Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Shopping for Clothes

There has been plenty of complaining in the past on this blog about trying to shop for clothes and getting nowhere, and today is/was no exception.

Designers are still putting out ruffles, wild patterns and colors, beads, lace, jewels, rhinestones, pearls, bangles, spangles and polkadots - often on the same garment. In addition, they are sleeveless, backless, strapless and/or nearly frontless.  (I made that up.) Women my age try to hide their myriad of imperfections, not make them available for all to see.  If the clothing has high necks and long sleeves, they aren't really practical in our warm summer climate. We need something in-between.

Skirts are really long this season, and I won't complain; however they are very full, ruffled, multi-tiered,  horizontally striped, lacy or gored. When you are hippy, or your belly protrudes, that's not what you need. 

When I found a pair of pants or a skirt I liked, it wasn't available in my size. If it was my size, it was made for someone not long out of their teen years, if that. If I - wonder of wonders - found a skirt or top that I liked and in my size, the only partner available for it was size 4 or 3x, and not age appropriate. Often the patterns in my size look too "old-womanish", which I attempt to avoid - even though I'm not trying to fool anyone. 

What's an old lady to do???

I have a penchant for natural fabrics (linen, cotton and silk) and there are too many blends on the market now. I hate polyester and acrylics.  I decided to go to a shop that features natural fibers, which I had not been in for several years, and I was shocked at the styles for women of more than average size, with price tags to match. who wants to pay $78+ for a simple all cotton t-shirt?  If I'm paying that much, it has to have a very good sense of style  and cut and it must be great quality. I don't want to see loose threads and misplaced stitches. 

After traipsing around the shops for hours today (and I wore the wrong pair of shoes for that), I came home with 2 pair of pants and 2 tops. None of them matched and none of them were what I was originally looking for:  something to wear to a college reunion and something to wear to a wedding this summer - and hoping that they would be one in the same. 

See those dresses above?  They are meant for someone young and someone who is adventuresome, neither of which I am any longer. Please, won't someone tell designers to start catering to the mothers and grandmothers of these girls???


22 comments:

LL Cool Joe said...

I often think that shops in the UK cater more for the mature woman than they do for the young. We have stores like Marks and Spencer, BHS etc. etc. My mother who is in her early 80's comes home with bags of quality clothing.

Shiny Rod said...

Sounds like you need a trip to North Myrtle...

Star said...

There is obviously a market for it. You would think someone would address it . I have been sticking with Land End & LL Bean. I got some clothes for th cruise, including a dress . I thought buying a drss online might be tricky, but it allworked out.

tiff said...

Try J Jill or Coldwater Creek, or Deva Clothing. I've had luck with all 3, though you do pay a price. However, the clothes last forever (just got rid of a Devawear shirt I'd had for over 10 years as it'd faded with so many washings) and are very well made.

And this from someone who HATES to shop for clothes.

Judy (kenju) said...

Coldwater Creek hasn't shown me much lately, Tiff. I need something dressier than J Jill has (unless I'm wrong). Shiny, I'm always up for a visit to N. Myrtle and Tanger!!

Fran aka Redondowriter said...

I do not enjoy shopping for clothes, but do have pretty good luck at Coldwater Creek, or I have in the past. I haven't seen much there I like recently either.

Mar said...

I have to complain about PJ's too...all I can find features Hell*kitty, Pe*anuts or Disn*ey...I can't wear that even if the only one who is going to see me is my husband!

Kay Dennison said...

I do resale shops, T.J. Maxx, Burlington, as well as other quality discount stores. I also shop on eBay a lot. These days I don't go out much -- but my little black dress collection serves me well when a dressy occasion arises.

OldOldLady Of The Hills said...

I get lots of Mail Order Catalogues..(Not sure why, since I never order anything), and I look at the cloths and think they all look terrible. I almost never see anything I would want to wear. To me, the current "styles", aren't!!! LOL....So I can really empathize with your dilemma Judy. One would think that some really smart deigners would start catering to those of us of a certain age....I think those cloths would do Very Very Well.

Gilly said...

If Lands End do the same over in the US as they do here in the UK - try them. Plain, I find, is always better than patterned, decorated or whatever. You can always add your own jewellery, scarves etc.

Yes, I find Marks and Spencer invaluable. But I wish they'd make their T-shirts that bit longer and the arms a bit longer, too!

Granny Annie said...

Easy peasie to find clothes when you live on a farm. Jeans, jeans, jeans, husband's shirts, ball caps, boots. One nicer outfit for church and one nice blouse to wear with jeans for the casino.

sage said...

I too like more natural fibers--cotton, silk Hawaiian shirts, and wool trousers... However, in the past decade or so I have become a fan of some synthetic fibers for the outdoors

Evil Twin's Wife said...

Clothes shopping can be a nightmare. Especially if you fall into the "tall" category (which you and I do). I wonder if designers know there are women over 5 foot 6 out here??

NellJean said...

Why have they stopped putting SLEEVES in dresses? I saw pictures of 3 different relatives from Easter. All had on those little bitty short sweaters over something obviously sleeveless.

About 25 years ago I stopped buying new clothing for about 2 years because what was available was so inappropriate -- at that Ime I looked like a little girl in her grandma's dress. Now I'm grandma in a little girl's dress. I'm in that non-buying mode again but I'm running out of anything to wear.

Pat said...

Believe me Judy - I share your pain and one of the reasons why I desperateluy try not to put on weight is so I can continue to wear the - mostly classic clothes I have.

robin andrea said...

I've been trying for YEARS to be buy a pair of jeans that is actually made from real denim. What's with all the stretchy fabric in women's jeans? You would think a designer would actually realize there is a huge market just waiting for REAL CLOTHES MADE FROM REAL FABRIC.

Anonymous said...

The last time I wore a skirt was for granddaughter's wedding in 2005. Since then, I've bought one black dress to wear to funerals; but, having attended 10-15 funerals without wearing it, gave it to charity.

As to slacks/pants, it's hard to find tall sizes. I'm not tall in the legs, but I need the extra length in the rise. Lands' End, it is.

Other than that, I go to thrift stores. Standard uniform is: black pants with v-neck, sleeveless tee (I probably own 15 or so) covered by a long-sleeved shirt or with 3/4-length-sleeved tee (usually) covered by a vest - no glitter, no beads, no ruffles.

I've often thought how nice it would be to have a shop that catered to us elder women!
Cop Car

rennratt said...

I rarely purchase clothes for similar reasons. My issues involve being short (5'4") and curvy. Everything on the market right now is capital "I" Inappropriate.

I am trying to find something decent to wear for my niece's wedding in June. Thankfully, my niece doesn't expect me to wear a dress.

Nancy said...

Judy,

You have spoken for all of us...

I dislike shopping very much and because we are going to Bermuda this Summer I have been looking for something to wear there.

No luck so far;mostly at the same shops you mentioned, and for the very same reasons.

I hope a buyer for some of these shops is reading your blog and will do better in their selections.

Linda King said...

I have worked in retail clothing for years. I love Alfred Dunner-Kohl's, Belk, Hamricks,and Belk has lots of pretty, more mature styles. This line of clothing is the more professional look and pretty casual. It is well made and lasts forever and stands the test of time. Check it out.

Grannymar said...

I too find I am walking out of shops these days. I like a classical look, but it seems to have gone out the window. Some of my clothes that people admire are 10-12 years old. I am ready for a change but dresses are out and I like fitted pants these days with a nice top and or jacket. Mix and match is my byword these days.

Ginnie said...

Amen...I just got an invite to my 62nd High School Reunion, and, altho I'm not going my first thought was "what would I wear?"
For me I find that simple is best and who cares anyway at my age??
You've always looked very stylish any time I've seen you !!