When I found out I won the gift certificate (thanks ModCloth and Keiko Lynn!!!), I went straight to the site to browse around. They have so much to choose from, and most of it is more than reasonably priced. Since I've been sewing and refashioning so much, I haven't shopped all that much for new clothes in the last year. Plus, I'm picky and can have impossibly high and obnoxious standards when I buy. To guide my shopping trip through Modcloth, I recalled a set of shopping rules that guide me and continue to morph (BTW my #1 priority when buying new is that the garment is sutainable both construction-wise and style-wise -- I want to wear it in 5 or 10 years):
1. I'll only buy a garment I would not happily sew myself, preferably quickly.
ModCloth has a ton of cute shirts, any of which I could make for myself from a men's shirt and a couple hours' work. But I'm not tackling a swimsuit. At least not this summer. And this one is just adorable:
I've shared my lack of luck/ experience with sewing pants. Haven't tried shorts but I anticipate similar challenges. Here are a pair of shorts I'd have loved to have worn every single day this summer:
2. I'll only buy a garment if the fabric is so unique I would have to scour the globe for it, and even then I might not find it.
Border prints and anything with a robot printed on it would fall in this category. I love whimsical, colorful bird print fabric but there isn't nearly enough to choose from in a fabric store, online or IRL.
3. I'll be OK buying a garment if copying it would bring me no joy or wouldn't teach me something I want to learn.
Rows of painstaking pintucks? Gorgeous embroidery? Someone else do it. I'm taking a nap. A corollary of this is I can justify buying clothes in fabrics I am not comfortable sewing yet. In the past this applied to knits; currently it applies to slippery and delicate fabrics, like silk georgette.
4. I'll consider buying a garment if its style is unexpected for me but so What I Need Right Now.
Despite liking clean lines and structured shapes, I don't need military. I've worn military-style clothes in the past and they're a bit sharp. But with Michael Jackson's recent passing I'm a little more inclined to see the band leader crossover potential and go for something like this:
5. I will buy it if it fits perfectly and looks perfect as is. Why mess with perfection?
Here we hit that tricky conundrum we face when clothes shopping online: It might look like perfection, but how will it fit? I'm betting on this one. I'll let you know how it turns out: