Thursday, August 2, 2007

Confessions of an an Occasional Female Shopper

I haven't worn a dress in years. Oh, skirts, and tops, yes. But not dresses. I haven't even been able to find skirts and tops out of the same fabric that look like they are a dress. And that's unfortunate because when one is short-waisted, the bisection is not a good fashion statement.

Of course being a fat woman isn't a good fashion statement, either, and that's part of my problem. I say part of the problem because dresses currently are being made in shifts or sheaths, or with slits up the side of the leg(which would expose my knee-highs), etc. There are no full skirts or A-lines. The pleats kind of look like the skirts and blouses. If a dress fits in the top, it is not going to fit in the bottom unless it is one whole size larger. For many years, many dresses were made that way. For all I know, some still are, but I can't find them. I, apparently, am the only small-busted fat woman around. Even in the right size, the bodice fabric just billows and pools.

So I have pretty much gravitated to nice slacks and tops. I recently found two pair of jeans after looking in vain for more than a year--I was offered low-riders, for God's sake, or jeans that cost $45 or $55 a pair.(So I'm chintzy). Found a new store with some jeans that fit well and cost only (ONLY!) $30 a pair and got some.I am irritated that they don't have pockets, but the saleswoman explained that with pockets, I would look bulkier. No pockets is "slimming". When I'm buying an 18, how slim can they be? I like pockets. Pockets mean I don't always have to carry a purse. I don't own a single skirt with pockets, but wish I did. That's another reason I mostly wear the slacks. They have pockets.

I sneak over to the men's clothing for sweats and nice, thick T-shirts. True, I haven't had any pink sweats in years, but the ones I get are nice and warm.
The thick, roomy T-shirts are good for running around and especially for my exercise class, which these days includes the occasional man as well as us women. I don't wear bras to exercise, never did. If I were a Young Thing today, maybe sports bras, but honey, I am old enough now that I know what I have doesn't dangle too far down. There ARE advantages to small.

When I dress up, I do Don A Bra. I wear makeup and lipstick and even jewelry and perfume. I have a couple of dressy tops and fitted jackets to dress up the slacks, and one really dressy pantsuit. These days I keep my hair really short, to keep it tidy and easy care. Still, when I dress up, you really CAN tell the difference.Other women may catch your eye because they are so well turned out, but I won't catch your eye at all. At least I'm not the dog in the corner. And I do enjoy the odd occasion to dress up a little, but the days of sheer hose, high heels and silk dresses are gone. (My late mother-in-law, an excellent seamstress with an eye for fashion, kept trying me to move my neckline south of my collarbones, but I don't think she ever got me to move it down much more than an inch.)

I mention all this, because now that I'm retired, I am slowly running into other like-minded women. We all love to wear pretty colors, not one of us deliberately picks ugly clothes, but we are just getting more and more to the no fuss wardrobe. And we just smile pleasantly and say nothing when others shop voraciously. I don't know if we are a large enough demographic for manufacturers to market directly to--most of my no fuss friends do not have the extra pounds I do, but they still miss the pockets, as I do.

I meet women who are always turned out well, dress very nicely, and always wear makeup and bras, and I admire them. But i like it over here with my wash and dry wrinkle free fabrics and,,,,when I think I can get away with bra.


Matt G said...

You write these posts just for me, don't you?

Don't do that to your sons; they don't need to know that.

martywd said...

Thanks for your fashion advice.  While I'm not a female, I am, shall I say(?) A bit _overweight_. When I lived in the socialist state of NY I would always be sure to tuck my tee into my jeans, regardless of the social function or occasion.  These days in Texas? Heck, I'm always carrying when out and about so the tee is now always draping, which of course makes me look like a walking circus tent. ' With that typed...

Any fashion tips for 'us men' would be especially appreciated o' daughter of one water witch? I.e., please keep posting!

Thankfully yours

Babs RN said...

Don't do that to your sons; they don't need to know that.

So I take it the sons never outgrow that "Ewww MOMM!" phase, huh?

susan said...

god bless ya, gcar, i am 54 and feel the same way. it's the wisdom of the ages. looking nice is good, being a fashion plate isn't necessary. and i don't like to wear bras either and don't when i can get away w/ it.

and don't ya just love it when you can mess w/ your kids? it's called payback, matt! :0)

night lightning woman said...

Actually, it is the other son who usually goes, "Eww." Both however, seem uneasy about any knowledge of their mother's undergarments. Or awareness thereof. Babs, having just read your blog about your son's reaction to your natural self, Matt's comment is doubly funny. (I will be writing on your comments a little later; right now I'm feeling a little tongue-tied and a bit undone.)
Susan, dear, you are coming along nicely. Enjoy!
And Marty, I don't have advice on conceal and carry good-lookin' comfortable wardrobes, but I bet a buncha guys around here have comments.

martywd said...

Thanks NLW for including me you reply to comments.  Your related story of your father as 'Water Witch' was truly impelling.  I'm reading my way through your other posts and I know I will not be disappointed.  As far as further fashion advice for me?  Actually, my fashion attire seems to draw little attention here abouts and that's just fine with me.  Maybe it's a 'old guy' thing?