Among my Christmas haul this year were many gift cards to such places as Old Navy and Target, which normally I shun but now I have requested in order to help me rebuild my wardrobe (currently: 2 pr shoes that I wear to work, both have holes in them; 4 pr pants that I wear to work, one pair is verging on too casual and one pair has holes). As you can see, I need an urgent clothing infusion or I may end up at work barefoot and naked. And that's not the way one wants to present oneself in a public library.
A little backstory.
I'm not good with clothes shopping for myself (yarn shopping is, of course, never a problem. It all fits). I look, I see too much trendy crap, I stop looking and go home. I'm not a trendy girl, so most of what's on the racks make me feel confused (I thought that bedazzling one's jeans was so over. Why has it come back? How do I make it go away again?) or angry (This is why American women have body image issues, you bastards, because these stupid jeans called "hip huggers" only look good on women with no hips!) and then I don't want to spend my money on anything and I return home to the same sad clothes and think, "Well, these aren't so bad... I can get along with just these." (It took me six months of shopping to find a wedding dress that wasn't too beady, too poofy, to frilly, too expensive, too awkward, too binding, or too freakish. I ended up with the most stripped-down dress it is possible to have and still look like a bride.)
So, it was time to expand the wardrobe to include items that (a) were new and (b) fit me. I went out on Wednesday night after work to run my gift cards into the ground. I went to Old Navy first and --hells yes!-- they were having a sale. I grabbed 12 (twelve!) pairs of women's pants in two different sizes and headed to the dressing room. Of the eight pairs of jeans I tried on, a whopping NONE fit me, and of the four pairs of dress/casual pants ONE pair fit me. Yes, I went into the fitting room with TWELVE pairs of pants and came out with ONE. I almost cried. Why didn't these women's pants fit me? What makes it impossible for PANTS DESIGNED FOR WOMEN to fit me?
Answer: my womanly figure. Yes, I am an average(?)-sized woman (complete with the hips for the child-bearing) and I cannot wear most jeans that are supposedly created so that they will do nothing else other than fit and possibly enhance the female form. Even if they are in my size. The problem is, once the pants are ample enough to fit over the hips for the child-bearing, they are freaking enormous in the waist and there is no belt on the face of the earth that can make that gap go away. (You know what I'm talking about, right? The gap between your jeans and the small of your back that--no matter what you do to thwart it--always shows off your undies when you bend over or sit up straight.)
At this point I'm thinking screw it. I got one pair of pants, and Oooh, here's a pretty top (that I don't need, but am buying to mitigate the sense of failure)... when I wander over to the men's department and see they're selling extra-loose jeans (appealing! why don't they have these in the women's section??!). I grab two sizes and head to the dressing room, where I learned an interesting (though "bizarre" is not inappropriate here) lesson:
Men's jeans fit my womanly curves better than the women's jeans.
I give up.
(but I don't have to go pants shopping for another year at least!)