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May 8, 2007

Has Al Gore been alerted to the Great Sleeve Disappearance?

When I was getting ready to go visit Grandma over the weekend, I realized that I have no summer tops. I sort of suspected this about two weeks ago when I scoured my house to find old T-shirts for the rag rug I wanted to knit, inspired by the one I'd seen Jessica making at Stitch 'n Bitch. I looked in every drawer and all throughout the closet and as it turns out I have not been messing around with the paring down and "living smaller" thing. I found one, yes ONE T-shirt. Not enough for a rug, certainly, and barely enough for a knitted pot-holder. I am not sure where my short-sleeved T-shirts went over the mists of time, but alas, it was hot in this California and time to buy a couple of new short-sleeved T-shirts for summer.

EXCEPT SLEEVES HAVE BECOME EXTINCT.

When did this happen? When did "short-sleeves" become "cap sleeves" and normal short sleeves became "impossible to find"??? When? And more importantly, WHY?

Listen Fashion World, I know we've already had one come-to-Jesus this year and you're tired of my bitching and moaning about fat girl clothes. But this is a new scourge and it is apparent in all girl clothes. When did you get rid of real sleeves? And why? Am I the only human female in the United States with armchub? Am I the last remaining woman on the planet who doesn't want to show her underarms to the world every day of summer?

And look. Yes, I know you will say I can go on the internet to L.L. Bean or Land's End online and special order and pay for shipping and so on. But I do not want to have to order my T-shirts online just so I can have two or three extra inches of fabric on my arm-top. I do not want to pay $25 for this pleasure. I want to go to a normal place like Target and get a SHIRT WITH SLEEVES.

This is not a real sleeve:
target-no-sleeves.jpg

Let me inform ya'll. As a woman with a real body, I am 100% qualified to tell you with full authority that the 1.5" of material in the shoulder region of that T-shirt is a cap sleeve, not a short sleeve.

Do you have any idea what a cap sleeve looks like on my body type? It's kind of like I'm wearing a cross between football shoulder pads and a toddler's T-shirt, with boobs smooshed in the middle. NOT PRETTY.

I would like to know where women who do not want to harm folks with batflaps go for plain, affordable T-shirts? And how come men get sleeves but we don't? I ended up buying a men's "sport fit" t-shirt in medium and then I realized too late that all men's shirts have high rounded necklines which make my boobs look like they're at my belly button. Hot! After I left Target I went to the Mervyn's (it was in the same shopping center) and the Avenue (a plus-size store, also same shopping center) and the cap sleeve had overtaken all retailers and I left wishing for winter and the icy tundra of my fantasies. And/or REAL SLEEVES.

Look, I just want to cover the fattest part of my arm. It is not brain surgery. It is a noble goal, and better for all those around me, I assure you. I merely want a plain, simple, cheap V-neck or deep scoopneck T-shirt with SLEEVES. WHY IS THIS SO HARD? WHY?

[If this book stuff doesn't work out and it only sells 12 copies and we end up making jokes about it, I now have a Plan B: I am going to design a real woman's T-shirt. No cuddly teddy bear pictures on it, no cap sleeves, no tank tops, no appliques, no bad fake lace and rhinestones adorning the V-neck (thanks, Mervyn's) and no glitter. Just a simple cotton T-shirt in a rainbow of normal colors that has a V-neck and REAL SLEEVES DAMMIT.]

I spent 20 full minutes in the clothing area of Target lamenting the death of the sleeve. Then I walked around (in a grid pattern of course, so as not to miss any Target goodness) and later I was in the deodorant aisle, because that is where I do my best photography apparently, and came upon this:

vanilla-chai-underarms.jpg

Vanilla Chai scented deodorant. I am not really sure I want my underarm region smelling like a fancy Starbucks drink. What's next? Chocolate-covered raspberry Coke underarms? Limeade with Vodka, for those hot summer nights? Brandy Bourbon Irish Coffee for winters by the fire?

I blame this fully, entirely on the extinction of the sleeve. Since everyone's underarms are on display, I can only imagine what's coming next... armpit makeup? Side-cleavage sparkles? Shoulder lifts and botox?

PLEASE MAKE IT ALL GO AWAY.

Except for sleeves, you can bring those back, thanks.

Posted by laurie at May 8, 2007 9:25 AM