Sunday, July 19, 2009

When Modesty Meets Desperation

I officially dislike shopping for clothes. The Boy has been helping me go shopping for clothes for more than a year, and he's beginning to understand my continued frustration. It's not that I'm horribly picky or a label snob or unwilling to try new clothes... though I have favorites (soft, fitted t-shirt and good jeans work for me just about every day), I've branched out with a few things here and there. I might also add, I'm not modest because of my religion or family or any reason other than that I like having my upper arms and upper legs covered. I'm not some oddball size or need special tailoring. I also don't have a problem with other people dressing to show off their better features.

Shorts and shirts are probably the two most difficult things for me to find. I don't really like shorts, but it'd be nice to have some for the six hottest days of the year. They wouldn't even have to look great or be a specific fabric. I would, however, like them to be at least 8" long in the inseam or come down almost to my knees. Finding shorts with an inseam longer than 4" is hard enough, and anything that does have a long inseam usually has an elastic waist or gaudy buttons or stupid detailing. I don't even own a pair of shorts that I wear outside the house because I haven't been able to find any in the last decade that are modest and age-appropriate.

I've covered my shirt likes and dislikes before, but to summarize: no capped or 3/4-length sleeves! I'm also learning that any summer shirt also reveals cleavage, and I don't really feel like I need to be revealing everything to everyone all the time. Trying to find a nice, dressy, comfortable shirt that actually fits my body correctly and doesn't have those damn capped sleeves has given me more than one headache.

I've watched the fashion shows on TLC and have seen what to look for in clothes so that they fit my body type. I know what a pair of jeans needs to have in order to fit my body correctly. The problem is that no one makes jeans that fit me correctly. I finally gave up my search and bought some Levi's last month in order to not walk around naked. They fit marginally well, and although they're not my favorite, at least I'm decent in public.

Bras and underwear... forget it. I finally found a bra in a national brand that fits properly. It was promptly discontinued. Sticking with the same brand, I switched to another style. At least it seems more popular: now I can't find the bras in my size when I need them. When I can find them in stock (even online!), they're always white, white, white.

My point here is that I don't feel I should have to compromise my modesty when I'm buying clothes. I know stores like Kohl's and JC Penney and Sears (etc!) want me to think that in order to be popular or liked or whatever, I have to wear the clothes they sell in their store and only those clothes. I don't. I don't have to show off my boobs to the world or wear hotpants everywhere. I don't have to prance around like some sixteen year old floozy.

I really wish a store could cater to modest 20-and-30-somethings who like to dress up occasionally and dress comfortably the rest of the time. How about cute shirts with normal-length sleeves or jeans that don't start just above our nether regions? How about dress shirts that go all the way to our wrists instead of stopping just after our elbows (which, to me, always makes it hard to bend my arm without the shirt getting really tight for some reason). I don't mean modest to hide our bodies, but to provide a little extra coverage that the current options aren't including. Age-appropriate is important, too. Just because my chest is covered doesn't mean I want to look like I'm seventy. I don't need animal prints or rhinestones, just a little modesty without sacrificing the cuteness.

Oh, and I have this suspicion that the fashion industry doesn't make clothes so revealing that it's popular: they just want you to think it's cool to show everything off. Meanwhile, they're using those extra four inches of sleeve fabric and six inches of butt-coverage in other clothes. It's cheaper to produce clothes that contain less fabric. Duh. And I'm not buying it!

1 comment:

Skunk said...

This isn't the first time you posted a blog like this. I can understand the clothes frustration--everyone has them and many hate shopping. I am one such person. But I have to ask, why do you insist on being "covered" most of the time. I've seen you, and in my opinion you have nothing to hide, and I know you know that. Is it a confidence thing, or a principle thing?
This topic of yours has often made me scratch my head, and I was just wondering if you could clarify...