Three Life Lessons from Clothes Shopping…Seriously

I have this peculiar trait. I don’t like shopping for clothes. Especially at malls. Once those glass doors close behind me, I get claustrophobic and confused. So many choices, people, and fashion rules. But I have two upcoming events and need to look spiffy.

Remember (was it during the 80’s?) when we learned to dress in the colors of a certain season? I’m an autumn and have worn army fatigue brown, green, and beige for years.

Color Me Beautiful explains it.

I asked my fashion guru daughter Katie for help. We went to North Georgia Premium Mall, an outlet mall. I had no clue outlet shopping is nothing like regular mall shopping!

You can breathe.

And think.

And laugh.

And sit on a bench, eat ice cream, and watch birds.

Inside the first store, Katie flitted around piling clothes over her arm.

“Kaaaaaatie! I can’t wear those colors. I’m an autumn.”

“Trust me, Mom.” She grabbed a navy blue jacket.

“No! Navy’s for a winter person. I might go with periwinkle, but not navy. I don’t want the jacket. ”

“It’s not a jacket. It’s called a blazer.” She laughed. “Just try it on.”

In the dressing room, I texted a picture to my friend Robin hoping she’d vote for the shirt with warm colors.

“Definitely the blue. Looks like springtime.”

But I’m an autumn.

And then something magical happened when I slipped on the navy blue blazer.

I hardly recognized my new self.

“Wow,” I whispered. “I never knew…”

On the way home, my 2012 word SURRENDER found me.

Surrender can mean…

1. Some old ways of thinking fade.

2. I swallow my pride, ask for help, and listen.

3. I trust God with shopping. With everything.

P.S. Katie had coupons. 🙂 Everything was 40% off. She says Old Navy has colored jeans on sale!

I bet you love shopping, don’t you? 

*Georgia Premium Outlet Mall picture from






  1. Can I borrow Katie? I’m a hopeless shopper, too. Oh, wait, I’m a Summer – I’ll just borrow your outfit!

    • Cathy, I’m telling ya, she has a gift! I’m sorta relieved to find out you are a lot like me in that area!! We’re in the minority, you know.

      And you’re a summer!! 🙂 🙂

  2. The older I get, the more I dislike shopping! When I was younger, I loved going to the mall, walking around while I pushed my little ones in the stroller. Now, I prefer shopping at one store or online.

    I remember the days of being told what colors you could and couldn’t wear. My Mom was always telling me that because of her complexion she couldn’t wear autumn colors. I tended to stick with blues and greens.

    And by the way, blue looks very pretty on you. It really brings out the beautiful color of your hair!

    • Eileen, sounds like we grew up a lot alike. I had to wear KELLY GREEN. Which I despise (on me).

      I rarely shop online, but with my little “mall issue” I should probably try it…just get Katie to look over my shoulder and say, “Yes or no.”

      Thank you so much. I’m telling you, I felt like a new woman in navy blue!! A whole new world opened up.

  3. I am chuckling to myself in how God works. Working through Matthew 16 this morning and revisting a two year old affirmation about “surrendering all” I couldn’t believe it when I got to your punch line of surrender. You have confirmed what God was saying to me. Whatever the story, whatever we face the beauty is found in the surrender! Who knew?! Jesus. Amazing what we find when we surrender:)

    • Yep, Tom. God keeps taking me back (daily it seems!) to the one word.

      And there’s no other way to find what we’re looking for until we surrender. Thanks so much for reading and talking back. 🙂

  4. Georgia says:

    Blue looks fantastic on you! Glad you took Katie with you! BTW – did you get colored jeans too? LOL

    • Georgia, I had to run errands yesterday…was near Old Navy. Thought about going in. Actually walked right in front of the store, but no, I didn’t go in.

      I considered it though.

      Then there’d be the whole color question about jeans. And I’d need to text Katie with pics and she was working. 🙂

      Thank you, my friend.

  5. Anna Haney says:

    Did not cry this time. But I LOVE this. I chose patience. In terms of shopping, I often have a vision of what I want and then I go to a plethora of stores and cannot find a thing.
    1. If God wants me to buy something, He will lead me to it in HIS time
    2. I can look all through Belk and Dress Barn and try to rely on my own judgement, but I need to be patient and wait for the right time to ask someone to help me figure out if it looks good or if I am doing retail therapy
    3. God took what we call 6 days to create the universe. I need to be patient when I am looking for something, be it a purchase, a misplaced item, or an answer to a prayer.

    • Love what you gleaned from this post, Anna! There’ something about asking the right person for help. I’ve even asked strangers what looks right on me.

      Love how you said it…”Retail Therapy.” Definitely I got a good dose of Surrender Therapy as we shopped.

      Okay, I’ll pray for patience for you on your next shopping spree. Let me know when you’re going!

  6. I love that you hear God in every situation. And really blue looks amazing on you woman!
    So glad God gave us daughters …

    • For sure, Robin. Can you imagine if I’d asked Thomas fashion questions???

      And thank you also for the emergency dressing room answer.

  7. Shelley Elaine says:

    Julie, blue IS beautiful on you…and you had me at coupons-LOL! I do NOT enjoy shopping either, except for the occasional rummage sale 😉

    • Oh Shelly, I just love you. We’re twinsies–you don’t like to shop either!! I’ve found several treasures at Goodwill-including a black leather jacket and matching skirt!

      Thanks, my dear. I am not alone in my weirdness. 🙂

  8. I don’t like shopping either, and prefer to do it online where I don’t have to mingle in the crowds. Bet I’d love an open-air mall (and they do have them here, I just haven’t ventured). Love the colors we are supposed to be. I had them done too, way back when. I forget what I am but when someone says “that looks wonderful on you,” or “that color really makes your eyes shine,” I take notice. Love that you and Katie can shop together!

    • You don’t like shopping, B.J.??? Why didn’t I know this?!

      I think you might be a spring b/c that blue in your pic looks amazing on you. But with your smiling eyes, everything does.


  9. Keith used to always joke about what “season” he was & what colors he couldn’t wear. But that was back in the day when he was tall , dark & handsome. Nowadays my man is tall, grey & handsome; and wears whatever color he wishes. (His 20’s self would’ve been cackling at the fuchsia, turquoise or mustard shirts hanging in his closet now…)
    When I was growing up, blue was (still is!) my favorite color. But my mom would always give me the green dress (because of my green eyes) and let my brown-eyed sister wear the blue.
    Now I just wear whatever color makes me feel happy…

    • Melody, I love the story about you and your sissy. Isn’t it funny the little things we remember? I hope you’ve bought you a green dress by now….

      Yeah, doesn’t anything go with grey hair on our men? Although, I do love bold colors on my husband, come to think of it. Not sure mustard would do anything for him.

      Thanks, friend.

  10. Sandra Walker says:

    The blue is lovely on you! I still wear the colors of my season (Winter); I don’t look good in beige!
    It drags me down and makes me look sickly. I was trained by Natural Reflections and Avon; you can wear navy, it just has to be the right shade! You got it right! I used to like shopping, but as I get older I don’t do as much. Do like to go to the outlet malls. Have to go to stores that have the styles I like and clothes that fit my mature body! Just wanted you to know, too, that some of my friends from Summit are going to be at the conferece at FBC Snellville this weekend. Hope they go to your breakout session! Will be praying for you!

    • So, Sandra–this blue outfit would look fabulous on you! And I usually stick to beige. Beige over white for sure.

      Yep, some colors make me looks sickly, with my red hair.

      Oh, thank you! You’re an expert and you say I can wear navy. I’m planning on wearing this outfit tomorrow!! At least until I speak. Then I’m changing into my gardening clothes–goes with my talk. 🙂 I hope I get to meet your friends!!

      Thank you for praying. I’m speaking at 10 a.m. 🙂 I think Mother’s going with me. She’s still deciding.

  11. LOL!I just told Moriah today she had to help me think older for Bethany- Beth turns 13 in July & my eyes are still drawn to those frilly, girly dresses! Moriah picked out some tweener dresses today for Beth and whoa- she looks “older” for sure! But I want to look younger-haha- so I totally rely on my oldest, Sarah & Moriah, 19, to help me “stay current” – not only with my clothes but other stuff too! so that’s perfect- 2 heads are better than 1- and just so you know- I’m a winter 😉 hugs

  12. Flea says:

    I’m an autumn. I understand your reluctance to move into new colors. 🙂 I tried shrimp pink once at a friend’s urging and was shocked at how pretty it was against my skin. My old skin. I don’t know about you, but my auburn hair has darkened with age and my skin has changed, allowing me to move into new colors. What fun!

  13. Oh, yes, you’re definitely an autumn. I see your lovely picture! We’d have fun shopping together–the new us. Thanks so much for reading and “getting me.” 🙂 Blessings!


  1. […] daughter Katie was with us. Remember how she knows fashion? “Nanny’s right.” Katie paused. “Mom, um, you probably don’t know […]

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