Monday, October 29, 2012

The Fashion Industry is NUTS

So, thanks to health issues and my back & knee problems, my doctor has been really getting after me to lose weight. While I haven't lost as much as he'd like, I HAVE managed to lose 47 lbs in the last year. I'm still a big old heifer, but I'm working on it. Most of my weight loss is due to changes in diet- I don't like exercising, especially when I'm in chronic pain. I think it's a mental block, remembering how mean the other kids were in gym classes back in my younger schooldays, but I digress.

I had established a clothing moratorium for the year a few months ago, when I was trying to start decluttering and realized that most of the clothing piled up in the laundry room & spare room was stuff I either stopped wearing because I had gotten too fat for it, or was stuff I had simply forgotten I owned. There were also a lot of things that were basically duplicates- how many versions of black & purple t-shirts are there, and did I really need to hang on to ALL of them? So a LOT of stuff went to goodwill.

Just for giggles, I tried on a few of the things I had outgrown. Holy cow, they fit again!  Some of them even better than before! I still gave a fair chunk away (mostly things I wore when I worked in retail and/or used for LARP costumes), but kept some of the things I'm still likely to wear.

My current job is techincally clerical, but it's in kind of a warehouse environment. We can, and often do, handle large/dirty items, so jeans are the best clothing choice. Here's where things start getting a little tricky. Because I'm so tall AND fat, appropriately fitting pants of any style are hard to come by. And due to the occasional roughness of my job, I've had to throw away some damaged pairs. Even worse are the pairs I had to toss after my weight gain caused them to explode in ways that could not be repaired. I managed to find some replacements in the larger size- even though I was working on weight loss, I still had to wear something to work.

Well, now I've lost this weight, and my 'fat' jeans are WAAAAAAAAY too big. The pairs of jeans I had outgrown are all either about to fall apart from forcing myself into them even when I was too fat, or are actually slightly too big. *happy dance* So, since a nearby store that carried plus sizes appears to be having a going out of business sale, I thought I'd treat myself to a couple of new pairs of jeans. Not buying anything but jeans- the moratorium on everything else stands until I lose more weight & keep it off.  (Well, maybe a tie-dyed t-shirt or two. I've worn most of mine to bits)

So I went to this store- let's call them Mashin' Mug instead of giving them a plug- and hoped for the best. I've found good things there in the past, but there's also a lot of drek, and their sizes are fairly inconsistent. Also, WHO decides what is stylish? Weird colorblock combinations might pass for ok on a skinny girl, but don't work as well on Ample Annie. Not all fat girls want to wear clothes with sequins & beads, in eye-popping prints/colors that call attention to our figure flaws. NOBODY looks good in Capri pants and I'd give thanks daily if that look went away forever.  AND booty shorts- you know the ones that are so short & tight that they're basically glorified underwear- need to go away. Preferably for everyone, but especially plus sized versions. Just because you CAN make something, doesn't mean you SHOULD. Ditto for wearing it. Remember the eye trauma caused by biker shorts in the 90's? Same thing.

Where was I? Oh yeah, jeans. Nobody makes plain simple jeans any more either. You have to decide between skinny, boot leg, low waisted, wide legged, studded, embroidered, beaded, straight legged (as rare as intelligible lyrics in most rap ditties), acid wash, indigo, stonewashed, button-fly,  decaf, mocha, and whoops, I just took us to $tarbuck$. There are too many choices. Unless you're built like me, in which case you pretty much are stuck choosing whatever goes over your butt and can be zipped over your gut. Bonus points if they're miraculously the right length and/or you can bend over without mooning anyone, the pants exploding, or having a permanent zipper indentation on your stomach.

So, knowing the store's tendency to have erratic sizing, I found several styles of jeans to try on, and managed to get most of them in 3 sizes. My former fat size, the size I'm currently in which is a little loose, and a size down in a rush of optimism. I even managed to score a couple of pairs of Tall plus sizes which is as rare as a drama free day in the life of Lindsay Lohan. The lethargic dressing room attendant looked at the 12-15 pairs of jeans I was lugging and waved me in. So much for 5 items or less.

Anybody want to guess what happened next? No? Well, I'll tell you- NOTHING fit. Not one single frigging pair, not even in a 'not quite right, but I can make do' kind of way. The size down were WAY too small. The size up- aka fat me- were WAY too big. The size I currently wear were either too big or too small depending on the style of the jeans.

Do I need to explain how demoralizing that is? I walked into the store feeling good about myself for having lost 47 GADDAMNED POUNDS, and walked out feeling like a circus fat lady. Seriously, I was almost in tears. And the urge to go eat my way through a buffet and then a bakery was strong. Sanity, and sympathy from my mommy prevailed. I did have a bowl of ice cream, but just one, not the size of a soup tureen, and with no garnishes of any sort. 

Then I started thinking about the issue. I am NOT the problem. (not entirely) The fashion industry, who consider anything over a size 4 to be obese, is the problem. So I mentally composed this letter to Mashin Mug:

Dear Jackholes,

Sorry to hear you're going out of business. Actually, I'm not surprised. Your sizes have always been off, no matter what you claim, and you never stocked enough of the larger sizes to make it worth coming in and trying things on. Your failed experiment of mixing the plus sized items in with the juniors a few years ago did nothing to help. In fact, it made me homicidal to see a cute top in a size 2, only to discover the largest size you had in was a 16. It appeared to have that effect on a LOT of women, because that project didn't even last 4 months, did it?

I went in to your store hoping to spend a fair amount of money on some new jeans. What a shame that the same pair of jeans in 3 different sizes didn't fit. None of them were close enough to buy, even with your advertised 30-60% off sale. Oh, and one rack of t-shirts from the 70's marked 60% off isn't fooling anyone.  May I suggest a sign that says "These are crap, but they're cheap, so you know you'll buy some?"

I'm sure I'll run into simliar problems in other stores. But at least I have the satisfaction of knowing I'll never have to deal with YOU again.

Enraged, and decidedly not cordially yours,

The Amazonian Liongoddess 

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