So I’ve needed to buy some new garments. For, like, a long, long time. But I had been putting it off. Being a participant in the Bloggernacle had sort of freaked me out, because of all the conversations (dominated by women) about how horrible the fit is and all the money they’ve wasted on ill-fitting, uncomfortable garments. And I have to admit, all that talk worried me. But I finally screwed up my courage and decided I was gonna do it.
Our temple here in Chicago actually has a Distribution Center where you can try them on if you need to, so I figured that would help. A week ago Saturday I decided to make the 45-minute drive to the temple, take in a session and buy some new garments.
I’m driving east on Euclid Avenue, which eventually turns into Lake Avenue, toward the Village of Glenview where the “Chicago” temple is actually located. And I’m thinking I’ve been driving a long time, and I realize I had overshot it somehow. The temple is pretty huge, right close to the road, so how I possibly could have missed it I have no idea. But I turned around and made my way back to it.
Only half the gate was open, and there were only four cars in the parking lot, which seemed quite odd. I walked up to the door and there was a sign that the temple and Distribution Center were both closed the last two weeks of January for maintenance. D’oh! It hadn’t occurred to me to check the temple schedule online first. Foiled!
I put it out of my mind, but then the next Saturday (which was last Saturday as I write this) I decided to give it another shot. I arrived at about five to 10:00 a.m., and I had checked beforehand and the sessions only run every hour on the hour, not on the half-hour. So I booked it inside, let them know I was attending the session, changed as fast as I could, and walked into the session room at 10:00 on the dot (maybe even a minute after). I was kind of shocked when I walked in, because the room was packed to the gills, with one open folding chair in the corner set up for me. I was expecting maybe six people in there, but the room was at full capacity, whatever that might be (50? 60? 80?), which was a very pleasant surprise. I prefer a crowded session to an anemic one. Another plus was I got to see a film I hadn’t seen before, which was fun.
When it was over, I didn’t bother lingering in the celestial room. I didn’t know a soul there, so I didn’t really see the point. I got dressed into civilian clothes and walked next door to the Distribution Center.
I liked the material and fit of my old garments, which is I suppose a big part of the reason I had gone so long without replacing them. So I had brought both a top and a bottom with me to use as a sample of what I wanted. I entered the store and this elderly sister came to help me. I started to pull the garments out of my pocket to show her, and she about had a heart attack. Apparently there is a strict rule against open garments in the store (a store mind you which sells mostly garments). I tried to explain to her that I wanted the same material and didn’t know what it was called. She asked about the tag, and I laughed, because my garments haven’t had tags (or at least not readable ones) for years. She said they could only be exposed in the dressing room, so she goes with me into the dressing room to look at my garments and tell me what material they were. (It turns out they were corban.) It seemed counterintuitive to me that we had to be alone in this little dressing room for her to even look at my old garments. But whatever.
So she showed me where the men’s corban garments were. I wanted to try them on. She alone was allowed to open the packages, using a knife to slit them along the top. (I’m guessing this is so they can more easily seal the packages for garments that are opened and don’t sell.) And she once again stressed I could only remove them from the package in the dressing room. The bottoms fit fine, but she had grabbed the wrong tops, and so I got the right ones and tried those on, and all was well.
They had tops in tall sizes, not not bottoms. I think they might exist, but you have to special order them, and no way was I doing that. But I’m pretty sure the ones I’ve worn for all these years were regular (not tall), too, because they hit my thighs above the knee. That’s what I’m used to and that’s what I wanted to replicate, so I was fine just getting the regular ones they had in stock.
Today is my first day wearing the new ones. And I think I succeeded. As far as I can tell the fit and feel is the same as what I had become accustomed to for all these years. And it’s nice to (finally) have brand new pairs. 14 tops and bottoms cost a hair over $100. And yes, they take credit cards; they even had a chip reader.
What are your stories of garment preference, fit and acquisition? And are the sizing and styling of women’s garments really as bad as I have heard? Are there tricks to doing this completely by mail if you’re not near a physical Distribution Center?