Friday, November 5, 2010

The Burst Bubble (or the Ups and Down of Shopping)

A lot of women (99.99 %???) enjoy shopping. I also do, as long as I am shopping for dishes, silver, jewelry, books, toys, etc. Clothing is another story. For years, shopping for clothing was a torture. Finding anything in my size was nigh-well impossible, and what there was available was invariably expensive. Often I had to purchase items I did not really care for, simply because I had no time to sew, and these items were the only available things I could find. Shopping for clothing was a big reminder of just how overweight I was, how I was way beyond the norm. And how society has no place for the overweight individual.
Recently, as I have managed to lose weight (44 kilos so far!), I have found that shopping for clothing can be fun. In certain stores, I can find things in my size, and in a few there is a real choice. My only problem with these outlets is that many of them design clothing that is not modest enough for the dictates of Jewish law, and I will need to supplement the items I purchase with under-blouses, alter too-open necklines, line see-though sleeves, etc.
[In one store, when I asked if they didn’t have a “basic blouse” available for me to wear when trying on their short-sleeved sweaters, it became apparent that ALL of their blouses (in addition to their other things) had a low, dipping neckline. I asked the saleslady, “I have a question for you. I know that as a non-religious lady, you are not concerned with the “modesty” of the low neckline. But in winter, aren’t you COLD with half of your upper chest exposed???!???” (Her answer was that they wear scarves with it. This, to me, sounds like a very difficult way to stay warm. It seems to me that a scarf would slip, fall, not cover well, etc.) Why a winter sweater needs a dipping neckline is beyond me…….]
Anyway, after buying early this week several items at two specialty “big size” stores, I set out to purchase some turtleneck under-blouses and a few simple winter blouses to supplement my purchases.
And that is when my bubble burst.
If I dreamt that I am nearing a normal size, that I am in the very upper range of normal, I was wrong. I wear a size 2X, and I found shopping yesterday very hard and discouraging. I went to one store where I have never been to, but which always advertises that they have “big sizes”. The largest they had was a 48. Another “big sizes” store (per advertisement) has to size 1X. And a third, advertising that they carry up to and including size 3X had nothing in 3X, and a choice of TWO items in size 2X. I refused to capitulate and buy either of these two options. I didn’t like them, and I am FINISHED with buying items I don’t like. If necessary, I will somehow make the time and sew what I am missing. (But I am hoping that one of the better “big sizes” stores that I know will have what I need as the weather gets colder. They simply didn’t get their full winter range in yet…..)
So while I feel GREAT about what I have lost so far, last night’s shopping expedition was a callous reminder that I still have a long way to go. But that’s OK. I’ll get there!


~ Teresa ~ said...

Some stores online offer larger sizes. For example:

You should be very proud of your accomplishments! Please do not be discouraged. You are a great example to others. (including me)

Take care,

Pink (AKA Lucia) said...

I am moderately overweight but I do get frustrated with buying certain clothing in certain stores. Walmart doesn't carry bras of my size, but JcPenney's does, only they come in one brand and in one color (beige - I prefer black). I can find most shirts and blouses easily in Walmart, but pants and jeans are another story. They do carry plus sized pants and jeans but not in the style I like. At least they carry skirts in my size that I do like. I rather like wearing skirts than pants anyway in this climate (I live in Texas where it is 90 degrees most of the year). Panties are no problem, though, as I don't care for the flashy ones and I prefer plain cotton ones for comfort. If I wanted the flashy blouses, I usually have to go to the mall. But a few weeks I got lucky at Walmart and found a cute blouse with purple leopard print in my size. I tend to buy black tank tops in my size to go with the blouses that have plunging necklines, and it often works well together. So I get how you feel. It gets frustrating for me at times. Bras are the worst for me. I get mad that Walmart doesn't carry my cup size and that I have to go to a pricey store to get a proper sized bra when I could have had a bra from Walmart for $5 if I were one cup smaller. But I got lucky a few weeks ago when I went to JcPenney's for a bra-measuring (just so I could see what my actual size is) and decided to buy ONE proper sized bra, and ended up with a huge discount because the lady who helped me try on various bras to find the one that fits me properly, saw my frustration on finding proper bra sizes that are affordable, and she gave me $10 off the $19.99 bra when it was supposed to be just 20% off. I was relieved when the price came at $9.99 and happily bought it. I have yet to write her and thank her for the patience and for the huge discount she gave me. She was so patient and no one is that patient with me usually, and she was very professional too. I understand your hardship in finding proper sized clothing that doesn't cost so much or is available at mostly only pricey stores, or that you have to sew it. It's definitely frustrating. I've been wearing bras that are a size or two smaller just because I could not afford JcPenney's bras and could only afford those from Walmart, and it was causing problems with my upper back. One day my back gave up and screamed "off with the bra NOW!!!" and I was at a dinner party. I had to go to the bathroom to take it off, and then covered myself with my zip-up hoodie so that no one would notice. The next day I went to JcPenney's and that's when I got the much-appreciated discounted on a much-appreciated and much-needed proper bra. My upper back has been feeling much better ever since, and I take careful care of the bra so that it will hold up for hopefully at least a year. I was so thankful for such a huge discount that I was almost in tear when I saw the final price at the register when I went to pay for it. So, I understand.

Ilana said...

Part of the problem may also be that shirts are sized to be form-fitting. I don't like to wear clothes like that, so I end up getting a much bigger size than I "really" need. And there is usually less selection in those sizes.

Anonymous said...

Have you ever tried Lands End?

They ship internationally and have in stock some skirts/tops which are modest.They also have plus size options as well.

It is a shame that there aren't so many options for women out there who don't fit into regular store sizes. Like Teresa I also commend you on your accomplishments and I quite enjoy reading your blog posts.