Extreme dressing events – weddings, christenings, charity balls, ladies day at ascot – the dress has to be stunning, the shoes and handbag match and oh to get the chance to don a hat a jaunty angle. We women love a chance to dress up.
But this extreme dressing up requires us to endeavour to highlight our best bits and hide our not so fabulous parts behind glorious swathes of fantastic fabric. We elongate our legs in shoes so high we can barely walk and we cram ourselves into push them up, pad them out and suck it all in underwear.
My very exclusive invite said Lounge Suit. Debretts told me that meant not a cocktail dress or an evening dress but a dress suitable for a wedding guest.
And then my lounge suit attire search for my extremist of dressing events took on mammoth proportions, as had I it would seem.
Dresses in shops from Lakeside to Bluewater, from London to Brighton in sizes 14 to 18 seemed to have shrunk and I struggled to cram my ample bosom and not so flat stomach into any of them.
Some I could zip up but don’t ask me to move or sit down. And when I peered at myself in the mirror I discovered boobs forced flat as a pancake with spillage indecently pushed out over the top of the dress and even into my armpits.
Others didn’t even zip up halfway.
But joy of all joy I found a shop on the high street specialising in dresses for bigger busted women.
I took the super really curvy size 16 into the dressing room. It fit, it fit! Oh no wait a minute I hadn’t got it zipped up all the way.
“Do you do a super duper really super curvy?” I asked
The shop assistant looked me up and down as I stood there barefoot and bursting out of the very expensive dress, “No, you have on the biggest bust size we do in dresses.”
All I want is to be able to walk into a high street shop and buy a dress that fits all of me.
Quite specifically this is what I want – to have women’s clothes available in inches or cms not unstandardised sizes 6 to 22 that don’t fit anyone everywhere.
I just want a dress that fits my waist measurement, that skims my hips and one that doesn’t cram my boobs in like they were crowbarred into the frock horror.
But in this era of competitive skinny perfection if you’re bum’s bigger than your belly or your hips are smaller than your bum shopping has become a hideous day of soul destroying exhausting devastation that leaves you with body dysmorphia.
I’m an apple shape. Do you know what fruit shape you are and would it even matter if you did because the shops don’t sell clothes that fit fruit shapes. They don’t even sell clothes that fit anybody perfectly.
I’d love to be able to shop like a man who provides his measurements and walks away with clothes that fit exactly.
Eventually Evans, the shop for larger ladies (you’ll not find a soul destroying size 6 in here) surprised with a dress that fit my ample bosom perfectly, even flatters it with a slight sweetheart neckline but it’s slightly too big everywhere else.
But I can live with that cos I can breathe in it, sit down in it and eat a full meal without any part of it going Rrrrriiiippppp.