So here are some things I don’t understand about shirts:
- All the shirts in Next have the sleeves rolled up. WHY? Presumably it’s a fashion thing? But am I allowed to roll them back down? Or are they designed that way? How do people know these things?
- Next also sell tailored shirts. Off the rack. HOW? I thought tailored meant they were altered specifically for the wearer?
- Shirts with buttons on the collar corners look ridiculous to me. Do they not look ridiculous to everyone else? If not, how do I recalibrate myself?
These issues arise because I’m running the music at an 80-guest dancing evening this weekend, and I’ve decided to look vaguely smart. Not so far as wearing a tie – ugh – but some non-jean trousers and a shirt. Unfortunately, I was recently informed that none of my shirts fit properly.
Apparently shirts should be form fitting (although not skin tight). Up to now my reaction would have been “well, I don’t care about that”, but my brain is all-of-a-sudden retaliating with “you’re single. It’s hardly any effort. And did I mention you’re single?”. Plus I’ve looked at people in the street, and must grudgingly admit there’s some sense to the idea. And everything I own now feels baggy. So I either need to put on weight – something I’ve actually struggled at since coming in under the recommended BMI in April – or go shopping.
I am crap at clothes shopping. Clothes shops hate me. The last time I had a proper go I walked into some empty changing rooms and an alarm went off. Nobody came to check it out, but I nevertheless ran away, then got talked into going back an hour later, and it went off again. They hate me.
Last Saturday I went out with the sole intention of buying clothes, and failed. I tried again today, and failed. Hence the shirt queries1. Clearly, intervention is required.
I considered internet shopping, but this new requirement of trying things on, rather than buying Medium and hoping, means that’s no answer. So what to do? Well, there’s only one thing for it. Earlier this year a certain female parent who shall remain nameless said to me “that’s nice, did you get it with Abi? You only get nice clothes when a woman takes you shopping”2. As it happened, Abi had indeed been there. The sentiment is annoyingly sound: I need a woman to help me.
I have corralled my sister into it. I suspect she doesn’t realise what she’s letting herself in for. I’ll have to babysit to make up for it, or something. Friday is the day. I will be successful. I will.