Clothes shopping with Amy: a primer

You can argue there are other train stations prettier than Grand Central, but I won’t believe you.

Well, I’m in New York City right now. My train arrived approximately half an hour ago. I am writing this days in advance, because I couldn’t leave you all without a post. What would happen? Likely the universe would implode. Oh, wait, what. It wouldn’t? Nevermind, then. *I* might implode. I don’t know what would happen if I didn’t post for a day. I might wither like a plant hidden in the dark and denied water, I don’t know.

You’ll get a total NYC recap later in the week, as soon as I sort through my millions of photos and tweets and memories and such. I want to do it up right. If you want to see what I’m doing, pop in and peek at my Twitter feed. The link’s on the right. Susie and I plan on tweeting up a storm today. Well, unless my phone battery dies. It’s pretty shitty. I bought a backup battery so I could switch them out halfway through the day, as I know I’ll need to do that, but I bet I still run out of battery life if I’m not careful. Silly battery-sucking phone.

Oh, before we get to the main event, let’s discuss this nonsense, since I’m in the city so nice they named it twice today. 

Mayor Bloomberg – kind of a dork, in my opinion, but whatever, I don’t hate him, he’s just kind of a dork – has decided the reason people are so fat is that they drink big sodas, so he’s proposed that restaurants, delis, and movie theaters (and I would assume food trucks and kiosks that have fountain drinks, if there are any) are banned from serving any full-calorie beverages in cups over 16 ounces in New York City.


Now, listen. I don’t drink soda. I can’t. My migraine medication interacts with it, strangely enough. Anything carbonated tastes bitter. Soda, seltzer, whatever. It all tastes bitter and makes you make a bad face and gag a little. So I can’t drink soda anymore. And even when I did drink soda, I didn’t drink regular soda, because my stupid pancreas stopped working so I’m not allowed. I was a little addicted to diet soda, though. Which would have been allowed under Bloomberg’s diabolical plan.

Isn’t he just kind of goofy? He looks like a cartoon rat or something.

I just find this all very confusing. Is someone going to police the self-serve soda fountain? Or are those going to be outlawed, too? What if you went back up to one 47 times, to make a point, and drank all the soda? Would you be arrested? Are they going to allow people who say, “diet soda please” to have a big cup, but then choke-hold them if they attempt to fill it up with regular soda? Will there be some sort of alarm on the fountain if someone tries to dispense more than 16 ounces at a time?

Also, and here’s my biggest issue. We’re grownups. We can choose what to eat and drink and what not to. If some adult, plus-sized or not, wants 72 ounces of Coke? Oh, for the love of Pete. Let them have it. Who the hell cares. Part of being an adult is being allowed to make our own choices, for good or for ill. SHOULD people be drinking that much soda? Well, no, probably not. But people shouldn’t be doing a lot of things. Right after Bloomberg proposed this, he went to the big National Doughnut Day giveaway in New York and gave a whole speech about how New York City LOVES DOUGHNUTS! And, EVERYONE EAT ALL THE DOUGHNUTS NOW! Come on, dude. Really? Doughnuts are ok, soda’s not? Doughnuts are actually worse, with the fat and the sugar. At least the soda doesn’t have the fat. My dad’s very up-in-arms daily about how THE MAN is watching us, and THE MAN is taking away our liberties, and THE MAN wants to implant chips in the back of all of our necks, and sometimes that’s annoyingly endearing, and sometimes it’s just annoying, but seriously, every time something happens where someone in charge treats those he or she is in charge of like babies, I have to wonder how much of the nonsense my dad spouts has basis in reality.

OK. Enough of that. Let’s talk about the point of the post. Almost 700 words later. Sorry.

Clothes shopping!

I went clothes shopping for New York City clothes today. Don’t even “pics or it didn’t happen” me, I hate that, plus you’ll see what I bought, I’m sure, because Susie and I will take copious photos today. But as I was shopping (which went surprisingly smoothly, for once), I thought about shopping. And life. As you do.

I hate clothes shopping. Well, I hate most shopping. Shopping for things I need sucks. Shopping for fun things, when I have the money for it – I like that. Book shopping. Ooh, nailpolish shopping. I like those things a lot. But clothes/food/toiletries shopping? Blergh, no thanks.

I can do serious wallet-damage at Sally Beauty Supply. Happily, too. Not a complaint in sight.

But clothing is my least-favorite thing to shop for. Mainly this is because I have the weirdest body in the history of the world. I blame this on genetics. Also cheese. And the hatred I have for physical activity.

I am top-and-middle-heavy and yet have no butt so pants fit oddly. I am all front and no back. I need voluminous tops so the girls don’t get squished but then the rest of me looks like I’m swimming in the top like it’s a circus tent. Different parts of my bottom half are completely different sizes. I AM A CIRCUS FREAK.

Luckily, I’m not alone in this. The top half of me looks like my mom’s side of the family; the bottom half, my dad’s. I’m not a total genetic aberration.

Anyway, I go to the store. And NOTHING EFFING FITS. So I get super-cranky super-fast. My mom hates shopping with me. HATES IT. Yet she’s always all, “let’s go shopping!” because she thinks it’s the most fun thing ever, I don’t know.

So, anyway. Tops. Let’s talk tops.

Google Images bought this up when I searched “plus-sized tops.” Um. Why do you assume I want to look like an extra on “True Blood?” An extra that would probably get killed in the first five minutes? No thanks. I’m not a goth teen. I AM A GROWN PROFESSIONAL WOMAN.

Dear plus-sized top manufacturers: here are things we don’t want in tops.

  • Elastic waistbands. This tends to make us look like we’re super-fat and pregnant. Or five years old and trying to be cutesy.
  • Cap sleeves. We have chubby upper arms, buckaroos. Cap sleeves just highlight that.
  • Turtlenecks on summer tops. WTF? It’s HOT out. Why would we want that? Also, turtlenecks make chubby girls look fatter. They highlight our double chins. Unless they’re a cowl neck, and again, WHY WOULD I WANT THAT IN THE SUMMER.
  • Button-downs that aren’t cut a little wider in the chest area, because, well, chest. With curves. If you don’t factor that in, I can’t button the buttons, dude.
  • Shirts with stupid sayings right across the boobs. Come on, really? I’m a grown-ass woman. I don’t need that nonsense. I like a motto tee as much as the next person, but I don’t need it to be garishly ridiculous.
  • Shirts that think “plus size” means “just make it mega-huge, that’ll do.” NO. You need to still make it FLATTERING. Ass. Aren’t plus-sizes outnumbering non-plus-sizes now? Sheesh, start marketing to us, already.
  • Also, this is a thing we WANT, not DON’T WANT. Fitted plus-sized ringer tees. I love them. I can never find them. The ones I have are falling apart from overuse, I love them so. Come on, really? This can’t be that difficult.

Now, pants.

From the same site that brought you chunky goth tops, we have these pants. Really? Zebra-print? That’s not flattering on SKINNY chicks. It’s sure as hell not going to look good on me.

Things we don’t want in pants:

  • Pants that make us look like we have a penis because they have, for some reason, a yard and a half of extra fabric in the crotch.
  • Pants that are so tight we have no circulation to our babymaker and/or a super-pretty cameltoe.
  • Pants that are either so long we have to get them hemmed or so short they might as well be culottes. Why can’t they just be normal lengths? Everyone else can just walk out of the store in their pants. I am 5’8″. This is neither super-tall for women, or super-short. I shouldn’t need to visit a tailor after I shop.
  • Pants that have a mile and a half of extra fabric in the ass. (This might just be me. Cause I have no ass. NONE. Sorry, people that are imagining me as baby-got-back. Baby got NO back. None. I go straight from head to heels. Not a curve in the back at all.)
  • Stupid shit like grommets and bedazzling and creative weathering and nonsense like that. NO NO NO. Just PANTS. I just want some damn SLACKS. Maybe with pockets. I’m a huge fan of khakis. I like to put things in my pockets.

So, anyway, today, after an hour of trying things on, I got two tops and a pair of khakis. A patterned teeshirt with swirly flowers and a pretty v-neck; a purple jewel-toned top with a v-neck and kind of a tie-thingy (and an elastic waistband, which seems to be THE IT THING, but it was somehow actually sort of flattering in this case) and a pair of chocolate-brown khaki-type pants that are very comfortable. A little too long, but that’s par for the course. Plus-sized clothing manufacturers assume that if you’re a fatty, you’re also 7 feet tall, apparently. Which is, of course, true. We’re all Sasquatches. Oh, also, I got all of those things for LESS THAN $30. Win! Total win. They were all buyout and all 20% off.

I also didn’t try to stab anyone at the store, although the other shoppers were annoying and driving me nuts, and the music was SO EFFING LOUD I couldn’t hear myself think. I was just so excited about getting clothes that would be worn in New York City I think I was a lot more forgiving.

Clothes shopping with me, if it ever happens for you, needs to go thusly: you leave me the hell alone. I’m going to get cranky. I’m going to cuss under my breath, get hot and tired, and probably need a beverage. Nothing’s going to fit. I’m going to fall in love with the most expensive things in the store. I’m going to get cranky at the other shoppers and the salespeople and the racks and the dressing rooms and probably the air. I HATE SHOPPING. Just smile and nod. I promise I’ll be ok once we leave the store. If you promise me we can buy nailpolish afterward I might be more tractable.

Anyway, so you probably don’t want to go shopping with me. It’s the worst. BUT, I was successful, and I will be cute as a button today. Well, no. I’m never cute as a button. I’ll be presentable, let’s put it that way. Totally presentable. And I’ll be wearing my best accessory: a HUGE SMILE. Because I’m seeing Susie! Hooray! NYC, I AM IN YOU!

Oh, let’s continue our Bloggiversary week!

Remember, you have until Friday at midnight EST to comment on this post (no, not THIS one, the one in the preceding link!) to be entered into the drawing!

Today’s post of popularity – number five, in case anyone’s counting – is one of my favorites. Not only because I like the topic and am proud of how it turned out and all the work that went into it, but because it led to a collaborative series of posts a week or two later that still remains one of my favorite things about the entire damn year.

Feline Fatal Attraction: Dumbcat is Trying to Kill Me With Brain Parasites

If you click on that, you have to read the comments. They’re the best part.

What did we learn about the popularity of this post? Lots of things. You love things that are awesome. You love Dumbcat. (And why wouldn’t you, he’s fantastic.) It’s worth my time to do an hour or two of research and highlighting and reading of scientific articles, sometimes, because look at the awesome post that resulted. That you love sciency stuff. That Andreas is the best Science Fellow and this blog wouldn’t be half of what it is without him. Lots of things. We learned lots of things with the continuing popularity of that post. Thank you for the continuing popularity of that post.

Happy Tuesday! Go check in on me on Twitter, what do you think I’m doing now, I wonder? Having an adventure? I BET I AM!

About lucysfootball

I'm not the girl with the most cake. Someday. SOMEDAY. View all posts by lucysfootball

37 responses to “Clothes shopping with Amy: a primer

  • becomingcliche

    Too late. Already did the “pics or it didn’t happen” thing. Because I want to share in your joy. Like, NOW!

    Proud of you for not stabbing anyone. Husband always has to remove sharp objects from my handbag before I go clothes shopping, so good on you for doing it on your own.


  • blogginglily

    Ooh! I haven’t seen an amy tweet all morning. This sounds made-up. Or maybe you had a train delay.


  • Cassie

    LOVE THIS FREAKING BLOG. Have the best time – I can’t wait to read all your highlights and play-by-plays!


  • sj

    I have put on weight since we moved to NC. Well, part of it is that I had a baby, but I’ve put on weight after having her and the reason is that I don’t walk as much as I used to. Why? BECAUSE IT’S AN EFFING FURNACE HERE! No, that’s a lie. A furnace probably wouldn’t be as humid as it is here. Even when it’s only 70, if the humidity is above 80% (which it ALWAYS IS) I’m sweating the second I leave my house. “But sweating is good!” people say. Yeah, not so much when you have the worst eczema ever and sweating means that you’re going to have a horrible breakout that lasts for months within 2 hours of sweating.

    So, the point is…I haven’t been walking as much and as such, I can’t find anything that fits me now. I’m 5’11” so it was hard finding clothes that fit me even before I put on the weight AND I HAVE NO BOOBS so plus size shirts that fit me make me look ridiculous because they assume that all big girls have giant boobs. No.

    So, I spend most of my time in maxi-dresses at home, and when I go out I have three shirts that actually fit me.

    I hate shopping.


    • sj

      And since I got all ranty, I forgot to say that I hope you and Susie have the best time ever with all the adventures.

      Love you guys, I’m so happy you get to hang out in NYC. <3


    • lahikmajoe

      There’s probably something snarky to say about this comment, but then I thought, ‘Wait, did Amy request that we all divulge our physical oddities?’

      (I’ve been so busy with the newspaper lark that I’m reading these blogposts more quickly than usual)

      Ok, here are my physical oddities: neither tall nor short. A bit round in the middle, but not fat. Men’s jeans neither accentuate nor cover our arses, so I don’t think I’ve had problems buying them. But those aren’t oddities.

      You want oddities, yes?

      I shaved my head when I was younger, and my head has a horrible, deformed shape. It’s good that the men on the paternal side of my family don’t go bald. I’d be sequestered with this pate.

      Also, my thumbs are both double jointed and I can bend them back to a 90 degree angle. Tricks with anatomy.

      I just went back and reread this, and now I realize no-one asked for me to list my physical oddities. Why did I just do that?


      • lucysfootball

        I read this while waiting for the train and laughed out loud. I’m pretty sure I’m on a terrorist watchlist now.

        You shaved your head? Why? You have such pretty hair!

        There’s no alternate universe where any part of you can be considered round.

        Also, when are you looking into this we’re-related thingy? Until I was about 7, I could also bend my thumbs back. Then I stopped being bendy, I guess.


      • sj

        I’m thinking these are the best comments ever on Amy’s blog. I have not stopped giggling since I clicked over.

        Thanks for sharing. I shaved my head once, and it wasn’t as bad as I’d always thought it would be.


    • lucysfootball

      I seriously thought everyone loved shopping and I was broken. You’ve all made me feel so much better!


      • sj

        I enjoyed shopping when I was younger and we’d pile into my friend Joe’s car to go thrift shopping in West Hollywood.

        I honestly can’t remember a time that I’ve enjoyed it since…and that was over 15 years ago.


  • Kris Rudin (@krisrudin)

    Oh, hail, yes, clothes shopping is teh suck! You think your body is oddly shaped? Try mine: I am 5’8″ tall and I have the legs of someone 6’2″, (that means a 34″ inseam, if you’re counting), the torso of someone 4’6″, no hips, no boobs, and a waist that is absolutely NOT Barbie’s – I mean, I’m practically the same measurements top, middle, and bottom!! This means (1) all the pants are too short, (2) if the waistband fits, the hips are like jodhpurs, (3) if the hips fit, I can’t button the waistband. I usually end up getting pants in the men’s section, because men’s pants are (sensibly) sized by waist AND length, unlike women’s. Why not try “tall women’s” you ask? Remember that torso? Yeah, tall women’s pants have a ‘rise’ so long that I either have the waistband right under my boobs, or the crotch hangs down to the middle of my thighs! And we still have the whole waistband/hips issue. *sigh*

    So, yes, I tend to get stabby when shopping, too. So I totally feel your pain! AND, I totally know how exciting it is to actually find something that fits! YAY! And on SALE!! SQUEEEEE!!

    Totally looking forward to the pics from NY, NY!!


  • Heather

    I hate shopping for clothes, too, for the exact opposite reason. I mainly have a problem with pants. Oh, and the awful colors that seem to be “in” right now. But back to pants–I am pretty skinny, but my childhood nickname was *cough Bubble Butt cough*. And I have long legs. SO. If they fight my waist, they’re crawling up my ass. If they fir my ass, they’re too big around the waist, and they do that weird thing in the back when I sit down. Even when I’m wearing a belt. No one wants to be able to see my crack when I sit down. Also, if they think plus-size folks are Sasquatches, they think skinny people are midgets. Ifyoure skinny, you’re also two feet tall. I guess. So I have to buy long-length jeans because even the regular length is slightly too short. And with a couple washings, they become flooders. I HATE SHOPPING FOR PANTS.


  • Jericha Senyak (@JerichaSenyak)

    The thing is, I am a totally weird size and shape (wide ribcage but no boobies, which means that any shirt that fits my ribs fails miserably in the fitting-in-front department, and I a very short torso that accounts for much of my being a tiny person because my legs are normally proportioned, which means that almost every shirt ever made makes me look like a potato) but I recently discovered that apparently everybody in the 50s was shaped like me, because nice soft blouses and floaty belted high-waisted skirts are PERFECT for those of us with absolutely no distance between our ribs and our hipbones. I can stop pretending I have a waist now, it’s great. Also, being a bellydance teacher helps, because EVERYone looks amazing in bellydance costumes, so you start to feel kinda magnanimous and benevolent about the time you have you spend wearing normal clothes, and then you start looking for shiny things and shiny things make everything less stabby.

    Also, once you’ve done bellydance for a while, you realize that EVERYONE WORTH BEING FRIENDS WITH hates the people who come up with what we’re supposed to wear, and most people worth knowing also hate shoppping, even if they love clothes (which are not, in fact, mutually exclusive things at all.)

    Have so much fun. I can’t wait for pictures.


    • lucysfootball

      You’re all going to be so disappointed. I took one photo. One! We were sooo busy!

      No one likes clothes shopping! I thought it was just me! I feel so much better now.


  • lahikmajoe

    I’m glad I’m not the only one to take this blog as an opportunity to share my physical weirdness.

    Oh, which makes me think we’re all pretty suggestible.

    Next, talk about the most disgusting thing you’ve ever eaten. Then we can see how freaky your readers are with their food adventure-some-ness. Oh, wait. You don’t eat weird food. I forgot. Never mind.


  • ProfMomEsq

    I hate – with a passion that burns with the fire of a thousand suns – shopping for pants. It’s not my butt, which is copious but manageable. (Pants-wise, kids. Let’s keep it PG-13.) It’s not my waist, which is actually narrow considering my total body weight. It’s my legs, which sport an inseam length found only in clothing in the children’s department.

    Well, what about “petite” sizes you ask? Reasonable enough, so let me tell you. PETITES ARE MOCKING ME! Oh, you thought ‘petite’ meant short? Ha, ha, ha, silly height-challenged woman with the hamhock thighs. We meant Audrey Hepburn. Now, move along.”

    So, my choices are these: pants that are so long I could actually make a pair of shorts out of the extra length or petite pants that I end in — what did you say? — “no circulation to the babymaker” because apparently my crotch should be higher than where it currently resides?

    But, shopping for almost anything else — well, that’s another story altogether. Especially if it involves fancy stuff I absolutely do not need more of, like earrings, or eyeshadow, or notebooks into which I fantasize about scrawling out my first great novel while chain smoking and double-fisting lattes outside an Italian cafe.

    Happy blogiversary. (That’s two.) Hope you are having/had ALL the fun in NYC.


    • lucysfootball

      I’m getting vicarious pleasure I’m not alone in my clothes-shopping hatred. Thank you all for that.

      And, thank you! NYC was great, I am sleepy, and can’t wait for bed in 3 hours. Zzzzzz…


  • elaine4queen

    when you come to what northerners refer to as “THAT london” you will like it if we clothes shop.

    my strategy is this. keep it surgical. know what you are going in for, grab the things you want to try on, try on, dump most of it, pay up, leave.



  • Cat Penfold

    I went shopping yesterday and posted to Facebook my status as, “It’s hard to shop at Lord and Taylor with my inner monologue.” This caused a friend to ask what that inner monologue was like. Helpfully, I wrote it down for them. Mind you, it went on for about a hour, so this is a truncated version.

    “Hooray! Sale racks! Perhaps I can actually score something nice and cheap, possibly with a name other than Target brand. Man, this shit is OLD LADY. Lilac! WTF??? Mother of the Stepford bride. Ugh, somewhere Siouxsie Sioux is crossing me off her Samhain list just for being here. Wait, I see black…aarrrrgggghhhh asymmetrical! NO ONE LOOKS GOOD WITH ONE ARM ON A DRESSS. Especially not plush ladies. Sale racks are where poor design decisions go to die. I’m buying zombie clothes. Brainnnnnnns, or should that be buttonnnnnnns? Too frilly. Too see-through. Too ugly. Eeeek! That’s fugly. Too transvestite-y. Too-tight sausage. Too purple. Two camel toes. Wait, I spy something at the end there. Back off, Long Island Lady, I’ll cut you if you touch that. Where’s my sharpened spork? I’m gonna go A-line on her if she touches that dress. That’s right, keep walking. Nothing to see here. Pounce! Right size. Not too hideous a pattern. Bra-strap-and-bossom-covering. Not a formless sack with armholes. Reduced from $144 to $45. Mine mine mine mine mine mine mine mine mine mine mine mine mine mine mine mine mine mine mine mine mine mine.”

    You see, I also like the seagulls from Fnding Nemo.


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