April 12, 2006

I haven’t been shopping for clothes in ages, mostly because 1) we don’t have a shitload of extra cash right now, and 2) the ambitious gym routine I had planned to embrace wholeheartedly in an attempt to jettison the post-post-post-POST-partum flab has not panned out very well, in that I have gone exactly zero times, and so I hate the idea of buying outfits for this “temporary” body when ANY MINUTE NOW I’m going to stop eating toffee-flavored Klondike bars after 9 PM and will magically fit into a size 8 again.

You know. Any. Minute. Now.

I don’t aspire to much fashion-wise, really–the best I can hope for is some crossover between “cute” and “comfortable”. The notion of fitted clothing has become completely foreign to me, along with shoes with heels and mascara. If I’m not at home having Gerber Stage 2 banana smeared into my hair, I’m bolting out the door to my uber-casual job; why not live in the same frayed pair of Levi’s day in and day out?

“Because it’s unattractive?” Oh, be quiet.

When I was driven from my home last Friday due to Contractor-Itis (symptoms include an increasing desire to throttle the next person who walks through your living room shouting into a walkie-talkie), I took Riley to daycare and, with several hours to kill and no particular plan for doing so, I went to Target.

Color me tacky, I know, but I love everything about Target, even their craptastic el cheapo plastic shoes that rip your feet apart. I love their junky purses and giant makeup aisles and their baby outfits and their housewares and their diabolically clever advertising. And they sell clothing, too; mass-produced items made from shoddy materials at rock-bottom prices. Hooray! If quantity over quality is your fashion mantra (then embrace me, O Sister), Target even beats Old Navy.

So I spent an entire afternoon tooling around in Target’s women’s section, trying on various things. And if we are to assume that the styles being hawked in America’s discount retail department stores are representative of actual clothing trends some number of months ago, then my heartfelt prayer is that everyone is OVER both the skinny jeans and the gaucho pants. Because oh my GOD.

I left the gaucho pants alone, being pretty much convinced that strapping a large cotton tarp to the tops of my thighs would do nothing to conceal the effects of those ice cream bars (“What would you do for a Klondike bar?” – gain twelve pounds, apparently), but I couldn’t help it, I tried on a pair of the skinny jeans.

Hey, you know who looks good in skinny jeans? Heroin-addicted English punk rockers circa 1979, that’s who. And no one else.

That is the story I’m telling myself, anyway, to help ease the mental anguish caused by seeing myself in the fluorescent-lit Target dressing room mirror, wearing a pair of size 10 skinny jeans. From the knees down, it looked as though I were balanced on two toothpicks, and from the knees up, it appeared that I had morphed into a giant fleshy pear. The only reason the heart palpitations brought on from this arresting vision did not kill me outright was the desperate fear that I would in fact be caught dead in an outfit I wouldn’t be caught dead in.

I did find a cute hoodie along with a shirt filched from the Junior’s section (size XXXXXXXL), but man, I’m still reeling. I can only hope that the next time I buy clothes–say, fall of 2007–someone will once again be manufacturing decent pants with legs that neither end at the knee nor taper to an ankle-crushing point, a waistline that doesn’t sit half a fucking inch above the hipbone, and with undamaged fabric rather than artfully created vertical goddamn RIPS.

Whew. Excuse me, I need to find my moment of zen.


Ahh, much better. Babies are far more fun to shop for, anyway. You can come home with an armful of clothes and it will all fit, it was all cheap, and the recipient is guaranteed to look fabulous.


29 Responses to “P.O.U.S’s (Pants of Unusual Sizes)”

  1. Susie on April 12th, 2006 3:25 pm

    Ha! I know! Shopping for yourself (when you can get over the guilt of spending *something* on yourself, dammit!) is wrought with post-baby body issues and bad-lighting. Not to mention those carnival style mirrors that make you look “lithe” in that crappy, surburban dressing room — but when you get the pants home, suddenly you are three inches shorter, and at least two sizes bigger.


    But shopping for baby?

    Hell, that’s a no-brainer… And you’re right. Recipient always looks adorable in the latest purchase. And will gladly thank you for spending your hard-earned moolah on said outift by having an explosive poop in it! LOL


    PS. If I am the first to comment, I will be so impressed with myself. HAZZAH!!!

  2. Rayne on April 12th, 2006 4:16 pm

    Clothing shopping in your 30’s it tough – we are no longer young, hip and skinny nor are we of the polyester era – what is a girl to do!?

  3. vedjen on April 12th, 2006 4:42 pm

    Don’t forget to add cargo pants with 2,174 pockets to hold your spare change, 7 handheld devices, a pink toy poodle, and an accompanying bulge for each, to the list of obscene lower-half wear.

  4. Philos on April 12th, 2006 6:12 pm

    “shoes with heels and mascara”? Why do your shoes have mascara?

    (Sorry, couldn’t resist.)

  5. Ida on April 12th, 2006 6:54 pm

    Isn’t that the truth!!! I hate shopping for myself because everything makes me look enormous and everything I buy for my son not only fits perfect, but looks great too. Ahh, if we could only be as adorable as our offspring.

  6. crystal on April 12th, 2006 8:21 pm


    ahem.. yes.

  7. Anne A. on April 12th, 2006 8:31 pm

    Oh, Target. I was there for a little retail therapy this weekend. Looking for cute pants. Came out with 6 skirts, 2 tops (also from the junior’s section), a purse and eleventy billion pairs of cheap but very cute earrings. Ahh… all better!

  8. Liz on April 12th, 2006 8:42 pm

    My daughter is 6 weeks younger than Riley so I still have the flabby, stretched-out belly that doesn’t fit into many of my pre-pregnancy pants, even though I weigh 20 pounds less! And worse, I’m still breastfeeding so I have GIGANTIC BOOBS. That really cute size 10 dress fit great over my hips but I had to go up to a 14 if I actually wanted to zip it up over my chest. At that point I might as well just buy a muumuu.

  9. Chloe on April 12th, 2006 8:47 pm

    I do have one pair of the gaucho pants that I got about a year ago, I guess. This was before the whole “high-waisted pants are coming back” thing (and SERIOUSLY? WHOSE IDEA WAS THAT? I’d forgotten how uncomfortable they are. And so bad for the cute tooshie), and I hemmed them to, you know, a flattering length that doesn’t make me look like a hobbit with stumpy legs. That was a lucky find. Hold on– are you saying you DON’T LIKE low rise pants? I may have the heart palpitations now. Excuse me.


    But SKINNY PANTS? OH HELL NO! Even if you are skinny as hell, if you have any sort of hips or ass at all, they still look terrible.
    And ugly.
    And… I hate skinny pants.
    Also, leggings.
    Can you believe I’m a child of the eighties? Well, I do own several pairs of Roos.

  10. Tessa on April 12th, 2006 9:12 pm

    I tried on pants at Target a couple of weeks ago, and after deciding that the pants I was trying on weren’t so bad, I put on my shoes and walked out of the dressing room. Without my original pants, nor with any new pants on. Shirt, undies, socks, shoes.

    Then I went to the gas station and locked my keys in the car.


  11. Pete on April 12th, 2006 9:28 pm

    I was talking to my wife at home with the contractors working in bathroom and found out a phrase that is worse than “We have to talk”, it’s “Kim, quick, where is the gas shutoff valve”.

  12. Jem on April 12th, 2006 10:31 pm

    I loved the line about not being caught dead in clothes you wouldn’t be caught dead in.

    That first paragraph rang true with me…I was complaining to someone about a month ago that I had only 3 skirts to wear as all my other clothes didn’t fit as I’ve gained weight, and, haha, I am just waiting to lose the weight to wear them again. Gah.

  13. Donna on April 13th, 2006 3:17 am

    Tessa, wtf? Didn’t you feel a draft?
    I’m wearing the levi low rise stretchy jeans, I forget the number, but I love them. Very comfy…….! I too have the tummy, but mine was just from being fat. No baby.
    I hate those two way radio/phones, they make me nuts when people talk on them. Cell phones don’t bug me, but the chirpy tone noise when they release the transmit button? Makes me insane.
    Go into a home depot during the day during the week. It’s all them.
    I’ve been boycotting Target for a while now, so have the rest of my family, but I do like old navy usually.

  14. H.A. in VA on April 13th, 2006 4:29 am

    I’m former Navy (enlisted, female-type). One of the worst decisions the powers-that-be made was to make the female dress white uniform look exactly like the male. White polyester-blend bell-bottom pants and the pullover shirt with the flap hanging down the back. Generally looks decent on the guys, unless they’re a bit overweight. Very, very, VERY hard to find a female who looks good wearing it. Apparently, the oh-so-wise minds that came up with this stellar idea forgot that women have hips. And boobs. Ooopsie!

    As for jeans, I gave up on Levi’s a few years ago. I found Lee’s “Ultimate Riveted 5” jeans – mid-rise, straight leg. Actually look GOOD on me, without my having to go on a starvation diet or have the fat vac’d out of my thighs.

  15. warcrygirl on April 13th, 2006 5:38 am

    I feel your pain, Sundry. Add to that me being only 5′ 4″ and it goes to a whole new level of GAH.

  16. Jessie on April 13th, 2006 5:40 am

    I can totally relate. And those two trends? Are dreadful. Although it kind of pains me to say that because it was only a few years ago when I was incredibly hip and trendy, and now sweaters and khakis/jeans are everyday fashion for me. But, at least it’s cheaper this way.

  17. Kaire on April 13th, 2006 5:43 am

    Plus if something makes Riley’s thighs look fat, it’s ADORABLE! I often wish I could live my life wearing a onesie ….

  18. Emily on April 13th, 2006 6:32 am

    Hey, I found some great boot-cut jeans at Target fairly recently, so don’t giveup hope yet! BUT I haven’t been able to find any decent khakis without embroiderd flowers or crazy back-pocket bedazzlements. Apparently pants aren’t pants until some superfluous shiny/sparkly crap has been sewn onto them.

  19. Amy on April 13th, 2006 7:16 am

    Skinny jeans? You couldn’t pay me to wear those. Or gauchos. Ugh.

    Also, what’s up with the knee-length pants with knee-high stiletto boots I see everyone wearing? This makes no sense.

    With age comes the wisdom to not jump on every Trend Train that passes you by, and I for one am grateful for that! Yay 30s!

  20. bad penguin on April 13th, 2006 7:32 am

    Gaucho pants just look dumb. I can’t wait for that trend to pass. And I’ll never look good in skinny jeans either, so I don’t even bother to try them on. But Target is great for cheapo and cute purses and shoes.

  21. fellowmom on April 13th, 2006 8:36 am

    ha HA! You are hilarious. Really, you should write a book, Sundry. Also, Target rules.

  22. Haley on April 13th, 2006 8:41 am

    I have been known to cross international borders and pay duty and bridge tolls to shop at Target. Woe is Canada.
    Your boy is so sweet, keep the pictures coming. I think only a child as beautiful as he could make gaucho pants fabulous.

  23. Pagne on April 13th, 2006 8:49 am

    If it’s any consolation, the “trendy” clothes section sucks equally bad. You get to choose between “Whore” and “Ghetto” while paying a lot for it.

  24. KJ on April 13th, 2006 9:18 am

    longtime lurker with possibly unwelcome pants advice:
    Would you like to hear about THE BEST JEANS EVER? they’re from a rodeo-jeans company: cowboy jeans for girls/women really, but the lines are all super cute (and since I work for them I get to try ’em on all the time). They’re all shown on size nothing superskinnies natch’, but they fit the rest of us “cornfed”s too. Let me know if you are interested and I’ll give you the details without abusing your comments section for a free advertisement.
    Blah blah blah, love the blog and the snarkiness and the cerealbox-cute little dude.
    (ps. I promise I’m not psychotic or selling viagra)

  25. angela on April 13th, 2006 9:29 am

    i live in walmart levi’s. $20 a pop and they come in normal fits such as straight leg and boot cut and they’re not so low that they expose your crack.

  26. Sonia(DDM) on April 13th, 2006 11:47 am

    What a perfect moment to read this post. I am freshly home from Target. On the way there, I repeated this to myself….”I will NOT freak out about the size number on the tag and I WILL buy some pants that are not track pants!”

    When I got there, do you know what I found?

    An entire rack of cropped leggings. Cropped. Leggings. That is 365 kinds of wrong! Or the aforementioned gauchos, and skinny jeans. Oh. My. Gawd. I left with nothing resembling pants of any kind. But I did find a bikini on clearance, for you know, any minute now when I would actually wear one. It was $12, I had to.

    At this moment, I’m placating myself with a bag of Smartfood popcorn, and wearing my track pants, large smooshey hoodie sweatshirt and a baseball hat.

  27. Mona on April 13th, 2006 11:55 am

    Target is not tacky. Pronouncing it with a faux-French flair like, “Tar-zhay” is. I say this though I am guilty of it.

  28. karmajenn on April 13th, 2006 1:18 pm

    Hey, I have the same post post post post partum plan. Damn sour cream donuts. Target is like junk purseandshoe crack. I too contemplated the guachos. Took them home, even. Laughed my ass off when I actually put them on. For the short term, I’ll stick with cheap wide leg jeans from Kohl’s. Not quite as trashilicious as Target, but still cheap.

  29. Amy on April 13th, 2006 2:05 pm

    “The only reason the heart palpitations brought on from this arresting vision did not kill me outright was the desperate fear that I would in fact be caught dead in an outfit I wouldn’t be caught dead in.”>>

    That is sheer genius!

    I tried on some of those low-rise gaucho things and the resulting sight seared my retinas off.