29 Oct 2012

Fashion Fever

I may not have the greatest fashion sense in the world, but I do pride myself slightly on having a good "eye" for fashion.  Of course this eye of mine may be slightly different from the Hubert de Givenchy's of this world, but I'm willing to give myself credit for appreciating nice clothing.  And no, that doesn't include Bubble coats.  I have seen far too many of them surfacing in recent weeks and I want to tell you, I'm not a fan. 

H&M models.  I will never look as good as them: FACT.
I decided to go on what one might call a "shopping spree" this Saturday, starting off in the very familiar H&M.  Saturday, it seems, is the worst possible day to go shopping in France.  Frankly, I will never do it again.  I'd already endured the wrath of supermarket shopping on a Saturday and I believe this topped it.  There were so many people raiding the clothing rails, hogging the mirrors (which were 1) slimming, 2) dark).  It was like staring at a significantly altered representation of yourself through a pair of sunglasses.  As much as losing a few pounds and gaining a suntan in a mirror can make your shopping experience more endurable, I was not fooled.

To add to this, the winter collection was pants (as in rubbish, not the American equivalent to trousers!)  Truly unimpressive.   The shop was about 80% coats.  I already have a coat.  Who needs more than one coat anyway?  Unless you're Kate Middleton of course, who is technically not allowed to wear the same coat more than once without the headlines reading "Kate hit badly by recession too".  Never mind wearing the same coat two days on the trot.

And don't even get me started on the queue for the fitting room.  I was tempted to just go al fresco and create a makeshift dressing room in a corner of the shop and use one of the many coat rails to protect my dignity.  Yet despite the infuriatingly long queue which appeared to snake round the shop, I decided I was going to try my patience and wade it out for the long haul.  As I got closer to the entrance, the person manning the dressing room came up to me and pretty much man-handled me.  After counting how many items of clothing I had as if I were a coat stand, he proceeded to pick up my coat which was draped on my other arm and shake it about a bit before he ruffled my hair with his eyes to check that I wasn't obscuring a pair of pumps in my voluminous hair.  I mean, seriously.  You'd have thought I were a terrorist or something with the amount of frisking that went one.

My complaints about the clothing?  1) The sizes are different from the UK.  A UK size 10 is a European size 38.  But still, the clothes were too big.  In H&M in the UK all the clothes come up really small (either to make me feel fat, or because 12 year old girls are increasingly frequenting the store), so I was completely surprised when trying on an equivalent size 10 in Europe to see that all the clothes were hanging off me.  As much as I'd love to say I've lost weight, I think all the bread and cheese I've been consuming over recent months would make that nay impossible.  I just put that down to a lack of consistency with sizing.

2) All the dresses were so long.  Like mid-calf bashers.  I don't think any of the dresses I tried on were above the knee.  As an Essex girl, I don't quite understand the concept of anything which doesn't cut at least 5 inches above the knee.  Not because I've got killers pins or anything (I wish), but because Essex girls live by the motto "less is more".  Especially when it's covered in fake tan and cellulite.  I'd just like to point out that I'm not a real Essex girl and none of these gross representations apply to yours truly.  At least, I try to cover up any offending cellulite with a dress that actually covers my booty.  But why all the long dresses?   Either I'm incredibly small at 5'4" or the French live by the motto "more is more".  Or perhaps it's because everyone here wears high-heels, whether it's for work, shopping or going out.  Although I should clarify that these "high" heels are more like kitten-heels rather than great white stomping stillettos which Essex girls use to cripple their boyfriends when they get out the wrong side of bed in the morning.

I've also noticed this annoying obsession with purchasing clothing which is obviously about 3 sizes too small.  As much as ill-fitting, skin-clawing tops are so hot right now, don't flatter yourself with thinking you're a size 6, just because the seam doesn't split.  Was it really all that necessary to sew yourself into that dress, Olivia Newton John style?  Don't forget that the poor woman couldn't pee for 48 hours during filming for Grease.  Is it really worth all the strain on your poor bladder?  No, just accept you're not as tiny as you were when you were 13 years old, and choose clothing which doesn't cut off your blood circulation.  *Rant over*

So, that was the completion of unsuccessful day no.1 shopping in Paris.  Oh, I just wish I could afford Armani right now.

Watch this space.


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