gap for jeans and tops and some Chico. I recycle so I have treasures that I wear over and over like a 30 year leather jacket. Shopping is a fun treasure shop for disposable clothes that make me feel good when I wear them and satisfaction that they cost so little for so much. To enjoy getting noticed and nobody know my secret.

For a while now I've been saying that I have enough clothes to last me if I live to 110, but still buy something every now and then just because I love it. Other than that occasional purchase and, of course, food, I buy very little. I recently received a $50 gift certificate to the largest on-line store, and bought a bathroom scale and a new ironing board cover because I couldn't think of anything else, and I needed/wanted both items.

I have hated shopping all my life. When I was a kid, my fashionable mother and sister would drag Dad and me to the mall, where we would sit on a bench waiting for them. (Mom didn't drive, so Dad had to come.)

Sometime in my late 30s I discovered catalog shopping at LL Bean and Land's End, and most of my clothes have come from there since. They have had traditional clothes that are well made and don't go out of style, so I can wear them for years.

Both outlets have unfortunately deteriorated in recent years, but they are still better than going to the mall, so I stick with them. And anyway, as others have said, I don't need many clothes now that I've retired.

What I find amusing is how all the sizes have gotten bigger. I started out wearing a size 10, then a size 8 and now a size 6, and my weight has not changed appreciably. Clearly, retail is trying to appeal to women by convincing them they are smaller than they really are. I look at tiny women (I am five foot eight and weigh about 130) and wonder what size they wear. Must be a minus 10!

Your post hits a chord. during the career years, I loved to shop and accumulated a wardrobe of business clothes. In the three years since retirement, my wardrobe changed to casual and comfy clothes. No more pumps or panty hose! I find going to stores now to be a waste of precious time -- especially when online shopping for t-shirts and polos and jeans is so convenient. My friends are surprised at this change -- as is my husband.

I've had to buy smaller clothes & have changed my taste a bit. LOL My fashion plate days are gone! Comfort rules!!!! And I'm shrinking!!! Sigh.

Have been conditioned since childhood to wear church basement rummage sales. It was the Depression and World War II eras and we were lucky to get whatever we could find or had passed on to us both other families in our small village in West Virginia.

In the 1960s I had a steady job, 2 kids and a husband, and found what a joy a Good Will/Salvation Army-type of store could be when I found the "Junior Debutants of Atlanta" store near me at 10th and Peachtree Street! What a joy that was ... top-quality clothes that had barely or never been worn, shoes with price tags still on them - what heaven!

When I (sort of) retired from "corporate" jobs to work at home as a bookkeeper, I gave all my, by then, fairly good grade of work clothes to a Good Will-type store that sold clothes to support its efforts and gave most of the clothes to women who were trying to advance in the working world, were entering it from rehab or half-way houses, etc. That gave me a real good feeling.

Now have returned to Good Will, the Salvation Army, DMV clothing stores to do my shopping. Secret is, if you shop at one of those stores in or near a high-end housing area, the clothes are usually very good quality clothes that have been donated from the near-by neighborhoods, and are sold at very reasonable prices!

Like so many here I have eliminated a lot of things I used to think were indispensable. I can remember having 10k+ books and buying 200-300 a year. Now I have less than a third that many and buy less than 50 per year. I had a closet filled with "professional" outfits. Now I have a couple of skirts dresses I hope to never wear again. I keep them just in case. Mostly I have a (very) few pairs of jeans, a number of turtle neck knit shirts for cold weather and a dwindling number of t-shirts for warm weather. Comfort does indeed rule here. We buy what we need when we need it but shopping isn't a major entertainment.

Ronni, I am enjoying your posts on the dearth of well-made clothes for elder women and now this. As I've gotten older, I've begun to HATE shopping, especially for myself. I don't even like the look of most fashions in my 'plus' size so rarely find anything I want to even try on. A few shops that I used to favor have closed. Another peeve is that it is hard to find all cotton for I'm hot in polyester. I used to sew but those skills have rusted; I keep saying I must start again. Oh, but then there are fabrics to find in fewer and fewer fabric shops...

I've often said that if I were rich, I'd hire a housekeeper, a gardener and now, I can add a personal shopper!

About the only things I buy now are clothes and books. I still have a need for semi-professional clothes as I do talks and book signings and teach the occasional class, but I fantasize about having FAR fewer items cluttering up my closet. When I watch travel shows and they talk about shopping like it's an actual activity, I cringe.

I have never been into 'retail therapy' as entertainment. I occasionally shop online and sometimes peruse the Lands End and Chico's sales online. Since both have free shipping and I can return things to the 'brick and mortar' stores (Chico's and Sears, for Lands End), I usually order 2 or 3 sizes, try on at home, and then return the 'extras'. Chico's sizing *is* different, but one just learns which of their sizes 'work'. Books and things for the grandkids are my most common purchases, though...beyond necessary food. Mostly I'm trying to get *rid* of stuff now!!!

It used to be no matter what store I would go in I would always come out with a bag. There was always that one thing that struck my eye. My life has changed so much over the past 3 years that I may still go in those stores every once in a while; but, I come out the same way I went in. I just came to a point where I wondered if I really needed that item. Or is that one thing going to make my day. I think about how much is in my home of 40 plus years and I know I have to start to clear this out. I think having my son tell me that he would not know where to start has also made me think as well. Though I am still working but coming to the end of my career soon, I still find that the clothes I have will last me till my last day at work. I do go online to look, I add things to my cart, and then I do not check out. Funny but that does it for me and I don't have to walk into a store.

I was not going to comment
but might as well.
At this time I have a simple lifestyle. Since my size has remained about the same I do have some really nice things from years ago. I like mostly sweaters and slacks. I know longer wear dresses because of not having my ankle set when I thought it was just sprained and being
Like Ronni I am 5ft 2 but
always wore heels - but not anymore and with a dress I feel dumpy - weigh 110 and buy my jeans, slacks and nice tops (when needed online)
At present my daily dress is garden shabby - which I love.
The oldest of slacks, blouses and sweaters. I stay outside gardening with camera or reading and computer.
Now with 4 professional children and 3 grandchildren in N.Y and Washington and a soon big wedding - What am I too wear. Do not want to buy what I will have to wear :)
Have some health issues that have come about in these late 70's - but really would like
to go to my granddaughter's
wedding next year.
Grandma cannot wear her favorite old garden clothes.

I've been seeing myself reflected in most of the comments as well as yours, Ronni. Hate shopping, don't need clothes, try to keep stuff to a minimum. The only clothing items I spend big bucks on are comfortable bras (36DD** so can't go bra-less like some of you can) and sport type adjustable sandals, like Tevas and Eccos, which I live in all year. I don't own a dress. Panty hose disappeared over 20 yrs ago, but, sadly, I'm back in the hose mode with compression stockings (yuk). Glad I'm in such good company of kindred spirits.

** Thanks to your blog, I was turned on to Title IX as a source of strong support and comfortable bras. Relief!

All my life I have always hated shopping for anything but books and toys. Land's End has been my salvation for 25 years, though the quality doesn't seem as high as it used to be. Color is important to me, and I have a much better chance of finding my favorite jewel colors online.

I'd have loved this post if for no other reason than that you wrote "back in those days" rather than the au courrant "back in the day" and you used the lovely word "frippary." (I don't remember how to spell courrant.)

Hmm, my post seems to have gone bye bye. Mostly I just agreed with everyone else. I shop almost entirely online. Malls are too exhausting and too expensive.

I like LL Bean and Lands End for clothing, Zappos for shoes and handbags (free shipping and free returns), Hanes and OneHanesPlace for underwear and sweats, Amazon for anything and everything. Comfortable, nice-looking shorts and pants are a problem for an apple body and elastic waists are the unflattering but comfortable default. I did find a great pair of Croft and Barrows pants at Kohl's when I went there on someone's recommendation. First pair I tried on. And no elastic. I should have bought two while I was there.

I've minimal needs. Primarily polos or tees with shorts and sandals for summer. Polos and sweats with Uggs for winter. (Uggs are must-have warmth and comfort for chronically cold feet and ankles. Expensive, but one pair has lasted 6 or 7 years.)

Jeez Ronnie I really enjoy shopping and fashion.I detest malls but fortunately live in a city where one can walk around and go window shopping. I don't work now and I wear mostly black jeans a blazer and some colorful top..There are many second hand clothing stores where I live which are affordable.It's hard enough growing older and it helps to make an effort to look your best.

At our age, you are making some of the fiercest and most heartbreaking health, business, and personal transactions of your life.

You want doctors, lawyers, social workers, car salesmen, funeral directors, et al, to SEE you as a "real" adult. We already know that this is tough for younger people-- like we once were. Clothes can give you the confidence you need to get their attention when it's really, really important.

This time of life is famously not for sissies, and the last thing we need on serious days are clothes that disrespect us. When I haven't worn something in a year or two or three, or if I never feel good when I wear it ... OUT! Half a closet of clothes is plenty when they're the right ones.

We can't change the conditions under which our marriages, careers, relationships, and mindless good health ended, but we CAN change our clothes. If you only have a few outfits, you're still way ahead if they make you feel like your real, best self every time you put them on.

I strongly second the recommendations for Lands End and LLBean. Trolling the end-of-season sales helps reduce sticker shock, and the quality is still better than many mall department stores. They both seem to work harder-than-average at sizing consistency, too, probably to reduce returns as much as possible.

I have yet to tell what could possibly be motivating the merchants of the mall in sizing, selection, or demographics because every time I go there, it seems nearly empty. Hmmm.

My mother was a marathon clothes/makeup/jewelry/shoes shopper so I have always rebelled against that. I have good luck with on line stores - usually buy a selection of pants in black, blue, gray and then, jewel or brightly colored tops to go with them. I am also a free lance writer these days and attend every museum press preview that I can so I like to dress somewhat more stylishly. I have to buy more tops than I should because I will start working on a watercolor or calligraphy piece, thinking that I only need to touch up this place or that. An hour or two later, I look up and see that while the watercolor looks fine, my pretty top now is decorated with paint that won't come out. But it's a small price to pay.

At 71 I don't shop much either, most of it is online and often is some gift for 10 assorted grandkids, although the majority of them like $ better. I used to love to buy clothes and I am still unloading my closet of classic and spendy work clothes. I am having a hard time parting with them tho' I never wear them and they don't fit. I am slowly feeding them to a consignment store a few at a time.

I dress in jeans or cotton shorts, tees, birks, and fleece. Dress-up is black slacks with either a summer weight black jacket or a black wool one for winter and one of two b&w print blouses or a bright pastel colored tee ala Miami Vice. As a former hiker and camper I still have casual outerwear for any weather, enough to last my lifetime. My deal with myself was 2 garments out for 1 in; so far it has been 5 or 6 out and often nothing in. I am gearing up for new slippers, online, and that's it. Needing new bras is a crisis requiring an evening with a bottle of wine and friends.

When I thought I was selling my house I spent a lot of time at Home Depot and Ace Hardware. Even though I knew what I wanted and found it I didn't enjoy it. I used to love to go through the carpets and flooring, and check out the glam faucets. No more. When someone else nailed the sale on the condo I wanted I found I didn't like shopping for a new home either so my plan is to stay put, besides, the bathrooms are so much nicer now. I do like buying books,online, and art supplies, also online.

At age 60-1/2 I lost my husband to heart and other problems. I'd gained weight, too, from the stress. I looked frumpy and felt frumpy. One day I stopped by a local shop that carries everything from clothing to cat and dog trinkets. I learned that day that there were other styles and cuts of clothing that remarkably looked good on my larger size. I've been shopping there since. Expensive, yes. But all the pieces go with each other and I have lots of looks. So instead of shopping at Meijer which I was doing and looking frumpy, I now get complimented for my stylishness. And I feel younger!

Oh, and I took your advice. I now shop for shoes that are silvery or bronze and boy does it make the look. Goes with everything.

What can I say? It looks like I'm in the minority among Ronni's Readers, but I still like to shop on occasion. Not like I did 30-40 years ago, of course, but I still enjoy finding that (rare!) perfect pair of pants, shoes or comforter/sheet set. My wardrobe has veered more towards jeans and a t-shirt or sweater/jacket now that I'm not working in an office full-time anymore, but I still like to look as well put-together as I can. I agree with Paula that--like it or not--being reasonably well-dressed and groomed (I'm not talking high fashion here!) can play a part in how we're perceived, and treated, by those with whom we interact.

I also like Lands End and LL Bean but their "small" sizes aren't. It takes some time and effort, but it's actually possible to find decent quality clothing that fits at resale stores such as Value Village and Goodwill. As with regular retail outlets, there aren't enough petite sizes, but I'm more patient at 76 than I was at 36-46. I check in a few times a month and am sometimes pleasantly surprised. Target has great reasonably-priced household items, especially during sales.

I would love to see a store that offered the SAME styles year after year...basic pieces like pants, tops, skirts, jackets, wrap dresses etc. All in a wide, wide range of sizes that never varied.
Fabrics and colors could change but styles and sizes would be dependably the same. You could vary your costume with scarves and other accessories.

"At the beginning of those seasons, Crabby did an inventory of her closet, made a list of what should be replaced, what was still good to go"

Not meaning to gloat but here is one area where men have a certain edge over women. (One of the few) Though the trend may be changing with generations X and Y, men in general, especially this man, worry about fashion and style less than their female counterparts.

I literally don't consider replacing anything until it no longer fits comfortably or bleach stains and holes can no longer be adequately concealed. Of course my wife reviews my clothing situation and buys me new stuff to wear but for the most part it sits in the closet until some special occasion comes along.

At our older age, slip over shirts and sweaters and shorts and trousers not requiring a belt are par for the course most times.

My sympathy to the ladies on this issue

And we wonder why only the medical/pharma community has advertisements aimed at us elders!!!

It isn't only clothes that are of lesser quality than those we remember. Last week my Sunbeam food mixer bought in 1975ish died after a long and busy life. Nearly every store I visited looking for a replacement carried only KitchenAid mixers. These giants weigh 30 pounds and cost nearly $400! I don't need that much power for mixing up batches of cookies and meringues. Also I have no place to store such a hulk. On line I saw that Sunbeams are still made. When I finally found one locally, I understood why almost no store carries them any more. During the past 38 years they have turned from sturdy kitchen equipment into plastic toys. Sigh.

I'm searching ebay for a new old mixer.

Dear Ronni

I am 74 years old and I work with University of São Paulo in São Paulo, Brazil, in a program for changing the public image of the elders.
First thing I think is to change the elders image among ourselves. I remember that in the beginning I had the idea that the elders are the others.
Only when I concluded that I am an elder too, I started to grasp and to understand the problem.
I love your e-mails.

About what to wear:

About shoes, my orthopedist told me to walk a lot, the maximum possible.
As a consequence, to wear only confortable shoes. No nice high heal is worth a fall.
About clothes, I buy my classical best clothes from an arquitet, who engineers clothes that do not need pressing, since 1980.
Some of my clothes are 33 years old, because I am careful and they last long.
I buy clothes when I absolutely need, in a way that I will wear them for at least ten years.
Basic things I buy from a good Brazilian brand, Hering, all size XG, to do not mark the body.
I do not thing is adequate to put my ass in exposition (I am not overweight).
Vey important are scarfs to have a finished look, and to match tones and prints. And to be collected.

It is much more important to expend the money to see my children and grandchildren, to buy books and go to courses, and to keep up to date
with the information world and with the world throught the computer.
To walk and do some Tai-chi-chuan with other elders to improve body and mind. But not too much.
Our energy is also limited and we need to prioritize where to expend it.


best wishes


I agree with many other readers. Comfort is king. I love the same kind of comfortable pant that I have in dark blue and black in a medium weight-comfortable and good for all seasons. I wear layered comfortable shirts depending on the weather all year round. I wear tie up shoes and slippers for home. I don't enjoy spending large amounts of money on clothing and have no problem with thrift stores. I think as long as a person looks neat and clean and appropriate for occasions-there is no reason to spend so much on clothing. I am not a hoarder at all-but if I find a comfortable pant, shirt or pair of shoes-I do buy in multiples. I save the less worn pieces for dressing up a bit. I don't mind shopping for the great grandkids online but get impatient trying to find things I like for me that are in my price range.

I hate shopping too and malls are horrid and I too am very old (even older than you), but still I find my closets are overfull and so is my kitchen (small appliances, dishes, objets). Could it be that I just love buying? Is that a recognized disease? Because I do think I have it. Of course, in the way of clothes (and books too, it seems), what I buy is often what I have already; well, more of the same anyway. I mean I already have a lot of black pants but somehow not those exact ones, which I need for a particular mode of occasion, if you know what I mean. As to books, I've moved so often and often given away a lot of books--they are so heavy, but just let me see a row of books in a yard sale, and I will buy all the ones I left behind on another occasion. The familiar is so comforting I find, especially if I've just bought it!

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