Monday, 9 March 2009

We all have our limits

Shark needs clothes. The charity shops are not helping. I haven't found one item for Shark in the last four months. Everyone is flogging clothes on ebay. And now things are bad because I am in paypal purdah. Don't ask. It just doesn't work. So there is only one solution. The shops.

Now this is possibly one of the most painful experiences known to humanity. It is a better form of torture than anyone can dream up with a dripping tap or a bucket of water. Send them clothes shopping with Shark. When I embark on this I remember why I haven't done it for the last five years.

Now because I am mean, or broke, or both, the first stop is Tesco kid's department.

Forget it. They have pink. Oh. Did I mention that? That now Shark will only wear BLUE. And COTTON. And NO JEANS. OR TROUSERS OF ANY KIND. One sniff of a polyester thread and she's not having it. So that'll be a blue cotton dress please. AND NO PATTERN. NO FLOWERS. Just a plain blue cotton dress, thanks, and no belts, collars, strange fastenings, buckles, writing. But two pockets maybe OK. And sleeves. It must have sleeves.

At this point, strap me down and set the tap dripping.

Let's go to Next. Nope. Pink. Tesco and Next say you are a girl. You must wear pink. It is the law. Police will come round and arrest you. Now I could try saying this pink is really blue. Shark, you might be colour blind, and we'll buy this pink outfit and get your eyes tested later. No. I can't get away with that. Because we are not talking shy pale pink that Grit could lie about in an unlit corner of the shop. No. Girl pink is the sort of ear-bleeding, screaming aggressive hormonal PINK that throws itself against the wall and ruptures. That sort of pink.

Let's try M&S. You can wear ghastly black here. Even though you are aged nine. But HA! There's a blue cotton denim dress! I greedily jump on that and shove it in a changing room with Shark. In all sizes up to age 13 and it still doesn't fit.

Adams. Closed down in 2007.

BHS. Nope.

And then we come to GAP. No. I will not shop in Gap. Do you know what a reputation they've had, Shark? Like, looking the other way? And do you know what I've heard they do to babies? Strap them to machines, make them work 30 hours a day then run them down with coat racks.

What's that you see? A blue cotton dress? Plain? In the sale. And it fits. Then we can go home? No problem. We'll take it. And the other dress, the leggings, the extra tee-shirts, the two summer frocks, and the skirt.

Just don't tell anybody, Shark.


Ruth said...

I recommend shopping online. OK, you have to take the sizes on faith BUT there's no walking, the shops don't close, and you can crack open a beer when it starts to get too much.

Allie said...

I have been there - reluctantly swelling the profits of Gap. The thing they have realised is that sometimes children want *plain* tops. BHS, for example, think that all girls want a top that says something like "cheeky minx kitten" and boys want one that says "kill squad soldier boy".

Potty Mummy said...

Oh god - does this mean that I'm going to to let the boys start choosing their own clothes as they get older? Bxgger.

The Finely Tuned Woman said...

I agree with Ruth and say, shop on line. It's so much easier and saves you from the wear an tear of shopping. A good on line shop will have a chart with the proper measurements for the right sizes. I shop on line all the time at the same store and I am seldom disappointed, if I am, I send it back and get something else. No problem.

Kitty said...

My eldest has been fussy about her clothes since she was 3. THREE!!! Thank God the other one has only recently started being a bit more demanding.

You know what you need to do? You need to buy duvet covers from charity shops and cut them up to give you fabric to make your own clothes! Or else - buy the style that the Gritlets like, and dye them the 'right' colour?

I've been known to do the above, too many times.


Suburbia said...

Dilemas, I've had a few!!

I wish they wouldn't asume girls love pink. And as for black, they'll get there eventually!

kellyi said...

This link is for you the next time you need to go shopping for clothes. They ain't super cheap, but I mix them with asda and tesco cheap stuff and it looks OK,and they have BLUE girls clothes.

Michelle said...

Wishing I'd taken a pic of her with even her book co-ordinating with her outfit.

Lanna said...

We like TK Maxx for many reasons. First and foremost it's better quality on the cheap, for the most part. It's also unlikely that you'll find yourself wearing the same thing as 3000 other people on the high street. Some of the finds are downright wierd and unique (which we tend to like).

The downside would be if you make the mistake of wandering around the whole store and end up with a cartful of things that seem irresistable (clearance pasta press, 30 pairs of tights, strange wallhanging, pile of games..) until you see how much you're spending and the high percentage of items that just sit around the house gathering dust..

I'd say sew up a few dresses, but fabric in this country is expensive enough to make me cry.

Brad said...

(1) loom + your already obtained, cheap, in house labor = stylish, self directed clothing. No?

mamacrow said...

I like ASDA. they do girls clothes in green and blue and lots of other colours AS WELL AS pink. The boys clothes we like too, they also often have PLAIN coloured stuff, and i've always found the quality to be ace - important here where everything gets handed down about a zillion times.

mamacrow said...

oh, they're cheap too.

Grit said...

you have inspired me folks, and i shall start a new project shortly called 'let's make our own design dress. but you are not having puffed sleeves. no way.'

Rubberbacon said...

Without naming any companies, I know of a top executive in Paris who claims to have visited secondary factories with child labor during an AM meeting where he showed up drunk. He insists on getting the lowest price and no longer buys from the company I work for.

Yet if this were properly escalated, he would deny everything and the company would be both shocked and dismayed that their rigorous audits and testing policies were being roundly ignored by individuals for profit.

It's easy to blame the company, but I suspect it's more often individual's skirting the system for individual profit.