When I shop I often pick up items and say "If I was 25 and size 6 and lived in a big city, I would totally wear this". But I am none of those things so who the heck am I shopping for? Definitely not my life as a middle aged woman who works in a relaxed environment with college students in a small town in IN. I do not need more sparkly tops or sweaters, I do not need more statement pieces of jewelry and I do not need another faux fur coat. What I do need are some jackets that have seams in the waist area, pants that fit that are not black, jeans that fit and are flattering (not convinced such an item exists but here's hoping) and shoes that are comfortable and stylish (another item I do not believe actually exists, especially in my price range).
I believe we shop for things we feel comfortable with. This is why I have a so many skirts and dresses but only 1 pair of black pants in my closet. I hate the way I look in pants and find them so difficult to fit that I just avoid the whole experience. Same story with jeans for me. As several friends will confirm I am not afraid of shopping for shoes, just very discouraged. Of course I love high heels and platforms and cute little adornments on my shoes but that is not practical for walking across campus or strolling through the grocery store or an 8 hour shopping trip down Michigan Avenue in Chicago.
I also see this trend in reverse. Many women seem to have just "given up" and wear the same clothing whether they at home or at work. Elastic waist acrylic pants, tennis shoes and sweatshirts are not appropriate for a professional environment.
We need to honestly look at our closets and find clothing that fits, flatters and is appropriate for many varied roles we all find ourselves in every single day.