In Case you Haven’t Met Me, I’m Tall…

…in which I talk about the trials and tribulations of finding clothes that fit, but also don’t suck.

So, recently, I happened to win a $50 gift card to ThinkGeek from the fine folks at GeekDad. Yes I am, in fact, a geek and a dad, myself, so I am kind of surrounded by such sites in my internet neighborhood. At any rate, it just so happens that my favorite hoodie of late, had a bit of a zipper malfunction, and while I’m usually quite adept at repairing zippers, this one seems to be immune to my tool-using ways. As a result, I found this $50 fortune to be a sign from fate to go ahead and buy a nice, new, albeit pricey hoodie. As it turns out, this inspiration may have been delivered by a false prophet.

Wrapped up in my Retired Hoodie
Wrapped up in my Retired Hoodie

After a lot of hemming and hawing, perusing the ThinkGeek online catalog, I had it narrowed down to two ungodly expensive hoodies: the SeV Cotton Hoodie and the Kingdom Hearts Hoodie. The appeal of these two was all about tech vs. style. I mean, I was sure that, in the end, they would both be comfortable ways of keeping warm, but I had to start my comparisons somewhere. The SeV hoodie could carry all my gadgetry and would support a nearly permanent installation of headphones for easy music listening. The Kingdom Hearts has the largest hood I’ve seen on a hoodie, and for reasons inexplicable, I want a hoodie with a huge hood.

My first concern was the material of the hoodies themselves. We have three fur filled animals roaming around our house, and any fleece/velour style fabric becomes a walking carpet in only a few days. Heather has this, once awesome, cat-ear hoodie that I bought for her. Unnfortunately,  it is now almost as much cat-hair as it is cat-ear. The Kingdom Hearts hoodie claims to be a fleece hoodie, and while the tacky fleece could potentially be only the inside surface with a sleeker exterior, this is a detail that can not be determined by neither photo nor description.

My second concern was the professionalism of the hoodie. Yes, I’m an IT person. Yes, not much is expected from us, especially in an art school. But I do try to put forth a respectable front. In recent months, I’ve nearly stopped wearing t-shirts to work altogether, and have become much more conscious of the rattiness of my shoes. Wearing a clearly gothic styled hoodie with a comically large hood seemed to me to be less professional than wearing a clean, more traditional styled hoodie. I mean, I’ll admit that neither looks “professional,” but traditional is at least a little more understandable. It gets cold in our office, so it’s either blazers or hoodies. I’m not up to the blazer wearing level quite yet.

So that was two knocks against the Kingdom Hearts hoodie, which, to boot, was also $5 more than the SeV. Admittedly, the Kingdom Hearts did claim to be longer in the sleeve and torso, as a feature of style. This gave it a bit of a plus, since neither one came in a large-tall. So, concerned about the fit of the SeV, I scoured the internet looking for as much size information as possible. I first found the full fitting info on ScotteVest, and as far as I could determine, the large would be a decent enough fit, but the extra large would fit me like a sleeping bag. I double checked this information by reading all the reviews of the SeV hoodie, in which all but two people declared that it is true to size, and the remaining two claimed it was larger than the predicted size. This was good news as far as I was concerned.

Still wary, but bolstered by an overload of information, I placed my order for the SeV. With shipping, the whole affair was $78. This is, without a doubt, the most I have ever paid for a hoodie, and possibly the most I have ever paid for an article of clothing that wasn’t shoes. Fortunately, with the $50 gift card, it was only $28 out of pocket which was far more reasonable. In the nearly two weeks it took for delivery, the weather went from cool to cold, to blazing hot, to comfortable, and then cool again just in time for the hoodie. I was huddled under a blanket on the couch when I heard the package hit the porch. I fetched it and ripped it open, admiring it’s many pockets and gadget organization options. It was surprisingly slick, though all the organization in the world doesn’t do any good if it’s not comfortable and well fitted.

So I tried it on and was immediately concerned. The sleeves were just long enough and the torso was shorter than the shirt I was currently wearing. I thought, “maybe I should wear it around for a little bit and see if it feels better.” Kind of like shoes, where you walk around the store to see if they feel right. The more I wore it though, the more it felt wrong. It was too big around in the torso, I was constantly tugging at the sleeves and waist. It just didn’t fit. So, I immediately started looking at the return policy. The problem with internet shopping is, of course, the inability to try something on before you buy it. And the second problem is the hassles with returns. Turned out, not only would the $8 shipping I paid not be refunded, but I also had to pay $9 shipping to send it back to them. And since I got what I asked for, and it was not damaged in any way, I’m pretty sure all I’ll get is a gift card in return… a gift card that is, ultimately, $17 less than I paid in the first place.

And of course, what’s worse, is I spent $28 out of pocket, and still don’t have a hoodie. I mean, yeah, I might be able to find something on ThinkGeek to spend that remaining $61 on (I’m thinking Castle Ravenloft for obvious reasons), but that doesn’t change the fact that I still have a hoodie with a busted zipper.

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