Fashion: showing and shopping

It has been really breezy this week. I think winter is being blow away and the warmer weather of Spring is being encouraged. There are a few buds on the trees and people generally have a bit of spring in their step.

I was walking into town, trying to clock up steps on my pedometer – I compete with middle daughter and the husband. A walk seemed like a good idea and the sun was shining. I decided that I would opt for a skirt no need to wear jeans all day every day, besides it was a stunning 10C. As I walked over the big bridge, near the Zofin gardens, my skirt was swept up by the wind and passengers on the passing tram got a flash of my white wobbly legs and knickers. This was made all the worse since walking towards me was a Nun, who was holding down her floating clothes to retain her modesty. She gave me a forgiving smile and I hurried along on my way.

IMG-20150310-WA0000Last week I was a ‘Dresser’ at a charity fashion show. It involved having my nose pressed up against the breasts of a woman I had only just met, as we tried to wriggle her into a very tight dress by putting it on over her head and pulling downwards. She was wearing a strapless bra and as I tried to get the tight black evening dress on her, the fact the bra had no straps meant it came down as the dress was dragged downwards. We were both mortified but there is little time for gracious behaviour as you have only a few minutes before the next outfit needs to be complete and she is heading back out onto the runway. The show was a huge success and the backstage party was almost as good as front of house with copious amounts of Prosecco flowing. The fashion show had stirred my inner fashionista and I thought I would up-date my wardrobe in time for Spring. I would not be buying a strapless bra for my 34G boobies.IMG-20150310-WA0001

There is much in the media about buying mass produced clothing, made in factories by women and children practically enslaved there. I thought I would do my best to support local people and not support the sweatshops. I had seen a shop selling clothes designed and made in the Czech Republic and thought I would check it out.

I made my way to the shop, not that easy to find but I had walked by a few times and thought it looked worth a visit. I saw a few things I liked but typically, they were designing the outfits for someone who was a lot skinner than me. I began to get a bit annoyed that nothing fitted – the largest they had was an ‘M’ but that would have been a 10 in UK sizes. It got frustrating, I was on the point of having a moan when I thought better of it and walked out. I had a similar experience when living in Zurich. I had walked past a shop with some lovely dresses in the window. I went in with youngest daughter, saw a nice loose linen shirt and picked it up. The woman who owned the shop came over and took the item out of my hands. The conversation which followed between the owner and me sent youngest daughter into fits of laughter to the extent that she could hardly draw breath:

‘Madam! You do not want to wear that, it will make you look fat.’ (She may have even said ‘fatter’, it all became a blur) ‘You need to try this, you are like me, my doctor says I need to loose 5 or 6 kilos’ ‘Do you always finish your food and leave an empty plate? That is why you are fat like me.’

When someone speaks to you, informs you brutally that you could loose weight, whilst trying to sell you something, it does truly take you by surprise – I was pretty much speechless. I tried on the suggested item, whilst stunned by her comments, a wrap around top, it did fit nicely. Youngest daughter nodded her approval, she was still unable to speak, giggling for some time after we left the shop. On the way home, we bumped in Angela, my GP in Zurich, we were on the train home. I told her the story and much to my upset, being my doctor, she did NOT say that I should NOT loose 5 or 6 kilos. It was a shopping experience to beat all others. It reminded me of the time Oprah Winfrey went shopping in Zurich, she was there for the wedding Tina Turner. Oprah tried to buy a handbag in a lah-de-dah designer shop. The bag was worth something crazy like $38,000, the shop assistant allegedly told Oprah ‘No, no you don’t want to see that one, you want to see this one because that one will cost too much. You will not be able to afford that.’  Oprah thought it was because she was Black, after my experience, it could have been any reason at all.

Maybe European shop assistants are a different? At this rate I will have to resort to ordering online. Of course this is not all shop assistants, there are kinder ones out there, it is just a bit of a chore finding them – that is why I am still shopping!!

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