On shopping for clothes

Image courtesy of jarmoluk / Pixabay.com
Image courtesy of jarmoluk / Pixabay.com

Yesterday I went shopping for new jeans. Normally, it’s a simple affair. I prefer regular blue-jeans, not that pre-faded, pre-wrinkled, fancy stitched nonsense. Once in a while I’ll change things up and buy a dark blue/navy pair for when I feel like dressing up. I’ve always bought the same brand from the same store, an exercise that usually takes ten minutes, including time spent in the checkout queue.

Not so this time.

Went to my regular store. No regular blue jeans in my size. There were some pre-faded navy jeans in my size, and I decided to compromise. I nipped into the fitting room, just to make sure, and it was a good thing I did as I couldn’t even get my foot all the way through the trouser leg. Turns out they were skinny jeans.

On second thought, that might be a euphemism. Skinny is one thing. These trouser legs were so narrow my ankles couldn’t fit through them (and I have very shapely ankles, not to mention calves, even if I say so myself). Not that that mattered. I detest skinny jeans from a personal use perspective, and generally think a man wearing the things look utterly ridiculous. (Same goes for bootlegs – I don’t wear boots and I’m not a fan of the Bee Gees.)

But alas, there was not a single pair of jeans in that store in both my size and a regular cut, not even of the pre-mutilated variety.

Image courtesy of lililou / Pixabay.com
Image courtesy of lililou / Pixabay.com

So, I went down the road to the next clothes store. And the next. And the one after that. Everywhere the same. Apparently there has been a ban on regular run-of-the-mill blue-jeans. Everything was pre-something and in one of the aforementioned cuts that alternatively has me running the risk of developing deep-vein thrombosis or looking like an idiot (hang on, the latter applies to both styles). Not that it mattered, as nothing was in my size. Everywhere had several of the sizes smaller than mine and larger than mine, but nothing whatsoever in my size.

I literally (and I really do mean literally) visited every single clothing store in town that sells men’s clothes (which is about 40% of the total, with the actual men’s clothing section in some of them comprising less than 10% of the total floor/shelf space – no wonder I have such a struggle finding clothes!). I finally found some jeans in the last store I entered.

I had left that store for last, as their cheapest clothes cost at least twice as much as the most I’m willing to pay on a per-garment basis. The jeans were no exception at exactly double the price of the jeans on offer at the stores I usually frequent. But I was desperate, as by now I’d been clothes shopping for almost two hours, which is more time than I usually spend clothes shopping in a year.

Luckily the jeans were on special with a 30% discount if you bought two pairs, so in the end I got two jeans for the price I’d normally pay for three. Not a bargain, if you ask me, but at least it means I don’t have to run around bare-assed (which would have caused the neighbours to talk – people just can’t keep their noses out of other people’s business these days).

But it didn’t end there.

Image courtesy of jarmoluk / Pixabay.com
Image courtesy of jarmoluk / Pixabay.com

Back home I took out my purchase to pop in the wash before wearing (yes, I follow the instructions on clothing labels), and discovered the jeans were different sizes. I did not try on both in the store, as they were the same brand and the same size, as in their labels were identical. But the jeans themselves were not. One was a good two inches shorter than the other and fit markedly more snugly. I spite of being the exact same size according to the label.

After very brief consideration I decided I could afford losing some weight until the smaller pair fits better. I can’t afford going back to the clothes store. I might wind up on the evening news.

Now I just need some new shirts for the winter. I looked yesterday. I couldn’t find any. Those in the size I’ve always worn lately doesn’t want to fit over my upper arms, and before you ask, no, I’m quite lacking when it comes to biceps, so I find it a much more reasonable assumption, considering yesterday’s adventure also, that the clothing industry is conspiring against me.

I wonder if there’s a naturist community somewhere looking for a full-time counsellor/resident writer…

7 thoughts on “On shopping for clothes

  1. I have a theory that the multinationals who make the clothes sold to us from SA to NZ and beyond (well, the companies who subcontract them to some SE Asian sweat-shop) have recently pulled a fast one on the world. I’ve been caught a few times with clothes that are labelled to the size I usually buy, but which turn out to be far too small. If I jump up a couple of sizes, the clothes fit again. All without my gaining a single kilo. On direct comparison of old with new, I discover that the old “smaller” size is identically dimensioned to the new “larger” size. Consistently. I conclude that a “centimetre” to the clothing industry is different from a “centimetre” to the rest of us, and that this change was made about 18 months ago…

    Should add – I’ve had that problem of the No. 2 pair of trousers turning out to be different. Annoying to say the least.

    1. Glad to hear I’m not the only one caught up in this conspiracy. Regarding upsizing till it fits, though, that’s not working for me with shirts. When I find a shirt my arms actually fit through, the rest of it is so over-sized it could double as a tent if I’m in a pinch. I’m considering asking the wife to teach me to sew so I can make my own clothes. Sadly, the only fabric store in town that also sold clothes patterns closed down last year. One can’t win.

  2. I hate, hate, hate shopping for clothes for this same reason. If it makes you feel any better my husband has had the same problems shopping for jeans. The cuts are so weird now. Makes me miss the 80’s when it was cool to roll up the cuffs.

    And low rise! Ag! I wear nursing uniforms and you do NOT want to see my crack when I bend down to do care. Who wears this stuff?

    1. Can’t say I was ever fond of rolling up the cuffs, but it sure was better than it is now. For one thing, regular jeans were the most common. I’m sure if I wanted to I could extrapolate some deep philosophical insight about society from the fact that regular seems to be an endangered species nowadays.

      Oh, yes, low riders are most definitely not for any type of work. I think all they’re suitable for is for going to clubs, and that only if you’re in your late teens/early twenties with one of those so-called perfect figures.

    1. My wife also constantly struggles with it. Her big peeve is that all the jeans she considers buying turn out to be made from stretch-denim, along with being low-riders and skinny jeans most of the time, neither of which she feels comfortable in. But then the clothing industry doesn’t cater for average people, does it?

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