Dress Buying Drama

A really good friend of mine is getting married on Saturday and I've been stressing out about what I'm going to wear to her wedding.

I've spent some time standing in front of my closet, thinking that nothing in there looks remotely attractive to me right now. Everything screams, "You've worn me to million events!" It doesn't matter if it's different people at each event since when I look at the pictures I see the same darned dresses in every single one.

I know I must sound like a spoiled brat acting like I can't wear the same dress. After all, most of my ancestors back in the day probably had one or two good dresses that they wore, hemmed, repaired and wore some more.

But this ain't 1875 so I took myself to the mall. This is cringe-worthy in itself because I sort of hate shopping. There's too much stuff in stores, too much crap to sift through, and things are waay overpriced for what they are. If only I had Tim Gunn along with me to check my sense of style and help me sift through the racks and racks of clothing.

Let me tell you, after tonight's shopping experience, I feel like I need some sort of sedative. Ladies, we need to start a petition to have our clothing sized just like men's clothing. I am sick of vanity sizing. I am sick of every designer having a different fit. I'm sick of having to drag three different sizes of the same dress into the dressing room because I don't know if a six, eight or a ten is going to fit me.

If I want to try on four different dresses, guess what? I'm taking TWELVE dresses into the dressing room. That's just ridiculous!

The dress I really wanted was only available in sizes four, six and eight. It looked like it ran a bit small so I picked the eight. Unfortunately the eight was too tight in the chest.

I contemplated going on and getting it but I want to be able to breathe comfortably while I'm dancing at the wedding reception.

A size ten is available at Fox Hills Mall but really, there's no way I'm driving all the way across town for it.

Dress number two, a size eight, fit but I wasn't crazy about it.

Dress number three, the six was too tight, the eight too loose. I decided to pass.

The last dress, the eight was too loose but the six was comfortable. I ended up trying on the size four just to check it out. It fit better in the bottom but again, tight across the chest. Like I said, vanity sizing is out of control. I am no where near a size four. I highly doubt I'm a size six either. To tell you the truth, I don't really care about what size I am. I just want my clothing to fit!

Ladies, does this kind of ridiculousness sound familiar to you? Guys, are your eyelids starting to twitch just thinking about what it would be like to have to shop like that? I'll bet, because guys, here's what you do:

When you go into as store to buy a pair of pants, all you have to know is that you wear a size 30 x 34. And it's going to fit, no matter what store you're shopping in. You don't have to drag a 32 x 34, a 30 x 36 and a 34 x 34 into the dressing room with you just in case.

So I bought a dress. I like it. It's pretty...but I want to be psyched about my dress.

Unfortunately,. I 'm starting to think that the trip to Fox Hills might be worth it.


I agree vanity sizing has gotten out of control but most women like it. They continue to gain weight but get to "go down" a size.
Toni Campbell said…
I learned that shopping by myself in a mall can be extra stressful. Sometimes taking a friend along can cut all the size tension and make trying on all that stuff fun. Or, just send Joy or Lydia to Fox Hills for you. :)
Jameil said…
ugh!!!!!! vanity sizing drives me insane!! even when i'm in a store whose sizing i'm familiar with, sometimes i still i have to try things on "just in case". don't go in old navy. you'll def. be a 2. their sizing is ridiculous. i'm a 2 in express, but a 6 in bebe (ridiculous sizing in the other direction, but probably more european). JUST BE THE SAME!!
Mes Deux Cents said…

I either shop in small boutiques or online. I hate malls!

About sizing, I send a lot of stuff I buy online back. (lol) But at least I'm in the comfort of my own home trying stuff on. So I don't mind.
BZ said…
I am soooo with you! Not to mention when designers CHANGE the fits of their clothes. I'm a big girl, so I shop at Lane Bryant. I used to love their jeans. Now they done and changed all the fits, so they supposedly fit better. NAH! Too tight in the arse/thighs and too big in the waist. I don't know what kind of gut they expect women to have, but it sags in the crotch like I have a penis or something. DAMN DAMN DAMN! Now i gotta find a new place to buy jeans. And I loathe shopping with every inch of my soul.
Liz Dwyer said…
Totally out of control! If I put on a size eight of my moms from back in the day...I can't breathe, it's so tight. I might not even be able to zip it up. So I'm supposed to be a six now? Please!

Good idea...Joy, Lydia, help! But I tend to get more stressed out by having a friend along. I'm really slow. I sit around in clothes in the dressing room, move around, because I want to make sure no underwear will be showing, etc. So I worry that my friend is getting bored.

Oh yes, Old Navy is out of control! No where else do I go and pick up an "extra small" or "small" shirt to start out. European sizes make me feel like a cow, but whatever, just fit already! I really wonder what it would take to make sizing standard across stores.

Online shopping...I'm always tempted to try it, but I don't have the patience to send it back. Maybe I should give it a try because sometimes I end up buying three things, bringing them home and taking two back!
Liz Dwyer said…
Yes, run when someplace says they've improved their fit! Nope! And no one who sees your lovely self is thinking you have a penis! ;)
Brianna said…
Agree!!! The only thing you can buy online is shoes...and I guess I can get away with tops when they come in S,M,L. I will always be a small--nothing...I repeat NOTHING...will ever be too tight in the chest area. :(
Liz Dwyer said…
Even with the shoes...I wandered over to the shoe department because I'm a sucker for shoes. I try on one pair that's an eight, what I normally wear. They're too big. I ask for a 7 1/2, it fits but I'm not super crazy about them so I'm not buying them. The second pair, I'm in LOVE with, but guess what: The 8 is too tight and the 8 1/2 is too big! UGH!
none said…
this is why I don't shop with my spouse. I can't buy her clothes as gifts either. It sucks.
1969 said…

I am an 8-10. It drives me insane. I start to gravitate to the same stores and same designers. It indeed sucks!
Anonymous said…
I hear you girl. I've been having the same problem. I'll take a size 2, size 4 and size 6 in with me...usually I'm a size 6 but i've noticed that some of those are waaay too big. There's no way i'm realistically a 2 or a 4 but alas I have some of those sizes in my closet as well. Oh and the Fox Hills Mall is right down the street from me. lol!
Liz Dwyer said…
Yep. Guys can't win. You come home with a size "large" and your woman says, "Oh what, you thought I was THAT big?" You come home with a "small" and you get, "What, are you trying to tell me to go on a diet?"

Jewelry always fits though. ;0

I gravitate toward the same designers as well...but then I sometimes feel like all my clothes look the same. I get in trouble when I try to branch out and try something new.

Hmm...I might be in your neck of the woods later on tonight! :) I normally haunt the Glendale Galleria so it's a bit of a hike!
Anonymous said…
I don't know where my comment went! I love to shop so if you really want that dress at Fox Hills, give me a holler. :)
M said…
Oh gosh - you made me feel shopping exhaustion just reading this. I love clothes - and I HATE mall shopping. I hear you on the fifty different sizes in the dressing room - and then there are the places that have those skinny mirrors (you know the ones - they make you look ten pounds lighter so that everything looks good on you even when it doesn't)... Oh, and if you want to order on line - like use bluefly or whatever - you have to order at least two different sizes there as well - and send one back! I could go on and on. Sorry you had such hellish time. Hope the wedding is better!
I suppose some vanity sizing would be kind of cool right now for me, being in the land of the EXTRA TINY. I never thought that at 5'9" and 130-something pounds, I would be relegated to the OKII (big in Japanese) section.

(especially since the sizing has nothing to do with height.)

Of course that is not a solution either because the cut of Japanese clothing is just completely unsuitable for other body types and so if I want decent clothes, I have to shop online.

And then, the sizing...

Nevermind, I've just decided that I'll rotate the same three pairs of pants for the next year!!
Liz Dwyer said…
Oh no! Did your comment go into the Comment Black Hole? I hate when that happens. I'm debating the trip to Fox Hills. I'm so tired right now that my eye is twitching. You know, we should have an LA blog get together.

I HATE those mirrors. Oh my goodness. I think that's why I try stuff on, think I look cute, and then get home and want to vomit when I see my reflection. The stuff on Bluefly always looks cute but I never order because of the sizing issues. I'd hate standing in line at the post office to ship the stuff back.

I hope the wedding is better too. I think it'll be a blast!

I know EXACTLY what you mean. When I lived in China, I was the gigantic laowei. This was before the rise of internet shopping so I'd go to Hong Kong to try to stock up on things. It was even hard to get shoes!
West said…
I'd never heard of vanity sizing. That's something.

I've had somewhat similar experiences with men's jeans. Maybe it's worse with women's clothes in-general, though.
Liz Dwyer said…
Vanity sizing's MUCH worse with women's clothing. With jeans, I could see how it can be hard for men because of all the different cuts they have now. Seriously, it drives me crazy!
Lydia said…
I agree Liz! I definitely need some Xanax when I finish(rstart) shopping. I hate it just on GP. However, the time commitment, plus the humiliation factor is just too much for me!

In addition, how dare someone decide for me that I can't "deal" with my real size. I ain't shamed! I have given birth to 4 children and therefore I am not trippin' that I wear a size 12! JUST GIVE ME A SIZE 12!!

Joy LOOOOVES shopping! I haaaate shopping! So we usually do some type of tag team thing! But we are both close to Fox Hills so we could work it out!!

Hey, that's a job for some wonderful woman who loves to shop, and understands our frustrations, right?!

This is Friday so I hope you have solved your problem by now!
Liz Dwyer said…
I was talking to my sister the other day about how we're totally brainwashed into believing that we're supposed to look like eighteen year-olds forever and ever. We don't want to grow up, get older, none of that. And Hollywood doesn't help. Those women would have us believing they are size 2 and 4 just by doing yoga! Hello! Trainer, chef, plastic surgery!

And why does Joy love shopping so much? She must have the patience of a saint!

I didn't get out there last night because my husband came home really late, and then today, I saw the rain and said no way! So this morning, I decided I might just wear one of the dresses I already have...a cute red one. But, I'm going to put some black tights on underneath and patent leather heels to change it up.
Anonymous said…
It's the thrill of the hunt. I love a good deal, a great dress, jeans that fit just right,the perfect pair of boots, and the solitude that goes with looking for all of that. I found my wedding dress all by myself. I snuck off without a best friend, mother or sister to give their opinion. Certain folks were PISSED (my mom). But I think I was a beautiful bride... :)
Liz Dwyer said…
I can see that. When I'm just checking stuff out and not looking for something particular, I'm much more relaxed. But when I'm on the hunt for one perfect thing, I'm more stressed.

That's really cool that you went shopping for your wedding dress by yourself. It shows you really know and trust yourself. That's a wonderful thing.

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