Coffee heat rising

Shopping for the Pleistocene Set

LOL! Frugal Scholar has a great story today about finding a pair of Not Your Daughter’s Jeans at a thrift store, discovering they fit pretty well, getting a compliment from DH (!!), and so going in search of similar togs. None of which fit at-tall.

Was going to add my most recent shopping tale in a comment to hers, but Blogger won’t let you post a comment unless you have a specific gmail account open, and since I’m busy with the Festival of Frugality, I’m not logging out of that account, into the FaM account, out of the FaM account, and then back into the FoF account just to scribble a few words.

But this is funny enough to share, anyway. Hence:

Yesterday I wandered into a boutique in the thriving strip mall where Leslie’s swimming pool store resides. This shop always has THE cutest clothes in the window. Highly covetable.

Within those air-conditioned climes I found a cute top, gauzy with nifty crewelwork trim. Dig out the tag: $135.

Moving on…

The sales clerk came bouncing up and offered to sell me anything she could. I asked how to tell the sizes, since the sizing wasn’t obvious. She also had to dig around for a tag and finally came up with one on a chic-looking pair of low-slung pants: Large.

“Uhm… Large? That wouldn’t begin to fit around my rear end,” said I. “How do your sizes run?”

“Oh,” quoth she, “they go up to about a size 10.”

“A size 10 is ‘large’?”


“How are you able to sell many clothes? The average woman in this country wears a size 14. That is not ‘large.’ That’s average.”

“Actually,” she started in—hang onto your hat: this is where it gets good. “Actually, the reason fashion sizes run small these days is that the Japanese are buying so many clothes, and they’re kind of small.”

“I don’t see any Japanese customers around here,” I observed.

“Well, because of the demand in Asia, manufacturers are all making clothes for Chinese and Japanese women.”

“That explains a lot,” I said. “I hardly ever buy clothes any more, because nothing fits. And you know, at size 12 I don’t think I’m fat.” (Objectively true: I’m well within the normal BMI range for a woman my age and height.)

“Oh, no, nooooo, you’re not fat!”

You don’t think so? “Well, the only place I’m buying clothes these days is Costco, because that’s the only place where I can find things that fit. Maybe American women would like to wear cute clothes, too?”

Exit, pursued by a globalized bear.

Isn’t that the most hilarious thing? Literally, there is no Asian community anywhere near that store. The demographics are mostly white followed closely by Latino and a fast-growing African-American community. Last I saw, few of us looked especially underfed. How do retailers that have absolutely no concern for their customers stay in business?

So, the next time you try on umpteen berjillion outfits and can’t fit into one of them, you’ll know:

It’s because the Chinese have the sewing machine!

Image: Singer Sewing Machine. Vincent de Groot. GNU Free Documentation License.