Surreal Conversations and Polka Dots

polka dot palazzo pants

I went shopping at Zara the other day. Yes, I know, it’s one of those shops where most of the clothes  tend to be destined for the landfill by next season… However, it’s also one those shops where you can occasionally find that hidden gem that is not only classic enough to last a few summers but also made of quality material.

Anyway, I found this perfect pair of trousers. Well, not perfect, but it was high-waisted and cut generously enough to fit my sizeable posterior. Definitely something I can work with. Unfortunately, it was clearly designed for someone a head (or two) taller than me, and would need to be shortened.

Now, Zara is not exactly the kind of place where I would ask about alterations, but I did. Purely because of the sign: “We shorten your trousers, ask the staff”.

What a colossal mistake, which led to a somewhat surreal conversation with a totally clueless sales assistant.

OK, let me explain. First I was told it would be ‘very expensive’. OK, compared to the price of the garment it was a bit steep, but I decided I could afford it. I was then told to ‘just pay at the till’. This is when things started to get a bit odd. This is, more or less, how the conversation went:

Tiina: And how do they know how much to shorten?
Sales assistant: Oh, you just tell them how many centimetres.
Tiina (trying to avoid rolling my eyes): Don’t you think we should measure it?
Sales assistant: OK, I’ll be right back. (comes back ten minutes later, with a tape measure)
Tiina: And the pins?
Sales assistant: Pins?
Tiina: Yes, Pins. So we can see how much to take out (still trying hard to avoid rolling my yes, folding the fabric around my thighs to show her how it’s done)
Sales assistant: OK, I’ll go see if we have pins.

A few minutes (or 5 or ten)  later the sales assistant comes back, without pins, still clutching the tape measure.

Sales assistant: I talked to my colleague, and it seems we can’t really put pins there because the fabric is so special and it might be damaged.

Excuse me??? EXCUSE ME?!!?

Tiina: It’s viscose. It’s not particularly delicate.
Sales assistant: Yeah, but the pins might leave a mark and…
Tiina: It’s just ordinary viscose.
Sales assistant: Well, it might be too difficult for our seamstress to deal with, this sort of fabric…
Tiina: (rolling my eyes now): Your seamstress can’t handle viscose??? What kind of a seamstress can’t do that! I’d do it myself if I had a sewing machine.
Sales assistant: well, it might be better if you find a seamstress yourself, so you can have it done properly. We  really only shorten men’s suits here.
Tiina: You only shorten men’s suits?
Sales assistant: Yes.
Tiina: Then why do you have that sign in the LADIES‘ fitting room? Oh, forget it, this is getting way too complicated (this is when I exit the stage and draw back the curtain, rolling my eyes).

Well, as you can see, I still bought the trousers. Yes, I considered just leaving them and storming out. But I didn’t. Why?

Do you know how difficult it is to find a pair of trousers that fits both my (rather large) hips and my (significantly smaller) waist?

So, who shortened the trousers, then?

I did. By hand. It’s not exactly rocket science, is it?

over 50 blogger

over 50 summer style

Outfit details:

trousers: Zara / top: Jigsaw (old) / bag: Coach (old) /

sunglasses: Marc Jacobs (old) / shoes: Clarks (old)
location: Tervasaari, Helsinki

Have you ever stormed out of a shop because of poor service?


Linking up with:

Not Dead Yet StyleElegantly Dressed and StylishHigh Latitude StyleThe Pleated PoppyStyle ElixirA Labour of LifeDoused in PinkCurly Crafty MomFashion Should Be FunRachel the HatSincerely Jenna MarieMore Pieces of MeColor and GraceThe Wardrobe StylistNot Dressed As LambStyle NudgeCoco et La Vie en Rose,  Living on Cloud NineA Well Styled LifeElegance and MommyhoodPosh Classy MomNancy’s Fashion StyleShelbee on the Edge Over 50 Feeling 40 A Pocketful of Polka Dots Style SplashThe Fashionista MommaTina’s Pink FridayFake FabulousLazy daisy JonesVanity and MeSheela WritesJodie’s Touch of StyleGlass of GlamMummabstylish


  1. Nancy's Fashion Style
    31 May 2018 / 6:10 am

    Hahaha, that sounds something just for you! Awfull! But finally the trousers fit!

    • Tiina L
      1 June 2018 / 10:29 am

      Yes, the trousers, fit, that's what counts in the end. šŸ˜‰

  2. seƱora Allnut
    31 May 2018 / 8:42 am

    mwaha, I'm still laughing about this, because all we have had this kind of conversations whith sales assistants which try to discourage you (or try to convince you of something absurd!).Glad that you finally got the pants, as they look really gorgeous, and comfortable!. Lovely polka dots, lovely pink top and matching bag!besos

    • Tiina L
      1 June 2018 / 10:30 am

      I sometimes wonder if sales assistants get any training at all. They can't all be students working part-time to make ends meet? And even if they are, you'd still think they'd know at least the basics…

  3. Ivana Split
    31 May 2018 / 11:56 am

    I can understand your irritation, I mean why would pins destroy viscose? It seems to me they just don't know what they are doing there. Glad to hear you took the matters in your own hands as these pants are really nice. I like high waist pants too but I have the same problem, it is so hard to find a pair that fits well. Lovely outfit, you look very pretty.

    • Tiina L
      1 June 2018 / 10:33 am

      I can't stand incompetent people. Or idiots. I'm not quite sure which one the sales assistant in this case is…I hate looking for pants, hardly anything fits my figure. It often so demoralizing trying things on.That's why I would love to have sales people who could help me.

  4. A Labour of Life
    31 May 2018 / 1:06 pm

    That is a sad reflection on where we are today in society. Glad you got the pants though. These polka dot wonders are perfect. Please feel free to stop over at A Labour of Fashion and link up today

    • Tiina L
      1 June 2018 / 10:35 am

      Yes, so many people don't care about the quality of their work anymore, or about trying to do their best. I insist on good quality and good service, and I'm usually very quick to complain…

  5. mummabstylish
    31 May 2018 / 8:16 pm

    What a silly experience you had, such a shame they didn't know what to do! Glad you did it yourself you know it's done right now. Thanks for joining the #linkup today Tinna. x Jacqui Mummabstylish

    • Tiina L
      1 June 2018 / 10:38 am

      I never expected to have this type of service at Zara, to be honest, but they advertised it, there was a sign on the wall. That's what made me so annoyed: they shouldn't advertise something they can't (or won't) deliver.Oh well, all's well that ends well…

  6. Anna of Mutton Style and Years
    1 June 2018 / 12:58 pm

    This is so amusing. Very frustrating for you. I always use wonder web type stuff and iron up. It's difficult for me to find the right length as I'm 5ft 1.

    • Tiina L
      6 June 2018 / 7:38 am

      Oh yes, most clothes are made for tall, willowy model types, it's so frustrating. I think I'm more or less average height (1.62m), and I wish clothing manufacturers would realise their customers are more like you and me rather than the teenage models they design for.

  7. Sheree Ho
    2 June 2018 / 12:04 am

    Very frustrating experience you had, at least you were able to do it yourself and they turned out great!~xo

    • Tiina L
      6 June 2018 / 7:40 am

      Thanks, Sheree. Shortening is quite simple, I just don't have a sewing machine and have to do it by hand (which is time-consuming and frustrating).

  8. Megan Ballard
    5 June 2018 / 4:02 am

    Those pants look so cute. Thanks for linking up for The Weekly Style Edit. xo ~ Megan

    • Tiina L
      6 June 2018 / 7:40 am

      Thanks, Megan.

  9. Kaffe Soester
    29 June 2018 / 4:12 pm

    Those are some of the most lovely seams I've ever seen! I think we all meet that lazy/incompetent person from time to time. Sometimes I have regretted leaving things in a shop after giving up on a person, but patience isn't one of my main virtues, so it'll probably happen again. But great job getting the trousers and shortening them! I also love the top, it's such a great colour on you!

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