The Loh Life

Business Dress, Part Three: Motley Crew

Sandra Tsing Loh has a problem with some clothing sizes.

As a member of America's largest demographic group, women aged 45 to 60, some 50 million strong - I ask a humble question.

Who will make clothes for us?

Here's my VISA card.  Anyone.

I've described my conundrum.

A work-from-home telecommuter, I had a rare important business presentation.  At the 11th hour as usual, because I'm always working until the last minute - Realizing I need an outfit without toothpaste spots on it, I screech into Old Town Pasadena, J. Crew.  It's not clothes-falling-off-the-hangers Ross For Less, nor is it the I must say new and groovy Good Will.  J. Crew is Michelle Obama's store - it's a branded establishment where I will pay retail to get just what I need.  Which today is a perfect, black, tailored, below-the-knee business skirt which will cost, as opposed to six dollars at Goodwill, a hundred and ten.  Fine.  I just want the bulgy hips to go away and be crossed off of the list of things I forgot to take care of.

And guess what?  J. Crew is sold out of all sizes of black skirts except size two and zero!  For you men, that's like pants with a 22 or 24 inch waist!  I would have to remove one of my two hip shanks to fit into one.

However, skirts in green or white?  Those they have in every size, all the way up to 10, 12, 14!  Who WANTS a white skirt?  I would ask.  No one!  No woman alive!

I shrug into an at least comfortably-sized jungle green skirt, with nice silky lining - But here's the thing.  Being that I am the sort of multi-tasking working mom who does not have the extra eight hours a week to keep up with my cardio barre or Pilates?  The sad fact is, I have cellulite on the front of my legs!  Not the back.  The front!  The part that the skirt is presenting!  Thanks, J. Crew - now that I've worked overtime to make the money to buy the clothes?  Thanks for reminding me I don't have time for a personal trainer!

By contrast, men?  No matter what their size, Big and Tall, Tall and Large, or just Huge and Huge, thanks to the success of basketball players, 300-pound rappers, the Mafia and Luciano Pavarotti, suits are their friends.  I have a rather large male friend who, upon helping himself to cheese and hummus recently, described himself contentedly as "a perfect 52."  I don't even know what that means!  He simply goes online to his traditional men's clothier, Hart Schaffner Marx, orders a 52, pulls it out of the box, and suddenly a fat man with slumpy shoulders looks like a million bucks.

Whereas I look like a Jamaican crab shack with leg cellulite!  Why?

Next week: Oprah Wear.


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