As a little kid, having taught myself to read at a very early age, I would spend hours and hours after my official bedtime, hiding under the covers with a flashlight, reading fairytales, cartoons and any other children's lit I could get my hands on. One of my favorite reads was Cinderella - let alone the part of the story where her ugly sisters had their heels and toes cut off to fit in that little tiny glass shoe always left me shivering. It was simply beyond the five-year-old me how one could undergo something so torturous, to gain something of such dubious value: fitting into a piece of uncomfortable footwear, marrying a rich prince and whatnot!
Fast forward a couple of decades and you will find the grown up Cookie, whole-heartedly sympathizing with those who nip, tuck and Restylane themselves to appear more attractive to the "princes" of the 2000s. Not to mention those who squeeze their poor tootsies into strappy stilettos or patent peep-toed cone heels - the modern version of the everything but comfy glass shoe! While I personally have no interest in any kind of surgical touch-up (but ask me again when I'm older!), I am often swearing over my long toes or that extra inch on my hip whenever the shoes or clothes I want are sold out in my size.... yet perfectly available and delicious-looking on the boutique shelf or the rack, were my measurements only a tad tinier.
But do not for a moment think that such insignificant little details will stop me once I have my eyes set on the perfect ruffle dress or a pair of must-have snakeskin stilettos. Our local shoemaker has received a lot of business thanks to this size-defying shopping habit of mine, having had to stretch out plenty of size 8 leather boots and booties, so as to make them fit my size 8.5 feet. However, when it comes to clothing rather than shoes, for some reason I am much more wary of taking my beloved (but nevertheless a tad too small) size 0 garments to a tailor. Having heard horror stories about how illegal immigrant needle-and-thread phonies, operating from holes in the wall and barely being able to communicate in English, destroyed a friend's Prada coat as well as another acquaintance's favorite Betsey dress - mistakenly turning it into a tunic that barely covered her derrière - I have simply decided that I'd rather make myself drop one size than run the risk of having any alterations turn a slight fitting problem into complete sartorial disaster.
Yes, I know there are reputable tailors out there. Whatever. Why rid yourself of a great incentive to put down that sandwich and hit the treadmill instead? Not only will you save money by doing so (food is expensive; so are good tailors), but you will fit into your once-too-small designer garment before you know it!
While I hope everyone understands I am not 100 % serious, this brilliant strategy has somewhat surprisingly worked for me a considerable number of times. That said, I have yet to fit into the 24" pair of 7 For All Mankind jeans, that I purchased on sale last year during a blurry moment when I ambitiously vowed to quit sugary cereals and the occasional bowl of pasta... and figured I would actually be able to stick with it. Too bad... I am sure they would look fabulous with equestrian boots and a flowy Anna Sui top.
My next "weight loss challenge" is a teal bouclé Calypso skirt with satin bow decorations at the hip, size XS, that I picked up at a local consignment shop last Saturday (picture to the right). Since I can actually zip it up already without too much extra effort, I am figuring this will be an easy one. It's just about making it a little more roomy so I will actually able to actually move around and breathe at the same time, and I think I will have to lose no more than about half an inch all over.... stop laughing!
Please tell me I am not the only one who shops like this! I am constantly trying to tell myself I am far from the only one being guilty of buying my desired, rather than actual size, at least in those cases where a size 2/4 (my actual) is unavailable!
Most recent case in point: I could not help notice the original price tag was still attached at the back of my new Calypso skirt, and that the garment was seemingly never worn. Needless to say, I was thrilled to realize that I had just acquired a brand new piece that used to retail for $145 - at the mere price of $25! But also, and more importantly, this made me wonder if the fellow fashionista, in whose closet this skirt had been sitting unworn, was of the same ambitious, size-defying and hopelessly unrealistic breed as myself: having tried and tried in vain to squeeze her hips into that narrow opening of teal bouclé, until she faced the facts and figured she might as well cut her losses, trade her XS piece in for some cash at Matiell's, and revert to having granola and toast for breakfast?
As I handed over my MasterCard, the store owner assured me that I could certainly return the piece on consignment, should my shrinkage plans fall through. We'll see... hopefully that will not be necessary. I have promised to model it for him next time I swing by, so I'd better start cutting that Raisin Bran, sooner rather than later!
Got any fashion finds in your closet that you've been planning to lose inches for, ever since you purchased them.... so that you can actually start wearing them? Or are you a responsible realist, who would never bother with such silly antics?
Pictures in this post: Cinderella shoe at my local shoemaker's; cute black and red patent/suede kitten heel Oxfords at Metropolis, that I would buy and have stretched, were they only a little bigger than a size 6....
Don't forget to enter the Twillypop Giveaway!
Man in a Can, 57th & Madison. - Because we all need a break now and then.
5 years ago