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File under "True Confessions" - "You didn't hear about the polar bear?"
May 13th, 2005
08:59 pm

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File under "True Confessions"
I realized two things about myself tonight:

I hate women's clothing.

I love men's clothing.

Seriously.

I'm a very round woman - the dreaded apple shape, as they call it. I realized that tomorrow I need to look half-decent for a "casual" brunch and a "casual" wedding reception. Sure, they say "casual", but I don't think that means a t-shirt, baggy pants, and hiking boots. That's what I usually wear for casual... or sometimes I'll wear a couple of polo shirts from my old company. For "nice" I wear a silk blouse (the same one in several colors) and black pants, with bootie shoes.

So I go to buy something casual but a little sharper looking. All I see are garishly bright tops, capri pants, some baggy cotton pants... but I put an outfit together and buy it, feeling so wrong about it the whole time. I realize what I'd really like is a few new polo shirts, you know, maybe what women wear to golf in. So I go to Penney's.

What do they have in the Women's sizes? Tank tops. More garish colors. Nothing I would wear in a million years.

I go upstairs and I see... polo shirts. Men's polo shirts. And they're beautiful. And, look! Sharp, simple short sleeve shirts... in textured silk! And the same in wonderful colors, very tasteful, very natural. Well-made. Only $21 apiece despite the high quality. So I take some and... where do I try them on? *rolls eyes* I take them downstairs and try them on in the women's changing room. *rolls eyes again*

This just is so strange. I mean, it's not completely new to me. I went through my flannel shirt/blue jeans/hiking boots phase when I was a John Denver fan. But it was when I was doing a lot of photo expeditions and needed good outdoor clothes but couldn't find them in women's sizes, I started buying men's Grammicci pants and t-shirts. Now, it didn't feel strange then, because outdoor gear is practically unisex. I also started buying a lot of denim shirts at national parks; same with polo shirts and t-shirts. All unisex.

But, man, it was so strange to find that I simply cannot buy women's casual clothes anymore. I just can't stand them! Why in the world don't they make these same kinds of shirts for women - so that they'd fit me better. I'd love it! Well-tailored, practical. After all this time, why can't they make these for women? Or, hell, just have a unisex area for the kinds of clothes both sexes like to buy and wear?

So - how strange am I? Or do other women - especially large size women - feel the same way?

And, yes, I realize this, along with my weight, is probably a large part of why I don't get much attention from guys. *sigh*

(45 comments | Leave a comment)

Comments
 
From:ex_kisa_haw
Date:May 14th, 2005 03:05 am (UTC)
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Oh hon. I prefer men's clothing too. Mostly because it's much higher in quality because they expect men to actually do things in their clothes. I also don't care for a lot of the patterns that are out there in women's clothing (HATE florals). I've only recently come around to wearing pastels, though I've always liked jewel tones, and you can't usually find those in men's clothing.

As for dress clothes (and jeans, since men's don't fit me), I shop at Lane Bryant. Yes, they have some of the crazy things I wouldn't wear in a million years, but I find a lot of nice, subtle, black skirts, usually long. Also my favorite dress pants (also black) are from there.

*shrug*

I've always disliked women's clothing. And as for attention from guys... *helpless hands* Not too worried about that anymore...
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From:rosamundeb
Date:May 14th, 2005 03:23 am (UTC)
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"Mostly because it's much higher in quality because they expect men to actually do things in their clothes." Ain't it the truth? Sheesh!

I shop at Dress Barn, but sounds like we do the same - black pants and nice blouses.

*snorfles* at your last comment... *G*
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From:bluelily17
Date:May 14th, 2005 03:20 am (UTC)

Girl it's about the attitude

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Guys don't seriously only choose girls because of the body. If you hang out with them, sure they notice the girls with the smaller bodies, but they spend time with the girls that know them. Just make sure that you've got the confidence and you'll be fine. I find it hard to find clothes sometimes too, I'm a size 12-14 usually. The worst is finding shirts that are long enough to go past my belt. I find that I have to really look for clothing sometimes. I've gotten stuff at Anne Taylor before, but they're expensive even when on sale. Then there' Old Navy, just it's not always the best quality. I like looking through the racks at the department stores downtown, they're usually good for some good deals on some nice shirts. I'm sure you're not the only large size woman that wishes there were better, cheaper clothes that acutally fit.
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From:rosamundeb
Date:May 14th, 2005 03:31 am (UTC)

Re: Girl it's about the attitude

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And you know what? I pretty much buy most of my clothes on-line now - ! Too darn frustrating shopping in stores - *S*.

I don't know about the guys. I think sometimes I'm too much "one of the guys". I mean, I work in what used to be a man's area - chemistry - and love a lot of the same things - hiking, playing music, nature photography, sci fi, geeky stuff - but spent all of grad school seeing the guys date nursing students - *L*! It comes down to: I don't have the kind of appeal that would make them interested in me, and I don't give off the right signals.

So I'll keep wearing their clothes instead. *G*
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From:rosamundeb
Date:May 14th, 2005 03:31 am (UTC)
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*LOL*!!!!!!11
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From:finabair
Date:May 14th, 2005 03:28 am (UTC)
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Your old company sure gave you enough polo shirts, eh? *grin* (I liked the hawaiian shirts best, tho.)

I am...not apple shaped, but not small by any stretch of the imagination. I tend to favor the t-shirts that Lane Bryant carries because, unlike a TON of other places, they're actually kinda shaped for women's shapes, so you don't look like you're wearing a tent. Lately my outfit has tended towards one of those t-shirts with jeans.

If you're careful at Lane Bryant you can find some nice stuff, both casual and dress - don't let the outfits on display fool you. And the catalog is a whole other animal from the stores - generally all different clothing offered there. lanebryantcatalog.com is the online version of it, and be warned - if you buy something from the catalog it is usually a size larger than something you'd get almost anywhere else, so go a size down.

I also like Dress Barn Woman. Same thing, basically but I'm more likely to go there first if I need to dress UP, and about equally likely to go there or Lane Bryant for anything else.

But, yes. Otherwise I just kind of favor unisex stuff/men's clothing. 'course, men's clothing on the MEN is even better...
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From:rosamundeb
Date:May 14th, 2005 03:34 am (UTC)
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I'll have to check it out at Lane Bryant; it would be nice to have some t-shirts that fit across the front without the shoulder seams hanging six inches off of either side - *L*! Yep, Dress Barn Women is where I go. Sometimes they have some beautiful brushed silk shirts; they're the best! Comfy and nice looking.

Good to know I'm not the only one - thanks. ((((hugs!))) And AMEN on the latter comment - WHOOOOOOOOOOT!!!!!!

*goes back and fondles Billy in my Billy-photo spam* *G*
From:anima_mecanique
Date:May 14th, 2005 03:54 am (UTC)
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Well, I have to say I'm probably not the best to comment on this sort of thing, being that I'm sort of a fashion freak, but...it's fashion. Dude.

I like men's clothing -- especially men's formal wear, the more old-fashioned the better. Waistcoats, slacks, tuxedo shirts, tailcoats, frock coats, overcoats, neckties of all description...if it looks it escaped from a Dickens novel, I love it to death. Men's hats, especially -- I have not yet found a truly 'feminine' hat that I actually like. Even a lot of the stuff I have that is designed for women is sort of masculine-looking -- I prefer non-girly pants without that silly low waistline that people have nowadays, for instance, and my coats would probably look equally good on either gender (though my frock coat would be somewhat dandy-ish).

However, I do like 'girly' clothes once in
From:anima_mecanique
Date:May 14th, 2005 04:00 am (UTC)
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Hellfire.

AS I WAS SAYING, I like 'girly' clothes once in a while -- flowy or industrial-looking skirts, stockings, schoolgirl skirts, certain dresses, and corsets. I'm really sort of fashion schizo -- total gentleman one day, schoolgirl the next, and a t-shirt with jeans on the following Monday (though I'm trying to cut jeans out of my wardrobe. I have decided I do not like them much).

It's actually fairly hard to find clothes that fit me, too, because I'm so tiny. Sometimes I have to shop in the kid's section...pants, for instance, are usually too long for me, and shirts of non-t-shirt design are almost always too baggy. Sleeveless shirts are a giant pain, because the armholes are almost uniformly too large. I spend a lot of time editing my clothes, especially since the only places I can go these days to find clothing I don't hate is thrift stores. Since those places are stocked by other people's contributions, they gravitate towards the median size, which I definately am not.
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From:knitting_hobbit
Date:May 14th, 2005 04:21 am (UTC)
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It's not strange to me! In my humble opinion, men always get the better quality, better valued, and better color clothes. I don't feel comfortable in tanks and capris (any more). So GMTA!

P.S. the hub has a running joke about me raiding the guys' clothing section. Heehee! So you are not alone by any means. :)
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From:rosamundeb
Date:May 14th, 2005 04:22 am (UTC)
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*L*! He knows? Now I'm tempted to go hide in the men's section and see how many women come in and shop there, too! *S*
From:ex_salwood
Date:May 14th, 2005 07:52 am (UTC)
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I always head for the men's section!
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From:rosamundeb
Date:May 14th, 2005 02:16 pm (UTC)
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Yay - I'm not alone! *S* Thanks!
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From:freakspawn
Date:May 14th, 2005 09:34 am (UTC)
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I really can't offer much in the way of advice, being in the UK. But I do understand where you are coming from.
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From:rosamundeb
Date:May 14th, 2005 02:17 pm (UTC)
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*S* What is the pic in your icon from?
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From:onecheekyhobbit
Date:May 14th, 2005 10:59 am (UTC)
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You're not alone on this one...

I own one pair of women's jeans... the rest are mens and I don't think there is anythink I like to wear more than men's tee shirts or long sleeve button ups.
K
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From:rosamundeb
Date:May 14th, 2005 02:18 pm (UTC)
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Incredible, isn't it? Wouldn't you think that clothing makers would catch on? *L*!
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From:ninquelosse
Date:May 14th, 2005 01:37 pm (UTC)
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When I step into the Gap (Mom likes it in there) I immediately head for the guys side because 1. something may fit me with enough ease that I feel comfortable and 2. it won't wear out in six months. That said, I did try on the guys' jeans last week and my body shape has changed yet again. *chortle* The poor try-on room guy! I was so brazen. So I am now looking (once again) for my Holy Grail of denim, because I will not pay $50 for something that doesn't fit.

If you want my advice, and haven't completely given up on women's clothing, try J. Jill. Even the standard sizes are made for women, not girls; the fabrics are delish, and though they did do a huge catalogue of pink on practically every page last year, they offer everything in less sherbety colours as well. Also, the clothes last - I've found some at Goodwill that are in perfect shape. I love Goodwill. If I make a mistake, it's a $3 mistake, not a $30 one.

Other options - I remember Bridget, who worked at the same downtown bookstore I did in the 90's. She too was vaguely apple-shaped, and always looked fabulous - drapey suits in black and white and cream. (And let her hair go silver very young, and it was gorgeous.) She got her outfits at some Andersonville boutique, which is no help, but maybe you can find someone who will work with you.
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From:rosamundeb
Date:May 14th, 2005 02:21 pm (UTC)
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Thanks!

And, you know, the one exception I thought of (other than camping/hiking clothing stores) was the Gap, where they have men's and women's clothing side-by-side and nobody says anything if you go over to the men's. They'd be smart to have more stores like that... for older folks like me! *G* (but, hey - your mom likes it - *L*!)
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