Shopping with (or without) Dignity

I have made no secret of my post-pregnancy weight that I am struggling to lose so it shouldn’t come as a surprise that I am therefore struggling to find clothes to wear.  Clothes that actually fit my newly defined shape.  Clothes that do not have a “maternity” label sewn into them.

Yes, I am almost nine-months post-pregnancy and I still wear maternity clothes.  Maternity jeans, to be exact.  I recently packed up all of my pregnancy shirts and replaced them with new “Large” tees and sweaters.  **Pat on the back.**

Which is why, in a fit of exasperation last week, I opened up a line of credit to a store that shall not be named (but it starts with J and ends with Jill) so that I could get the credit card discount.  I then proceeded to order five pairs of jeans in various sizes.  Now granted, I had never worn their pants before. But I figured that since they came in “tall” they would be worth a try.  Unfortunately, none of them worked (although I did keep the long skirt that I ordered because it fit very nicely) so I headed to the mall to return my purchases.

I don’t know about you, but I always find it a bit embarrassing to return online orders.  I feel like somehow I’ve cheated the company or that it’s going to take away from the store’s sales for the day so they won’t want to help me.  That’s what was going through my mind as I plunked my large package down on the counter and said that I had a return.

The woman looked down her nose at me and asked what was the matter with my purchase.  I told her that the pants didn’t fit right.  Should have sufficed, right?  Either they fit or they don’t, case closed.

Or so I thought.  She proceeded to look over the booty (pun intended) and found a pair that had obviously not been opened.  ”But you didn’t even open these,” she exclaimed, as if I had somehow offended her.  She kept going until she made it through the stack and then asked, once again, what was wrong with my purchases.  It was at this point that I began to ramble, which is never good.

“Well, I had a baby earlier this year, you see, (she obviously could see as said baby was with me in his stroller) and I’m still trying to figure out what size I am as my body has changed, blah, blah, blah.”  I was afraid I had started to sound like Charlie Brown’s teacher so I finally stopped talking.

She looked up at me and asked, “So what are you going to wear then?”

Oh no she didn’t!

So now not only do I feel bad for having to return clothes AFTER already being upset that the clothes didn’t fit in the first place, but I also have to tell a complete stranger that I will need to keep wearing my maternity clothes until I can fit into regular pants.

Needless to say, I will never shop at that store again.  In fact, all of my clothing purchases will now be made from the comfort (and anonymity) of my own home.

The end.

ps – I found some pants that actually fit at The Gap.  And I was able to retain my dignity in the process.


Jessica @ How Sweet It Is - October 28, 2010 - 8:06 pm

I can’t believe the gall of some store associates. If I were you, I would see if there is a place you can comment on their website or something? Ridiculous.

And I’m glad you got some jeans that make you feel fabulous!
.-= Jessica @ How Sweet It Is´s last blog ..Homemade Whole Wheat Panko Breadcrumbs. =-.

Sarah Roberts - October 28, 2010 - 8:35 pm

I’m in the same sitch with the post-prego body. Shopping is no fun! That was terrible of the store employee – I’m so sorry for you! Good luck in finding jeans – that’s my quest as well!
.-= Sarah Roberts´s last blog ..Family photos =-.

Casper - October 28, 2010 - 10:18 pm

Sorry, I don’t like when sales people are busy bodies like that. Just take the clothes and move on. Might I suggest yoga pants. I have fallen in love with them, I have a feeling I will be wearing them long after pregnancy :) . I am sure you are trying to get away from that look though!
.-= Casper´s last blog ..Mac N Cheese Quest =-.

Kristina P. - October 28, 2010 - 10:26 pm

Wow, she was snotty!! And I buy and return online stuff ALL THE TIME.
.-= Kristina P.´s last blog ..Unbreak My Heart =-.

Kamae - October 29, 2010 - 6:46 am

In my opinion, shopping for jeans (and bathing suits), at any stage of life is hard! I’m sorry she made you feel bad. Good luck with the shopping!

Mom of 5 - October 29, 2010 - 6:48 am

Can’t believe that saleswoman…you definitely need to call the store manager or post something on their website. Customer service needs to be addressed when it is SO lacking in associates of any store and the managers want to know this, they don’t want to lose customers.

Wish I had been with you for two reasons: I wouldn’t have let that one pass, I’d have called for a manager; and we would have had a glorious day shopping until we found several new jeans and outfits that make you look and feel great!!! They’re out there.

I feel you distress as does all Mom’s. Hang in there and keep doing what you’re doing. You’re next experience will be much better – you’ll actually have a great salesperson, I’m sure!!!

April - October 29, 2010 - 6:53 am

Ugh, that sale associate’s behavior was truly out of line. I mean, I get that they are probably trained to do almost anything to ‘retain’ a sale, but the lengths she went to definitely need to be reported further up the chain of command. Don’t let her get you down in the meantime though! Most of us have struggled with this at some point; heck, I am still struggling with it. Wait, can I still count it as ‘baby weight’ if my son is 4? ;-)

Monique - October 29, 2010 - 10:05 am

Wow, I would have ended up being rude. She had no right. I am glad you found some pants though. Buying clothes is such a nightmare. I have a hard time also.

Jessika - October 29, 2010 - 10:06 am

I agree…. cute yoga pants and tunics. Get some cute jackets to put on over the tunic for when you’re going out. Plus, they are a whole lot cheaper than other things, AND they are much more flexible and will still fit you longer if you lose weight. Jeans get baggy right away. Pair it all with flats!
.-= Jessika´s last blog ..Wreath =-.

the domestic fringe - October 30, 2010 - 4:14 pm

I HATE when sales people are like that! I had a similar run-in once at an underwear shop. No it wasn’t even Victoria Secrets, but someplace similar.

Don’t you feel one bit bad!!!! You just made a baby and then went ahead and birthed that big baby. It takes time for things to find their place again, and maybe they just found a new place on your body. That’s not so bad. You’re a beautiful woman with a beautiful baby! That woman in the store is a mean old crow, and probably ugly too. ;-)

Glad you found some pants that fit you. I have a nightmare of a time going pants shopping. The Gap usually works for me, but another store that works is Anne Taylor Loft. For some reason their pants just fit when others don’t.

Secret? I have a maternity skirt from Old Navy that I wear all the time. No-one else knows. Shhhh….

Oh, ya, my kids are 10 & 8.
.-= the domestic fringe´s last blog ..One Frightful Night =-.

Mindee@ourfrontdoor - October 31, 2010 - 7:51 am

I was just going to suggest The Gap. Tall girls have to stick together. That sales lady was horrible!
.-= Mindee@ourfrontdoor´s last blog ..Autumn in Finlad =-.

Julie - October 31, 2010 - 4:13 pm

Rude salesclerks are the worst! I probably would have asked for the manager :)

Carolina Baker - October 31, 2010 - 6:08 pm

I’m curious…did you say something to her back?

Something that really helps me understand people more is the following….

1. Some don’t know any better. Period. Enough Said.

2. “It is easy to be heavy and hard to be light.”

I applied no.2 when I attempted to street sell some bras in union square and got kicked out by a very MEAN MEAN MEAN farmer. I kept my cool, smiled, and went on my merry way.
.-= Carolina Baker´s last blog .. =-.

Lisa - November 1, 2010 - 1:58 pm

Ohmygosh!!! Not sure how you kept your cool but I would have been livid (and probably a crying mess). What a terrible sales clerk – I will be sure to keep that in mind if/when I am ever in your position!

PS- I am almost 6′ and also love GAP, they have great jeans for tall people. So glad you found your happy pants there :)

admin - November 1, 2010 - 7:58 pm

oh yes, love the Gap pants! I got some from Old Navy too that worked quite well – so glad that come in the extra long!

Katie - November 5, 2010 - 1:19 pm

I can’t believe that sales person. You were pretty polite considering… It has been 9 months since I had my little girl Brooke, so I understand the clothing issues. I’m in the same boat since most of my “pre-baby” clothes don’t fit anymore.

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