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I Need A Fashion Consultant

The dressing rooms at The Foundry. It's like stepping into a beer barrel. Very manly.

This weekend, my husband and I set out to do a small bit of shopping. He wanted a new bathing suit, and I wanted a pair of jeans. We stopped off at Old Navy to score the jeans because I had a coupon. I stood in the middle of the store, irritated because I couldn’t find the thing I was looking for, and had convinced myself that even if I found it, I’d look horrible in it. In short, I was cranky. I was about to leave when a happy saleslady named Kim bounded up to me.

I liked her immediately because, well, let’s just say we have a similar shape. Sometimes it’s hard to make a tiny waisted 18 year old understand that a Fluffy Girl can’t wear those skinny jeans in quite the same way. From what I could tell, Kim completely understood my situation.

She smiled and said “You should be having more fun. Shopping is fun! Have you tried this?” She pulled a shirt off the wall that I hadn’t noticed before but was suddenly in love with. I told her I didn’t have anything to wear with it.

“Nonsense.” She pointed to three pairs of pants which would match perfectly with it. I swear they weren’t there before. Then she asked if I had a plain black shirt at home. No. White? Heck no, white attracts stains.

“Do you have any basics at all?”

I shook my head, defeated. I explained that my wardrobe consists of t-shirts with sparkly bling on them, and jeans with embroidery or other embellishment.

“So we’re starting from scratch. That’s ok.”

She took my lack of fashion sense as a direct challenge, and started scooping up layering T’s and tank tops and over-shirts. By the time we got to the dressing room we had filled both our arms with items for me to try on.

I lost my husband somewhere along the way. I wondered briefly if I should call him, but then forgot about it as I put on the first shirt. It looked…horrible. I came out of the dressing room, and Kim shook her head.

“Dear, you have it on backward.”

I shouldn’t be allowed to dress myself, obviously. I scuffled back into the dressing room to turn the shirt around.

Did I mention that I only went in there for a pair of jeans?

“Your husband said to tell you he went over to Barnes and Noble,” Kim called over the door.

He must have known there was no getting me out of the dressing room with Kim standing guard. I tried on shirt after shirt until she was satisfied we’d found the right style. Every time I came out, I put my hands on my stomach to hold it in.

“Stop doing that.” She swatted my hands away. “And stop wearing clothes that are too big, they only make you look bigger.”

I’ve been wearing a size too big on just about everything for the last decade. She was right, with the right size on, everything did look better and I didn’t look as enormous as I now felt. Something about trying on clothes makes me feel like I’ve gained 50 pounds in under 5 minutes (which might explain why I buy clothes too big). The longer I’m in there, the more weight I gain. I’m convinced stores would sell more clothes if they put in a fun house mirror that makes you look tall and skinny. If it made comments along the way like “You look amazing!” and “Gorgeous, I wouldn’t change a thing.” I’d probably buy more.

Whatever they pay Kim, it’s not enough. By the time I left the store, my wallet was lighter but so was my mood, and my arms were heavy with retail therapy.

I’m now the proud owner of bright green capri pants. How can anyone be unhappy wearing a color like that?


17 comments on… “I Need A Fashion Consultant”

  1. Awesome story Melinda! I hate shopping. Sounds like a total score there though. Yay! I agree with Kim – basics. They are the best. When are you going to share pictures? 😉

    • LOL well, I need to buy a tripod so I can take my own photo! Or talk my husband into it. I hate photos of myself, so…yeah. Maybe someday 😉

  2. Great story. I hate shopping. Do you have any idea how hard it is for a 6’2″ woman to find jeans that fit? I usually wind up buying men’s jeans that are 2 sizes too big and half an inch too short.

    • It’s probably just as hard as it is for a 5’2″ fluffy girl lol. My jeans are usually 5 inches too long, because you can’t be “petite” and fluffy at the same time. At least, the designers don’t seem to think so. I usually beg my mother to hem them for me. But come to think of it, they don’t really have a “tall” store for women, do they? They do for men, but not women. I will say, though, that Old Navy jeans fit me the best which is surprising to me.

  3. Melinda,

    This is beautifully written, haha. And I don’t think it matters what size you are, trying on new clothes will bring out insecurities in everyone.

    I hope the next time I’m wandering around a story, I’ll find my own Kim. Maybe then my wardrobe would expand beyond grays and blacks. 😉


    • It makes all the difference in the world, doesn’t it? I’ll say it again, most stores completely underestimate the power of excellent customer service. She wasn’t pushy, she was happy and helpful in just the right way. As my husband said, she was too good hehe.

  4. I love this post! I totally know where you’re coming from. I could be in the best mood, go into a store and start trying on clothes, and come out miserable and depressed. I’ve always envied the people who went on shows like What Not To Wear. Heck, I’ve even thought about signing myself up, but they won’t let me! Where is this Kim? I’d like to borrow her. 😛

    • Yep, usually that’s me! I usually leave really depressed or pissed off. If anyone could hear the horrible things I say to myself in the dressing room I’d probably be locked up for abuse. I’d LOVE to be on What Not To Wear! I know, I’ll nominate you and you nominate me! hehe

    • I’m excited a guy read the whole post! :-). I put the very manly dressing room photo just to lure you in hehe.

  5. I hate shopping! I love looking at catalogs though 🙂 I also think there is some automatic bloating mechanism inside those dressing rooms–I usually end up feeling bad about myself after trying on clothes in there. Sometimes I buy a bunch of clothes, try them on at home and then return the ones that don’t work. It requires more time, but less feeling bad!

    • You know, that’s not a bad idea! I might try that next time. A friend of mine has another trick. She turns her back on the mirror while she’s changing clothes, and only turns around when she has the new stuff on and situated. That way she doesn’t see the in-between and fret over her body or whatever else. I tried it, and it does help. A little. Still say the mirror needs to talk nice to us the entire time. 😀

    • Ah, you have nailed my sentiments exactly. I hate shopping and they do have those funny mirrors that expand the weight-look of us fluffy girls. I am sure of it.
      Hey, maybe I could find some bright green capri pants…or maybe some peacock blue, or poppy pink…
      You have given me hope. Maybe I’ll try shopping again.

  6. Wonderful post! I was so there with you every step of the way while reading. That’s exactly how I feel when trying to shop, I hate it. Really really hate it. LOL I need someone like Kim next time I make the effort. 🙂

    • I’d like it just fine if I had someone else’s body ;-). Or heck, even my 18 year old body back. Although I didn’t appreciate it at the time, I sure would now!

  7. Honestly now, how does one go about finding a “Kim”? I need her. I don’t know how to find shirts to fit my short-waisted self or pants that flatter. Help!

  8. I am so encouraged by these comments. I always feel abnormal, being a woman who doesn’t like to shop for clothes. I have lost 60 lbs. and love buying a smaller size but still have the same challenge of putting an outfit together. I buy stuff I like the look of but when I get it home I think “What was I thinking? Will I ever wear this?” I, too, need a Kim.

It gets lonely out here in the big wide webs. Talk to me!