Dear Fashion People,
Today I went to the mall to buy a shirt. Just a shirt. Something girly and springy to put with my khaki capris, something dressier than the solid knit shirts that serve as my spring and summer uniform.
I looked and I looked and I have finally reached a breaking point on an issue that has bugged me for some time:
Everything requires a cami, seemingly by design. It's a vast layering conspiracy, and the salesgirls are in on it. I come out of the dressing room wearing a shirt that plunges down to there. "Is it supposed to be this low-cut?" I ask.
"Oh," she says, "just throw a cami under it."
So I try on something else. The bodice has a lot of eyelet-ish trim on it, and eyelet has holes. Holes, all over my abdomen, including one gaping open over my most impressive stretch mark.
"Oh," salesgirl says, "just throw a cami under it."
Round three. It looks like a safe-enough white shirt, until I put it on and realize it's almost completely sheer. Bridal-veil sheer.
"Oh," salesgirl says, (all together now) "just throw a cami under it."
But here's the deal: I don't want to throw a cami under it. I don't want two shirts. I want one shirt. My reasons are excellent:
1. I'm cheap and I'm out of closet space. A cami is one more thing to buy, launder, store and generally deal with. Let's keep it simple.
2. I live in Oklahoma. In the summer, it is hot. Melt-your-skin-off hot. Even-the-pool-water-is-too-warm hot. What's-wrong-with-the-A/C hot. If I have to endure that heat wearing two layers of clothing, I might be (*shudder*) tempted to remove the top layer, which brings me to point three…
3. Ever since I hit puberty, I have devoted a signficant amount of effort to making sure that my bra strap doesn't show. And even if your cami matches your bra, your bra strap shows. I don't like that. I suspect you would recommend I find a cami with a built-in bra, to which I respond that such bras were not created for women who have nursed four children, and that's all I have to say about that.
4. I'm a middle-aged woman. I'm not overweight, but still, I have a general layer of padding around my mid-section, and it is a cause of consternation. The last thing I want to do is add another layer of squishiness. Your cami fabric may be thin, but if I wanted to add two milimeters of thickness to my abdomen, I'd much rather do it at Krispy Kreme.
Perhaps you will say that you have introduced the cami as a "stylish accessory" which provides "fashionable layering options".
I don't believe you.
I think you want to sell two shirts.
And I'd march right up to Madison Avenue and tell you this in person, except I'm stuck in the dressing room in a see-through blouse.