September 24, 2013

Dress Code

I have to say, I hate shopping.

Many girls my age love it. They love picking out outfits that are both flattering and a canvas for their own expression. They love grabbing something their size and finding out that it's "so them". This is how it is for my friends, at least. Why can't I have that experience?

Just for the record, I'm not fat. I'm not even overweight. I have the ideal BMI for my height. Perfect hourglass figure down to the millimeter. But I'm also short, and more importunely, curvy. People say it's the good kind of curvy (It's not another way of saying I'm "big", because I'm not. I wear size S for the most part.) and yet, when I shop, it seems that the clothes I see are more suited for magazines than for me.

In a nutshell, I need to buy trousers as part of the dress code for working at the National Air and Space Museum. I need black trousers - simple, right? Everywhere should have casual black trousers that fit without being too... revealing. It's a basic cut. The first thing you learn to sew. Easy. Right?


I'm very used to having to hem every single one of the pants that I buy, due to my short stature. It's normal. Not everyone is tall, some us us can be used as a perfect measurement of 5 feet. I don't expect to find "short" pants. That's normal.
But when the only pants I can find are slims, tight jersey that squeezes your thighs, or a pant cut so that my knee is actually halfway dwon my shin, its gets pretty darn ridiculous.
If I try a size 38, the waist is perfect, but the legs are so squeezed into the pants that you can see the inside pocket lining as it hugs my thigh. But if I take a size 40, the waist is large enough to fit two of me, and I could be mistaken for wearing harem pants. Not. Cool.

And it's like this everywhere I go. I stopped into Zara to try on their pants (almost every one of them was slim!) and overheard the women next door with the same problem.
"It's like they're dressing a virtual woman," one of them huffed. "Someone who only exists in their minds."
She then stepped out of the changing room to reveal a shirt long enough to be a dress that was so tight around her arms she described them as looking like "sausage casings".
This woman looked perfectly healthy to me. And she wasn't short, either.

The only place that gets it, from my experience, is Levi's. They have shapes. They have different lengths. They have a wonderful selection to top it all off. But the price! I know you have to pay for quality, But I dread having to pay double, triple even,  just because I'm don't look like women in magazines.  It's not even a question of quality anymore, it's a question of availability.

When I'm in the states, I have to shop in the petites section, just so that I can find pants that fit both my waist and my thighs. The problem here lies with selection. How many teenagers do you see shopping in the petite's section? Not many. The designs don't even impress my 60-some year old grandmother, also a petite (it's genetic, all the women on her side of the family have the same body type as I do. My mother, her mother, and her mother before her. Only my sister is exempt.), who, like me, wishes for variety.
I'm 18, not 80.  I have a body I'm proud of, I don't want to let it hide in saggy, baggy, oversized shirts with whimsical butterflies just because my bust is D cup.  I also don't want to impose my thighs on the world, squeezed into obviously tight slim pants. I want to dress comfortably. I want to be happy.

My wish for the world is that clothing came in all shapes and sizes, not just the "normal" girl (who makes up, what? 20% of the population of women?), that they didn't have to have my breast hanging out or my stomach on display just because I am young. I wish for flattering fits. For cute designs. For variety.
Some of us don't want fashion. But we still have to dress ourselves. We're not all model thin, model shaped, we're people. We're different. And because we're different, we need clothes that fit different people.

I know that profit wise, this is tough. You can't offer everything. But I'm not shopping at your store if I have to re-sew your clothes.

Now I'm going to stop wishing and start praying. Hopefully I can find appropriate clothing on thursday - if not, I'll be going to the fabric store rather than a clothing store the next time I need pants.

Yours truly,

And here is some music. Enjoy.

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