I'm not one of those girls who LOVES to shop for clothes. While walking thru Target I may stop at a rack of v-neck T-shirts for $9 on my way to buy a fan, sure, but when I am looking for something to wear- I hate it.
I enjoy shopping for at places like the .99 store where I can find tin foil, individual pizza crusts, and knick knacks for my cat to knock off my dresser. Hey look, a cute pair of ankle socks! And this mango juice is delicious. My .99 shopping is fun and somewhat carefree. I pick up whatever is there for .99 and rarely do I have a "list." Did you know they sell produce there? Ok it's not always the BEST produce, but if I need something for dinner TONIGHT or tomorrow, it does just fine. I once found these little misshaped potatoes called "fingerling potatoes." They do look like the fat fingers of a giant, but they were pretty tasty. I baked them to death, smashed them open individually and sprinkled them with butter and cheese. They were a hit.
Anyway, this weekend I needed to shop for something to wear on Tuesday because I have a meeting that I'm not going to discuss until it's over. I needed business casual. BUSINESS casual, not just casual but not unsuitable for work. I pondered the contents of my closet and realized that nothing was sufficient. Not in a "everything is so old and I hate my wardrobe" kind of way, but that nothing is "important meeting" sufficient. My work clothes currently consist of scrub pants and a scrub top, or a V-neck tshirt. Slacks? Nope. A top made of anything that is not cotton and doesn't give off too much cleavage? nope. Anything without some sort of stain? Nope.
So shop I must. This is an important meeting, so I must be my business casual best. I do have a few long flowy skirts but they are really bright colors and patterns. I love them, and they are suitable for the office, but I don't think they will do.
I don't have any straight business skirts. The size of my midsection often keeps me from buying anything snug. After two c'sections 15 months apart, my C-section scar is more like the Dead Zone. And any of the fat that I was carrying before just sort of falls over it. So my mid section is an ass behind, not much for ACTUAL hips and a smaller, but still noticeable ass shape up front.
So my goal was to find a skirt or pants and a top that was nice, no cleavage and long enough to cover the mid section. Or nice dress, with sleeves, no cleavage and a solid color. I realized early that I only have black shoes, so a light color will not do. So ok a BLACK skirt or pants.
I started at Kohls, because they have great sales and a good selection. They were having a sale on their clearance stuff. However, the clearance stuff is all summer clothes. Bright and sleeveless. Seriously, whats with the war on sleeves?? The stuff that was not on sale, that was solid colored, no cleavage and had sleeves was far out of my budget. And pants, oh yeah, pants for short fat people are not easy to find. Sure a petite section is helpful, but nobody expects someone in a size 16 to only be 5 feet tall. Even in the petites section.
They really should have a short and fat section. It's not like we short and fat types are not aware of it.
So I went next door to Target. Yes, I know it's a long shot. I found things that would be suitable for the office, passable for business casual with the right skirt or toss a light sweater over it- but not suitable for the important meeting.
The next recommendation I got was Burlington Coat Factory. I laughed at the absurdity of walking into a COAT factory in the middle of July, in the Inland Empire, but I trust the people who suggested it. I walked in and saw lots of racks of womens clothes arranged in haphazard rows. Ah, perfect. More of a DD's Discounts or Ross type place. I can work with this. So I hit the ladies section and-
You know, why is there that assumption that big women are not "ladies"? There's the ladies section and the plus size is the Women's section. They should just call it the "socially acceptable size" section and the "you should lost some weight" section. Fuckers.
I am somewhere between ladies and womens. (Short and fat?) So I can find the right XL top and XL skirt if I'm lucky.
Anyway, 10 minutes in and I remember why I asked SR to accompany me (to which he said no). I have no REAL fashion sense. I love bright colors and patterns. I am perfectly happy for my tops to look like a scene out of Where's Waldo or a psychedelic paisley acid trip. SR hates this. He hates patterns. He's all about solid colors, and MAYBE stripes. I grabbed a light weight polka dotted top with a cute cinchy collar. A bright green top with navy tubes all over it that reminded me of the TUBES screen saver. A two piece tank and knit short sleeve top in a greyish color, and a purple wrap top with the silver buckle thing. I also found a black skirt that was strechy but came just above the knees. Also I grabbed this light grey top with these ruffly things up front. Kind of like the 70's tuxedo shirts. I'm not sure why I loved this top so much, but I really did. Except it's banded at the bottom. OK- REALLY??
The purple wrap. Ohh this is too tight. WAY too tight. It was like Barney in spandex. Is this the right size or am I really just that fat?
The polka dotted top. It was a snug fit and I knew that if I took too deep a breath it was going to tear at the seams under my arms. Getting it on was a challenge, but getting it off was much harder. I was afraid I was going to tear it. Oh Julie, NEVER put on things that don't stretch. I imagined myself stuck in the dressing room with my arms in the air trapped in this shirt and needing someone to come help me pull it over my head.
After noticing the NON stretch material on the green and navy tube shirt I opt to not bother trying it on.
The two piece grey. Passable. Its long enough, flowy. Comfortable. I took a picture and sent it to my girls on standby while I shopped and it got a thumbs up. I also sent a pic of the grey ruffle one, to with my bestie replied, "I like the other one better." Which I think was her way of saying, "Ummm no stupid!" So fine. This one wins by default.
This is how I shop. It it fits, it wins.
I have a skirt and a top. So I'm done. I have an outfit for the important meeting and now I can go home and not think about how if I lost weight I wouldn't have this problem. I walk towards the nylon section, reminding myself that I cannot wear leggings, when I spot the skirt section. I rummage through and find a knee length flowy skirt. I love flowy skirts. They are perfect for fat girls with their elastic waists and material that lays OVER your body, not on it. It's my size, it's $9. I grab it. Make a mental note that the beautiful and bright patterned skirts are in abundance here. And cheap.
I'm not going to the dressing room again. It's not very well ventilated in that part of the store. It's warm and kind of smells like feet. I use this as the reason I was 10 seconds from breaking a sweat trying on clothes. I select a pair of queen sized Hanes nylons and a second pair, just in case and because I'm ME and will probably run them in the car. On my way to the counter I spot a green top with little sparklies on the shoulders. SHINY. I inspect it. Just three silver shiny studs on the front of each shoulder. It's a stretchy material. My size. $9. I grab it too.
I head straight for the checkout counter and look at the gawdy, chunky and FABULOUS bracelets but I opt not to get one, but make another mental note for later. $56 for two outfits with nylons. Both suitable for the important meeting. I feel accomplished and relieved that I didn't have to go to the mall, which was my next stop if I didn't find anything. I loathe the mall. I avoid it whenever possible. I only go there because there isn't a free standing Lane Giant close by.
As I leave the store, I wonder if there really IS a market for a short and fat store. I think there is.