Sales Israeli Style

What size are you?  Only in Israel would I wear a size LARGE in some things, yet be too small for the smallest size in other stores.  Go figure.  I have never managed to get a handle on women’s clothing here.  Here are a few choice moments from a recent shopping expedition:

  • On asking a clueless sales-dude what “size 1” means (as in 36, 38, etc.), he said, “Small.  I think.”  Yes, but what is it in sizes?
  • A sales clerk asks me what size I am.  I tell her.  “Oh, no,” she says, sadly shaking her head, “you’re at least <two sizes larger>.”  I am confused, but agree to try on the skirt in the size she says.  It is enormous.  I ask for a smaller size.  “That is the smallest we carry,” she says.  Aha.  The coin drops.  I now understand why she attempted to supersize me.
  • “Are you shopping for your mother?” asks a very snooty sales clerk when I accidentally wander into a plus-size shop. 
  • “Oh, all you have to do is take it in here a bit,” enthuses a sweet young thing.  I explain that I would rather not pay their outrageous prices and then pay my seamstress to alter it.  Oi.
  • “Try this,” suggest another helpful and equally clueless ditz, handing me a skirt that would be age-appropriate for a girl in junior high.
  • “How about purple?” in response to my request for a grey skirt.  Of course!  They are so similar.
  • “Why do you want that?” is the quintessential Israeli response whenever you ask for something that they don’t have.  (Close second: ein devar k’zeh—as in, “there’s no such thing.”)

I suppose that I should be used to it by now, but sometimes it still annoys the crap out of me.


5 responses to “Sales Israeli Style

  1. Just try finding something that fits us “full-figured” women! And why-oh-why can’t a country that’s hot much of the year use cotton or other breathable fabrics instead of plastic-y synthetics.

  2. Too bad you didn’t go bra shopping. You could have added at LEAST three more bullets on that alone!

    * Let’s see, they FLING open the curtain to the dressing room, regardless of who might be around.

    * The stick their hands RIGHT in there and manipulate things to their liking.

    * They don’t ask first.

    * Several clerks may gather in a cluster at your dressing room, to push, prod, and discuss your ‘particular situation’.

    Did I leave something out?

    And hear, hear, Central LS! I also have a hard time finding clothes in Israel, which is why I do massive shopping every time I go to the States. What I find most ridiculous of all is that in 13.5 years, I have NEVER found ANYTHING in Matim Li that, well, matim li!

    (For those who don’t know, Matim Li, is a ‘high fashion’ plus size store. Their name means, “Fits me.”)

  3. Actually, it means “suits me,” since you can use it for things that have nothing to do with size. You can say that a sofa is “lo matim li” or that a blind date is “lo matim li” or…

    But I do agree that buying a bra here requires very thick skin and a sense of humor.

  4. I’ve never been bra shopping for myself here, but I did take my then 13-year-old daughter once. Major mistake. She was traumatized for a year.

  5. Ladies,

    Some things are not meant to be shared with men!

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