Monday, April 09, 2007

Which idiot invented womens clothing sizes ?

So who was it then who invented the theory of womens clothing sizes ?
For the record, clothing sizes mentioned here refer to British clothing sizes, god forbid that anyone introduce one of the myriad of international and alternative womens clothing sizes into the equation.

Mens clothing is easy - you need a suit, you measure your chest and your waist, you go to shop, you pick colour, you look for a jacket label that says your size, you repeat for trousers, you have your suit, you have wasted only ten minutes of your life in finding your clothing, you go do something much more enjoyable instead.

Add to that the fact that after you have worn said suit it goes in your wardrobe until the next christening/wedding/funeral when its worn again with exactly the same shirt and tie, repeat for several more years, and guess what - not one of your friends looks you up and down and remarks, "you wore that for thingy's wedding didn't you ?, oh no, because men have far more important things to do at such events, like find a bar for instance.

Women and their clothing are totally different,
Let me illustrate with todays episode ...

So we've got this friend called Andy, and he's getting married at the end of this month.
He's 51 years old and he's never been married before but don't look at me with those raised eyebrows, he's a lovely lad and he'll make Deborah a lovely husband, why just the other day one of our team rang him and he mentioned that he was doing the dusting, then hesitated whilst thinking "I shouldn't have told the lads that", but never mind, we won't mention it too many times at his wedding, oh no,not many times at all.

Anyone who ever saw the 1980's tv series called "30 something" will have a picture of our group of friends, all the lads have known each other since we were 7 or 8 years old and we're all 50 this year so we go back a long way - our wives not so long but even so the group has been together as married couples with children for decades now and Andy is the only single one left - it won't be his mum that cries at his wedding, it'll be all of us lads.

He's the only one who lives any distace away from this area of Leeds that we were all raised in, he lives on the east coast so its a weekend away for all of us in a fancy golf course hotel next to the sea, we're currently working on a plan that involves a round of golf on the saturday morning and wondering just how late we can book the tee time so that we just make the wedding in front of Deborah - we're including Andy in that plan of course.

However, today found us on a retail park shopping for a new iron (old one blew up) and a clothes airer (washing line snapped), really mundane stuff like that that makes shopping a chore - but then the one who is betrothed to me (caught me when I wasn't looking) noticed a Next on the same retail park.

"Theres a Next" says she, "I'll show you that outfit I want for Andys wedding"
And she did, it was brown.
"You've got a brown suit just like that" says I, it was a wild guess, I haven't a clue whether she has or not
"I know" she says (so that was a lucky guess then), "but I wore it for Sue and Chris's 25th anniversary do"

And there is the first rule of womens clothing, they can only wear their outfits once, and once only. Every time you get invited to something else its another outfit and that is why the likes of Next have such firkin huge womens departments and such tiny mens departments - its because women shop for clothes constantly and men shop for clothes when the old ones fall off them.

"I don't like that one" I say without actually having an opinion at all, "but I like that one" says I pointing to another without actually having an opinion at all.
"So do I" she says and holds up the houndstooth check jacket and I notice the price - £60, sixty fooking pounds for the jacket when I can buy a whole suit for £49 in Asda.

And there is the second rule of womens clothing - the law of supply and demand works inversely with womens clothing - the greater the demand for womens clothing the higher the price, the more stock they sell the more the price goes up, when they stop selling it and the outfits get rarer then the price goes down - contrast to mens clothing where Walmart Asda stock three different mens suits, three styles and colours is enough to suit up all of the men in the UK, and all for £49 all-in, if you're there in a sale they'll even give you a shirt and tie, it won't match of course but why complain, we'll all look a dick together.

She tries on the houndstooth check jacket,
"It doesn't fit here" she says tugging at a spare millimeter of cloth above her boobs
"Well grow bigger tits then" I think to myself but it comes out as "hmm, yes", I'm no fool and I'm certainly not suicidal

She tries on another jacket, this time its blue, she likes it, it fits everywhere that it should fit, she looks for the trousers to match, she takes a size 12 long and a size 14 regular to the changing rooms, I follow and stand outside holding her handbag feeling as vulnerable as George Michael stood outside a public toilet and sure enough teo men walk past and grin in my direction in that way that men grin at other men left standing outside womens changing rooms, its the grin that says "ooh that handbag suits you love" and leaves you waiting to reciprocate when their wives want to try something on.

And heres the third rule of womens clothing - why are womens clothing changing rooms all located adjacent to the underwear department leaving men with handbags standing outside not knowing where to put ourselves ? Stare too long at the gusset of a skimpy pair of floral knickers and you get the shop assistants glaring at you in a "filthy old bas'tad" sort of way, keep staring at them when your wife comes out of the changing rooms and you get a "what are you looking at you filthy old bas'tad" - all just for standing there minding your own business, with a handbag.

She re-appears holding the trousers, "The 12 is too tight and the 14 is too big" she informs me
"Well you need a size 13 then" says I, moving away to go find one
She gives me a withering look and informs me that there's no such thing as a size 13, womens sizes are only even numbers - what a fucking stupid system, why can't women just measure themselves like men do and then pick the measurement to suit, why do they have to convert it to a random size ?

No wonder they take so long choosing clothes.

She eventually finds another suit in two different colours, "Hand me the 12 long and 14 regular" she says
"I thought you said they don't fit " I asked, innocently
"That was the blue one" she says with a note of exasperation in her voice at my stupidity

Rule four of womens clothing - a size 12 in blue is not necessarily the same as a size 12 in brown, or black, or any other fricking colour you care to name, all colours apparently have their own peculiar sizing system, you just have to try them all on.

She took two outfits into the changing room, came out wearing the first one to declare that it fitted like a glove, which was strange because it was a suit, but still, it fitted which is all that counts, I said I liked it when in fact I held no opinion whatsoever on the matter, "Its £110" she informed and I smiled through gritted teeth and promised myself that when I meet Andy at his wedding I'm going to slap his head very hard and ask him why he had to invite us.

She need a blouse, and then some shoes, and of course a handbag, if I'm lucky I may buy myself a new hankerchief for this wedding and wear some eight year old clothes that come out of the wardrobe for funerals, its only appropriate what with Andy finally getting snared at 51 years old.

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