Why I can’t buy clothes anymore…

I’ve had a mini rant on Twitter today as I really wanted to buy a new dress for an upcoming event, just a classic vintage inspired dress in 100% cotton or nice blend of breathable fabric. Something that is a nice shape and that will cover my ass. I’m 5’11” and a pear shape with tiny boobs. I like to be comfortable but stylish with my own look. I used to be able to go into any shop and find one or two things that I would be able to tweak to suit my style.

Over the past year or so I’ve bought fewer and fewer clothes. I’ve tried, I’ve shopped and I’ve come home empty handed. I don’t know if it’s me getting older, being spoilt with good quality clothes from working in retail or if I’ve simply become fussier. Or am I right in thinking that the high street has become completely ridiculous?

Here are the things I want in a clothing range

  • Good quality fabric, preferably natural so that it washes well, breathes and lasts.
  • Prices that reflect the quality.
  • Cuts and shapes that are flattering, I prefer tailored styles.
  • Attention to detail, linings, zips in the right place and pretty trims will always get my attention.
  • Lengths that work for everyone, I’m tall, I need it knee length. Remember a shorter person can take it up, tall girls can’t add length to dresses.
  • Designs that are inspired by vintage, but created in a timeless style rather than being dictated by trends that last one season.
  • Bright colours and fun prints, although they aren’t for everyone they are certainly always a winner for me. I can’t shop when everything is pastel or natural shades.

Here are the things that I HATE in current clothing ranges

  • Overpriced items with prices that do not reflect the quality or workmanship that has gone into it.
  • One size fits all attitudes. You can’t make a range in S, M, L EVER you just can’t categorise women into just three categories.
  • Every being so obsessed with trends that it makes it impossible to have your own look. Plus, not everyone suits the trends of that season.
  • One length fits all attitude. Short is great if you’re petite, but when you’re tall you can’t add length, making shopping for trousers, shorts and dresses near impossible.
  • Leggings. They should be banned. Or at least reserved for sportswear, if you have to wear them, they should never be used in place of trousers. It doesn’t like nice on anyone. My opinion anyway.
  • Cookie cutter fashion. Every single shop seems to have the same thing now. So few stores seem to put their own stamp on things.

Do you have these issues with shops?

Tell me what you think of modern day clothes shopping?

Comment below, share this post and tweet me anytime on @JayneJRead


Tagged , , ,

16 thoughts on “Why I can’t buy clothes anymore…

  1. I agree. I’m short but still have trouble finding dresses that are knee length (skirts are fine) and dresses with sleeves? Any sleeves? Pah, no chance! I don’t want long sleeves, just something to cover the shoulders so I don’t have to worry about what I can stick underneath. If I find an item I really like now, I tend to buy it in several colours just because it’s easier

    1. I know! Whatever happened to the capped sleeve? Perfect for everyone. I’m thinking it’s an issue with the effort involved in making a sleeve.

  2. This is why i bought a sewing machine and decided to start making my own clothes. it probably does work out a little more expensive (contrary to popular belief) as fabric is expensive unless your able to bulk buy. but at least i can make clothes that i like and that suit me.

    High street stores have deffinatly gotten worse. i dont know if its because of the ‘recession’ and everyone is trying to cut costs, therefore the quality of the clothes is worse and there are fewer styles but it is infuriating.

    i needed new work shoes the other day, and i went into a shop looking for size 5 plain black ballet flats (or something similar)…. nothing… they had ridiculous colours, they had discustingly garish high heels, and they had what looked like old man slippers… so i ended up wearing my dance shoes to work.

    Also i complained to new look about a model on their website who looked anorexic and they said they were looking into it but i havent heard any more and the picture is still there. it used to be one of my fave shops, i could always find something cheap to tweak but not fo quite a while now.

    i appologise for the long comment, i guess i needed a rant about them too

  3. you should check out Shabby Apple they are amazing! xxx

    1. Love it! Wish it was in the UK, I don’t want to browse for too long as can’t justify shopping overseas without trying on first.

  4. I would agree that the high street has lost quality while increasing prices, which is obviously never going to work in the customers favour.
    I 100% agree that leggings ARE NOT trousers!!

  5. i agree with the legging things, i love leggings but i cannot wear them as trousers, why would u do this?
    you can see your pants and everything lol
    i wear them with shorts manily, or a dress

    also i agree with them being over price, have u seen how much new look has gone up in price in the last 2 years, its like 24 pound for a top now, ridiculous

  6. I dont think its fair to suggest that everything should be made long and short girls should have to take skirts and dresses up but I do think that every store should have a section dedicated to taller ladies. I’m 5.6″ and I have a lot of trouble finding knee length clothing too, and you’re right, there should be a range of “classic” clothes that have a more classic and tailored shape.
    I’m going to throw out there though that I don’t mind leggings as trousers as long as the top being worn with them covered the persons bottom and they aren’t majorly thin material. Each to their own really, I don’t think it looks any worse than people who walk around in clothes with their breasts hanging out, or clothes that are clearly too small, or with stupid/offensive slogans on them so live and let live I say.

    1. Tall ranges are too tall for me generally. Can you believe it? I thought I was pretty tall. Plus, it annoys me that both tall and petite ranges have different thing to the main line, a very limited and particular look, which I don’t think is fair.

      My suggestion that things should be made longer would be better, if more shops offered an alteration service that would be amazing, places like Uniqlo, Hobbs and Jigsaw already offer this. It’s a very cheap service that could in theory be offered as a free service or for just a few pounds.

      My main issue with leggings is that so many people wear them badly I have nothing against them underneath long tops, it’s when like you say you can see through them or have them horrid muffin top going on. Not flattering. To me, leggings just heighten the possibility of a clothing fail.

  7. Jayne, I feel your pain (though in a slightly different way). I’m 5’1 and while my waist is tiny, my hips and boobs are slim it dosnt really make much of a difference. But inspite of my small measurements, my figure is quite curvy. A little bit like I’m a miniture version of a classic hourglass (if that makes sense).

    My boobs arnt big enough to fit low cut or strapless tops properly (XS is often far to big) and T-Shirts make me look like a child. Those beautiful, gauzy, ankle length dresses drape along the floor on me (even in my huge heels) and its immensly hard finding jeans that fit not only the length of my legs, but also the shape.

    My biggest problem would have to be my feet though, they are a size 3 sometimes a 2 and its immensly hard finding beautiful, unusual pairs of heels that fit especially when I only buy vegan).

    For longer more 50’s style dresses I suggest you try out Vivienne of Holloway. While the dresses are far to long for me I’m sure they would lok beautiful on you Miss Jayne! The full skirt will balance out your hips and the subtle detailing on the bust adds the illusion of bigger boobs, without looking tacky. Plus, they come in a huge array of colours and patterns!

    My main tip though is to make the accessories the outfit, no matter how short, tall, fat, thin, pale or tanned you are, a good handbag with fit anyone. And because a handbag is so practical, you have an excuse to buy a million!

    Much Love x

  8. You’re not being spoilt at all. Everywhere I go the shops have the same thing every season. I have actually skipped shopping during many trends because I won’t find anything I like. For example when there was a floral trend, I don’t like florals but flowers flowers everywhere!! No originality from anyone (high street).
    Another issue I have, I LOVE maxi skirts/dresses… But oh no, the trend is to have an asymmetric cut – not EVERYONE wants to bear their knees!! AND where are the sleeves? I don’t want to have to wear a cardi or jacket over my maxi!

    Rant over. Thank you for pointing this out.

    Love, Naheeda x

  9. I went panic buying for holiday clothes a couple of weeks ago and ended up buying some horrors – an example would be a bag like dress with a piece of string as the waist! I’ve also just taken an elasticy dress out the wash and the white bits have gone patchy and it looks mis-shaped!

    I also have problems buying clothes being short! Although I do tend to buy clothes that are comfy and I do love my leggings (as long as a top covers my bum it’s all good for me!)

  10. Arghh! Yes. I have an absolute nightmare shopping for clothes. Many shops size clothes to ‘flatter’ meaning a size 8/10 gets bigger and bigger! I’m tiny and many styles now swamp my frame. For the past few years I’ve either had to buy Italian brands or try high end high street (Karen Millen etc…) because the clothes are more fitted than Zara and H&M. You’re really tall so I can imagine leg lengths can be a nightmare. I have the opposite problem though- many styles are too long and can’t always be chopped down because you lose the shape. Sorry for the long rant! Clothes shopping just drives me nuts for this reason. (Best not to get me started on finding decent bras!)

  11. I am so completely with you on this one. I’m not really sure who the high street are actually catering for. and leggings with nothing else is a massive no no from me.

  12. Hi Jayne,

    Bit late coming to this one, but i saw it pop up on your twitter last night and felt I had to comment. As someone who has worked in fashion retail for 5 years yet wears almost solely vintage clothing, apart from the basics like shirts, t-shirts etc. I agree with how difficult it is to find clothes on the high street.

    I’m short, but not tiny, around about 5ft 3, yet i still find it hard to find clothes on the high street the right length. My problem especially is with jersey tops, notoriously difficult to alter but never anywhere near the right length. I find with many plain t-shirts (what i tend to wear with my 50s skirts) I have them coming down past my bum!

    For me though it is undeniably the quality versus. price thing. I know buying vintage has become more expensive in recent years, but i still find you get more for your buck buying vintage than you ever would do new. If i had £50 to spend on a nice vintage summer dress I know i could find something that was high quality, and in good condition too. Spending the same on the high street? I know in the past i have struggled. For example I’ve seen lots of things with stunning prints in Warehouse and Topshop recently, but the quality of workmanship has been so poor there is NO WAY i would spend the £50 on it.

    My other problem comes with sizing. With vintage I just measure the garment to know wether it will fit, but i dont expect to have to do this on the high street. Companies vary their sizes so much it is insane. My prime example comes from Topshop Leigh jeans. I already own a pair that are a size 8 and fit me perfectly, so went they went down into the sale i immediately bought 3 more pairs (in different colours/ prints) because I knew what a great fit they were. When i got to trying on what were supposedly all size 8s I found that NONE were the same fit as the pair i already had. One pair i could only just about force over my hips and there was no way they were doing up, another i could get the button done up on but felt like i might pop it at any second and the third pair were incredibly loose and felt at least a size bigger. I don’t get this, they were meant to be the same jeans???

    Yes, buying vintage takes more searching, but i enjoy the thrill of this. I sometimes get scared in the high street when i am greeted by SO much of the same thing and identikit items in every shop I go in.( Forever 21…my prime example). To me i feel like the fast fashion bubble has reached bursting point, i acutally think that the increase in clothes prices is not a bad thing as hopefully his may slow down the insustainable cycle of fast fashion we currently have, which in turn should hopefully lead to better quality, better made garments, with more thought in the design process.

    Sorry for the essay!


  13. Hi! I know this post was written few years ago, but I hope you’ll still get this message.
    I’m pear shape too and I’m surprised how hard it is to find a skirt or a dress that’s flattering for this shape. Clothes are made for either curvy women or skinny model type. Well, I’m both, skinny on top and curvy on bottom.
    Few years ago I discovered People Tree and they make clothes that fit me perfectly. But even better, they are fair trade shop and all materials that they use are organic. It’s quite expensive but the quality is so good I think it’s worth it.

Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: