My husband had taken a work colleague to a shopping centre during the week, because the uniform she had been supplied with had burst at the seams and she needed new trousers.
She is a young girl and does not really know how to advocate for herself in the workplace, so he ended up negotiating with the boss to get some petty cash so she could at least turn up for work looking presentable.
My husband is a secret shopper. If you asked him to his face, he would claim to hate shopping, but years of experience has taught me that once you get him out there, he will happy spend hours roaming about. When you throw in the ability to make yourself feel like Richard Gere in Pretty Woman, albeit with slightly less cash, it no doubt becomes a heady mix.
He was telling me about the shopping trip because he thought the trousers they found in the end would be good for me too, and at thirty five bucks, a price that I would not baulk at. Given that I am currently the shape of a watermelon, I see little point in spending any money at all on clothes as they are all going to look terrible, so pretty much all my entire outfits are worth less that fifty dollars. The only exception to this are the shoes, as I did get some decent ankle length boots for Xmas, the problem being I can barely walk at the moment and so, given the modest one inch heel on them, am not wearing them much. The idea of twisting my knee is almost too much to contemplate.
So we headed to the shopping centre this morning just after I had introduced the dogs to phase two of the trick I began teaching them yesterday – not an overwhelming success – and parked up at the large shopping centre down the road. The trousers were right at the back of the store. They were exactly the ones I had suspected they would be, a bit like leggings, but with a thicker fabric and a bootleg. No pockets and a thick band of elastic around the waist.
The problem is with these type of trousers when you have no waist, is that they will slide on and try and give you one, causing your stomach below the waistline to bulge out, and the stomach above the waistline to push out over the top. By the time you have found a waistband big enough, the legs are so baggy, any hope you have to achieve a slightly slimmer look has long gone. I tried them on, but knew the outcome before I started – and had the deeply unpleasant experience of viewing said outcome in two mirrors so I could see the fat stomach horror while trying to avoid the fat back one. Also on the mirror was a sticker advising me that CCTV was operated in the store. Oh good! I really hope they were enjoying my discomfort in a darkened room somewhere.
I felt bad for my husband as I put them back on the rack. He likes to find stuff that makes me happy, but with trousers, he has met his match. It was always going to be a risky venture. On the way out, however, I spotted another rack of items on sale and another pair of trousers caught my eye. They were light caramel in colour, had a very lightweight fabric (Japanese the label said) and a proper waistband. They also had pockets and looked like they did not need ironing. They had already been reduced from $149 to $109, and the sign was telling me to take another 30% off. Hmmm could I spent $70 on trousers? I decided to try them on.
They were really comfortable and did not hold my stomach in a vice-like grip. They are sumner trousers, hence the discount, but my office is so hot, there is hardly any opportunity to wear winter clothes anyway. I decided to buy them. I got to the till, only to find out that they were even cheaper. They had been further discounted so the price worked out at $62. Then I remembered the $20 voucher I had from the store and gave the lady that. $42.00! I handed her a gift voucher I also had and completed a Charles’s transaction.
So now I am in possession of a pair of new, big trousers. My husband is happy because he still kind of got to be Richard Gere for a day, and although I am certainly no Julia Roberts, I did not spend a cent.