Some Small Sense

Shopping experiences and store reviews by a very petite woman. Indeed, it sucks. 4'10", 87 pounds, and full grown - is it a surprise I have trouble finding clothes?

May 17, 2006

Online Shopping Rocks because....

Like a lot of non-standard sized people, I tend to shop online out of sheer desperation. And yet, there are certainly a bunch of benefits to this, aside from not going crazy in the store with the unsympathetic salesperson.

  • Fun in-store shopping experiences and quirks:
    • poorly trained/unhelpful salespeople who are more inclined to gossiping with each other rather than actually helping you
    • pretty much zero selection in my size since either they don't even make anything that small for the ever expanding American population - or all the ones in store have been snatched up by equally desperate (but willing to blow more money) tiny people like me
    • long lines for the dressing room that are reminiscent of women's bathrooms and as equally enjoyable at the end of the ride
    • extra-flattering (but completely unrealistic) lighting and mirrors in the dressing room to bring out the real you
    • yappy spoiled annoying women and their pet baby puppy in Gucci handbags. No, I won't coo over your stupid dog that's wearing a matching outfit. Why the hell did you bring that thing into the store anyway? What do you think it is, your kid/boyfriend/therapist? (see NYT article here) Find a day boyfriend if your permanent boyfriend/husband/sextoy isn't around to take you shopping to spend his money. If you live anywhere but New York, I think this one is mostly avoidable (I mean the dog, not the girl)
    • Muzak playing that firstly makes you wonder what the target audience of this store is, and secondly to think, 'dear God, am I really this boring a person that I've fallen into the Adult Smooth Jazz/Soft Pop Remix category'?
  • Avoiding the children's section and teenybopper stores: Believe me, I've done this lots of times. I've gotten sort of immune to it at this point, but it really does still suck when the realization hits you again. No, it's not perfectly respectable for a grown woman (or man) to be going through GAP Kids for their evening or work attire. No one has to know that you're trying on a size 10 or 12 (as in age of kid) sweater at home. You don't even need to give the lame excuse of, "it's for my kid."
  • Wider online selection: Most retailers have better selection online since they don't have to display their wares in any physical space - they just need to keep it in some gigantic warehouse, ready to be shipped out. Most notable are that women's shoes in size 5 or 5 1/2 are almost never carried in stores anymore, and that petites or size 00 are available online (yes, that farce of a size does actually exist - more on that one later). If you're smaller than a 5 in shoes - suck. If you're smaller than a 00, cozy up to a good tailor.
  • You can be lazy: No need to actually carry all that stuff home with you - it gets shipped straight to your door.
  • You potentially save money: Online shopping is a good economical approach. You're seldom tempted to buy something by sheer emotional want when you can't touch it or try it on. Of course, only 5% of women's clothes should even be considered on such a basis anyway, but hey, you tried to save a buck.
Ok, to be fair, check here for the crappy aspects.



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