Girly Clothes Stuff

I was trying to buy a new bra but I couldn’t find one that fit. I realised that I didn’t actually know what bra size I was, and that there was only one solution. I had to go to Smith and Caughey’s and get fitted properly by an old lady with a tape measure.

The last time I was properly fitted for a bra was when I was about 11 and I underwent the highly traumatic process of being dragged along to the D.I.C. department store in Hamilton and being declared a 10AA and given a hideous flesh-tone slingshot/bra.

It was slightly better this time, though still not one of those really rad things that happens in life. It turned out I’d had the chest size wrong. I’d been going bigger, but I should have been going smaller, to a 14. (And, yeah, a lady does not reveal her cup size, etc).

Now that I know my proper bra size I can now go and buy bras that fit. No more ill fitting cups, or bits digging in or bagging out where they shouldn’t. How incredibly novel it is to actually have a bra that totally fits properly. Highly recommended.

I was also out looking for a nice top to wear to this wedding reception/cocktail party thing I’m going to on Sunday. It was utterly traumatic because etiquette rules that ones does not wear black to a wedding, but that black is entirely appropriate for a cocktail party.

I tried on a bunch of tops and realised that now matter how discounted they were, the pregnant westie chick look was never in and will never be in.

It’s also alarming to see all the red, black and red and black clothes. It’s like that Girls Aloud video has been blown up and scattered amongst the chain stores of Aotearoa. This is one of those trends that’s come in and gone right out again in the UK. Therefore I can not bring myself to partake in it in this country. Besides, black and red are (along with turquoise) those colours that look really bad on me.

(Oh, it’s so hard being a girl.)

In the end I decided that I need a new pair of running shoes more than I need some crappy top.

Girl

When I was little, my mother made me have short hair. Her theory was that it easier to look after, which makes hair seem less like part of the body, and more like a part of a car. Forget fashion, forget what I wanted, maintenance came first.

So anyway, I was this little girl with short hair called Robin. One day my we went and visited my mother’s insane aunt on a farm. Me and my brother were both dressed in shorts and t-shirts. I think I was probably 5 and he was three. Anyway, my great-aunt said “Oh look, two little boys”. Yes, she thought I was a boy.

I went over to mum and told her that her aunt thought I was a boy. I would like to think, that if I had a daughter who was mistaken for a son, I would correct the person as soon as possible. But my mother didn’t. In fact, it seemed to me that she didn’t really care what gender my great-aunt thought I was. So I was left to go over to insane auntie and say “I’m not a boy!”

Anyway, my mother dressed me and oh my god, there were some hideous garments. I remember a matching shirt and blouse that would be more suited to some old lady working hidden away in a library than a 7 year old girl. I was helplessly unhip.

Not only that, but I wasn’t allowed to wear sneakers because unlike ugly leather shoes, they didn’t let my feet breathe. Like that matters to an 8 year old.

So I was this little girl being make to dress like a 65 year old woman. Then my class was going to visit a farm. My mother made me a tracksuit and told me I had to wear it to the farm. I didn’t want to, but I eventually did and it was revelation. It was comfortable, and it didn’t suck too much.

After that day, I decided I didn’t want to wear a skirt ever again. This did not please my mother. For some reason, it was wrong, oh so very very wrong for me to not want to wear a skirt. Like it would turn me into a lesbian or something?

I remember by mother being like “Oh why won’t you wear skirts, Robin?”. I don’t know if there were rumours about me, or whether it make her look like bad mother, but I got hassled by my own mother for not wearing skirts.

I remember giving in and going to school wearing some hideous outfit consisting of a pink floral skirt, a pink t-shirt and a pink cardigan. Fortunately that didn’t last for long and the tracksuits won out. Whilst not exactly very cool, they were better than the flowered skirts.

Now that I look back on it, I was getting really mixed signals from my mother. First of all she doesn’t care that her aunt thinks I’m a boy, then she’s yelling at me to dress like a girl.

I always felt that I’d been given a boy’s name. There was a guy in kindergarten called Robin, so from a very early age I felt like I had a boy’s name. All the Robins I knew of were men, Robin Hood, Batman and Robin, Robin Gibb. I knew no female Robins.

However, sometimes I would tell someone my name and they spelled it with an y and it seemed somehow liberating. Like Robyn didn’t just say “a person called Robyn”, but “a female called Robyn”. Then at the age of 8 I started to call myself Robyn. It was great moment.

I knew I was a girl, no matter what my mother said, or didn’t say. Fortunately I’ve gotten over it all. No damage done, just having to grow up with a retarded sense of fashion, really bad hair and the mistaken belief that complete strangers care about me.