This past winter was hard. Often bitterly cold even for Berlin, I also had to pack two babies into snowsuits which meant it always took at least 20 minutes before I could even leave the house. Now that spring is finally here I have been spending time in a lot of different areas of the city for a change of scene. Some of them are places I haven't really been for years. So typical of city life, that you choose your neighborhood and more or less stay there....
Last week I went for a walk around Savinyplatz in Charlottenburg. Although the area is a bit too conservative for my taste, it really is one of the best places to get a feel for posh, old school West Berlin (Mommsenstrasse between Knesebeck and Wieland is the best example of this.) For anyone interested in design there is plenty to offer, even Stilwerk which is a sort of mall for design goods.
Anyway, when I was strolling around in the area under the S-Bahn tracks I noticed a shop with great designer objects and clothing where everything was 50 to 70% off because they were going out of business. I quickly went to the clothing section and found a lot of really beautiful pieces from a Japanese label called Personal Affairs that I had never heard of. I tried on a beautifully cut pale pink knit jacket, 90 Euros marked down from 245, that was a size 42 (US 12.)
All of my adult life I have worn between a size 10 and a size 12 (even dipping down to a size 8 for a year or so). That is, until I had two babies only 18 months apart. Since I first got pregnant in the summer of 2007 until now I have gained around 30 pounds and wear between a 14 and a 16, on the very border to plus sizes. I suppose there is hope that I will someday loose the weight but, as I've told my husband, I'm not sure how likely it is since I'm not especially fond of exercise but love to both eat and drink (luckily, he likes me curvy so he's not complaining....) That being said, I knew a size 12 was, literally, a stretch but I thought, why not? Sure enough, it did not fit over my milk-laden breasts. At this point the snooty sales lady came over.
Snooty Sales Lady: "What size are you now?"
Me: "Around a 44(14)." (going for the modest estimate.)
Snooty SL: "Oh, well we do have other sizes in that jacket, but defintely not anything
larger than a 42."
I did end up buying a purple sweater (an XL, thank you very much)the whole time thinking ha, ho bag, your shop is going out of business!
I've always had a fantasy about sewing my own clothes, but ever since my sewing machine blew up last year and I was the dunce of my sewing class, I've decided to let this dream die. If I could loose the post-pregnancy weight I would so buy each of these handmade clothing pieces on etsy.
Then again, I'm sure most of them can still be ordered in a size 14/16 but there is still the problem that I am also on a rather limited budget. My grandmother, who a was very old school conservative diva (a lot like Charlottenburg come to think of it)often said you can never be too rich or too thin. Though I don't actually agree with her, I wouldn't mind being a size 10 again and having a gold card. I think I can do without platinum. ;)