Monday, October 16, 2006

Sometimes Living In a Small Town Sucks

There are lots of things that I love about living in a small, isolated community. We have some 30,000 people in the entire borough, about 12,000 of them living downtown where I live. We have no road out of here; we depend on boats and planes. This makes for a low crime rate (imagine stealing a car when you can drive it only 45 miles or try to get it out on the ferry), we mostly know each other (a few years ago a young man went into a convenience store to rob it [we don't get many of those, either] and the kid stocking the shelves called out "Hi, Jim"), our idea of a long commute is 14 minutes, and you personally know most of the local and state politicians.

However, when it comes to clothes shopping! Limited choice in limited sizes. Once in a while they open a shop for larger women, and it always fails. I can't understand that, as we have lots of larger women. Otherwise, my sizes are carried in Fred Meyer, which also carries motor oil and groceries and plants and fertilizer and DVD players and . . . Not a place I'm liable to buy clothes.

Here in Alaska we get a dividend every year for living here -- a governor and legislature years ago invested money in the stock market, and now we get a little cash out of it. October is PFD (Permanent Fund Dividend) month. The last two bits of non-paycheck cash that had come my way had paid off a hospital bill and one credit card, so although most of the PFD went for paying down the other credit card, I set some aside for some new clothes. Not a lot.

My last pair of blue jeans had died, so I ordered four pair (one orchid, one indigo, and two stone washed denim) from the same catalog, same style, same brand, and since the old ones still fit, same size as those. They came, the sizing has changed and I have to mail them back and exchange them. The two blouses I got with them fit nicely, but the camel blouse that was supposed to replace the blouse I got unremovable stains on, isn't exactly the same color, no matter that both were called camel and the color in the catalog matches the color in the pants I bought them to go with. They are just enough off that I can't wear them together! The caftan I ordered turned into pajamas somehow and I don't wear pajamas. So, since the caftan didn't come from the jeans place, that's two packages I have to do up and mail back (paying postage on) and meanwhile I still don't have a pair of jeans I can wear.

It would be nice to go into a store and try something on and buy it. It would be nice to be able to whistle, too.


BushaFullofGrace said...

Have you ever shopped at Ulla Popken, online? They are large sizes, and really quality, natural fibers. I love them! Marianne

J said...

That blows. Not fair to not be able to shop for clothing. :( I'm sorry. I hope the next set of pants fit better.

Cuppa said...

Oh goodness, shopping for clothes in your small town sounds worse than in mine. Not fun at all. I have never been happy when I have HAD to go out and buy something. Blue jeans are the WORST! I hate buying jeans.

I like serendipity shopping. You know the kind where you are out looking for a toaster and you see a sweater that catches your eye. Wonder of wonders, it fits and the colour co-ordinates with other things in your closet. Something like that is a joy to buy even if it isn't on sale.

I have ordered from catalogues and am usually disappointed. The clothes look great in the picture, but get them in your hands and it a whole other story. Mostly I end up having to send everything back.

Sizing is a horror story too. They are different in every store and with every tag. A large with one manufacturer is too small to wrap around one leg, and I could get two legs in one pant leg with another.

Maybe you should go out and look for a toaster, you might find a great pair of jeans!

Deja Pseu said...

That's too bad that they changed sizes on you. I hate it when that happens!

Even living in LA, I find I'm still ordering from catalogs a lot, especially pants. Most of the pants I find in stores here are so low-rise they give me plumber-behind.

Thailand Gal said...

I order most of my clothes from a place overseas ~ and from eBay. There isn't a chance in heck that I would ever be able to buy here, and this is a large city. Hope you are able to find an outlet that works for you. :)

Thailand Gal


Py Korry said...

There are some things that I'm okay with ordering online (i.e., books). However, I can't imagine ordering clothes without trying them on first. How frustrating.

Autumn's Mom said...

I know what you mean. It's also frustrating when you go to the store and try the crap on and they've changed the styles and sizes and nothing fits or goes together!!!

Thailand Gal said...

I do take a real risk when I can't try things on and have been burned once or twice when the measurements stated were not the measurements of the item I receive. My style is kind of distinctive and I don't have a choice but to mail order. That is a good reason to get the old sewing machine out!

These places you are ordering from... do they have a decent exchange policy?

Thailand Gal


jay lassiter said...

lack of choice sometimes sucks. and granny, i get the feeling that you're not a prissy type who needs to try on a ton of stuff for fun. but i guess that's one of the things you sacrifice to live where you live.

maybe the next time you go to the bay area you and Maya can have a girl's day out and go clothes shopping for stuff?

I hate acquiring clothes.

donna said...

Hell, I live in San Diego, and have to order my favorite jeans (Lee Painter style) online from JC Penney.

Clothing stores suck EVERYWHERE, my dear.

That said, try here

Catherine's has some fabulous clothes. I used to shop there with a large friend (actually named Catherine, too) and was actually jealous that she could buy their stuff and I couldn't. Unfortunately, she turned into a bitch but oh well, I still love here even though she won't speak to me anymore.

Maya's Granny said...

No, I'm not a prissy type who has to try on a lot of stuff for fun. Usually, I walk into a store and do or don't see something I like. If it fits, I buy it. If it doesn't, I don't. I may try on six things, but if enough of them fit, I don't go out looking for anything else to try on. I'm picky, but not prissy.

Joy Des Jardins said...

I can see why you'd be frustrated Joycelyn. I use to get a lot of things from various catalogs. Most of the time it would be fine; but those few times that they sent the incorrect merchandise or wrong sizing...well, suffice to say...that was enough to make me stop shopping by catalog. And I absolutely hate having to mail THEIR mistakes back. However, you're situation is a little different. I truly wish they'd make it more convenient for you....somehow. Jeans and pants in general are awful to buy by never know WHAT you're going to get sometimes. Good luck with getting the jeans you want J.

Melissa said...

Some days it can take me 15 minutes to get from my door to my work and that is if I don't go to the daycare. I live one mile from work. ;)

I can't imagine living in a small town like that. The guy trying to hold up the market story cracked me up.

Maybe you should go on vacation and clothes shop there. Good luck. I hoppe the jeans come back to you soon.

Ginnie said...

I hate to shop for clothes. When I was in Anchorage in Sept. it seemed that anytime anyone wanted something they went to Fred Myers. I felt just like you...who wants to buy fishing gear, oil and clothes in the same place?

Chancy said...

I feel your frustration.
I can't whistle either... ;)

ML said...

Clothes shopping is not my favorite thing to do and we have tons of stores here for that. Having to shop online is even worse! I'm so sorry!

ShortWoman said...

Hmm, maybe I'm odd, but I've gotten some good deals on clothing at Fred Meyer. And what's even better is I don't have to make a special trip to the mall, just make a few extra minutes when I buy groceries.

You might give them a chance to surprise you.