Monday, October 25, 2010

Good Thing Socks Are Stretchy

My feet are size 11 in the US, in the UK (depending on style) they are a 9 or 9 1/2, in European sizing they are a 42. If you wear a size anything from a size 10 (US) down... well.. I might just hate you a little, mostly due to extreme jealousy.
In first grade I could wear my Mother's shoes. I even remember wearing a pair of her knee high leather boots (it was the 70's, Mom wasn't a hooker) to school one day so I could walk there without getting my pants all wet from the snow that had fallen the night before... only problem was (ready? This is about to get REALLY REAL here) the zippers got stuck and when I left to go use the bathroom and couldn't unzip the boots, which were just tall enough to make it so I couldn't sit down on the toilet because they prevented my knees from bending properly, nor could I wedge my jeans over them far enough to sit down, I just sat down and peed, right through my jeans into the toilet. Yup. I was "Lil' Miss Peepee Pants" that day.

I knew it was "story time" in class and that all the students would be sitting around the big blue rectangular carpet listening to Ms. Lang (yes, I remember my 1st grade teacher's name) read a story to us. I peeked out of the bathroom door to see if anyone was in the hallway all secret agent style, saw the coast was clear, and rushed back to the classroom. I sat behind the last row of kids and bided my time till the bell rang. All the while devising my plan. It was snowing out again, kids would rush out of class to go play, so I figured I could go unnoticed.

As soon as the bell rang I stood up and backed up towards my desk, grabbed my coat, tied it around my waist, and hightailed it for the exit door closest to my path home. Once outside I went to put my coat on (it was snowing, it was Chicago, I wasn't stupid... well... not totally stupid) and felt the icy cold air hit my pee covered butt. Brrrrrrrrrrrr!! It was in that moment I knew I wanted a new longer winter coat.

I made it home in record time, and even paused to go sit in a snowbank thinking, in my genius 1st grade wisdom, that the snow might soak my jeans and get rid of the pee and I'd just look like a normal kid that had been playing in the snow. Did it work? In a word, no. I basically had soaking wet jeans, coated in pee & snow, with little peesicles forming. When I got home my mother greeted me at the door and helped me get the boots off, and it wasn't till later before dinner she asked me why her boots smelled like pee. I'm pretty sure I just shrugged... I'm also pretty sure she threw them out shortly thereafter.

I still borrowed my Mother's other shoes when she let me, and sometimes her clothes- specifically sweaters and jackets. By high school I had left my Mother's closet and moved into my Father's closet. Good thing baggy jeans were in style for a while there. I just took my Father's jeans for the length. Back then inseams on women's pants/jeans rarely went beyond 30"... and keep in mind the style was right at the ankle. A 32" inseam fit me right at the ankle. My Dad is 6'2"... his jeans, when worn at the hips, were just long enough to wear, taper, and roll. (Oh 80's... you bitch.)

As ugly as the clothes in the 80's were, I am kinda grateful that baggy, shapeless, and asymmetrical hems were all the rage... or I would have been screwed! I was 5'9 till Senior year of high school... and by the time I decided to leave for college I had managed to grow 2 inches. (Yes, it's true, even recorded on doctor's forms) I now stand at 5'11.

Let me tell you something, having size 11(US) feet and being 1" shy of 6' is no fucking cakewalk. I hear shorter people often say "oh I wish I was taller, I have to hem EVERYTHING!" Well, I would much rather feel the need to cut off than ADD ON.

It wasn't till fairly recently that the inseams of pants/jeans started growing beyond 32".... oddly enough because so many women want to wear heels of skyscraper proportions with them... where as me & my 35" inseam (I have seriously long stems) live in flip flops & Chuck Taylors.

Don't get me wrong, I LOVE heels... love love love them, they however do not love me. Either they don't come in my size, claim to be my size but don't fit.., or they are astronomically expensive. (I'm talking to YOU Stuart Weitzman! You and your awesome, beautiful, drool worthy shoes that I will never afford... you dick.)

Throw in the fact that the LAST thing I need is more height and the idea of throwin' on a pair of 4" heels is just not something I do. Is it ironic that I find heels very comfortable and love wearing them? For real, I'll put on a pair, think I'm lookin' good, then some asshat feels the need to walk up to me and let me know (you know, in case I wasn't aware) just how tall I am. Why doesn't anyone stop and think about how they know it's rude to walk up to a short person and tell them quite bluntly "wow, you're really short!" (Or any other obvious attribute that a person might have.) yet tellin' me "woah, you're waaay tall!" isn't intended to make me uncomfortable in my own skin, or feel like an ogre, ... 'cause it does. I should say "it can"... sometimes I am able to just ignore the idjits and go on about my business... but let me tell you, that has taken years... and I'm still workin' on it. Maybe I should put an end date on that? Like I'll be cool with it all by March of 2023? Yeah, I'll go with that... check back with me periodically and we'll see where I'm at. M'kay?

Maybe by then designers will have grasped the concept that just because someone is tall it doesn't mean they have fucking gorilla arms..... the meantime I will keep reminding myself, and all my friends, that the size on a tag should be used as merely a suggestion. I know for a fact that I can put on top in a size "L" from a place like The Gap and I will be swimming in it... but if I try a size "L" at a store like Express, 9 times out of 10 I get this:
That's a fucking hot look isn't it? Yeah baby. No, that is NOT me, but if i was in the dressing room at Express... it could be.

Same goes for pants/jeans/skirts... I only know one female that doesn't fear this.... the dreaded......

Muffin top: helping to sell Spanx® since 2000 (bless their non-existent VPL lil' hearts!)

The length of skirts is a whole other issue for me. Mini skirts are.. well... let's just say that some skirts are so short I gotta consider shavin' more than my legs to wear 'um.  I tried to find a good example of a skirt that is just too damn short, but I kept coming up with really trashy pictures of women so tiny they looked like Q-tips with eyes, and the skirts were just sorta trashy lookin'... but I did find one perfect example. I can't show you though.. it's just too... oh man... it's... ugh... ok... fine.... here it is:

(seriously, scroll quickly past this... it's pretty bad. Funny, but pretty bad. )

See? Sorry, hope you're eyes didn't just bleed or anything. Really though, who leaves the house like that? Who lets someone leave the house like that?! Whenever I come across a person dressed in an unfortunate manner I tend to feel really bad for them. Not even because they are dressed totally inappropriately, but because I am convinced they have no one in their lives that love them enough to say "dear god, DO NOT go out dressed like that!"
Kinda like that TV show "American Idol"... you ever watch the auditions for that? (The only part of the show worth watching really)... who lets their friends or family go do that when they suck that badly? It's horrible! Fun as hell, but horrible.

Don't get me wrong, I'm no fashion plate. I can pick out a fake Prada bag in a crowd, and tell you why a $300 Armani button down shirt is going to be far superior to one from Old Navy... but I'm still sittin' here in my livingroom wearing an old pair of jeans and a giant wool fisherman's sweater that is so big I could fit two other people in here with me... which might be nice, 'cause it's cold and I'm barefoot.... because I can't find cute shoes that fit.


  1. Great blog, you made me laugh :) I hope that's your intention and I didn't offend you by laughing.
    I sympathise with you though I don't know how you feel because I'm quite short (165cm which is 5'5) and I wear size 6 (European 36).
    And peeing story rocks! :)

  2. Us shorties only comment on your awesome tallness because we're jealous you can see over the top of people's heads to what's going on down the street, we're jealous that your air is fresher and we get the shits that we have to have a conversation with your tits. It makes us feel inferior.:)

  3. I thought I had height problems... I'm 5"7, but it's all in my legs. I have to special order 99% of my jeans, and on the off-chance that I find a pair at the store that fits without needing any kind of alteration it's like I struck gold. I snuck just under the 'your feet are too big for heels' radar with size 9.5-10 depending on the shoe. While I don't have it as bad as your, I totally feel your pain.

  4. I hear you! I am 6 foot 1 and I hate buying clothes. I have two shops that sell trousers long enough for me whilst every other fucking store does petite when, like you say, they could just chop three inches off the bloody bottom.

    Bring on the tall girls!

  5. @Starlight- Thank you, and NO... the last thing I am is offended! (That's a rather hard thing to do)...and I would KILL for size 6 feet, hell, I'd kill for a butt that fit in size 6 jeans, but I'll settle for the shoes.

  6. @Roaring Housewife- ...and I am dead jealous of the fact that you can go to the grocery store at least three consecutive times in a row w/out having someone randomly stop you and ask you to grab something for them from the back of the top shelf. But I won't hold it against you ;)

  7. @Cake Betch- I'll see your long legs, and raise you one long torso & a short waist. Why I enjoy shopping is beyond me, it's rarely anything but fabric coated disappointment at every turn... but I'll be damned, I love it. I LIVE for the days I find the perfect pair of jeans... and I will probably die the day I find them for less than $!80 (DAMN YOU HUDSON JEANS!!)
    Ever try sites like They have all kinds of inseams. Not the best of the best as far as clothes quality goes, but some of the stuff is as cute as it is cheap.

  8. That should read $180.. not !80... wtf am I doing up at stupid o'clock anyway?

  9. @Baglady- if these shops you mention are in London... PLEASE tell me where they are! The only store I could find, when I was living in the UK (Scotland) a few years back, that sold pants long enough for me was River Island. (I still have them... and all their worn through to the skin, totally covered in homemade patches, and suffering from magically disappearing thread count (due to chub rub :/) gloriousness) Alas, they are no longer decent to wear anywhere beyond my front door.
    HOWEVER, in a few days I am moving, for the bulk of winter, to live with the BF in London (where he is from, born & raised) and I would love to have a clue as to where I can find some clothes that won't make me want to sob while in the dressing room.

    PS... my purse collection is downright criminal in it's proportion, and I KNOW you understand that one.

  10. Hey GoofyGirl

    There are two places that are only for amazons like us - Tall Girls (only online, aimed at a younger market - so especially good for jeans and Long Tall Sally which can be a little frumpy (partly depending on the store manager) but has branches so you can try it all on first ( Both do mail order.

    The other place I use is Dorothy Perkins. They're one of of the few places to actually have a tall section. It's better for fashion items as things are very cheap but if you want stuff for a night out it's perfect.

    I think Next also does tall stuff but they never seem to have the sizes I want in stock so I never buy from there.

    Happy shopping!

    (and there's no such thing as too many purses!)

  11. Baglady- CHEERS! Will be looking into them while there. I know the US has versions (catalog only to my knowledge) of both those, but it would be nice to see things in person. The only other store I am faithful to (and am convinced I have died and gone to heaven upon entering every time) is Anthropologie. The dresses they stock are almost always (99% of the time) the right length.

  12. BagLady- Just spoke with my cousin, who used to live in London... & who happens to be 6' tall... she has suggested a store called ZARA. Claims some of the pants were so long she actually had to hem them. Figured I'd mention it. Not sure where exactly you're located, but this is the link to their website that lists all their London locations: