Damn It, I Can’t Find Any Clothes

Last year a bit before this time, I wrote about how Spring 2013 appeared to be the moment fashion lost its damn mind. I used to spend a lot of time writing about style and consignment, about recycling and reworking my clothes, about transitioning my style as my body changed throughout the last two years.

I haven’t been writing much lately at all. The reasons for this are complex and will eventually come to light, but a certain aspect of it is a general lack of stylish clothing in my wardrobe, especially ones that haven’t been seen a billion times by anyone who follows this blog. I want to update my style. I want to be a new woman in the big City. I want to find ways to express my new outlook, courtesy of my MA programme (or perhaps find ways to repair my MA-damaged self esteem).

But…THIS is what I’m faced with:

Courtesy of Zarat
Courtesy of Zara

What. What? London, what the hell?

I want to go shopping today, because I have a reunion with folks from my partner’s university days over the weekend and want to appear a decent and generally non-dumpy human being. But this! This is what I see everywhere, in all the storefronts, even in the largest mall in western Europe.

I just can’t wear a leopard jumpsuit. For one thing, I’m too tall (jumpsuits’ short torsos = extreme wedgie issues). But more than that, it just doesn’t fit my style. I like to think of myself as classic, and modern. I drawn a fair bit of inspiration for my clothing from Italian women, especially the desire to look put together even if I’m going to the 99p store.

In London, I feel trapped in terrible fashion. I don’t have much money, as a grad student. I can’t afford to go to John Lewis for brand-name things, and ordering online is a pain in the rear because of the heavy import taxes imposed on even shoes.

Cheap fashion it is, I guess. I could try to wear this:

Courtesy of H&M
Courtesy of H&M

But that would look fairly trashy, frankly. Fair enough if others want to wear it, but modern and classic this isn’t. I could try this look:

Courtesy of TopShop
Courtesy of TopShop

But I’m fairly certain that’s me at age 11, and I’m a grown-ass woman at 26, thank you very much. What if I tried a slightly higher-end brand that I probably cannot afford?

Courtesy of United Colors of Benetton
Courtesy of United Colors of Benetton

Is that see-through?! I’m pretty sure that’s see-through. I’m pretty sure they buffed her nipples out with Photoshop. Thanks, but no thanks.

I just feel so disenchanted with the whole thing. I lived in the 90s, and I remember them. I don’t want my clothes back from elementary school, and I don’t want to wear midriff-bearing crop tops. Let’s be honest, they don’t really look that good on anyone. I had the stomach of a supermodel thanks to being 12 the first time around with this stuff, and nobody wants to see my craft beer belly in a tube top. Not me, anyway. Further issues are likely to come from the fact that in London, size L is ‘plus’ and therefore not carried in many stores (including the big chains like H&M). A size L/XL lady like myself is constrained even further.

I feel pretty awful with a cold today, so it’s unlikely I’ll get out to the shops anyway. I just wish that I could have some hope for fashion that fits, and that doesn’t follow trends blindly.

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Fashion Interlude

2 Comments

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  1. Hey, Coleen, try COS or The Other STories:)

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