Evil Gal Productions

Mere Smith
is a recovering Southerner,
longtime TV writer,
author and blogger.
May 21st, 2012 by Mere Smith

The Pilot Season Experiment — THE WARDROBE

This blog entry is the fifth part of a continuing series.

If you don’t know what’s going on, click here to catch up.


Step Four



Here’s the thing: I fucking hate getting dressed up.

Or, well… dressed.

At all.

Honestly, if I could spend the next forty years at home, in an XXL t-shirt, no bra, a pair of yoga pants, and some socks with monkeys on them?  I’d consider my life well-lived.

Unfortunately, the career I’ve chosen – being a Writer in the Business of Show – demands that you look like you give at least one-third of a shit when it comes to your appearance.  (Naturally, this is the upper requirement for straight white male Writers – who can get away with giving as low as 1/16th of a shit.)  However, if you’re a female Writer, that fraction is upped to a minimum two-thirds of a shit, and if you’re a female Writer looking for a job, that fraction bounces all the way up to you needing to give one whole shit.

So clearly, left to my own devices, I’d be boned.

But for The Pilot Season Experiment, I committed myself to presenting the very best physical appearance I could create – and this meant going to the mall to shop for new clothes.

“Yay,” she muttered, stabbing herself in the face.

Now, on my good days, I am not a self-denigrator (self-deprecating, yes; self-denigrating, no).  In fact, for the last 10 years or so, I’ve been relatively okay with myself (remember? “I look fine!”).  But as the age creeps up and Hips and Ass move in, it is no longer possible for me to grab a few size 6’s off the shelf – without even trying them on – and be done with my mall run in under 20 minutes.

(Sidenote: for as much as I hate getting dressed up, I hate going to the mall about infinity times more.  First, there’s all the fucking people.  For someone who spends the majority of her time alone – literally, when I’m not working on a show, I’m by myself about 14 hours a day; which is fabulously okay with me – jostling up against a throng of strangers is like locking me in that scorpion-box on Fear Factor.  In other words: no goddamn thanks.  Secondly?  There’s all those fucking people.  Just once I wish I could Lohan a store into closing solely for me.  So that I could steal stuff like rich people do.)

A 20-minute mall run was one of the many advantages I didn’t realize I had until I was no longer a size 6.  Or 8.  Let’s just say I’m in low double-digit territory now, and shopping for clothes is an exercise in struggling to maintain enough self-esteem to not break down in tears in the dressing room.

Which, FYI?  I have failed at many times.

Because if you thought those harsh fluorescent lights made your chunky parts look chunkier?  Your cellulite cellulite-ier?  Wait until you pair your chunky cellulite with a red nose, watery eyes, a blotchy face, and more self-loathing than a Christian freshman waking up pantyless after her first kegger.

Severely not pretty.

Oh, and one other factor you might want to take into account here, ladies?


Not only is the hysteria that much closer to the surface, but I used to think the whole “bloating” idea was a con – one more way the Midol criminals raked in the cash by making women feel like worthless assholes.  However, turns out bloating, unlike “compassionate conservatism,” is actually a thing.  (Sorry, Midol.)  Now, how did I discover this?

When all the clothes I bought two weeks ago are now approximately one size too large.  And this is AFTER I wore my Spanx to the mall to try everything on.

Mind you, this is most definitely not because I’m Super-Exercise-And-Diet Girl.  For the record, I ate pizza and two giant ice cream Drumsticks this weekend, and didn’t move off the couch except to pee.

No, this is because I was lugging around about five extra pounds of water weight when I went shopping.

“Five pounds?” I hear some of you – mostly guys – ask, incredulous.

To which I reply, “Yes, five fucking pounds, you incredulous dicks.  I said five pounds, didn’t I?”

Women know this is true.  Or at least, women who don’t look like this:

Somebody get this chick a motherfucking cheeseburger.


Women can gain or lose five pounds without really noticing, since it’s all in our poochy little bellies, hips, ass, and boobs.  When you notice those five pounds is after you’ve bought clothes to accommodate those five pounds, and then two weeks later, suddenly those jeans that looked AWESOME on your booty now look a little… meh.

So here’s me, shopping for pants:


As you can see, I’m in Old Navy.  I’m not at Bergdorf Goodman, or Sak’s, or any of those fancy-schmance places.  I wouldn’t have the money to afford stuff from there even if I wanted to go.  But good Old Navy is for Jes’ Plain Folks.  You, me, yer momma – we can all find something useful at Old Navy, even if it’s just basics, like jeans.

Only, have you ever tried on chick jeans?

Unless you get them two to four sizes too big, they will inevitably find a way to cram themselves up your vadge.

They will wiggle, sneak, and finally CRUSH themselves against your clit and labiae, with only your underwear to mitigate chafe.  And if you’re wearing a thong, you’re flat-out fucked.  (Though it is my own personal opinion that if you’re wearing a thong, you have it coming.  Now bring it, Thong Bitches.  Bring it!)

Men’s jeans, on the other hand, are almost universally low- to mid-rise, which means the waist rides below the navel.

Here, I’ll let my friend Ben Stone, of “The Nine Lives Of Chloe King” fame show you:

Image totally for reference purposes, y’all.  Ladies don’t have “spank banks.”

 Photo credit: Studio IX

(Send all thank-you notes to my manager.  And Ben’s parents.  And Studio IX.)

Now, I don’t know about you, but I’ve got a belly-button ring – go ahead and laugh, but I’ve had this thing longer than some of you have been alive – that gets tremendously unhappy when it’s constantly rubbed up against a waistband.  Along with not liking my belly-pooch smashed, it’s one of the main reasons I like my pants to ride low on my hips – below my navel, just like guy jeans.

And so I bought guy jeans.  Actually, a pair of guy jeans and a pair of guy cargos.

I’m not trying to make a statement with them.  I’m not trying to be hip or cool or whatever the kids are calling it these days.  (The fact that I don’t know what they call it — and that I used the phrase “whatever the kids are calling it these days” — should be a clue that I’m not interested.)  I bought guy pants because they don’t invade my vagina, they don’t squish the pooch, and they don’t try to rip out my belly-button ring.  I appreciate them for that.

I already had a few nice skirts (barely used, obviously), so after the pants, I got shirts.  Because the pants are relatively baggy (I said I’d try to look “nice,” not “bound like Chinese lotus-feet”), I picked out a few fitted tops, to give myself some shape.  That is, some shape other than Gleep on “The Herculoids”.

Of course, some of you may be wondering why I didn’t pick out an ensemble like this:

All tray tables must be in their upright and locked positions…


And the answer is simple:


(i.e. a “Suit”)


Even the Suits don’t wear suits all the time.  This is laid-back LaLa Land.  If you walk into a pilot season meeting wearing a suit, it says one of two things to the showrunner.


A) “I have never worked in Hollywood before, and if you hire me, you will have to instruct me in even the most rudimentary arts of being a TV Writer — right down to the sick, disgusting, obscene jokes told in the Writers’ Room.  On the other hand, I might just sue you for them instead.”


B) “Clearly I am lost.  Where is the Accounting Department?”

Neither of which will get you a job on a writing staff.


I finished my clothes-shopping with the makings of at least seven different mix-and-match outfits, which I figured I could rotate through meetings, to get the most out of my “nice” wardrobe.

But before we left, I had to stop at Sephora.

It was the last step of The Pilot Season Experiment.


Step Five


Wanna keep reading The Pilot Season Experiment?


25 Responses to “The Pilot Season Experiment — THE WARDROBE”
  1. Is that a Barton Fink shirt? Because I might have to stop hating you.

    Will you be keeping the Slightly Too Large pants, or taking them back? Keeping some? Just dealing with it? Not to get all ladyboy, but the Clothes That Just Fit/Don’t Fit line is no fun. It’s all, “If I take them back and then a month from now the smaller ones stop fitting I’ll feel like an idiot,” and…wait, I’m really getting all ladyboy, aren’t I? I’ll just stick with the first couple questions and shut up.

    Wait, you get to go to meetings in jeans? You get to go to interviewy meetings in more casual clothes than I have to wear to my job? Never mind. Back to hating you.

    • Yes, it IS a Barton Fink shirt. But please don’t stop hating me — our relationship will be thrown into chaos.

      And I will be keeping the Slightly Too Large pants, because eventually there will come a stretch where I’ll be too busy on a show to work out, and then I can wear these pants and not feel bad about myself. “Well, at least I’m not the HUGEST I’ve ever been!”

  2. Okay. Question. Waaaaay back when I was super-young, I remember reading that the “uniform” for writers in Hollywood (no mention made of whether they were for men or women, these uniforms, only that they existed) was jeans, a t-shirt, and high-tops.

    I think I must have read this in the 80s. :/

    There was a question when I started, but now I realize I just wanted to tell you all about how I’ve always imagined rooms of Hollywood writers in jeans and high-tops and t-shirts.

    • Jeans and t-shirts are the standard Writer uniform, it’s true — I just wanted to bump it up a couple notches in the name of TPSE. But I must have missed the high-top era. Darn it to heck.

  3. I still have my size 6 jeans. Oh, the joys of self-delusion.

    Here’s a good one for you: I never figured out my ‘ladies’ size when I was in high school — everything was either small or jeans ( I think I wore a 28/32 back then and they were ALL low-rise bellbottoms or flares). So when I joined the Army I took what the sizes they gave me. This ended up being 8s and 10s. I was 5’6″ and weighed 115 lb. I didn’t realize why nothing ever fit me until a salesgirl at a store saw me trying on a dress and not liking it and told me that was because it was TWO SIZES TOO BIG. By then I was up to around 130 so I wasted 10 years not wearing size 4!

    (Actually not true because I’m short-waisted with stocky hips. I’ve always worn a size or two bigger in pants and straight-ish skirts.)

    • I shoved my size 6 pants into the back of the closet so I don’t have to look at them. It’s just too goddamn fucking depressing. And like I said, after trying on all the women’s sizes and getting my cooch mashed, it was guy pants all the way. Apparently I need the room for my giant brass balls.

  4. Carissa says

    This is the best DMV line entertainment EVER. I have more to say but it’s too hard on a phone. I love you. 😉

    • The fact that you read my blog in the DMV line makes me so insanely happy, I don’t know what to do except tongue-kiss you. I’ll start working on stretching my tongue out to Denver. Maybe you could meet me halfway — somewhere in Vegas, perhaps?

  5. “Let’s just say I’m in low double-digit territory now, and shopping for clothes is an exercise in struggling to maintain enough self-esteem to not break down in tears in the dressing room”

    also, “Women know this is true. Or at least, women who don’t look like this:”
    even that woman doesn’t look like that. but that’s a whole ‘nother diatribe

    • I am WITH YOU on the ‘nother diatribe. You know that chick’s been Photoshopped within an inch of her life. And she’s still probably 93 lbs. Fucking clothes ads.

  6. When ever I go shopping I expect to be ambushed by the girl police & have my membership to the female sex revoked. I’m seriously bad at it. Especially shoes.

    • I have not bought a new pair of shoes — that weren’t Nikes — in at least eight years. If you’re revoked, I’m burnt at the stake.

  7. I am just starting to be able to cram into my smaller clothes of yore.

    no wonder I didn’t recognize the pic of Ben from your tweet as I have not seen the 9 lives show. Should I check it out?

    Anyway. Get cracking on the next installment. I hate waiting. :”P

    • I hate you with a deadly poisonous venomous hateful fiery fire for being able to fit into your skinny clothes. Seriously, I’m thinking of flying to your town and cramming buttercream frosting down your throat like they do with those geese they fatten for pate.

      • Onikaze says

        well being able to cram into them and being able to comfortably wear them are oceans away.
        will keep you maddeningly updated though.

      • peridot2 says

        I’ll hold Onikaze down, Mere, you cram the frosting.

  8. Tell the chick in the lingerie that she could stand to drop a couple lbs.

  9. Why am I just seeing this now? Missed it completely last week.

    Anyway, I too hate clothes shopping. If I need new clothes, I tend to run into one store where they have the brand I know fits me, grab a couple of different styles/colours off the rack (if they don’t have the ones I already like & fit me), try on a couple of pairs of slacks and maybe a top or two, pay and leave.

    I’ve been wearing the same black walking shoes (brand) for the last few years. I try them on each time but still get the same ones – physio, doctor and my feet all agree they’re the right ones. 😉

    • So you play “The Floor Is Made Of Lava” in the mall, too? Me, I want to be in and out as quickly as possible, to minimize contact with the humans. And I am currently wearing the third incarnation of a single style of Nikes. Well, not currently. Right now I’m rockin’ the monkeysocks.

  10. I think one of my thighs is a size 6.

    • Personally, I think they should change the sizing system so that it’s ALL size 6. Only y’know, like, 6^2, 6^3. Right now I can get a calf, a knee, and half a thigh into a size 6 pant leg. Fucking size 6’s. That’s it. I’m outlawing the number 6, and anything lower. You’ll back me up on this, right? Right?

  11. peridot2 says

    Most of the time I shop for clothes online. At 5’8″1/2 it’s difficult to find womens slacks long enough for me. Inseams are usually too short for my long legs.

  12. […] from the eyes.  This year: I got Botox, bought Spanx, cut my hair, wore make-up, dressed in clothes that made me look “responsible” and […]

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