I’ve been suffering from some major blahs lately (more on that in a future post). Being female, I decided to try the Best Known Cure All for the Female Blahs…….SHOPPING.
And can I tell you, people, it did NOTHING for me. And it wasn’t just one trip….not two….but THREE. (maybe four?)
WHY??? you ask.
Well, I have spent the last week or so trying to figure it out.
Yes, I analyze my shopping trips.
I am so woefully disappointed……frusterated, even……with what’s “out there.”
I am a quasi-stylish 40-year old SAHM. I don’t like wearing work-out/gym clothes on a daily basis. Maybe cuz I don’t like going to the gym. I don’t need dressy “career” clothes (yet). And there’s not much in the middle.
(Yes, I know there is….but let me explain my dilemma)
From my “analysis” and hours of wandering around stores and the female clothing sections, I have realized that in the US there is a very clear distinctions between the “Ladies” and “Junior” sections. In the “Ladies” section, there are a lot of mono-chromatic Tshirts, long sleeve shirts, crew neck sweaters in dull, boring colors and textures……black, brown, various shades of tan, a couple of dark purples (color of the year) thrown in. All in even sizes (6, 8, 10, 12). The “Junior” section has lots of fun, colorful clothes (blues, greens, yellows, etc) with patterns and texture. And they are all sized in odd numbers (1, 3, 5, 7, etc) and made for petite, small-waisted, narrow girls, aged 13-25. I actually do like many of the tops in the “junior” section, but even if I do try on a larger size (and my, isn’t that just bad for self-esteem?) it still looks funny because it is not cut for my “wider” womanly body. (in case you don’t know, pregnancy causes most women’s bodies to widen and find a new shape).
Probably one of the reasons I like shopping in the UK (damn, I wish I could afford annual shopping trips there!) is because there is no distinction between “juniors” and “ladies.” Every store/retailer sizes everything the same (6, 8, 10, 12, 14, 16). Anyone can walk into any store and find something that suits them–in color, texture, size. Yes, there are definitely clothes/section that are “younger and trendier,” but it’s not as segregated as it is in the US. I also think that because the weather is pretty gray and shitty year round, they love the “POP” of color year round—it is MUCH easier to find vibrant/happy colors any time of the year (unlike in the US, where when the cooler temperatures arrive so do the BLAH colors). The down-side of shopping in the UK is that my size goes up from a US size 8 to a UK size 12 (damn, it just doesn’t help the self-esteem!)
My next “issue” with clothes shopping (and I think I’ve blogged about this before) is the CHEAP quality of the stuff out there!!! It doesn’t matter if I pick up a $20 long sleeve top at H&M or a $50 top at Macy’s…Gap, Kohl’s, Express, Lord & Taylor…it doesn’t matter…you can see through the darn thing!!!!
Ok, some of you (including Hubby) are saying “LAYER.” Being a New England girl, this should be second nature to me. But I hate layering. I feel confined. Bulky. Worried that something is sticking out. Or untucked. Twice the laundry. The need for additional storage space. Whatever….I’m not a huge fan. (although I do like a turtleneck under a sweater/sweatshirt…..go figure). Maybe it’s cuz I don’t like tank-tops. (I will admit, though, that I have been integrating tank tops more into my wardrobe selections). Or I can’t understand why someone would wear 2 long sleeve tshirts? (and for those of you who do…..you do a FINE job of pulling it off….it’s a gift…..I just can’t). And FWIW, I totally detested when my mom made me wear undershirts in the fall and winter. But I digress…..my point is that I am frustrated with the lack of quality and/or material in clothing these days. And unless I am shopping for winter sweaters too early in the season (but all the Christmas stuff is out), the sweaters out there wouldn’t keep my dog warm….and she already has a full length fur coat.
Another quasi-pet-peeve I discovered on my shopping trips……short sleeve sweaters. YEARS AGO, when I first met hubby, I remember owning some short-sleeve sweaters. And then one day, he asked me “what is the point of a short-sleeve sweater? Isn’t a sweater supposed to keep you warm? If so, why the short-sleeves?” Humph. I never thought of it that way. And clearly, I stopped buying/wearing short-sleeve sweaters. Weird how I can be influenced like that. But the short-sleeve sweater or CARDIGAN seem to be all the rage now. Some are REALLY CUTE, but I can’t get myself to buy one, because will I wear it in the middle of a New England winter when it’s 20 deg. outside?
So basically, I am turning into a cranky middle aged woman going through some mid-life crisis because I am too old and wide to shop in the “junior” section and the “ladies” section bores me, and I refuse to buy things that will wear out after 4 washes. Maybe I should look more closely into gym wear……..