I wouldn’t say I’m a Fashionista, but I do like new clothes…
A lot.

When I was in my twenties and I lived in the city, I would use my lunch break from work to shop one-day sample sales. This had the dual advantage of keeping me slim (no lunch) and getting cool clothes at a bargain. Of course there were no dressing rooms at these things and now I live in fear of the day a hidden camera tape surfaces on the Internet of me ripping off my top in the middle of a showroom to try on a sample shirt.

Once we had kids and moved to the suburbs, my sample sale days came to an end, which was a good thing since the sight of me getting shirtless in public would probably have scarred my children for life.

Then I discovered online sample sales. On the plus side, no showroom disrobing. On the downside, you can’t really tell size, cut, or quality from a picture unless you really know the brand you are shopping. This has to led to more than one impulse buy that ended with me either looking like a walrus in a bridesmaid dress or a poorly-dressed Yeti.

Fortunately, I have figured out how to avoid this disappointment by sticking with these top ten hard and fast rules for online shopping:

1. I do not buy anything that is called a Frock. It’s either a dress or it’s a long shirt. If they call it a frock, you know they are trying to make it sound better than it really is and probably would only look good on your pet poodle or in a revival of “The Sound of Music.”

2. I do not buy anything that is called a Smock. When I was growing up, we wore a smock to protect our ‘”good” clothes. That doesn’t bode well for the hipness of a smock.

3. I do not buy anything they refer to as Boho-Chic. It’s either Boho or it’s Chic, but it can’t be both. Look at the pictures of your mom from Woodstock. That was Boho. Is that chic? I don’t think so.

4. I do not buy any jackets called Puffers. If it starts out puffy before I even put it on, I have no doubt I will look like the Michelin Man in it.

5. I don’t buy Rompers. Five year-olds wear rompers. I will not look like a five year old if I buy a Romper. I will just look like a really stupid forty year-old.

6. I don’t buy Jumpsuits. See Point #5.

7. I don’t buy any dress described as Babydoll because the sight of me in one would certainly scar my children almost as much as the sight of me shirtless in a sample sale showroom.

8. I do not buy any jeans that are described as High-Waisted. Unless you are a Victoria’s Secret model, they are Mom Jeans, plain and simple.

9. I do not buy anything described as a Miracle. Even if it cinches you in one area, all that fat has to go somewhere and chances are, it’s gonna make some other part of you look twice as big as it really is.

10. I will not buy anything covered in faux animal prints. Giraffes look good in reticulated spots. Me? Not so much. Especially if it is an animal print frock.


©2020, Beckerman. All rights reserved. Follow Tracy on her Facebook Fan page at Facebook.com/LostinSuburbiaFanPage,  join the Lost in Midlife group at facebook.com/groups/lostinmidlife/ and follow on Instagram @TracyinMidlife


  • Ellen Broniszewski

    Love your weekly page!!! We all need laughter in our lives… especially this year!!!! Thanks for delivering!!!!
    Happy Thanksgiving!!!!


    “Frock”. Just the name conjures bizarre images!

    “I’m going frockless”
    “You have some frock on your chin”
    “Frock you!”

    I love your writing!! I love to laugh ;D

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