Wednesday, July 26, 2006


Sometimes it seems like the planets and the stars are aligning in perfect co-ordination and I've found my magic number. One number keeps on reappearing over the past couple of days, and it's a number I didn't expect to have much significance in a weight and clothing situation.


I can't shake it off. However, that isn't such a happy event this time round. Because this time the number 10 is found on my shoes.


10 is not a good number on shoes. Not when most shops only go up to a size 8. 10 is most decidedly not a good number. I suspect that this incarnation of the number 10 may give me untold grief in the future.

9 was bad enough. And herein lies a story, for I am a freak. Most people get smaller all over when they lose weight, including losing size from their feet, but for some bizarre reason my feet appear to have got bigger. Or at least differently shaped. They used to be more of an 9 wide, whereas now they're thinner but longer, and the size of shoe I wear differs hugely depending on the style.

Take your standard flip flop type shoe. I can now get in an 8 in those. Without even the need for the wide. (Normal shops! wahey!). My feet are narrow enough to fit in them, and the style is open enough to allow for a bit of overspill at the front and the back. My toes or my heel may overhang a little, but they're wearable.

Work shoes, on the other hand are an entirely different matter. A normal 8 is entirely out of the question. I don't even attempt to go there. My old fall-back option of Evans doesn't work because all their shoes are extra wide, and my feet aren't. A 9 wide just has too much room in the wrong places.

So I tried resorting to the purgatory that is trying to find normal width size 9s in non-fat girl shops. This is possibly one of the most frustrating experiences known to woman, and has given me a hatred of all things shoe related. Well, I already had a hatred of all things shoe related, but the hatred has been reinforced.

First of all you have to find a shop that sells size 9 at all. So no nice shoes from Office then, or many other shops I've stared lustfully through the window into. Then you have to brave the shop assistants and try to find out what styles they might have in a 9. I'm sorry, but life (or at least the lunch hour) is too short to ask individually about each pair of shoes you like. Invariably they don't have the ones you like.

Recently it's not been so bad, during the sales the shoes are all out on racks, neatly (or not so neatly) sorted according to size. That's manageable, I can look at the 9s, see if there's anything I like and try it on. Except that I've noticed that the work shoe type styles just don't fit. Even in a 9. This is not a good thing.

There is no way that my toes are going to accept being squeezed into those shoes. No way on earth. So recently I've been wearing mainly flip flops and sandals to work. Not because I don't want to wear nice business like shoes, but because I simply don't have any, and can't find any, that fit.

And then, a blissful discovery. I went to Long Tall Sally to try suits on in the sale. I'm just about at the shorter end of their target market, but I've had nice suits from them in the past (although they only go up to size 20, and I remember well ordering a size 20 suit by mail order when my ankle was broken and realising by the time I went back to work that it wasn't close to fastening. I still managed to burst the seams the first time I wore the trousers, a couple of years later, when I thought I'd lost enough weight to get back into them).

This time I wasn't intending to try 20s on though. In the January sales I'd tried on a size 10 suit just to see how far off I was (it went over my thighs, which was a start, but was nowhere near to fastening), and I thought it was time to repeat the exercise. I picked a suit in size 12 (which they had in jacket and trousers) and some extra trousers in a 10. The 12 fit comfortably, and the size 10 trousers fit, but rather more tightly. Not as tight as those 20s, but it might have been uncomfortable to wear, particularly in hot weather. If I'd been in love with the suit they were probably wearable enough to buy, but I wasn't, so I didn't. But that's not the 10 I'm talking about.

What I did see was that Long Tall Sally now do shoes. And not just any shoes. Big shoes. They only had the pair I wanted in a 10, so I tried them on, and they fit! They're a bit on the big side, but they're more comfortable than any of the 9s I've tried recently. They were snapped up in record time, such is the urgency of my need for work shoes. The bliss of having something to wear on my feet...

10 definitely seems to be the number of the moment!


Blogger skipbridge said...

agh, yes. The joys of having a bigger foot and being female. It doesn't help that they've downgraded the english size 8 from a continental 42 to a 41. There is also the joy of only ever finding the shoes that look like a hollowed out canoe on the sales shelf. Or thge 4" stilettoes, don't the manufacturers KNOW people with larger feel tend to be tall anyway?
LTS I haven't tried. "Next" do go to a size 9 but don't actually carry them instore. You have to visit the website, order and return if they don't fit. For cheaper shoes the Brentano shoe warehouse go to a size 10, they don't always have the nice smaller sizes in that range but occasionally you get lucky. Of course the best ones tend to fly off the shelves because there's such a big (no pun intended) market out there.
And other shoe shops? I've heard from assistants so many times that "there's insufficient demand for larger sizes". And then they direct you to the hollowed out canoes again.
If anyone out there knows of any other shops that do larger sizes please name them for a desperate size 10!

9:14 PM  
Blogger cabb said...

Hey girls. Its no better on this side of the pond. I'm a 43wide and its pretty near impossible to find. (only lots of those *manly* canoes or FM stilettoes, and not a lot in between).

I really miss the 80's, when the men's shoes were prettier than the womens!

I have had luck at; its out of the States, so unfortunately it means taking out a second mortgage to get them into Canada. But actually everything I've got from them has fit and been worth it the extra dollars.

Just a note, Joerg's Website For Tall Women ( has a listing of stores in the UK that carry 10 and up.

As always, enjoying the blog.

5:14 AM  

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