Lady Garanimals: A Million Dollar Idea | HumorOutcasts

Lady Garanimals: A Million Dollar Idea

May 19, 2011
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I love clothes, but I have to admit that when it comes to coordinating outfits, I am pretty much a disaster. Okay, I can match solids to prints, but I get lost when it comes to layering and accessorizing.  Well, lost isn’t exactly the right word. It’s more like a feeling of deranged frustration. I go into a store excited over the prospects of finding a new outfit, and by the time I hit the fitting room, I am juggling two armfuls of clothes and frothing at the mouth because I do not know if any of the items I picked will work together to make one decent ensemble.

During my last shopping excursion, I thought that if I went to an expensive store, I would have an easier time putting an outfit together. I naively thought that one of the salespeople would give that extra effort and help me select the right merchandise.  However, when I got to the fitting room with my many apparel choices, I did not find any of the welcoming customer service I envisioned.

“How many items do you have?” the fitting room attendant/salesperson quizzed me with a non-emotional, cop-like attitude.

“Forty-nine!” I joked which only led her to stare back at me in contempt.  Then she took the clothes from my arms and began to frisk them. I worried that I was next for the pat down, so in a panic I again tried to lighten the mood before we became too intimate.

“What are you looking for? Concealed weapons? ”

Still, no sign of a sense of humor.

“You are only allowed six items. Narrow down the choices.”

My mind went into apparel overload and began to rant aloud.

“What six items should I take? Which six go together the best?  How do I know if a shirt in the pile that I have to leave with you outside the dressing room goes better with one of the six items I take in with me now?  Why are you being so mean? Did you used to be a prison guard?”

When the fitting room cop realized my level of anxiety, she allowed her sense of compassion to show.  Well, it was not so much compassion as it was probably fear. Chances are she thought I was a Looney Toon and if she didn’t help me out, she could be stuck in the dressing room with a nut job until the end of her shift, and no one would find her, and the store doesn’t pay her enough to put her life in danger, and so in the long run it was better to appease me. Frankly, I didn’t care whether she was feeling compassion or fear; I just wanted some freaking advice!

With the precision of a neurosurgeon, she dissected my choices and put them into three piles which she identified as “best”, “better” and “I cannot believe we carry this crap in our store”.

“Try on!” she commanded.

When I walked out of the fitting room in the dress slacks, blouse and jacket she had selected, she smiled, and I was proud. She ran out of the fitting room area and returned with a colorful scarf which she wrapped around my neck in a whimsical sort of way. I have to admit when she first came at me with the scarf, I thought she was going to strangle me. I was relieved to discover she didn’t have homicide on the brain.

“Perfect!” she exclaimed, and asked if she could take a picture to remember the moment. The picture thing sort of gave me a weird vibe, so I declined, but I promised I would mail her one when I wore the outfit out.

I know that most people do not have these issues picking out clothes, but I have an excuse.  I live in my jeans and tee shirts.  I have not had to put on a pair of panty hose in about five years. I’m not sure if I remember how to put them on.  I have two business outfits that I alternate for when I have to look professional and that is the extent of my wardrobe.

Honestly, I was never good at putting together outfits.  I don’t know why this is. My mom is an amazing dresser. My daughter also has that gift.  She doesn’t even need to spend a lot. I literally get a headache when I go shopping with her. She scurries around the far-reaching corners of a store and grabs stuff off the racks, digs through bargain bins and then hops in the dressing room.  Three minutes later, she stands before me in an outfit that is to die for.

One day after shopping with my daughter, I decided that women like me need a special line of merchandise that would alleviate the pressure of putting together outfits.  When I was a kid, we had Garanimals. Garanimals had animal tags on the clothing and one could get a coordinated outfit by matching the tags. Even as a small child, I saw this idea as nothing short of genius.

I know Garanimals still exist because I looked them up online, but I have to ask why isn’t there an adult version? Not everyone is a fashionista who can put together colors and fabrics and accessories. Not all women can dress like they are ready to shoot the cover of Vogue.  There should be Lady Garanimals. I think this is a gold mine idea.

I am going to write Garanimals and suggest a women’s line dedicated to wardrobe misfits like me. They might scoff at the idea or maybe–just maybe – they might hire me to be the president of their new division. Uh oh, does that mean I have to go clothes shopping?


Donna Cavanagh

Donna Cavanagh is founder of HumorOutcasts.com (HO) and the partner publishing company, HumorOutcasts Press which now includes the labels Shorehouse Books and Corner Office Books (HOPress-Shorehousebooks.com). As "den mother" to the more than 100 aspiring and accomplished writers, producers, comics and authors, Cavanagh's goal is to allow creativity to flow. She is a former journalist who made an unscheduled stop into humor more than 20 years ago. Her syndicated columns helped her gain a national audience when her work landed in the pages of First Magazine and USA Today. She teaches the how-to lessons of humor and publishing at conferences and workshops throughout the country including The Philadelphia Writers' Conference and Erma Bombeck Writers Workshop. The author of four humor books, Cavanagh hopes her latest book, How to Write and Share Humor: Techniques to Tickle Funny Bones and Win Fans, will encourage writers not only to embrace their humor talents but show them off as well.

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13 Responses to Lady Garanimals: A Million Dollar Idea

  1. May 24, 2011 at 10:38 am

    Any T-shirt matches any pair of jeans. That’e because I think they were invented by MEN — we know how to keep dressing simple!

  2. Jack Sass
    May 19, 2011 at 9:34 pm

    Just shop at Frederick’s of Hollywood, nobody will notice if it doesn’t match. 😉

    • May 19, 2011 at 9:35 pm

      Spoken like a true man Jack!

      • Jack Sass
        May 19, 2011 at 9:41 pm

        Thanks (takes a bow)

  3. May 19, 2011 at 4:56 pm

    even a better read the second time, because i laughed before i got started! i do not match understuff, guess i need help!

  4. May 19, 2011 at 4:46 pm

    Hire a personal shopping consultant. Better yet, to save some money, offer to pay your daughter to go along with you and pick everything out. She’ll be cheaper, and have your best interests at heart. Just make sure she’s on your good side that day.

    • May 19, 2011 at 5:48 pm

      How funny Matty! I told my daughter that she should start a personal shopping service. She would be awesome at that! LOL

  5. Fran Brockmyre
    May 19, 2011 at 3:27 pm

    I think the Garanimals for adults is a wonderful idea. I am outfit-choosing-challenged also.

  6. Deb Martin-Webster
    May 19, 2011 at 2:57 pm

    I LOVE that idea. I thought panties with the day of the week on them was a good idea too! Takes the guess work out of my morning routine!

    • May 19, 2011 at 2:59 pm

      I’m okay with panties Deb because I match them to my bras. Yes, now everyone knows my undergarments match nicely. LOL. But that is easy to do – clothes are another story. Thanks for the chat.



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