Friday, 20 May 2011

Spring Has Sprung

As regular readers may have noted, I really really really hate shopping.

And so the season changes, people start scrabbling around in closets and drawers to find something appropriate to wear.

Well, after my eviction and return -- two moves within nine months -- I developed a savage ruthlessness about stuff.

It appears that savagery and material aging have conspired to result in my whine to Sweetie: 'I hate all my clothes'. (Sweetie winced and backed slowly out of the room.)

Old fave shirts are too ratty -- even for me -- to wear. Mysterious stains in inconvenient places have appeared. And so on.

I gotta go shopping. (Look at opening line again.)

Time was, when I was younger and the world was saner, I'd grit teeth and venture into some store where I'd struck lucky before. Find something I could afford in the size that had worked before and -- deep breath -- hit the changing rooms.

Because if there's one retail experience worse than shopping, it is returning something.

It started in the 80s. There was a brand of workplace-acceptable pants that fit me well enough. I took a size 6. Went back sometime later and size 6 was enormous. Tried a 4. Still roomy but OK. Weird, I thought, I'm not shrinking. . .

Next time, went for the 4. Too big. Tried a 2. Fit OK. Moi: What's next? Zero?

Yup. Welcome to vanity sizing.

The theory is that as our shapes or weights change, women don't like to admit it, so designers accommodate our 'vanity' by making sizes larger.

It has been studied:
In one of Kinley’s studies, researchers measured 1,000 pairs of women’s pants and found as much as an 8½-inch variation in the size-4 waist.

Every woman knows this.

But now matters are more dire. I haven't bought clothes for so long, I have no idea where to start. Plus, my body has changed. I'm pretty sure I'm not a 2 anymore.

The S-M-L (and now XL and XXL) system used to work for casual clothes. I took S, but then the cuts got skimpy (you do not want to look at my belly) so I went up to M. And rolled the sleeves up about 5 turns.

Of course, you've cottoned on to what I'm doing here. There's a note in my agenda for Monday past. CLOTHES! Today is Friday and if I fuck around long enough with this blogpost and the innertoobz -- oh, gee, look at the time!

Or as Sweetie and I -- both freelancers -- put it: 'I'm in the procrastination stage of the project.'

And just now -- TELEPHONIC SERENDIPITY! Sweetie is in the nabe is and going to drop in for a cup of tea.


The comments are open for companionable bitching. Or suggestions.


Luna said...

I hate shopping too. With a fiery burning passion.

First, a suggestion: Reitmans. The staff there seem to be good at finding clothes that fit and look nice. They won't let you leave looking like a party snack without at least saying, "I think we could find something that suits you better". They have a Petites and a Plus Size section (and a Petites Plus!) and a variety of different fits. I like them. Also, I got a pair of pants on clearance for $6.50. :)

Sizing. OMG. Why do we put up with this shit? Why can't we have sizes like men do? Inseam and waist. Then for shirts, bust and waist and torso. How hard would that be?

fern hill said...

Reitmans. That would be in a mall, yes? Yeesh. I try to stay out of those places. But, good, thanks for the suggestion.

I don't mind buying clothes for Sweetie. They are sensibly sized and better quality for the money than women's clothes.

We put up with it because we're patsies, I guess. What are we going to do? Boycott and go nekkid?

Hmm. That just might scare the crap out of the big-wig designers, most of whom seem to hate women's bodies anyway.

Námo Mandos said...

My current big fashion bugbear, insofar as you can imagine me having a fashion bugbear, is shoes. A bigfoot dude like me has a devil of a time finding shoes that (a) last, (b) are affordable, and (c) don't hurt my feet/knees/back/posture. You'd think that modern technology would have solved this problem. Shoe prices are obscene compared to what they're paying the cheap labour in China, too.

Beijing York said...

I hate clothes shopping with a passion. I swear my heart races when I have to buy any item that requires going into a fitting room.

For shirts, sweaters and Ts, I just try them on right there and then over my attire. It's a hit or miss proposition since sometimes things I buy actually end up being a bit too big. (I've given up on sizing long ago...)

Pants/jeans, bathing suits and bras require the dreaded fitting room experience. Consequently I am tying knots in my old, stretched out bras to make them fit and patching up shredded denim and wool pants as long as I can get away with it.

k'in said...

I share the pain.

Go figure though, today we made a pact to go to ex-toggery (second hand store) for ten minutes max. We both scored decent (ecco) sandals for $30. Mine were a size 9 which would normally be way too big. I tried on 7s (different brand) that should be tight but were like boats. Tall guy (size 13) got a perfect fit with a pair of size 11s. Always need to try stuff on.

And yeah, the vanity sizing. Remember when size 9 was the standard model/sample size, no exceptions?

fern hill said...

Ex-Toggery! Where, k'in? I haven't seen one of those (if there were more than one) for eons.

My absolute fave garment all-time I bought in a consignment shop in Yorkville. Armani jacket, blue/green/purple plaid, light wool, fit me like a dream. Wore it for years til the moths got it. I think I paid $150 and it was worth every penny.

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