I’m overweight. I know I’m overweight, I know what I need to do to lose weight but I remain, stubbornly and without willpower, overweight. I don’t like the fact any more than you probably like thinking about it but those are the facts as they stand at the moment, laydees and gennelmenn.
I am fat.
Looking around me I see that there are other fat people too. I know I’m not alone, just as I know that whilst I may be fat, I’m actually quite happy. Sure it annoys me that the person I see in the mirror doesn’t match my mental self-image (ONE day someone with a swimmer’s body will stare back… yeah right..) but I’ve long since made my peace with how I look.
I can’t speak for others on this issue, but I know that being overweight isn’t just a matter of being too lazy to exercise and too weak to have enough self control (they are factors, don’t get me wrong). Some people genuinely do have physiological and psychological factors that affect their weight.
I don’t. I’m just fat. Like most of the other fatties out there.
So, given that there is a reasonable percentage of fat people out there (and only now, dear reader, am I finally warming to the reason behind this post) why is it so hard to buy clothes.
I just typed “so hard to big clothes…”, not quite freudian but close, no?
I’ve mentioned before that I’m picky. The phrase I tend to use is that “I know what I like” or more accurately I’d flip that around and echo what someone, who was probably famous for his wit and candour, once said “No, not that, that’s fuckin’ hideous”.
I don’t actually mind that in some shops I’m an XL, in others an XXL for, unless I’m buying a cheap shirt (for work) from Primark or Asda, I always try the clothes on in the shop first.
And so it was on Thursday night I found myself coveting a rather nice shirt in River Island. I’d already been in most of the usual high-street haunts to be confronted only with dark shirts with garish stripes (which are increasingly common and thus, increasingly against my thinking (yes I’m a snob, bite me)), or high-contrast checked ‘slim fit’ style shirts, with buttons and flaps and… ohh fuck that I’m not 17. I get the style, the fashion, don’t get me wrong. It’s just not me.
Of course River Island didn’t have the shirt in XL. I tried on the L to no avail (it buttoned but would require the abstaining from any form of seated activity whatsoever) and was a bit miffed.
Across the road (technically across the concourse I guess as we were in Silverburn shopping centre – a place with an excellent parking system which I’ll tell you about another time) to Suits You and once again I locate another shirt which I would deem worthy of a place in my wardrobe and further to hang on my manly, but fat, frame.
Guess what. The XL didn’t fit and they didn’t have any XXL in stock. Of course they didn’t.
So, having tried 7 different shops, ranging from £15 to £50 and beyond, I found two shirts which I would have bought had but they had the right size.
This is why I don’t like shopping for clothes. Two and a bit hours (not counting stopping off at a second River Island on the way home, same result) of being constantly reminded that I’m fat. It’s really not very nice.
And what I still don’t get is why there is NEVER enough stock of these sizes. If I was an L, M, S, or even (in one store) an XS, I am spoilt for choice (fashion decisions aside). But not so the XL and above.
I’m waffling now so I’ll close with another quote that was once, possibly, uttered by someone famous (possibly the Queen) after yet another day of disappointment on the polo field.