Today I got the very rare opportunity to go shopping on my own!! My husband offered to stay at home and amuse the girls, so I jumped at the chance. I wanted to buy some new tops. I have managed to lose my baby weight and after having 2 children, 18 months apart, it feels good to have my body back in reasonable shape. Of course there are lumps and bumps and scars that weren’t there before, but I still feel as though my hard work and effort has paid off and I wanted to reward myself with some smaller clothes!
I should have known the trip was doomed from the start. It has poured with rain continuously for 2 days now, so everything is soggy. It’s a wet and dreary Saturday in June a week before the schools break up for summer. So the shops were absolutely packed. Couple that with the fact that they all had their heating cranked way up and the whole thing is a recipe for frayed nerves and disaster.
I couldn’t believe how stiflingly hot the shops were, in some of them, I could actually feel myself breathe in dry hot air. It was sickeningly hot. I know it’s been terribly wet, I know it’s cooler outside than normal, but it’s June, it’s not November, it’s not cold. Please oh please turn your central heating down. The staff all looked more comatose than normal, the shoppers all looked grumpier than normal (myself in particular)
In that heat, with damp, rain dripping people, who now have steam rising off them as the heat dries them out, the last thing I wanted to do was go into even hotter changing rooms to try on clothes. I just wanted to go home, but knew I needed the clothes and I might not get the chance again for a while, so I persevered.
All I can say is that the fashion industry and fashion designers must not realise that some women grow beyond 5ft 5! Everything seems to be made for women of this height, with incredibly short, matchstick thin arms.
I am 5ft8 and in my opinion have normal width arms and to the best of my knowledge, they are not Orangutan, knuckles dragging on the ground long. However, almost every top I liked that I tried on the sleeves were either unintentionally too short or skin-tight. Even in the few shops that sell a “Tall” range, the sleeves are like pencils. Has there been a sudden explosion of thin short arm syndrome in the world, that I am unaware of. Or does my husband and my camera lie and my “normal” arms are actually the arms of a scrum-half.
So I then turned to tunic style tops with 3/4 length sleeves, this beat the short, tight problem. However, these tops seem to only be made for shorter height women. Most of them have either a belted waist or some form of elastic or banded detail just above the waistline. On me the just above the waistline detail ends up just below my breasts, thereby either making the top hang totally out of shape or I ended up looking 5 months pregnant. A bit of blow to my new-found post pregnancy body confidence.
So after 3 hours of hopeless trying on and putting back, getting more and more fed up, deflated and just a bit angry. I gave up, I simply could not find a top in the entire high street today that fitted properly and looked nice one me. I found some nice tops, but they were all made for small women with Barbie’s arms. The “Tall” tops that were on offer were either ugly or not in my size, plus they are more expensive, which seems quite outrageous when the extra fabric required is minimal. I did a little bit of price comparison and in one particular store a top that went up to size 24 was the same price in all sizes. However, the same top in their tall range was £5 more expensive. How can a size 12 in Tall require more fabric than a size 24 regular?
With situations like this I’m really not surprised that the high street is dying a death. I came home hot, bothered and tired. I went onto the internet and in less than an hour purchased 4 tops and judging by their measurements they will fit a 5ft8 women who doesn’t have short, pencil thin arms!
Don’t even get me started about shoes, ballet pumps and Kitten heels….argh!