My shopping experiences may not have been quite as limited as I suggest in the title, but for the last 8-10 years my clothing shopping has followed a very predictable pattern.
1. Does the store sell my size?
2. Does the clothing item fit?
3. Is the price what I am looking for?
Questions about style, fit, and whether the outfit flattered were really secondary. This was primarily because my options were so limited that if the outfit wasn't great, there really wasn't much other choice.
What developed was a very simplistic shopping pattern. I chose 2-3 stores where I knew the clothes fit, I would go to one of those stores when I needed something to wear. I would pick something out in my size and buy it. I didn't usually try things on because if it fit, nothing else really mattered.
Today I found myself with some time to kill. I decided to wander around a local mall and saw that one of the stores that I regularly shop in was having a sale, a big sale, 50% off lowest clearance price sale.
I realized that this might be a good opportunity to pick up a few items to replace the stuff that was started to get to big.
Since I wasn't quite sure what size to buy I was forced to start trying stuff on. What I found surprised me. Both my top size and bottom size had gone down 2 sizes. In tops I was no longer wearing plus size clothing which opened up my options by about 75%.
Today I actually started to think about whether the cut and colour of a top flattered and the thoughts of "its cheap and it fits ok" never entered my mind.
The goal for the weekend is now to clean my closet. I am going to get rid of everything that doesn't fit and/or does not flatter and I am going to start replacing these items with my new clothes.