A – Z Challenge……. J is for …


j a c k e t; ….. the jacket I didn’t buy.

I’m at that “difficult” age when it comes to buying clothes. I want my skirts longer than 10 inches; I want shorts that have more than 2 inch inseams. I want most of my breasts covered.   I want room in my clothes but not mu-mus.  I want fashion and flair without the old lady look (though I’ve gotta say when you start toting a cardigan whenever you leave home you’ve pretty much crossed the line into middle age!!)

I saw a nice brightly lit shop with clothes perfectly spaced on their railings and no deafening music repelling me. It looked inviting … so in I went.

The first few things I looked at were so outlandish I’d never wear them but by then I’d struck up a conversation with the sales lady who was also mother of the label’s designer, and with time to kill, decided to try a few things on.     As she pulled items out of boxes and the storeroom to show me I reiterated a number of times that I was pretty conservative, worked for a company that has a dress code and never went clubbing on weekends.

As  I was standing in the change room in a bizarrely shaped dress which was missing  large portions of material she sang out in that special sales person voice:  “how’s it look?” …. Umm – like something I might’ve made in 3rd grade sewing class.   “Well, it’s not really me”…….. (and I don’t think I have the shoes to go with it) …

She says: “Well, leave it on even if you’re not going to buy it and try this jacket on because I think it would be perfect for the office.”

The jacket did have a lovely cut and beautifully defined the waist but… the sleeves were so tight my arms were sort of stuck out from my sides in  a robot-pose.

I said: I can’t move my arms!

She said:  Well, that doesn’t matter,  it looks fantastic on you.    And, you wouldn’t have it on all day.

Bloody right I wouldn’t have it on all day!  I could not have moved my arm around to get my farecard out of my handbag let alone raised my arm up to hold on in the train.  I would not be able to use my hands to sweep my hair out of my eyes and I could totally forget about maneuvering my arms around enough to be able to type!  Well, actually that last one’s probably a mute point –  my hands would’ve fallen off from lack of circulation.


34 responses

  1. Oh Wow. Wish I could see the jacket. Sometimes I really wonder about “fashion” I am a big fan of project runway (though it is starting to get to be too much “drama” and not enough sewing in the way it is taped), and I am always amazed at the creativity and also the absoloute uselessness of many of the thing sthey create!

    • I’ve only seen one episode of “project runway” and that’s what I thought about the drama – it put me off watching a second episode. Whenever I see clips of fashion shows with models strutting the catwalk my first thought is always about the thinness of the models and the second thought is “who wears these clothes in real life?”

  2. Emjay, I think you and I have exactly the same philosophy of clothing. Us women “of a certain age” want our boobs and thighs covered, and a little extra in the waist. I was never “fashionable” even when I was young and skinny. It’s one reason I’m glad I don’t have a job — I can wear what I like.

    The jacket you can’t move your arms in is just stupid. I’ve tried those on before. It makes you feel like a T.Rex, waving your little useless arms around in tiny movements. Or like when I was a little kid bundled up in a snowsuit.

    • When I was on the train today I was lucky enough to get a seat and I couldn’t help but think that I was glad I had some material between my skin and the seat. The previous occupant had bare skin on that nasty vinyl and when it’s hot (and no a/c) those seats have the sweat on them of whoever just sat there! LOL @ the snowsuit – yes, that’s what the jacket was like – it gave me totally useless arms. I’ve made some stupid purchases in the name of fashion over the years but these days I want comfortable clothes to go with my comfy shoes.

  3. Salespeople in shops always tell you “You look fantastic,” even if you’re trying on a hideous outfit that makes you look like you have a butt the size of a bus. There was one saleswoman who followed me all over this high-priced clothing shop, telling me I would look fantastic in this and that , “especially with your skin tone and hair!” (Which made me wonder what exactly she meant by that—“You’re Asian and you’ll look good in anything?”) I finally broke down and bought this green and white ensemble: when I brought it home and tried it on however, I realized it really made me look frumpy and fat. I was relieved when I took it back and didn’t see the same saleswoman. She probably would have tried to talk me into buying another “fantastic outfit.”

    • Salespeople in shops always tell you “You look fantastic,” That is so true HG but it seems super silly to tell someone that it doesn’t matter if she can’t move her arms. I hate shops where there is no mirror in the little change cubicle forcing one to come out and look into the big mirror (that is a trick “thin” mirror) and gives the salesperson the opportunity to totally lie about how great we look. I went through a stage where I refused to try anything on in shops that didn’t have a mirror in the individual change-rooms. I buy a lot of my clothes online so I get to see what they really look like in my own mirrors and with combinations of shoes.

      I was in a super trendy shop with the princess and when she went off to the changerooms I was left just outside with the boyfriend of another young woman trying stuff on. We remarked on how dark it was back there and that really no-one would be able to see what they really looked like. He quipped: “That’s to give the authentic nightclub appearance:” I’ll bet there were a lot of disappointed buyers in the light of day! 🙂

  4. LOL don’t you just love it? I bet they had those mirrors which make you look grey and pasty with lumps, a bit like old fashioned chicken and mushroom soup! I’m a UK size 8-10 and even I have trouble finding things that I can fit my arms into – is there a whole sub-species of pipe cleaner people?

      • Fashion models, so you remember when two of them dropped dead because they were on the tomato-and-diet-coke diet? I shop in charity shops and on the Internet. Unless I am trying on shoes. I will not buy shoes I have not tried on unless I am ordering some off the Net that I am familiar with like Doc Martins or Converse Hi Tops.

    • LOL Clare – Generally I think store mirrors tend to make me look better and home mirrors show the reality of my ill purchased item (it looked so good in the shop). This store’s mirror totally distorted my knees though – into huge tree knots!! LOL@ pipe cleaner people …. none of my friends! btw I wish I was an 8-10!!. 🙂

      • I am around an 8 now. It’s not that great. Sales generally are out of my size and really, I do have some fat on my stomach now (but I also have boobs busting out of th eb cup, wahoo!). Menopause, I reckon, aren’t I supposed to gain a few pounds from it? (since I am not preggers) However I am aware that if I am this size for the rest of my life that is a lucky thing. But you are taller than me, I think. Also you in no way look overweight in your photos, and photos always make people look heavier than they are. I think it’s from making something 3d into 2d. Flattens and spreads things out.

    • Thank you FD. I generally find the shopping experience to be so tiring that I buy almost all my clothes online – except when I’m in Australia! I’m usually visiting at the end of a season and I shop the sales to bring back for the season I’m just starting. When I was home in March I got some fantastic bargains and now it’s warm enough to wear them here. I’m not very likely to run into anyone in the same outfit this way!

  5. I don’t understand this whole tight armed jacket thing. Really, most women, I don’t care what age, complain about their jiggly upper arms. and even if they aren’t jiggly, maybe they are muscular. There really aren’t many regular sized women with skinny arms. and no one wants a jacket that is too tight in the arms.

    • This last winter here there seemed to be a skinny arm craze on cardigans which meant I didn’t buy any new ones… though it’s not so bad in cardies as they are sort of stretchy. The really annoying thing with the jacket was that it fitted me across the shoulders and all the buttons did up nicely (no gaping) but then it had these little stick arms!!

    • Well you see GOM there’s a reason for that; I couldn’t move my arms enough to get the camera out of my bag and up anywhere near my face…… oh, you mean before that … of the short dress with the missing material ……

  6. Ha ha! Hey, that jacket looks great on you, even though you can’t wear it. They can’t pull that crap on us old girls.

  7. I’m sick with laugh ! … I imagine the sales lady’s sweet voice :

    – You can’t move your arms ? There’s no problem ! What do you want to cut, the sleeves or the arms ?
    – Please, the sleeves … the arms, I tried last year, but I did’nt succeed ! …

    Poor Emjay ! … I’d be please to help you … why do you leave so far from Paris ?
    Many loves.

  8. How funny! I laughed through not only the post but all of the comments. Fashion. Blah! I wear jeans and t-shirts in the summer and jeans and sweat shirts in the winter. Nice big loose t-shirts and sweat shirts and jeans. lol Very simple.

    Great post Aussie May!

  9. LOL, you have the best sense of humour! Hey, that jacket would have come in handy when you had a broken arm. You could have blow dried your hair in it.
    I agree about the clothes. I am so glad the really low waisted trousers are out. I have never worn shorts unless they are Bermuda length. I wish you could come over here, you would love Monsoon and Boden brand clothing. Stylish and sensible. A bit pricey but very good quality. I have several pieces, but I bought mine in charity shops. I suppose you could shop at J Jill? Are they still around? Their clothes run a size big, be warned.
    Boden http://www.boden.co.uk/
    Monsoon http://www.monsoon.co.uk/

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