Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Let's go shopping

Today we are going to talk about that thing that most women have a love hate relationship with. The thing that creates both excitement and despair. Shopping. Clothes shopping that is.

Ladies and gentlemen, I finally did it. I cleaned out my closet. I knew I needed to. I didn't want to. All those wonderful clothes that I used to fit into. All those clothes that I was ashamed of because they were a size to big back when I bought them (oh how wrong I was). All those clothes I would love to fit back into (I know, I know, I'm trying to be accepting). Those clothes that represented a different stage in life. Those clothes that I was so sure I would be back into within months of birth. So many memories in those clothes. And I cried when I cleaned out my closet. And then I went and ate something very sugary and unhealthy. Yes, I did.

Now the space is empty, and I get excited about filling it back up. Until I hit the store. I walk in thinking I'm going to find the most beautiful piece that will compliment this body of mine to perfection. It will make me look stunning. Not even I will notice the extra. Nope. Not one bit.

To the dressing room I go. Uh oh. Most of these are a size too small. That's depressing. And then my favorites would have looked great pre-baby. But we aren't pre-baby. They don't have this one in my size, and it's probably better to buy this one a size too small anyway because I know I'm going to get there at some point. No, no, you need to dress the body you have now. Wow, that's unflattering. Even more unflattering. That's decent but so expensive. . .

Tell me I'm not alone and you've been there too? Tell me, please.

So my closet is still largely bare. By the time I come out of the dressing room my little one is so fed up he can't stand it. So I just buy a few clothes that I only marginally liked just so I can get out of there. Or I walk out in frustration. Sad. Especially when I came in the store with such elation and excitement.

Here's a beef that I have. Did you know that the average woman in America is a size 14? Did you know that this particular size is too small for plus size clothing in most cases. But the clothes in a regular department store are made to look great on a size 4 or smaller? What is the average woman to do? Plus size clothing is designed for that body type. And it looks great. But no one is designing clothes for the average Jane. pfff.

This is an expert from an article in the Los Angeles Times:

When it comes to shopping, the average American man has it made. At 189.8 pounds and a size 44 regular jacket, he can wear Abercrombie & Fitch, American Apparel or Armani. Department stores, mall retailers and designer boutiques all cater to his physique -- even when it's saddled with love handles, a sagging chest or a moderate paunch. In menswear, shlubby is accommodated.
But the average U.S. woman, who's 162.9 pounds and wears a size 14, is treated like an anomaly by apparel brands and retailers -- who seem to assume that no one over size 10 follows fashion's capricious trends.


So because life is hard in the dressing room I have two things I wish for you to read. These things are amazing and I love them.

The first is about how to survive in clothes shopping trip with your sanity and self-esteem in tact. I love this.

The second is just beautiful. She talks of a woman who grew up in Ghana with a tailor. A person who would measure this lady's body and make clothes that fit her specific body to perfection. She talks of how if those clothes didn't fit we wouldn't blame our bodies, we would get a new tailor. Please, please read this. It's beautiful.

In the meantime my fellow shoppers, know that you are not alone. Everyone suffers distress in front of a mirror imaging the clothes without tags. Take heart, there is more to you than your wardrobe. I'll try to keep it in mind as well.

P.S. Thursday is a big day! It's my one year anniversary for starting this blog. And I have a big surprise for you. Really big.

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