I've noticed over the last few weeks that my clothes don't fit like they used to. My shirts slide off my shoulders; my pants sag around my hips.
I decided today that I needed to remedy that problem with a jaunt to the mall. With my best friend in tow, I headed to JC Penney in Modesto. The store was having a fabulous sale, and we had coupons, too. Besides needing clothes that fit, I also needed career wear for a conference I'll be attending next month. I knew that meant this would be a heavy-duty shopping trip.
Upon entering the store, we headed to the career wear section and picked our way through the various separates. My best friend has an impeccable sense of style so I let her take control of picking stuff. We both had armfuls of clothes in sizes 8 and 10 when we entered the fitting room. Imagine my surprise when I found that every single size 8 was too big! I looked like I was wearing my big sister's clothes.
After looking at how some of the jackets fit me, my best friend suggested we head to the petite section. I protested, telling her all the reasons I've never been able to wear petites: crotch isn't long enough in pants; bust never fits in shirts. But it was obvious I couldn't wear anything we had already selected, and neither of us thought an average size 6 would fit.
First problem we found is that the selection in petites is lacking. The second problem I had is that the clothes looked outrageously small to me -- like they should be for children. We managed to find two suits, a skirt, a pair of those new long shorts that are trendy right now and a few blouses to try on. We grabbed 8s and 6s of everything we could, just in case. We now knew that 10s were out, no matter what.
In the fitting room, I held my breath as I tried on the first pair of slacks.
"Look, look!," my best friend exclaimed as I zipped them up. "They fit you!"
I surveyed my reflection in the mirror. They sure did, and they made my hips look so slim that I wasn't sure I knew the woman staring back at me. It turns out that everything fit, though we later decided the white-and-gray pinstripe suit was not practical enough to warrant its $100 price tag.
I walked out of JC Penney with a black suit, two blouses, long black shorts and a gray skirt for under $100 -- all in a petite size 8. Not a bad deal, if you ask me.