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…