Wednesday, April 23

Clothes shopping & fitting woes

Here's my soapbox for today. I really hate shopping for clothes. It comes from frustration that happens when you can't find anything that fits or looks good on you. I am so sick of finding nothing but teeny bopper clothes, tiny sizes, or matronly clothes for old ladies. What's with that?

I'd wager there are more baby boomer ladies out there than teeny boppers. So why are there more clothes on the racks for young people than for women our age? There are always lots of clothes available if you are a 0-12, but the racks are pretty empty in the 14 and up range. Hello!

What's out there for women who aren't twigs and have a real figure? Not much from my observation. Clothing manufacturers are really missing out on a significant market by not designing clothes for those of us in the 14+ range. The "bridge" sizes between misses and womens are missing in most stores. Most go from a 14 or 16 misses to a 16 or 18 womens. (There is a big difference between the way a misses size fits and a women size.) If you're an 18 misses or a 14 womens size, forget about finding clothes. Not many stores sell them. I'm a petite (barely 5' 4" on a good day), which makes it even more of a challenge.

My clothes closet in recent years has dwindled to a few pair of jeans, capris, and t-shirts (long sleeve, short sleeve, and tank tops). I've only kept what fits me and looks good. Everything else I have ruthlessly pruned from my wardrobe. Trouble is, I haven't been able to find anything new to replace what's gone. My husband has more clothes than I do. Isn't that pathetic?

I have fairly long legs, am short in the rise, and fairly long waisted. This mix is not conducive to finding clothes. Petite tops are usually too short for me, misses are ok if the styles aren't too long (and I can find a size that fits me), women's sizes fall off my shoulders, with gaping armholes and hems to my knees. Not a flattering look!

Pants are a nightmare. I need a short rise in the crotch or the waistband comes up to my bra band. I call them "stranglers." :-( If I buy a petite in pants to fit my short rise, the legs are too short and pant hems hit at my ankle. :-( I call these "waders". The lower rise in jeans the last few years has been a boon for me. I can have the shorter rise and the longer length I need in the leg. When I was working full time I made a lot of my slacks because it was the only way I could find pants that fit.

For the last 3 weeks, I haven't gotten much done. I've been wasting too much time out shopping for a dress to wear to a nephew's wedding in May. My husband is part of the wedding party and will be wearing a tux. That meant some serious shopping to find a dress.

What's with all the black clothing in the stores? Do we all have to look like we're going to a funeral when dressing for an event? Regardless of what the fashionistas say, black and dark colors really do not make a fuller figure look smaller. Boring is what I call it. Black is a little stark for me to wear since my hair color left. I love color! Granted, I can't wear the jewel colors I used to love, but I can still wear fairly strong ones. Color is more flattering to my complexion than black and it makes me feel happy.

After shopping at least 20 stores in my area, plus more at Lighthouse Place outlet mall in Michigan City, I still hadn't found anything to wear to a wedding. I was desperate. I would have settled for a nice pair of slacks and a top. I even entertained thoughts of making my own dress. And because I've lost so much time out shopping for 3 weeks, I really did not have time to do that. Desperation drove me to one last store on Sunday. One that I had avoided because I don't care for their clothes. I walked in and immediately found 2 dresses in my size in flattering colors on the rack. Could this be??? First one was a no go. Second one was...the one! Lovely lilac color, flattering, and it fits! (Even better--it was on sale!) Relief, I won't have to go naked or in jeans. LOL! Once I find a pair of shoes, I'm set!

Update: Friday, April 25 - silver open toe wedge high heel shoes found at DSW at 50% off! Score!


Marte said...

There's only one solution: Make your own clothes.

I have the same problem here, except I'm tall and all the clothes are for shorter people. In the last 5 years, I've found maybe 3 things that fit me sort of right. I end up just wearing tshirts and jeans most of the time, and always have to modify the jeans to fit me right.

Best of luck with finding shoes :)

Moonlit Goddess said...

I so know what you mean. I hate cloths shopping, because nothing ever fits right. I have a wedding in early May also. Although I have dreaded looking so much that I haven't even started yet. BTW what store did you finally find the outfit at? Maybe I should start there.

Joanne said...

It sounds like we are similiar in shape. My only clothing successes in recent memory have come from:
LL Bean (Cottage Jeans), JC Penney (t-shirts and St. Johns Bay casual pants), Eddie Bauer (dresses, tops, etc.) and Title Nine for more youthful stuff. I am a bit younger than you are, and I'm still dangling around a 12, but otherwise, I totally hear you.