Monday, October 10, 2005

My Wrists Won't Be Cold This Year

If you are a tall woman, shopping can really suck sometimes. Pretty much all stores carry petites and many carry women's (plus) sizes, but only a few carry tall sizes. It is very frustrating. I always said that the best fashion trend that ever happened for me in the 80's was the peg-legging of pants, because mine were never long enough anyways!

I can generally find jeans and khaki pants without a problem. Lee, Dockers, Gloria Vanderbilt, and several other pants makers make tall pants that are readily available at normal priced retailers like Kohl's and JC Penney's. But finding a store that stocks tall shirts or jackets (that aren't outrageously priced) is like finding the Holy Grail. Yes, I know Eddie Bauer sells pretty much everything it stocks in talls, but only the pants (and usually not the cute stuff like cords, etc.) are stocked in the store. That means I have to look at a catalog or online and guess what size to order, then pay shipping and handling costs, and then if it doesn't fit, return it to the store. I'm still out the shipping and handling, though. It can be especially difficult when buying something that comes in medium or large (they don't make small talls in my experience) because I sometimes wear a medium, but usually a large depending on the type of clothing it is.

I recently realized, while taking inventory of my winter coats worn since high school, that I've had to buy one particular kind of coat if I wanted it to fit me. My letter jacket in high school was a boy's jacket, because that's what all the girls who lettered in sports wore. Then, when I went to college I owned a cute plaid coat that had sleeves that could roll up to show a contrasting color. I of course did not roll them up, that way they covered my wrists like coats are supposed to. My green Liz Claiborne coat that I bought when I moved here to Illinois also had the roll up sleeves. When I bought that I went to Burlington Coat Factory and literally spent two hours trying on coats. I think two fit that whole day. Brendan bought me a great leather jacket for my 30th birthday. The sleeves were too short. When we returned it to exchange it for one that fit, my only choices were between two faux fur lined coats that had, you guessed it, sleeves that turned up to reveal the fur.

Right now I'm looking for an affordable winter coat. I love my leather jacket, but I was looking for something casual like a ski type jacket. No luck! I looked at Eddie Bauer, didn't really like what they had, Land's End, whose prices are reasonable, doesn't sell coats for women in tall sizes. JC Penney's didn't offer any ski jackets in talls, although they had some cute wool jackets for talls. I ended up opting for a red wool pea coat from Penney's that I ordered online during a free shipping offer. Again though, I couldn't compare the colors in the store and see which one I liked better wearing. It is very frustrating, to say the least.

On one final note, I also hate that I have to pay extra for tall clothing. Don't get me wrong, I'll pay it so my clothes fit, but it sucks. First of all, since I'm ordering almost everything, my shipping and handling is more than someone else's because that cost is usually calculated by the cost of the items you are ordering, and my items cost more than a regular size. Basically, I'm getting screwed twice. I've always advocated for equal pricing, but not just because I'm cheap. Seriously, think about it. Do petite women get a break on the price of their items because less fabric and thread are being used? No, they pay the same amount as a regular sized item. But a tall woman, because she is getting two or three inches more fabric, pays more. It's not fair. Either make all the prices the same, or give the petite lady a discount.

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