One Size, My Ass


English: A model on the runway in clothes at a...

English: A model on the runway in clothes at a fashion show in , Japan. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I doubt I’m in the minority among women when I express my total dislike (no, that’s too bland a word; make it ‘flaming napalm hatred’) of clothes shopping.

It doesn’t matter where I go — high-end stores, low-end stores, thrift stores — I have a hellish time finding anything I like.  Actually, that’s not accurate.  I find items I like, they just aren’t a) available in my size, or b) available in any color that might remotely be called attractive.

Sizing has undergone an interesting metamorphosis in the years I’ve been a consumer.  Once upon a time, I wore a size 8 jeans.  I could go into any store anywhere, pick out a pair of size 8’s, and not even have to try them on to know they would fit.  Now?  Forget about it!  Depending upon the store (and where in the stack of material being cut to make the jeans my particular pair was) I wear a size 4, 6, 8, 10, and even sometimes a 12.  Go figure.  Is it any wonder I go mad trying on clothes?  And who are all these size small psychic shoppers who swarm the store just before I get there and buy every freaking thing that might remotely fit?

And what it is with colors?  Puke beige.  Gaping maw pink. Tent caterpillar blood green.  Screaming parrot yellow.  Really?  People buy these?  (Apparently not, considering the number of items on the rack.)  Conversely, several of the “well-known” outfitters seem to believe that women only wear pastels, those faint-hearted, not-quite-there shades.  I don’t mean to rag (well, I do, but I’ll pretend I don’t).  Some women look lovely in those colors, but not me.  It’s frustrating to have so few stores acknowledge the fact that some women prefer what are “traditionally” thought of as men’s colors:  deep blue, burgundy, dark green, brown, earth tones and shades of autumn.  That’s what I want to see.

Fat chance.

And can anyone explain the layering craze to me?  I see how it’s “supposed” to look (although precious few pull it off), but why does every sweater or shirt I try on have to hang half-way to my knees?  This is NOT a pretty sight.  And skinny jeans?  I’ve seen the pictures.  It doesn’t matter who they push into them, those things don’t look good on anybody except maybe an eight-year-old.

What makes me laugh the hardest (and occasionally snatch at my hair) is the “one size fits all” label.  Sure it does.  Depending upon who tries it on, they either suffer from tent syndrome or terminal camel toe.  It’s frightening.

So I think I’ll take a page from my father’s book.  If I find something I like, I’ll buy several (in different colors, if available, in the same color if not) and stash them away.  (After he died, we discovered eighteen white polo shirts — shirts that HAD NEVER BEEN WORN — tucked away in various drawers in his bedroom dresser.)  My wardrobe may not change much, but at least I’ll be comfortable.

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About Melissa Crandall

Longer ago than I care to admit--although I will--I cut my writing teeth on fanzines and media tie-in novels. Since then, I've moved on to narrative nonfiction, speculative fiction, and essays. I write to explore and understand the world around me, the things I see and experience nearby or from a distance. If I shake myself up, cool. If I shake you up, even better. Not gratuitously--what's the point in that?--but to set what I know, or think I know, on end and realize, "Well, doesn't it look different from this side!" My work is neither sexually explicit nor graphically violent. Let's face it - your imaginations will come up with things far worse than anything I could write, no matter how descriptive. Besides, it's just not my thing. I live in Connecticut with my supportive husband Ed, a cat named Ruby who might just think she's a dog, and an epileptic Australian shepherd named Holly who isn't quite certain anymore who she is, except she knows she loves her mommy.
This entry was posted in Clothing, Fashion, Shopping and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to One Size, My Ass

  1. John says:

    And this is why I advocate no clothing.

  2. Wen Spencer says:

    What I hate the most is its like they let design school rejects come up with the fabric that plus size clothes are made out of. There will be this lovely shirt in this wonderful pattern fabric…and they won’t make a plus size of that version. Same cut of shirt is available in plus size, but they’ve changed to “burn your eyeballs out of your socket” ugly material. Its like designers want to punish fat women for forcing them to create clothes for them.

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