Even though I don't shop in really nice clothing stores anymore, I still get the emails. I suppose I could just unsubscribe but hey, I'm a girl and I like pretty things. Even if I'm just "window shopping". So when the latest seasons fashion online catalogs pop into my inbox I absolutely open them right away. Just to look.
I got several emails such as these recently and one in particular caught my eye. It was by White House Black Market or WHBM as it lately calls itself. The headline was "insta-outfits". "Just add jewlery" said the subheader. Ok that's interesting enough to urge me further so I opened that email first.
There before me were a wide array of one piece outfits that they are calling jumpsuits. Well that's nothing new. Jumpsuits have been fashionable before of course. But then most fashion is cyclical. Things go in and out of style only to be re-invented years later and then suddenly are all the rage again.
Intrigued by the claims, I read on. The WHBM ad declares that the jumpsuit is "functional but fun" and "the perfect outfit" and "easy to wear". Hmmmmmm. The funniest claim is that it is "a joy to put on". Oh that's amusing.
The last time jumpsuits - or whatever they were being called at the time - were high style I was still young and foolish enough to actually try them. They were not a joy to put on. They were a pain in the arse to put on. It was like wrestling a very soft bear. No wait, that's not quite right. Wait, I know what it's like. It's like trying to stuff a wiggly resisiting baby into a onesie. And in fact, a wiggly resisting baby into a onesie that doesn't fit well. There. That's it.
See part of the difficulty here is that those gorgeous models who showcase the clothes are tall and slim jumpsuits fit them perfectly. They look beautiful in these outfits. However, I am not tall or slim and they do not fit me perfectly. In fact, they do not fit me imperfectly either. I hop and shimmy and wiggle and duck. I twist and turn and shrug. Putting on a jumpsuit becomes a sort of cardio-workout.
I had no business for one minute thinking this outfit would ever work for me. I have long arms and legs for a short girl but a very short body. Jumpsuits or any other one piece outfit (like say a dress) are created for people who are proportionate. I am not. So if I find a one piece outfit that fits properly from shoulder to waist, it's too short from waist to hem. If it's perfect waist to hem, then it's far too long shoulder to waist. You see?
And that's only the beginning of the issues. Shockingly, I actually, miraculously once found a jumpsuit that fit me correctly. (Once and only once lifetime total) And here is how it went.
It was for a formal event in college. It was on the clearance rack. (Probably because nobody else's body was weirdly shaped enough to fit) It was gorgeous, a yummy black velvet with very wide legs and and a halter top that was mostly a wide white satin collar with a big black velvet bow at the back of the neck. It was gorgeous, it was hip, it was cool, it was a little different, it was cheap AND it fit me perfectly nearly like a second skin. (Back then I had the body for it - so be quiet) That never ever happens. So of course I bought it. The only thing I was concerned about at all was the halter top which had a tricky closure that was under the big black satin bow that flowed down my back. This is important and figures in later.
The night of the event, I struggled into it (remember baby into onesie) by hooking the halter part ahead of time and kind of ducking into the opening. I did up the back zipper (which went from butt to waist), stepped in to my platform shoes (it was of the time so don't even bother) and frankly thought I looked the best I'd ever looked. Ever! A great feeling.
I laughed and talked and danced and ate and drank and that's where the problem started. If you, like me, have a teensy bladder, you have to pee a lot. And if you drink enough liquid to stay hydrated you will need to pee even more than usual. Each and every time I went to the ladies room I had to get nearly completely naked to use the bathroom. Every Dang Time! Which meant lifting the halter over my head again. Lift it over to get nearly completely out of the jumpsuit and lift it up and over to get back in. Back then fabric didn't stretch like it does today.
Now if that isn't bad enough, my hair back then was really long. Reallllllly long. And I wore it down. At some point my hair got caught in the halter closure with all the on-ing and off-ing. I was trapped with my hair in the closure, halter half on/half off. And as I struggled to get my hair free of the closure, the back zipper and the long flowing bands of the black satin bow decided to entangle. At that point I was fighting my hair, the halter, the closure, the zipper and the satin ribbon as the jumpsuit kept trying to slithering over my hips, half on and half off. I twisted my body into contortionist worthy shapes and I stepped all over the hem of the bottom of the jumpsuit in the stall of a public toilet while the usual long line of restless women continue to wait very impatiently.........
Not a pretty picture.
It's kind of funny now I suppose. What's the old formula..tragedy plus time equals humour?
I cannot say that I was actually traumatized by the incident but I will say that since then I have steered clear or trickster clothing. And at this point in my life I will leave jumpsuits to younger, slimmer, more lithe and flexible ladies. I do not care how "now" they are or how "in the moment" they are. They will never exist in my closet again.
Yup, this is me. Some people said, "Sam, you should write a Blog". "Well, there's a thought", I thought to myself. And so here it is.