A lifestyle blog from a forty-something mum

Friday, 16 January 2015

Life and Times of a Perimenopausal Shopper

menopause, hot flushI've reached that certain age where shopping has become exasperating. I guess this has something to do with being forty-something and perimenopausal. Once, not so very long ago I used to enjoy a spot of retail therapy with my daughters, but now it's not something I take on lightly as I know I'm likely to become hot (not in a good way) and irritable. However, as I need to replace a few essential items from time to time it's something that has to be done.

I don't crave a walk-in wardrobe overflowing with the latest must-haves, or a hundred pairs of shoes - I'd be more than happy with just a few purchases per season. But here's the thing, I want to love what I own and not be one of those women who wears 20% of her clothing 80% of the time.

Earlier this week I braved the shops. On my list were two of my least favourite items to shop for, jeans and swimwear. 
Mr A, who will only shop under extreme duress had decided to be brave and come with me. He had my deepest sympathy.

Mr A is ever hopeful that everything I take into the changing rooms will be splendid, he waits patiently outside and announces, "Yes, that's lovely," in the hope that I'll,

a) Make a purchase.
b) He can go home again.

As I'm dubious that the look isn't quite as gorgeous as he'd like me to believe his tactics often backfire as I retreat to the cubicle thinking only, where next?

Shopping alone isn't any easier. I'm overwhelmed by indecision, followed by optimism that something more flattering will turn up soon - as long as I can muster the enthusiasm to keep looking.

I am absolutely brilliant at spotting something I love that isn't available in my size. I spied a skirt in Coast that was two sizes too small this week. At home I searched online only to discover that it was sold out everywhere. And not only are there none of my preferred brand of jeans in stock, but the shop in question actually no longer sells these in-store or online. After trying on a couple of swimwear options, I'm unimpressed and not tempted to try any more today as I suspect my hormones are on the rampage.

Giving up on swimwear and jeans, I book a bra fitting at a well-known department store instead. I had my suspicions that I was wearing the wrong size, but was astounded to be measured as a 32D. "Really," I said... and with that the helpful sales assistant vanished, only to return a couple of minutes later with a selection of lace-embellished options in an assortment of eclectic colours. I have no idea what was going through her mind as she made her choices, but she leaves me alone to wrestle with the bra straps, (always set on minimum and designed to inflict pain if you don't lengthen them prior to trying on) and struggle into the first one. It fits perfectly, my cleavage looks svelte, sculpted and none has escaped from the confines of the cup. There's just one problem - it's perfect just as long as I don't need to breathe. Defeated, I replace old faithful (my aged bra), share my observations with the helpful sales assistant and leave the store feeling the familiar beads of sweat forming and questioning whether or not it's actually possible to melt during a hot flush.
Mr A is waiting patiently for me and suggests that now might be a good time to break for coffee. I shoot him a reply and say, "Are you kidding? Why would I want a hot drink when I'm about to self-combust?" He heads to Costa while I treat myself to a small tub of ice-cream and stand outside (it's 4°C) until the flush subsides. He's a sensitive soul Mr A and I feel dreadful for snapping at him. It isn't his fault that my hormones are making me bad tempered.

Glancing at the list that had only two items on it, I'm left contemplating why I've ended up buying two T-shirts (100% cotton and not a synthetic fibre between them, hence perfect for perimenopause), a pair of sunglasses and a birthday gift for a friend.

I head for home without swimwear or jeans.

Is anyone else experiencing the delights of perimenopausal shopping too, I wonder? Any tips to help save my sanity?

Until next time...

Copyright©2015 Izzie Anderton


  1. Sounds like a complete ordeal my lovely! So many delights to look forward to... I'd take the 32D cleavage though, my once fabulous boobs disappear as soon I stop feeding :-(

  2. Obviously, I'm not experiencing perimenopausal shopping, but shopping nonetheless is a pain in the arse for me. My shape has changed so much, and things that I used to think would suit me don't. Plus even though I am quite proud of my legs, I'm not of an age anymore where I can walk around in a belt. So I do most of it online now! And have a massive session in my own bedroom. Yes, sending most of it back can be a pain, but beats trekking around the shopping centre! Fab post and hope you manage to enjoy a splurge on yourself soon! xx

  3. I despise shopping, whereas my husband enjoys it. I invariably pick out dresses/sweaters/pants that are far beyond our price range or anyone else's if they are just wearing the outfit around the house. I rarely find something that looks good, that, like you, is in my size. Everything at the mall is for the teeny-weeny size 0 person. I have never ever been a size 0, and never will be.

  4. I think swimsuit shopping is dreaded by every woman. The dressing room does no favors for anyone and I always avoid it like the plague. Jeans are one of those things where if you find the right pair, you feel like the stars have aligned. Two hard things in one day...I think you deserved the ice cream! :)

  5. Last time I went shopping ( a rare occasion) I bought three dresses in three different sizes on sale in the same shop - a smaller size in hope of fitting into, a size that fit me, and a larger size for 'those' bloated days.

  6. Aaagh! Sounds like a nightmare. I'm not very good at shopping either - jeans are a nightmare and I'm really fussy about underwear. I basically just buy the same things over and over in slightly different colours, or sometimes the same colour, as the old ones wear out.
    Not looking forward to ice cream outside in a few years!

  7. Oh I feel your pain. I had to go to the loo in a shop and take something off today! And I've started the 'Is it me or is it hot in here?' to always be met with the shouts of 'It's you!' Nightmare. Back to NEXT on-line x


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