Fashion Friday: Fit is Everything

I had the most frustrating shopping experience today, and since I don’t have an unspoken thought, I’m going to tell you all about it.

Ever since I saw the sheath dresses at Ann Taylor, I wanted to get down there and try some on.  Of course the 25% off sale is over.  Phbbbt.  But I went down there this morning anyway.

A few salesladies offered their assistance as I wandered through the store, gathering dresses, but one took it upon herself to be my personal shopper.  Now allow me to give you some background.  I used to wear a lot of dresses, but in recent years (read: after three kids took their toll on my once-girlish figure) I have had a much harder time finding anything that works.  The sheath still seems to be the most flattering cut for me, but it must have a lot of structure, and no stretch fabrics.  ** shudder**

And apparently I am between sizes at the moment so that’s always fun.  I have several dresses in my closet that are snug, and I don’t wear them because I feel uncomfortable in them.  The point of this shopping trip was to find something that fits and makes me feel confident so I went up a size.

Soon after I began trying on dresses, my personal shopper found me and started barking at me.  “That’s way too big!  That looks like a potato sack.  That is not your size.  That just hangs on you.  I’m going to get you the right size.”

She returned with a few of the same dresses in a size and two sizes smaller.

Now, perhaps I’m delusional, but I consider myself a fairly good judge of what fits my body.  When a dress is tight across the chest and bubbles across my backside, IT IS TOO SMALL.

This charade went on for about an hour — me trying on my size, her telling me they looked baggy and bringing me the next size down, me trying on the next size down and sucking in my tummy area and tugging at the chest and hip area and declaring the dress too small.

“Nonsense!” she would exclaim.  “You’ve got to have some shape.”

Well yeah, but when the material doesn’t even hang straight over my back end, IT IS TOO SMALL.

I seriously must have tried on 25 dresses.

Finally she left me alone and I snuck out into the main dressing area and asked the woman trying on clothes in the stall next to me if the dress I was considering was, in fact, too big.  Of course I was totally expecting her to confirm that I was right and the bossy saleslady was out of her ever-loving mind.

My new friend looked at the dress for a minute and then concurred.


So.  Back into the dressing room I went, trying on the dress in one size and the other until I finally made up my mind.  I snuck out with both sizes, just in case I ran into the dress nazi.  Seeing that the the coast was clear, I skittered up to the cash register and said furtively, “I’m taking this one,” as I handed them over.  She rang up the larger of the two sizes and put the smaller one on the rack behind her for restocking, and I managed to escape without further harassment.

I still have this nagging feeling that I chose the wrong size, but I felt so comfortable in the larger dress.  I want a dress I can eat in, for crying in a bucket.

No, before you ask, I don’t have photos, but it’s probably hard to tell the fit of a dress in a photo, anyway.

I do have this I grabbed off the website:


No, that is not me (ha!)  And it is NO WHERE NEAR that short on me.  It comes to just above my knee.  And I plan to have that bow/sash thing taken off.  So in a way, that picture barely even resembles the dress I bought and plan to wear.

I wish I could tell you my day got better, but after I finished dress shopping, I went bathing suit shopping.  And that, my friends, is where this story ends because even I don’t expect you to live that nightmare with me.  Some things are better kept to oneself.  I guess I do have some unspoken thoughts after all.

Now, if you want a REAL Fashion Friday post, you can head on over to Big Mama‘s where I’m sure she is hard at work selecting some adorable items for your viewing pleasure.

UPDATE:  The verdict is in.  I just tried the dress on for my mom, and she said she would not wear it any smaller.  So there.  Hmph.

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25 Responses

  1. Bathing suit shopping = Nightmare. OH. YES.

    I haven’t bought a new suit in 3 years now, because the pain of wearing a dilapidated, stretched-out, out-of-date suit is SO much better than hunting for a new one. I only swim in my backyard anyway. Who cares what the squirrels think of me in a suit?

  2. Oh, and I so agree with the wearing-a-comfortable-size dress. If I wanted to wear something that fit so snugly that it curved around my behind, I’d just walk around in my skin.

  3. Who wants to wear something where they HAVE to suck it in every moment? No, no, comfortable is WAY better and besides, if you’re comfortable you’re most likely confident as well and THAT is wear you’ll really rock the dress! So glad you found something – looks like a great pick! I was in Ann Taylor Loft last week after seeing an email that morning about 25% off everything. I had my 2 & 4 yr. old and it was the end of day…talk about nightmare! The sales women were AMAZING! They brought coloring paper and crayons for the kids, then a couple of books and etch-a-sketch. I tried on all sorts of dresses, shirts and jeans and finally decided on a shirt, dress and a pair of jeans – thankful I’d be able to get the extra 25% off. Wouldn’t you know – when I went up to pay they had no knowledge of any 25% deal going on, the manager checked her email and didn’t know what I was talking about. I was so disappointed when I realized it must have been the real Ann Taylor that sent me the email and NOT the Loft. 🙁 Sorry for the long email!

  4. Okay, here’s the thing. If it’s too tight then it’s too tight and if you have to suck it in and don’t feel comfortable then you’re wasting your money. If the other size feels more comfortable then that’s the one you buy. If it turns out to be slightly too big you can always have it tailored to fit better, but you can’t have a too small dress tailored to add material.

    Bathing suit shopping. I am dreading our trip to Disney next week because I look horrifying in a bathing suit and I don’t have one that looks good and I haven’t even looked for a new one. Same with shorts, I refuse to wear them. Guess I’m going to be sweating in 90 degree heat wearing my jeans because so far I haven’t been able to find light weight full length pants that fit me properly.

    Getting old and fat really stinks. (Not that you’re either – I was talking about me. LOL)

  5. I do understand their point about needing some shape, but this is probably also coming from people who practically wear skin tight clothing that leaves NOTHING to the imagination. You know, the kind of clothes where you can see their inner organs. I do NOT know how some girls can be comfortable, in every form of the word, letting the world know every nook and cranny of their bodies. Or else the kinds of people who totally will accept form over function and will suffer all day long just in the name of fashion.

    I truly think you made the right choice by going up a size. I can just tell. I seriously doubt you look like you are wearing a mu-mu or something. You gotta be comfortable, in more ways than one.

  6. I definitely would have gone with the more comfortable fit. I think too many people wear clothes too tight these days. If it’s a bit loose, you can always get it altered to fit better. I just found a dress at Goodwill for $2.50 that fits great, but gaps under the arms. It’s a Chadwicks. I’m taking it to be altered so that it fits ME.

    On the bathing suits, I feel the pain! I really need to get one since I think we may be going to the pool this summer. Some article I read somewhere, maybe All You, showed a cute bathing suit from Old Navy for about $30 that looked like it would work for my body type. I’m just not looking forward to trying it on. 🙂

  7. If your mom says it fits then it does! I think some of the sales ladies are used to women who are flattered by the “you need a smaller size approach.” I don’t even go bathing suit shopping anymore. I order fiftymillion suits from Lands End and Athleta, try them on at home and then send back the ones that don’t work. All of the traditional stores/department stores around here just don’t have good suits that wear well on a 40 year old body i.e. with underwire!

  8. “I want a dress I can eat in…”

    I choked on my coffee after I read that! I totally agree! I’m between sizes right now, too. Dresses haven’t been a problem, but I’ve been on a desperate search for shorts.

  9. Wow- that’s pretty crazy that the saleswoman AND the other woman in the changing room thought you should get the smaller size! There is nothing WORSE than a dress that is too tight where you definitely don’t want it to be tight. UGH. The dress is absolutely lovely, btw. 🙂

  10. I’m glad you got the one you feel comfy in and I bet it looks great! I tried on some dresses at a, ahem, discount store, last night and left feeling utterly defeated, so I understand your plight.

  11. I think that dress is really pretty! I like the little sash/tie thingy though. It helps define a waist, but that’s just me. I like my clothes to be comfy too. I am NEVER comfortable in something snug. I rather look slightly bag-lady and be comfy than look slightly red-carpet and be afraid to breath.

  12. I like the dress you chose. I think you were right to size up, gives you room to have a few alterations done to get the perfect fit for your body. To small and not hanging right is such a distraction, don’t you think? And yes… breathing MATTERS… gotta have room for a snack.

  13. Thanks for the laugh to start off the day, Jo-Lynne!
    We can obviously all relate.
    You sure left me wishing to see photos, though!

  14. I have the exact same problem when I shop for clothes right now – it’s hard to find something that fits perfectly when you’re between sizes. I just don’t buy anything LOL

  15. I’m thinking you’re both probably right…you want something more comfortable but my guess is you look better in something tighter…I’m willing to bet. Doesn’t mean you should buy the smaller size, comfort is important and while dresses may look great nice and snug when you’re standing up, sitting down and moving around in them is a whole ‘nother matter!

    So I had no idea (or I totally forgot) that Fashion Friday was a regular thing for you, but I think I’ve decided to make it a regular thing for me too. I’m becoming addicted to making fashion haul (shopping) videos!

  16. Moms are awesome. You know what you would wear.

    And I have huge issues with salespeople like that! Just a few weeks ago, I was trapped in a White House, Black Market dressing room for 30 minutes because of a saleswoman!!

  17. It’s funny how having three kids can totally wreck dress and bathing suit shopping. Why can’t we have our pre-baby bodies AND our babies? It’s not right. And I agree with you – I’d rather it be a bit big than not be able to breathe after eating a rice cake. (Do people still eat rice cakes?!)

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