Thursday, October 18, 2007

Trouser torture

I detest clothes shopping. I would rather enter a grizzly den than the mall. I consider root canals and cleaning toilets more fun than trying on clothes. But my old black dress pants are literally falling apart at the seams. Wearing them to work puts me in imminent danger of exposing my nickers to the office.

So, at lunch time today I entered the HOUSE OF HORRORS. Also known as Sears. First I went to the petites department, because I am only 5'2". On a good day. I tried on 12, yes TWELVE! pairs of pants. They were all wrong, wrong, wrong. If they fit at the waist, the bum and hips ballooned loosely. If the butt and hips fit properly, the waist would not do up without divine intervention.

O.K., forget the petites section. I went to the regular section. Nothing fit. So I branched out into the rest of the mall. I tried on pants made by Tommy Hilfiger, Mexx, Jones of New York, Louben, Aritsia, and in one desperate, mad moment; Prada. Thank god those last ones didn't fit.

I left the mall in shame. A failure at shopping. And then I got mad! Hey you clothes makers: Not all women are built like Betty Boop. Or Barbie. What about those of us shaped more like, well, tree stumps with jiggly bits? Especially those of us who are looking at age 50 from the wrong side. It's bad enough we get hot flashes akin to nuclear fission. (I swear I am personally responsible for significant global warming.) Our waists will never again be 15 inches smaller than our hips. Many of us have carried babies to term in these bodies, and it shows. We like good food. And what if we don't want, or need, to lose 25 pounds? WHY CAN'T YOU MAKE US PANTS THAT FIT?

Today's dream travel destination: Tahiti. Where I could just wear a sarong every day.


Rozanne said...

OMG! I could have written the exact same rant. I get absolutely no joy from clothing shopping and don't understand how any woman could enjoy it.

Nothing ever fits me--especially trousers--and I am not overweight and am 5 foot 4, the average height of an American woman. Yet, pants are always, always, always too long and I have that same problem with them being too big in the hips if they fit my waist. I've had this problem my whole life, even when I was a teenager who weighed a mere 100 lb.


Voyager said...

rozanne, When I was 25 and weighed about 103 I bought boy's jeans. They didn't go all narrow in the waist. They were comfortable. But I don't fit boy's sizes any more. Now at 120 pounds it is ludicrous that no one makes pants to fit my body. I am not fat, not deformed, and not even unusual in shape. Just not a Barbie doll!

jmb said...

I have found the perfect place for me. Almost all my clothes come from this place. Talbots at Oakridge(also there's a West Vancouver store. They also have petite sizes. Not cheap but not outrageous and they have sales every now and again. They specialize in separates (I wear pants 99.9% of the time) so if you are different sizes top and bottom that is perfect. They have wonderful large dressing rooms and the staff are excellent. Go see if you live not too far away.

Dumdad said...

Tahiti: I would love to be there now as Paris is cold and grey and miserable and the transport unions are on strike; it was meant to be a one-day strike (yesterday) but several unions have continued their action.

The result? The Frog Queen had to walk for 40 minutes to get a metro, I had to drive Princess Perfect and Brainbox to school (different banlieus) and then I got gridlocked-ish coming back.

Yes, Tahiti sounds good!

Diana said...

Amen, sistah!!!

Look around. Most of us don't nip in at the waist like Betty Boop. Shame on the clothes makers.

Perhaps if we all just boycotted them and wore those sarongs they might just get the message?

Probably not.

Mike Minzes said...

You've been tagged. Come by and see.

Great post!

Jazz said...

Amen Sister!

Much as I loved to shop 20 years ago, now I hate it. Because, surprise! nothing fits anymore.

You'd think clothing manufacturers would realize that middle aged women have money to spend on cloths (much more so than those teenagers they design for). Give us clthes that fit, we'll freaking BUY IT!

Alda said...

Ooh, I feel your pain!

My trouser problem is that if they fit around the hips, they don't fit around the thighs cause I have narrow hips like a boy, and thighs like a woman. Happily the high-waisted pants are a slightly better fit for me than those godawful low-riding boy trousers that have been all the rage for the past decade or so. But even so - it's a torment.

Ian Lidster said...

Wendy would happily join in your diatribe for exactly the same reasons. May you someday find your pants, dear.
Loved your Tahiti pic. Never been there, but have been to the Cooks, just a few hundred miles to the west, and they look so similar. Dontcha just love the tropical Pacific?

Big Brother said...

Yep clothes can be a problem for women... not as bad for us guys thank goodness. Our size 34 usually means 34 whereas what I can gather from Mrs. BB, women's sizes depend on which company makes them. (size 12 from Klein is not the same as size 12 from Hilfiger etc) ;o)

heartinsanfrancisco said...

Ah, Tahiti.

I wrote a post a few months ago puzzling on why the same outfit in my size (2) costs exactly the same price as it does in size 14. After all, there is a lot less material in mine. It's not fair.

I have learned one thing in my reluctant clothes-hunting travels: Petite does not mean "for small women." It means "for short women who are heavy." And Sears has never carried anything for small women who are older than 14 and prefer not to resemble ice cream cones.

Joe Jubinville said...

I've been told by women that shopping for clothes can be a nightmare. Not sure why guys get a break on this. I just get my jeans and go. But I have noticed that manufacturers are getting sneaky with men's waist sizes. My old 33s are tighter than today's 32s - and it's not about shrinkage, I've already looked into it. We're being snowed.

Jocelyn said...

I like how you pretend that you have to get new pants because otherwise your knickers will be visible...when we all know you hate shoping so much that you don't even have intact knickers anymore.

I'm wondering if a nice-looking pair of yoga pants wouldn't do something right for you. Do you have Old Navy in the much-hated mall there? If so, they're carrying LOVELY and versatile yoga pants right now (US $12.50).

Angela said...

:( You have just described my experience with bra shopping. It's why I wear a bra until it absolutely falls apart. I have some pareos I can send you if you'd like them. I started ordering them from the ABC catalog and just love them.

Judy said...

Add a "GRRRRRR!" from another 5'2" wrong side of 50 looker. Shopping sucks, but I do most of mine on line. Somehow the aggravation of something not fitting is less when I look at it in my own mirror.

LLBean? "Comfort Waist"?

Voyager said...

Yesterday I wrote back to you guys with my comments, but they have dissappeared. Someday, some day, you're goin' to the moon. I'll learn to design and write on my own web page, and someone else will host it. Take that!

Thanks for the shopping tips everyone. Wizard, I used to shop at Land's End on line, maybe with our dollar at apr it's time to explore that again. Jocelyn, yoga pants are lovely, but not on me! JMB, Talbots is worth a try.

Dumdad, Vancouver is cold, grey, and miserable too. Unfortunately, Tahiti is not in my immediate future. Maybe Cuba in a couple of months when my bank account gets over the son-in-first-year-college shock.

Ian, I've never been to any of the South Sea islands. Oh to be there today. Is it raining as much over on the island as here?

Mike, thanks for the interesting tag.

Diana, If I show up at work wearing a sarong I will say it's "doctor's advice."

Jazz, at least shopping in Montreal you can find chic clothes that don't fit. Dowdy and don't fit is what I'm stuck with.

Now I'm all curious to see what the "ABC" catalogue is all about.


Carver said...

I love the shot of your dream destination. I'm with you on the clothes issues. I'm tall and my problem is they assume someone tall who has gained quite a few pounds more than necessary has gained them in their chest. Nope, not me. My chest is still relatively small. If I buy a dress that fits my bottom half it falls off the top half. GRRRRRR. Can you tell I have some pent up rage. Ha. Take care, Carver

Echomouse said...

I'm the same in that I hate shopping. I finally discovered Marks Work Wearhouse. lol When Anne Klein doesn't cut it, I hit Marks. They sell dress pants now. I always find something at least. Can't be worse than Sears. :)

riseoutofme said...

Clothes shopping has been, is, and will always be, a character building exercise for me.

At 5'10", with long arms and long legs, I usually end up looking like a scarecrow.

I'm thinking of making an art form of it.

Angela said...

When I need a vacation and can't afford/don't have the time to take one. My vacation online:

Love the coffee!

CS said...

I finally found a solution to the pant sproblem. I found a pair of dress pants that fit me perfectly and bought three pairs - black, gray and brown. When I need another pair, I will go back to that same store. I found exactly which size Levi's fit me, and I order them online at Because I hate, hate, hate trying on 75 pairs of pants to find the ones that are the right length, fit in the hips without gapping at the waist, and so on. Now I'm just holding my nreath and hoping low rise pants wil be available for a while because I hate things around my waist.

Voyager said...

CS, if I could find dress pants that fit, I would buy ten pairs, not 3!

Ruth L.~ said...

I'm late to this post due to the fact that blogger had been blocked at school . . . but I know the techie and here I am, while the kids take a test.

I despise shopping. I'm so not a girly-girl. And the three way mirrors and the bright lights in the dressing rooms . . . Yikes! How to ruin self-esteem.

Mike Minzes said...

Great Post! I agree with you. Clothes manufactures seem to be making things smaller and smaller. Of course, all these clothes are made in China and they are small people.

Love the destination picture. I'm there!

Jim Thomsen said...

So ... did you ever find a proper pair?

Voyager said...

Hi y'all, thanks for the comments. I just got back from a work trip to the silly service mother ship, AKA our nation's capitol. My new computer did not like the hotel internet connection. I could read web content, but could not send anything anywhere. It felt like solitary confinement! Vista is like a new Mom, way too overprotective.

Anonymous said...

Good Job! :)