Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Surviving some shopping

A few weeks ago I talked about how I was dreading shopping. I still am, but I truly want to try to get some of it done and not procrastinate like I usually do. I think that would just leave me more anxious and frazzled to find khaki pants that I liked and fit.

After taking advice from those who commented on the post above, the weekend before last, I decided to shop a little--mostly just browsing stores. For some reason, I had thought there was an Ann Taylor store in the mall, but it was a Ying's Loft. I stupidly curiously thought it might be similar to Ann Taylor Loft, but I was wrong. I walked through quite a few stores but didn't find anything that would remotely work except for a nice pair of Gap khaki pants that ironically I found at a thrift store for $2.25. That was a serious score!

So I was a bit bummed and had not planned on going shopping this past weekend due to feeling bloated, gross, and fat. I don't know what overcame me, but I wound up shopping anyway. I think my logic was that I had time on Sunday to go, so I thought I'd browse a few stores. I went to a different center this time and went into an Eddie Bauer, Banana Republic, and an Ann Taylor Loft. I figured I was bound to find something, or at least I prayed I'd find something that would look okay and hide all my appropriate body conscious areas.

All the stores in general, the pants were way too long. The Ann Taylor store was the only one that had a petite section, but the people there were the least friendly and helpful. I did manage to find one pair of khaki in a petite size, but even that was too long. I went ahead and got them, figuring I can fold the cuff underneath.

Eddie Bauer had a pair of khaki I liked, but did not fit well in the hip area. Overall, they had the most clothes that I wanted to try on (Banana Republic was a close second) but none fit exactly. It was interesting how even if I got the same size, the fit would be entirely different depending on the style. This made sense to me but not the actual size. Like I could get size X in one pant and that would fit. But in a different one, the same size X would be too small or I'd be swimming in them. The girl who was helping me was very nice and explained the different pant styles to me. Unfortunately, since everything was like a foot long, and there were not petites there, the only thing she could offer was to help me with a catalogue order which does run petite sizes. I decided to wait and see the other stores since that was my first store.

At Banana Republic, there was surprisingly a good selection of pants--yes a tad on the expensive side but I tried not to look at that number too closely. Since I hadn't tried on pants in any of these stores, I guessed on my size which wasn't too far off the mark from what I thought. I tried on a number of pants at B.R. and found two pairs I liked--one was a khaki pair, and the other was a nice, black pair. The person helping me was a guy (pretty sure he was gay--was the mustard yellow V-neck sweater and high pitch voice a give away?) who was very nice. After trying on the items, I told him I liked them, but they were all incredibly long. He said B.R. gets that a lot, so it's one reason why they send out their garments for alterations.

I decided to go ahead and get the khaki and black pants and get them altered. I had to put them back on, so he could pin them for me. That was kind of a weird feeling for me, not exactly sure why. Maybe it felt different that it was someone else pinning me other than my mom? Plus, I was on a pedestal too. I had to restrain myself from asking him how he thought I looked, just you know for a second opinion.

At check out, I got talked into getting a B.R. card, so I saved an additional 15% today, along with 30% off on the khaki pants. The black pants weren't on sale though. It was pricier than I thought, but I'm reminding myself that they are good quality, look nice, and will last awhile. The only thing I worry about is that the khaki pants might be too nice. After all, I am still working with dogs.

Overall, the shopping experience wasn't too bad. The anxiety didn't completely consume me, but I did find myself taking a huge breath and closing my eyes before I tried on each pair of pants. Then, I had difficulty scrutinizing if the pants really looked okay or it was just my imagination; hence, why I thought about asking the guy at B.R. for a second opinion. I guess the positive, take away message was that I didn't have a meltdown like I thought I might have, that I managed to get through it. Afterwards, I have to say, I was wiped out, completely exhausted. That just took a lot more mental energy than I anticipated!

One thing I still realize is that my body distortion, though a little better from past years, is still way off from how others perceive me. I continued to get one remark on my body size over and over, and I have a hard time believing it. :sigh: I just don't see it.

In total, I have found three pair of khaki pants, plus one pair I already had. I'm debating if this is enough or if I still need to continue shopping? I have to wear khaki pants 6 days/week for over 12 hours/day.

Note--*I'd have more photos, but for some reason, I could not find the khaki pants styles I bought on the B.R. and Ann Taylor websites. The photo above is the black pair from Banana Republic but the khaki look similar.

*I am still not a fan of dressing room mirrors, but the ones at Eddie Bauer's and Banana Republic's did seem better than most stores.

*I had one funny moment while trying on pants. I accidentally got a pair of khaki pants that was apparently for "skinny legs." I did not realize this until putting it on. I kind of chuckled, asking "how in the world do they think a leg can fit through that when it's the size of an arm? This was a lot better than berating myself on why my [insert obscenity, denigrating body thought] leg could not fit through it.


Sarah said...

Okay, first of all, I'm so glad that you found some!! I think that's a VERY positive shopping experience if you found three pairs of pants--sometimes I have to go shopping 4-5 times to find a pair I like! And I bet they looked good. Gay guys working at Banana Republic rarely steer you wrong.

In terms of how many pairs to get--I would get one pair for every day of the week. You are working with dogs and will need to frequently wash your pants, but you probably don't want to use the dryer for your nicer khaki pants from BR and Ann Taylor (both so your garments won't shrink and so they won't get as much wear/tear.) I usually air dry mine over my shower rod or on a drying rack. Hope this helps.

Lisa and Jim said...

I'd get more, too. I'm struggling by on 3 pairs of work pants and sometimes I just give up and wear jeans. I'm just lucky that we don't pay for utilities.

Cammy said...

I know this is a HUGE challenge, and it's great that you tackled it and were even able to find humor at times. I think looking for "just the right thing" can be hard even for people without EDs, but having body issues makes it ten times worse. It's great that you found some things, maybe now that you have an idea of what sizes you wear from those stores, you could check out their websites to see if there are more options that weren't on display when you visited?

Tiptoe said...

Thanks for all the support!

Sarah, I agree about the drying. I normally try to do that with my jeans. I put mine on hangers where the waist is buttoned and over the largest part of the hanger.

Lisa, I can only imagine with kids that you would need more too. I was thinking of you when I heard a segment on NPR on the book Teaching like a Champion. (I think that's the title)

Cammy, I'll definitely look over the websites again. It's truly hard to find petite sections. I heard Ann Taylor is expanding their petite line. As for humor, I agree. You have to be able to laugh at yourself or the situation a little.

Kristina said...

Congrats on dealing with the shopping experience! I must admit that I have accepted the fact that I need to get certain (most) pants tailored. No ifs about it. Also, if I know that I will be wearing pants (or anything, for that matter) for years to come, I don't feel the dreaded guilt for spending more than maybe I wanted to spend.
I understand that you aren't a shopping fan, but I also hope that you go out and find something that is just fabulous at some point!

Anonymous said...

It is my firm belief that dressing room mirrors make everyone look bad on purpose!