Monday, January 28, 2008


I spent Saturday afternoon and this afternoon scouring the January sales for suits and blouses. I'm notoriously hard to fit -- I'm 6'1" (185.4cm), my legs are disproportionately long compared to my torso, which means I need really long pants ("talls" on me are often still too short) and jackets that are cut a little shorter than a traditional jacket (not only due to having a comparatively short torso but also because my hips are 13" bigger around than my waist) but with really long sleeves (I don't know anyone with longer arms than me).

I managed to find two pairs of pants that fit in the States over Christmas, but no jackets. All the jackets were either cut too long, had too low of a stance, had only one button, or had no definition in the waist, thereby making me look like an enormous rectangle. Oh yeah, and every single one had sleeves that were too short. So short, in fact, that they would still be too short even if a tailor let them out all the way.

Given my shopping woes in the States, I was not optimistic about finding a suit in time for my job hunt (which starts in April). I was, however, determined to find some pretty blouses -- the majority of mine are blue, and I would like to branch out a little color-wise.

So I started by going to H&M after my German class on Saturday. I found a pretty lavendar shell and bought it, along with a deeper purple V-neck top and a wool sweater that was 50% off. Plus I had 15 francs worth of coupons, so I fared pretty well in that outing. I was pressed for time, though (the ladies' long program at the European Figure Skating Championships was about to be shown on TV), so I decided to wait and hit Promod and the larger H&M at the train station today.

My trip to Promod was pretty disappointing. They have so many gorgeous items in for their new spring collection, but I had to limit myself to the sale rack because of the prices. I found plenty of beautiful blouses... but Promod's sizes run small, and this year there was just nothing that fit. Hopefully I'll have lost everything I gained last year by next year (were you able to follow that?) so I'll be able to shop there again!

I kept my chin up, though, and went to the H&M by the train station to see what kind of a selection they had. Sizes there run closer to American sizes, so I felt pretty hopeful. A thorough search of the lower floor only gave me one potential blouse, so I was starting to get a little discouraged. But then I saw the 50% off rack with a really cute pair of pants... no way were they going to be long enough, but I decided to try them on anyway to see if they could be let out by a tailor.

They fit beautifully. Not only did the hem hit the floor, but there was also a 1 1/2-inch cuff at the bottom! (Not to mention the fact that they show off my rear end rather nicely.) So I went out and grabbed all the cute pants they had in my size and tried them on... and found a black pair, a grey pair and a brown pair that fit. Not bad.

Then, just for the heck of it, I decided to try on some jackets even though I knew the sleeves would never be long enough. Sure enough, the same old problems kept cropping up... Too long. Stance too low. Only one button. No waist. I was so frustrated.

Until I came to the last two jackets... a solid black one and a solid grey one.

They fit. Perfectly.

I bought two suit jackets and three pairs of suit pants for a grand total of 230 francs (about $210).

Beat that.


The Lone Beader said...

Wow! You got a great deal! :)

Irie said...

There are days when I'd rather chew off my own arm than go shopping. I'm glad that you found what you needed!

Expat Traveler said...

i love h&m but I'm not impressed with what we have here in Vancouver.