I bought the blue jumper in this photo because it reminded me of an outfit I wore in high school in the 1970s, soft cotton corduroy with Captain Kangaroo pockets, a metal zipper in the back, and a short skirt. So when I went to try it on in the store, I was determined it was going to fit me. And it did. After I switched from a Medium to an Extra Large. Now I don’t mind being an XLG per se. Who cares, right? But I’m 5’2”, menopause weight 140, and if I’m an XLG, what is everybody else?

What happened to vanity sizing? I thought clothing manufacturers were manipulating us into buying more by shifting sizes down as we get bigger. I’ve been a size 8 for most of my life, and now that I’m wearing a stylish meno-pot around my middle, I was really looking forward to being a size 4. Please manipulate me!

Last week I went to a parking lot sample sale at the headquarters of a popular sportswear brand. No dressingrooms, no returns. They were selling all the leftovers in their warehouse. I found a very cool pair of jeans for $30 with a big number 28 on them and I was thrilled. My inseam is about 28” and I’m always glad to find pants for short people. The thrill faded fast in my livingroom when I tried them on. Of course, the 28 was referring to the waist, not the inseam. Brain cramp. Did I need to be reminded that my waist is now more of an out-dent than an indent? After I nearly broke a hip pulling them on, they were sort of the opposite of a thong. Let’s call it a hong. They covered my hips but nothing in between.

Clothes sizes feel like an implied criticism. But nothing is more humiliating than standing half naked in front of a dressingroom mirror, on icky carpeting, under fluorescent lights designed to show every flaw and blemish. Sometimes I get so hijacked by my blackhead safari, that my ego is too deflated to shop. I need to save my money for cosmetic surgery. Really, if they want us to buy their stuff, how about a dressingroom with twilight, a mirror that’s slightly out of focus, and a robotic voice that murmurs, You look so much thinner than last time I saw you.

After I bought the jumper, I went looking for Frye boots to complete my retro look. Of course, it was a mistake. In the 1970s, my feet were made of rubber and I would have walked on nails if they were in style. After trying on a few pairs of leather stovepipes, and traipsing in front of the store mirror, the bones in my feet were using the F word and threatening domestic violence. My nostalgia bubble popped and I finally came to my senses. Age before beauty. My need to be stylish ends at my feet.

Posted In Age

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5 thoughts on “Corduroy

  1. Shopping is not for the faint of heart. It’s more like cruel and unusual punishment. And my feet are in complete agreement with yours. They’ve put up with the torture we inflicted upon them in our youth. Paybacks are Hell. I’ve gone from fashionable stilettos to an array of colorful Converse. My feet and I have reached an accord.

  2. If you are an extra large, then they must not make clothes for someone my size. I will have to get parachute pants. And when i say parachute…

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