Of course I thought I had done that when I went because I had been on a shopping trip with her before. She had brought me pieces to try on that (if I'm being honest) I stuck my tongue out at like a kid being served broccoli for dessert. Out of morbid curiosity I tried the items on and was blown away by how great they looked on. If she'd handed me a hat, I would have had to eat it. Some clothes are simply not served by being hung on a rack. The experience called on me to try new styles and new colours which was both terrifying and exhilarating at the same time. I thought I knew what suited me but really, I only knew what hid me.
So yes, I had a past experience up my sleeve and so the next time I went shopping with her on her 'Finding Your Style' event, I took it as the perfect opportunity to find me a much needed pair of pants. Pants have always been a nightmare for me. For one, they are always too short which means they are never ready to wear and have to be taken up. Second, I have large thighs and a large tummy, I need pants that can handle all of my awesomeness. Third, it seems what goes for a size 14 in one store can be considered a size 18 in another store. This means many episodes of grabbing my "size" and not being able to pull them up past my knees. It can all get a bit humiliating and deflating after a while. It's hard enough being overweight (and trust me I am SO OVER weight) but on top of that, fashion has dictated that if you are X tall you are X wide and many of us struggle to fit in the box created for us.
So anyway, back to the pant hunt and it really was a hunt. We were hitting recycled clothing and vintage stores which have clothes from all sorts of brands with no guarantee about sizing. We're heading into summer so the pant selection was slim to say the least. Not only in the number of pants on sale but, sigh, there weren't a great number of pants that were my "size". I struggled into a few pairs but no, no, no, they weren't for me and well, we had another store to visit after this one so I contemplated pouting until it was time to go. Noticing my bottom lip, Nora suggested I find some tops to try on. "Why?" was my response and I even said it in a sulky teenage way with a screwed up nose. With much grace and poise Nora reminded me of the sort of neck line that looked good on me and so I dragged my feet towards the tops section giving up hope of ever finding a pair of pants that actually fit.
On my way to the tops I noticed a small rack in the middle of the shop. It had long tunic tops on it, the sort I love to wear with leggings. A dark green one with an interesting cut stood out to me. Although my mind started to tell me that I was here for pants I decided to try it on. After all, the more outfits I find like this, the less pairs of pants I'll actually need in my wardrobe. I tried it on a voila - I loved it! It was at that moment that I realised I would never have found it if I had continued to focus on finding pants. You see I thought I had left my expectations at home. I was quite prepared to try on whatever pants Nora brought me but I was totally expecting to find pants. It made me realise just how much expectations limit us and bring us disappointment.
There's a fine line between having a vision and having an expectation. I think visions are quite vague and speak to a feeling and way of being rather than the actual details of look, touch, taste and sound. I think if I had walked into that shop saying "I am going to browse all the racks and try on anything that stands out to me" then I would have found that dress sooner and probably lots of other amazing pieces too. So I resolve to (as much as possible) go shopping and try on whatever pops out at me rather than to find a particular item. I'll be shopping carefree and I'll be leaving the pants at home, especially now that I have a fabulous dress.