{26/05/2012}   The stresses of clothes shopping

I dislike clothes shopping, it is a chore that usually ends up making me feel fat/weird-shaped/outcast!  I am writing this looking down on a failed pyjama purchase, it’s not pretty and it’s not fair.

Being on the pudgy side is manageable, it’s having boobs over a C-cup that causes me the most problems.  The pyjama issue is that the bottoms fit fine, as does the top … except that the boob-shaped area is, to put it VERY mildly, insufficient, thus rendering the top unusable, if only for aesthetic reasons.

Everyone has a different body shape and I appreciate that’s why clothes sizes vary from shop to shop.  Zara, for example, make clothes for people who are very different in shape to me; I would need to have about three of their sizes cut and sewn to get a top of theirs to fit me.  For my emotional protection, I never go to Zara.  Bench jeans work for me – a discovery made after years and years of research – but I still have to try on pretty much every style in the size I am by their standards until I find, usually two, different styles that fit me.

I do, however, have two favourite shopping places and a third fall-back.  I get most of my clothes from TK Maxx, then McArthur Glen Designer Outlet (Ashford) and, thirdly, department stores.  The common theme is that there are a variety of brands in a relatively small area so the odds of finding something to fit are increased.

I have to be in the right mood to clothes shop in TK Maxx, it takes a lot of time and patience, but as a result I have all manner of brands, styles, etc; good for interest factor but bad if you buy a brand you don’t know, want to buy more of but can’t find elsewhere.  Also, a bonus that you can get bargains.  Likewise McArthur Glen.  I went there earlier this year.  I needed a jacket.  I had a two-hour shopping slot (I arrived after work at 6 and the shops close at 8).  The shops were quiet, I tried on loads of jackets … and ended up, unsurprisingly, with the first one I tried on.  Whenever I go there for specific things to buy, I almost always get them.  Very satisfying.

As for the trauma of finding clothes that fit, when I win the lottery I am going to have bespoke clothing.  I have to buy one to two sizes bigger in shirts so my bust doesn’t strain in a way that boob-enhanced “glamour” models think looks cool/sexy.  I have to buy trousers a size bigger to enable my bum to fit in, but to the detriment of my waist which then has a waistband too big (and belts that have to tuck in a fair bit of waistband look cumbersome, especially when you have a shirt on that is two sizes too big at the waistline, thus giving you knobbly trunk-like attributes).  I’m fine with skirts.  I can get skirts a staggering two to three sizes smaller than shirts, though I’m (a) not into straight/fitted skirts or (b) not a big fan of skirts, unfortunately, though in part that’s because (c) they often look silly with tops that are too big because of aforementioned boob issue.  Vicious circle.

Don’t stop me, I’m on a roll now.  A lot of the time I look like I’m wearing maternity tops because a lot of tops fall from boob projection terminus straight down, not even touching my mini paunch.  I am as a result dreading the day I am offered a seat on the tube.

I am also really, really fed up of having to wear belts.  Surely there are other women with curves, well I know there are.  I would love to wear trousers that fit my waist and my bottom.

And, really, can “one size fits all” be anything more than a joke?  And another thing, what’s with all trousers being “one leg length fits all”?  Trousers used to be designed for my leg length, I never had to take trousers up.  Now they are usually made in one length, quite rightly to cater for women who would have had mid-calf length trousers previously, but which means me and most others have to either pay (£9-£14 I’ve had to pay) or butcher (NEVER study the hems I’ve done!) their trousers.  It’s scandalous and a huge issue in my day to day life.  Herrumph!



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