5 November 2015

That time I went shopping and it made me really hate shopping

Hi-de-hi, everyone. I haven't written a personal post for a while because there have been a few things going on in my little mind, but it's been my prerogative not to share them.

HOWEVER, a recent experience of mine - as in, just this afternoon - made me want to have a rant. I'm not sure how this will be perceived by people so I want to make a disclaimer:

1. I do not mean to sound patronising
2. If I make out like I'm shaming anyone, that was not my intention. I'm the non-judgemental breakfast club
3. This is my personal experience. I am not speaking on behalf of anyone else or attempting to generalise. It's just me doing me

Okay, so with that out of the way, let me talk about my horrendous shopping experience which was meant to be glorious and self-indulgent and make me feel all kinds of awesome. Actually, it made me feel like sh*t and that I should just go home and never bother to dress up again because ew.

I haven't gone *out* out in a while. As in, dancing, clubbing, errybody in the club gettin' tipsy type thing. Simply because I've been short on dollar, and sometimes my experiences of going out are a bit crap. I enjoyed going out most when I was at university, when drinks were cheap, I could switch up outfits with my housemates and if I wanted to leave early I could "fork out" (haha) on a £6 taxi and be in bed within 15 minutes.

I'm going out tomorrow. I wanted to look nice for the occasion. I don't go out much, and to me it's a big deal. Humour me.

Since leaving university I've eaten better, but I've also eaten more. This has contributed to me putting on a bit of weight (from a size 8 I'm now a 10, sometimes a 12). Now, I do not think I'm big. I don't think I'm fat. Size 12 is not fat, neither is size 14, etc. I'm aware that at the time of writing, the UK average is a 16. At my size, I personally don't feel the need to diet. Sometimes I'll eat healthily, sometimes I'll eat pizza and chocolate and not give a rat's bottom. C'est la vie.

However, the changes in my body mean I don't feel comfortable wearing the type of garms I did at university. Bodycon is my idea of a nightmare, and I'd prefer to cover up my my arms. Whatever, trevor.

No big deal, right? I know that once I'm settled after Christmas, I can join a gym and focus on toning up a bit. I know that my body is subject to change and it's not the end of the world. I wouldn't say that I have a problem with my body on a day-to-day basis. Not at all.

BUT, after trawling numerous shops and numerous dressing room scenarios, I kind of wanted to cry. And this is so ridiculous, because I know that my size is widely available in every high street store so I'm never short on clothing options. So how hard should it be to find a dress or a nice top which is a little bit jazzy but not OTT for a night out with the girls?

Answer: very. Because you know what the high street considers as "going out appropriate"? Bodycon. With a deep V at the front or at the back - or both. Er, nah. With short sleeves. Or a bodysuit. Or a playsuit which doesn't really cover your bum. Apparently going out means you're happy to show ALL OF THE FLESH. Which is y'know, fine if you want to show all your flesh, go right ahead. But it's not something that every girl wants to do. But as far as "going out" clothes go right now, nothing is forgiving.

As a pear-shape, I absolutely rejoiced when the skater dress/skirt came into fashion. It nipped in at the waist, where my body is its smallest, and flared out over the tummy. They came in long sleeves, short sleeves, Bardot necklines, sweetheart necklines... And you could get casual ones and also snazzy ones and they were EVERYWHERE. It was the dream. Going out was a breeze.

But no more. The options I came across were either sequined (too much), short sleeved (no thank you), or tight, tight bodycon. It sounds kind of pathetic when I write it down, but never, never have I found shopping to be so stressful and demoralising. Nothing that I put on made me feel good. At best, it was "okay", and as most girls will tell you, when they go out they don't want to feel "okay" - they want to feel damn fabulous like that sassy emoji girl and maybe a little bit sexy. What they don't want to be thinking is "I feel so uncomfortable right now, I kind of wish I could be at home in my pyjamas where no one can see me."

It kind of made me resent myself, but it kind of made me resent fashion more. I'm actually very lucky to say this, because I know it is a problem in the industry, but I've never felt the brunt of it, but party/going out fashion really only caters to the more slight figure. I felt horrendous as I turned to the side in the mirror in a bodycon number (silly me thinking "maybe it isn't super tight") and felt bloated and unattractive. I mean, what is up with that??

Where has the variety of the high street gone? Where are the shift dresses, the floaty dresses, the skater skirts, the fun necklines?

In the end, I literally forked out £50 on a floaty, ditsy style dress from Urban Outfitters. I couldn't believe that I found what I was looking for in Urban Outfitters, of all places (i.e. the most overpriced, often controversial shop ever to exist), but by this point I was at the end of my tether, and it was the only dress I came across that had an elasticated bit at the waist and made me feel good. So it was a happy ending, finally...

But it's made me weary. Maybe (probably) this has always been the case, but I've just never noticed because I haven't had these body hang ups before. But it sucks. It really, really sucks. It sucks that the experience made me feel rubbish, and feel that I didn't have the right figure to go out. It sucks that I had to sweat through 6 shops to find a style of dress that flattered me. It sucks that bodycon is the only style that seems to translate into suitable clubbing attire. And it sucks that I'm experiencing this as a size 10 - a size 10, for goodness sake.

Sure, maybe I should get over myself and eat less and better and go to the gym. Or maybe the industry should wake up to the fact we don't all have washboard stomachs and slim arms and no cellulite because actual consumers are not, quelle surprise, the models who are wearing the clothes - pinned to death - on the catwalks. I can't be the only one that's struggled to find a style of clothing because it's fallen off the fashion radar... can I?

Because at the end of the day, goddammit, I want to feel fabulous when I shop, elated at the things on offer and positively euphoric when I try something on and it looks freakin' fabulous.

(If anyone knows of any places that offer skater dresses and aren't mega £££, PLEASE tell me so I don't have to endure what I did today ever again)

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