As I did yet another load of laundry, something a very dear friend said came to mind as shoved the different sizes of jeans for each family member in the dryer. It was really just an observation about how men handle the shopping experience when they've gone up a size.
Now, this doesn't apply to all men, of course, but let’s just go with “most” men to make the blogging magic happen. So, if a man were to try on a pair of pants in oh, I don’t know a size 30 and they don't fit – do you know what they do? They get a size 32!
They're all, “Eh, these don’t fit. Guess I’ll have to get at larger pair.”
What does the woman do when she tries on a size 8 and it doesn't fit? She tries on another size 8. . . in every style and brand of jeans until she finds one that slides smoothly over her child-bearing hips and buttons securely without having to lean back over the chair in the fitting room. That, dear readers, is what a woman does.
It goes something like, “What the hell? These pants are running small now?”
Now, to be fair, the various brands of clothing do have different views on what a size 6 is or even a size 12. To prove my point, I’ll gladly offer that I have a pair of size 8 jeans, as well as a size 6 that I wear interchangeably - without the whole sucking in of the stomach. I also learned from the very same friend that when you shop, don’t routinely avoid the small if you’re a medium, or even the large.
I volunteer at a fabulous thrift shop called Transitions and know firsthand that my medium size frame fits swimmingly well in small, sometimes. I can’t say that venturing into the large is good for the psyche, but honestly, I’ve found some fantastic tops there too.
Let’s also address the “I’ll buy this fabulous outfit now and just lose some weight” scenario. Really? Can you honestly say that with any frequency you actually lose the weight and SHAZAM, perfect fit? Or, do you have a collection of clothing, with the tags dangling, sitting in the corner, reminding you every single day that all ya gotta do is stop eating. . .for a week? We ALL have that pile and if you don't - well, then you're a liar. Just keeping it real, yo.
I’m by no means saying that we women need to be more like men, heaven forbid. But, what if we just own up to the fact we aren't the size we thought we were anymore?
Ha! Girl, I’m just kidding! You get those tight shorts, they’ll totally fit next weekend.
We've all done it. You know, ask the husbands, boyfriends, best friends, and even complete strangers in the dressing room next to you, “How does this look?” Do we really want to know what they think even though we liked it enough to try it on or thought about buying it? The answer is unequivocally YES! That, my friend, is why we asked.
But, what about those times we don’t ask? Usually it’s those moments after we carefully select each item of our outfit from top to bottom. The vintage earrings that highlight the colors of the new shirt purchased solely for the skirt you have yet to wear despite the fact it works well with the one pair of shoes you bought last summer because they were on clearance. That’s when your husband, who you've asked 1.2 million times for his opinion, decides to bravely offer without prompting, “is that the shirt you’re going to wear? I’m not sure it works.”
This is where that unsolicited advice gets tricky, or it may lend itself to thoughts of raging violence (not really...okay yes, really). Our first thoughts aren't heartfelt gratitude, but more along the lines of “Who the (insert favorite obscenity here) asked you?” What we should be is grateful of how this person is looking out for us, but nah...we suddenly despise their very existence (not really...well, maybe just a little). Here a little example of what I mean. I’ll set the scene.
INT. BEDROOM - DAY
That’s pretty much how it went before I stomped back to the closet, but notice how I waited until he quickly left the room - he’ll get no satisfaction from me. Well, hell. Now what? Do I comply or stubbornly refuse to acknowledge the opinion from the one person I continually seek advice? The person who stops me before I dare leave the house in $3 plastic flip-flops when a perfectly good pair of heels or sandals would look better. Honestly, I've only worn this shirt a few times and it's one of those items I always put on, then immediately take off because I'm not feeling it. What does that tell you?
It was a fashion conundrum I seldom find myself in being no fashionista, so I comply. Damn. How can I possibly wear this stupid turquoise shirt knowing he’ll be scrunching up his nose every time he looks at me? Did I do it for him? Not really. Okay, maybe a little bit, but after almost 20 years of marriage, who else would know what looks good on me? There is only one other person, but I know she wouldn't appreciate the vast media attention my blog posts attract. So, I’ll just say that I’m fortunate that the place I volunteer weekly allows for not only a variety of fashion options, but managed by someone who is usually on the mark on what works for me. Her only competition - the Husband.
Sometimes these worlds collide and quite honestly, the clothes that cast a cloud of doubt in my mind usually get a thumbs down by the Husband. I’ll even venture as far to admit that I often verbalize how the Husband probably won’t like it. That is so very annoying I know, but helpful. So do I appreciate his bravery to tempt my mood when offering advice about my attire? Yes. Will I tell him that? Not a chance. It’s better to keep him guessing and somewhat fearful.
And by the way, if you have to ask a total stranger in the dressing room, who knows nothing of your personality or lifestyle whether the outfit you seemingly already questioned works for you, put that little gem of a dress back on the rack. Yes, even if it’s 75% off - I promise you’ll never wear it, at least not wholeheartedly. Those strangers aren't going to be willing to tell the truth anyway and we need that honesty to essentially confirm the doubts we already had.
But, if you’re still needing some advice, just ask my Husband. Apparently he’s working as the fashion police in his spare time.
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