Glam Slam: Unflattering, But I'm Buying It Anyway

Jessica Simpson performs as part of the 99.9 Kiss Country 24th Annual Chili Cookoff on January 25, 2009 in Pembroke Pines, Fla. Jessica Simpson performs as part of the 99.9 Kiss Country 24th Annual Chili Cookoff on January 25, 2009 in Pembroke Pines, Fla.

If celebs didn’t wear unflattering things on a regular basis… there wouldn’t be “Fashion Police” or those “What Was She Thinking” or “Fire The Stylist” stories in magazines.

And if stylish stars like Jessica Simpson and Kim Kardashian can’t get it right all of the time, is there hope for the rest of us?

I thought about this when someone complimented me on a dress I wore to work recently. I love the print, but admitted that the dress, which is made of jersey and hugs the body, probably wasn’t the most flattering on me because unfortunately, I have abs that are real- not abs of steel.

Why do women, myself included, buy and wear things that aren’t flattering? In my case, I just loved the print so much, I didn’t care. The dress wasn’t all that expensive, so even though I knew in the dressing room that it wasn’t right for me, I bought it anyway.

I figured there was probably an emotional reason behind this type of buying, so I asked Psychologist Dr. Michelle Golland (www.drmichellegolland.com) to weigh in.

“Sometimes we buy something that we know doesn’t look that great because it temporarily lifts our mood. Shopping, even if we don’t love it or need it makes us feel more in control of our lives especially if we are feeling out of control in other areas such as work, home, or family relationships. If you find yourself shopping like this you need to ask yourself, ‘Why do I want this dress, purse, computer? Did anything happen today, yesterday or recently that is making me anxious, depressed or feeling out of control of things in my life?’”

Don’t ask yourself if you need it because we humans are very good at convincing ourselves that we need that not so good looking dress! She goes on to say, “You need to become conscious about your feelings and be clear that you are spending money on something that first, doesn’t look so good on you, but that you are willing to buy it so that you feel briefly better about yourself, which of course will quickly turn into feeling like CRAP because you spent money (maybe you didn’t have) on something you will never wear.”

“So the cycle will begin unconsciously again and again until you go deeper into your true feelings of self-worth and negative feelings you are trying to avoid by shopping for ugly and ill fitting clothes!”

Now THAT is what you call a serious retail therapy session!

The good Doc makes some very valid points. Luckily, I have never gotten into a full-blown cycle like this. And let me be clear, I have never gotten into any financial trouble due to shopping. I’m just way too much of a Type A to let myself lose control like that.

But, I do love to shop, or more specifically, I love the act or experience of shopping. I like being out and about, checking out new styles, smelling new perfumes, seeing what’s new in stores and observing what others are wearing and how they are putting trends together. Call it a classic case of window-shopping because I don’t actually buy something most of the time when I hit the stores. I wish I had that kind of money!

Every now and then, I make a shopping blunder and buy something I’ve regretted. As long as it’s an occasional thing, I don’t beat myself up with retail remorse. At least I don’t have to worry about the paparazzi documenting any bad choices!

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