Why I hate shopping for clothes

None of these will fit me.

This morning, Christian and I hit the mall to pick up some much-needed new clothing for both of us – and I was reminded of how much I hate the whole ordeal.

I generally start out excited about the prospect of getting something new. But at some point during the process of countless trips to the try-on room and discovering that nothing I try on works with my body, my optimism fades, frustration sets in, and if I’m not careful, my self esteem can plummet and/or I start seething inside.

I like my body shape, I really do. But it’s just not compatible with commercially-produced clothing. If a pair of jeans is perfectly snug around my hips, then there’s guaranteed to be a 5-inch gap in the waist. If a blouse is big enough to accommodate my muscular back, then it’s completely shapeless and my breasts disappear. If a dress fits wonderfully around my shoulders and chest but isn’t made of a material with some stretch, then I won’t be able to raise my arms above shoulder-level without ripping it.

Piece after piece after piece after piece of clothing is tried and rejected. I tweak the size up and down to see if it’ll help. I experiment with different cuts, different styles, different designers, different stores. I forget about finding something I actually like, and become desperate just to find something that fits and is at least somewhat flattering (even if the color is toothpaste-green).

Men have it so easy – clothes don’t even really have to fit them exactly! As long as it’s not so tight it pinches nor so big that they drown in it – it fits. Doesn’t matter if the collar of the polo shirt is a tad loose or if the pants don’t perfectly follow the line of their leg.

But women’s clothes are (supposedly) cut to accentuate our shape, and this means everything has to hug our bodies in all the right places without squeezing too much. Come to think of it, women have such diverse body types that it’s a miracle that any mass-produced clothing fits anybody.

I’m thinking of going old-school and finding a tailor, so that I can have my clothes made to fit ME.

Anyway, after 4 hours of hunting, we were more or less successful. Christian got 4 shirts, 2 pairs of shorts, socks, and underwear. I managed 1 shirt, 1 pair of shorts, 1 pair of sandals, and a gorgeous royal blue dress – so the trip wasn’t a total loss…

  • I hear ya! I have the same deflating experience….doing sports my whole life then putting on a little extra weight in grad school has made it HARD. A good tailor is the solution- they made my friend a shirt and it cost her R$30 total- for the fabric and the tailor….and they tweak everything for me, to make it fit.

    The dress sounds beautiful!!!

    • Shayna

      I’m convinced that the dress was a divine coincidence! There was exactly ONE blue one left (the rest were black) and it just happened to be in my size 🙂

  • I feel your pain – when I was younger, I had a small waist and bigger hips – if the pants fit in the hips, the waist gap was huge.Also, in those days, there were NO petite sizes, so the waist would come above my navel – and I’d have to hem the pants.

    These days, I have a thicker waist and a smaller butt, so I have the opposite problem.Plus, like you, I have a muscular back and upper arms – so pipestem sleeves definitely don’t work for me.

    I knw how frustrating it can be – but don’t let it be a blow to your self-esteem. God gave you a unique body that is extremely strong and healthy – and very cute (I’m sure your husband would agree)!

    • Shayna

      Yeah, it’s also frustrating because I have to spend hours and hours just to find a few things to wear – time that could be better spent doing other things. I don’t understand how women stereotypically LIKE clothes shopping!

  • nina

    ahh! I have the same thing, only different problems. My hips are big and I am short. My breasts are big for Brazil, how is that possible with all the plastic surgery? But a C cup is impossible to deal with and anything that works for my breasts I am swimming in.

    I have this problem in the US, but it takes on a whole never life force here.

    • Shayna

      Hmmm, maybe it’s because the plastic surgery goes to the bunda and not the breasts? 😉