For the imperfect Fashion lover.

Tuesday, 13 June 2017

When Shopping isn't Fun!

Whistles Denim Bustier Dress, Chiffon Floral Blouse, Clarks Original Wedges | Fake Fabulous

I'm very lucky to be able to say that shopping has always been easy for me.
Budget restrictions aside, finding the right fit has never been a problem.

I'm the standard height and dimensions for my size, and don't (normally) bother trying things on in the changing rooms.
Shopping is quick and efficient.
Grab and go.
Freeing up more time for the fun side of a shopping trip.

{Read this post for my idea of the perfect day out 'shopping'... it's not all pounding that pavement!}

Even online shopping is a doddle.
Pop my size in the basket and "Job's a good un!"
Same for everyone else, right?

My eyes have been well and truly opened when it comes to the potential misery a shopping trip can be.

{Shopping hell is bit like toothache, unless you experience it first hand you've not got a clue!}

More on that in a moment...

Whistles Denim Bustier Dress, Chiffon Floral Blouse, Clarks Original Wedges | Fake Fabulous

Back to this outfit.

Denim and floaty florals are a classic combination for me.
A bit little tough.
A bit little soft.
Adding simple neutral accessories makes for a quick and easy look!
Feminine and practical.

This interesting (but simple) denim dress was for sale on eBay, and I snapped it up quickly!
I cut off the straps because I wanted a 'bustier' look BUT, the straps were actually too short for my shoulders anyway.
This is more and more common with "off the peg" clothes these days.

Manufacturers assume that if you are a certain dress size then you are either short or tall.
Of course the manufacturers have to go with the most common measurements but, sometime I feel that the clothes don't really fit anyone!

After discussing this problem with a few women, we struggled to find anyone who is the "normal" shape or size.
Does this woman exist beyond the world of fit models?

Clarks Originals Sand Suede Ankle Strap Wedge | Fake Fabulous

Back to shopping hell...

As someone who is a pretty standard size with average proportions (and height) shopping has never really been a problem, so I couldn't understand why women said they hated it!
Hate shopping?
What are you talking about?!
Surely it's easy and fun?

Then two things happened...

Firstly, brands stated distorting their classic proportions, and buying trousers was no longer "Grab and Go".
Slowly but surely trouser shopping began to cause me problems.
Waists too big, tight on the bum and half-mast lengths.
Who do these trousers fit?
Whatever happened to popping into your favourite shop and picking up your size without needing to try anything on?

THEN.... the big eye opener.

Shopping with a friend (for her mum) seemed like a great idea.
Shopping is easy and her mum's figure just needed a few specific style elements to make her look amazing.
Petite with a very large bust, and teeny waist... feminine and beautiful!
I knew what we needed.

Off out we went with our list of colours and preferred styles.
I was there to help and have fun along the way.
Except is was NO fun!

I realised (very quickly) that nothing was suitable.... and I mean NOTHING.

The latest trends and colours were everywhere, but they had not been modified to suit the size on the swing tag.

For example;
A round-neck, ruffle-sleeve top looks great on small frame, and a neat bust.
BUT, on a size 16 bust there should be some modification to flatter the more rounded body.
Simple touches to make a curvier woman look her best.
Bust darts to stop the mono-boob-shelf-effect.
Some shaping at the waist.
Maybe even changing the neckline into a V to allow larger chests room to breathe.
None of this happened.
The same shapeless items were just scaled up or down.
Unflattering and unsuitable.
How frustrating!
This wasn't any fun at all.

For the first time in my life the whole shopping experience felt disappointing.
We left with nothing.
A first for me.

I get it now!

I get why women love shoes, handbags and scarfs so much!
I see why we enjoy shopping for our lipsticks and nail polishes.

Accessories and beauty products can always be relied upon to fit.
Clothes (as I found out) not so much.

This is why I think it is so important to try different brands and venture into unusual shops.
Don't rule out any brand or any store.
Shop around.
Take your time.
Take notes.
NEVER leave shopping for an important item until the last minute.
Shopping (for some women) takes time and serious effort.

Hat's off to you ladies that manage to make it look so easy!

As for my friend's mum?
Well, that's an ongoing project and a job for another day.... Wish us luck!

What brands fit you well?
Do you LOVE or HATE shopping?
How do you get clothes to fit you properly?
Do you alter them or "make do"?

Please share your shopping story in the comments... I would LOVE to hear it!

Whistles Denim Bustier Dress, Chiffon Floral Blouse, Clarks Original Wedges | Fake Fabulous

DRESS: Whistles, from eBay.... this one is nice, and on sale!
BLOUSE: Charity shop.... this one is so pretty.
SHOES: Clarks... these are high but Fab!.... these are gorgeous.
BAG: Vintage...this one is bigger and more practical.
EARRINGS: H&M... these are cool and reduced!
GLASSES: Primark.... these are gorgeous.




  1. this is the reason I took up sewing!i m a size 10 and 5ft 8 and have had all my life "oh it must be so easy finding clothes" Wrong!the waists of most things are in completely the wrong place and everythings too short so I bit the bullet last year and bought a sewing machine. oh the joy of deciding where to put the waist in and how long you want a garment!i m still not an expert seamstress but enjoy the challenge and its quite often cheaper than buying similar garment in shops.i would encourage anyone whose interested in clothes to give it a go

    1. Oh I envy you Kathy!
      My sewing skills leave a lot to be desired.
      Great tips though and anyone who has any skill can make even the cheapest clothes look fabulous.
      Hats off to you Kathy!!

  2. I LOVE shopping! But occasionally I'm left feeling down because a certain shop's trousers just don't fit my body (even though I'm a pretty standard size 10), or the bikini looked gorgeous on the hanger but downright hideous on me. I really, really don't like shopping for bikinis anymore :/
    I totally get why some women struggle with it. My best friend is a size 16-18 and she's desperately trying to lose weight so she can shop in Desigual! It's sad that it just doesn't cater for her size and shape.
    Good luck with your friend's mum, Samantha!
    Suzy xx
    p.s LOVE the outfit!

    1. I'm a "standard" size too Suzy.... it should be easy but it's getting harder and harder!
      Bikinis are okay when they are teeny tiny and mostly digging in then! :oP XXX

  3. I hate it when shopping can get frustrating. I love love this dress and that it is all buttoned-up in the front. I used to own a tube denim dress like this and mine has some faux buttons on the top part. Wish I had it still, now. Love how creative you got with this. You look amazing Sam and I love the shoes!

    Welcome by tomorrow night and join my Thursday Moda linkup with your fabulous style. Thanks, Ada. =)

    1. I had donated one to the charity shop too, then missed it!
      Luckily you can find almost anything online. :o)
      Thank you for your kind words.

  4. Some brands are pretty consistent in their sizing but most aren't (hang your head in shame M&S, Boden, Topshop). If you have a large bust it's assumed you're big all over. I nearly always order 2 sizes in everything to be on the safe side.

    1. I totally agree Gail!
      Inconsistent sizing is worse than vanity sizing.... it drives me bonkers.
      I feel for anyone with a bust after my shopping trip. SO frustrating.
      Luckily there are some brands that cater for larger busted ladies but the ranges are limited.

  5. I love shopping but with a small child I find the opportunities to go shopping few and far between. I am forced to shop online and moat of it gets returned as a result of sizing issues. However, with a few brands that I know well + a good understanding of styles that suit me I can shop ok for some things (cathedral Kidston dresses - I know the sizing off by heart!). I've also taken ups sewing recently and being able to make simple garments out of fabrics I've chosen is SO satisfying. Much more than buying stuff.

    1. I've never shopped at Cath Kidston Sam but I will have a look now!
      I thought they just sold teapots and aprons :oP

  6. Cath Kidston! Although maybe they should have considered Cathedral Kidston...

  7. I quite loathe shopping, truth be told, Sam. I have broad shoulders that need a Large but a chest and waist that do not. And hips that look best in either an XS or S. Shopping for separates is already a challenge, shopping for dresses is hell. So I find myself often resorting to garments fabricated from jersey and/or anything else with stretch. Off the peg clothes are so off these days, I wonder if the house dressform was completely off to begin with. I did try to make my own clothes in the beginning but while I have the technical know-how, I simply don't have the patience. Until then, shopping is always only where there's a no questions ask return policy. I'm sorry to hear about your unproductive day out. I do hope you find nice, well-fitting pieces for your friend's mum, and soon. We all deserve some pretty in our lives xoxo

    1. We do all deserve some pretty Sheela!
      It must be SO frustrating to forever be trying things out and making do or (at the very least) making compromises.
      It's not good enough really, is it?

  8. well, I've had problems on sizing from a tender age (even when I was really thin) and never enjoyed shopping actually.
    Nowadays I've embraced vintage (better quality, better sizing) and some DIY projects, as a solution. As a fat lady with a taste for color and for edgy design, I've been ignored by manufacturers for so a long time that I've given up!.
    I love your denim and floral blouse combo, such a great idea to cut off the straps!, so fresh and summery outfit!

    1. Dress size shouldn't be a barrier to colour and great design Monica and you prove that with gusto!!!

  9. Another clever outfit, and I too love the contrast between denim and softer styles or fabrics.

    I love having new clothes, but I do find shopping, especially on the high street rather a chore. I don't have standard proportions, which makes most garments, but especially dresses, a compromise. I'm a size 10-12 on top, but a size 12-14 on the bottom, depending on style, fit and brand! So, most of my dresses are too big across the chest, which they have to be, in order for the waist and hips to fit properly, but I just tend to live with it, as I can't sew and can't afford to get them all altered to fit. I have to try on everything, which is why I now do most of my clothes shopping online, so I can try on at home in my leisure. I do have a good idea now though of the fit of most brands, so I can usually get the right size first time. M&S have gone a bit haywire lately though - they recently seem to have added an inch to all their dimensions, so I now fall somewhere between a 10 and a 12 for trousers, and neither size fits any more! I've given up on them.

    1. Hahahaha...that is so true Fran!
      M&S have added a weird inch and neither an 8 or a 10 fits me....ditto Next, which now seems the most odd shape.
      I am lucky to have a local tailor that only charges a few pound to alter clothes, and he does a great job.
      Although I have been know to be wearing a safety pin from time to time! Not very chic or glamorous. :oP

  10. I hate shopping, which is insane, given that I'm a style blogger. I hate wasting time, I hate browsing, I'm really impatient, and I hate going from store to store on a hunt. I'm online only, baby. I think I'd be naked if I had to go in stores to buy clothes. I'm also a hard fit (damn boobs!!) , so I order two or three sizes and send back what doesn't work. I envy you not even trying things on. xx

    1. This makes me wonder who the clothes actually fit?
      Perhaps none of us?!
      You are not alone with the problem of having no room for your boobs in off-the-peg clothes.
      Why are none of the manufacturers addressing this issue?
      I know of Pepperberry/Bravissimo but what other brands??
      SO frustrating!

  11. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

    1. Any links left that don't direct to a personal blog are deleted...sorry! XXX


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