Sunday, January 15, 2012

Sizing things up

Since the events of this past summer, I have lost my taste for clothes shopping.  My priorities have been rearranged, and "being stylish" ended up way down near the bottom of the list.  However, I'm still a working girl, and "looking presentable/professional" is one of my duties.  Therefore, I must shop, albeit with much less enthusiasm than I used to.

Over the summer I lost around 10 pounds, and, judging from how my pants are hanging off me like hand-me-downs I haven't grown into yet, the area that slimmed down most was my butt.  Pants that were previously tight are now roomy, and pants that were previously comfortable must be cinched in with a belt, and are obviously puckered at the top.

I've spent some time shopping for pants, without much luck.  There are so many ways for pants not to fit, and I have encountered all of them.  I did buy a pair of brown jeans that, with a little alteration, look good at work with a button-down shirt, but I need more.  I tried on all the pants I could find in my size at a nearby mall, with no luck.

Frustrated, I thought that maybe I was barking up the wrong tree.  Instead of fruitlessly shopping the smallest size of women's pants, I might have better luck with a girls' size 16.  It's basically the same size, just cut with different proportions.  Perhaps I would find a better fit that way.  I used to find things in the kids' section back when I was in university and shopping in thrift stores.

Off I went to the mall to test my theory.

I walked into the Kids section of Old Navy, and immediately had a visceral reaction against my own plan.  Although, rationally speaking, if the pants fit, I would be happy, in reality it felt all wrong.  I know that it's perfectly safe for humans to eat cat food, but I would not feel good about going grocery shopping in a pet store.  I'm neither a cat, nor a kid, with no desire to masquerade as either.  However, I pushed aside my revulsion, and forced myself to take a look.

5 stores later, I gratefully admitted defeat.  I never even found anything worth trying on.  The main problem is that apparently kids these days only wear jeans.  There was the occasional yoga pant, and of course leggings, and jeggings.  But 99% of the pants for kids, male and female, were jeans, and most of those were skinny jeans.

I have a couple of pairs of nice, boot cut jeans that I wear to work.  I don't need any more.  I am in the market for more sophisticated fabrics.  Hot pink skinny jeans with diamonoids on the pockets aren't on my shopping list.  Shopping strategy FAIL.

I ended up in the Sears women's department and, after extensive rack-browsing and trying-on, I did find one pair of work-appropriate (i.e. boring) trousers.  They were marked down from $50 to $15, so that was a bonus.  I just need to get them hemmed and I'll be good to go.  One pair down, a bunch more to go.  Oh well.  If that's the worst problem I have this month, I'll count myself lucky.


DarcKnyt said...

Wow, props to you for losing weight. I envy that. Just not the way you did it. And props to you for being turned off at the idea of buying kids clothing. I was worried it was just me.

As for me, I can't wear jeans at all except for Fridays. The definition of "professional attire" -- at least in my neck of the woods -- doesn't include denim for men OR women. I think it's pretty awesome you can wear jeans during the regular work week!

I've always wondered what would happen if companies stopped pressing their "professional" or "business casual" dress requirements for their non-customer facing employees. I always felt I'd be more productive. But I've seriously digressed from your topic.

Since I'm out here in left field anyway, the cat food part made me a little sick. Blech!

Jenski said...

I HATE pants shopping, because, like you said, there are so many ways for them NOT to fit. Even though you don't want to necessarily buy 'girls' clothes, it probably would have been nice if they had fit and had reasonable choices.

Jameil said...

Pants are a nightmare for some reason or another no matter your size. Too long, too short, gapes in the waist (my issue), sags in the crotch/butt. It's ridiculous. Here's to this being your biggest problem this year!

Warped Mind of Ron said...

Yeah... and even if I find pants that fit I almost never find a tube top that fits me just right...

DarcsFalcon said...

How cool that you can wear jeans to work!

I'd hate to wear kid's clothes too. I hear stories sometimes about moms wearing their teen daughter's things and cringe.

Anyway, have you ever heard of They do have a petites section, and they do have international shipping, if you're good with shopping online. :) Just thought I'd put it out there, just in case. *hugs*

Granny Annie said...

You may have a good suggestion there from DarcsFalcon on Coldwater Creek. The only problem might be the initial cost but they mix and match over a few basics. In the long run you would save money and time. If I were still a career gal I would go there.

My pant length is a problem. Petite length is too short and average is too long and I can't hem worth a darn. I also try try to order online and end up with pants that have the crotch hang to my knees.

I would envy your weight loss but I know what it took to get you there and it was not a pleasant journey. No one wants to lose weight that way.

Lynn said...

I hate clothes shopping, too. I mostly wear clothes from Chicos and order them online. My sister wears a petite size and gets a lot clothes from Talbots. You might try there.

Oh I wish I could lose weight only in the butt!

Sparkling Red said...

DarcKnyt: When I do wear jeans, I always make sure they're "smart" jeans - not too tight, understated, and appropriate to wear with a pressed button-down shirt. So far I have never worn blue jeans to work, only black or brown.

Jenski: It's too bad that kids these days don't seem to dress up anymore, judging by the clothes available. They're all-casual all the time. Don't they ever have special occasions to attend?

Jameil: I'm used to altering my pants to get a good fit, but even the best tailor can only do so much (and I'm only willing to spend so much money on tailoring).

Ron: It'd probably be pretty simple to knit one for yourself in your size.

DarcsFalcon: Thanks for the suggestion. I don't usually have any better luck in Petites, because I'm 5'4", and that's a shade too tall for most petite sizes. In common parlance "petite" is used to mean "thin", but in the clothing industry it tranlsates to "short".

Granny Annie: Generally speaking I don't order clothes online, except things like socks, that always fit, or exact replacements of items I've bought before. If I do order online, I usually only order from Canadian websites, otherwise returns can be a nightmare, with shipments stuck at the border while customs officials scratch their head over the paperwork.

Lynn: There are Talbots outlets in Toronto! My mom sometimes shops there. I haven't gone with her in a while. I think I'll put that on my to-do list.

G said...

This is probably one of the few occasions that it's a good thing to spend money.

But I can see the problem in shopping the young woman's department.

My wife has the same thing from time to time when it comes to finding shoes as she's a very tiny (4' 10") woman.

Congrats on losing the weight though, I'm sure you look fantastic.

LL Cool Joe said...

I buy quite a few of my clothes in the boys department and have no issues with it at all. I fit into a 15/16 year old hoodie perfectly. But then I act and think like a teenage boy most of the time so why not. ;)

I can't see you in hot pink skinny jeans really. :D