let your smalls be smalls

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in which i rant about women’s clothing sizing and its inconsistencies.

y’all. i know full well that there have been many a blogpost written about this subject. and i’m not really one to get on the bandwagon after a subject has been thoroughly beaten like a dead horse (<– never liked that analogy, even given my strong disliking for all things equine…) which is why, well, i don’t have any witty quips about last night’s bach finale or even the MOST CONTROVERSIAL AFTER THE FINAL ROSE EVER. because you know, everything has already been said. i will say this though, i legitimately want to be friends with julia flajnik. girl can seriously rock a beret and i need her to teach me her voluminous hair secrets. but enough about ben, what’s her name and also, let’s all stop trying to make capes happen, it’s never going to happen. i’m looking at you, too, gwyneth.

but back to my [other] rant.

so yes, sizing and its schizophrenic tendencies. and i’m not even talking about sizing from store to store and brand to brand, because we all know that you’re an X (not going to reveal my measurements that easily folks) in this store and like five sizes bigger or smaller in the next. you can seriously span five sizes in one simple trip to the mall. now tell me that doesn’t do a number on your psyche?

when i found myself with nothing to do this past saturday afternoon, i decided to fill my time with, what else? a little retail therapy. which is exactly why it is seriously dangerous that i live approximately five miles away from the carlsbad forum -an outdoor shopping center that plays home to h&m, urban outfitters, lululemon, anthropologie, ann taylor loft and francesca’s collections (among other things). i swear, if it had a j.crew and a decent shoe store, i would never have to leave my 10-mile radius bubble.

but i digress.

seeing as h&m has been quite good to me in the old wardrobe-sprucing department as of late, i decided to pop inside for a looksy at their latest fashions. i was, you guessed it, immediately drawn to their homage to all things nautical and quickly perused the racks for my size in a few red, white and blue (or some combination of the three) numbers. this not being my first h&m rodeo, i selected sizes that had, at least in the past, been compilable with my bod’s topography. a fist full of hangers later, i made my way back into the dressing room for a personal fashion show. i unzipped and shimmied my way into the first skirt, a pencil, with a loud floral print. and while i didn’t mind how it hugged my curves (and that it cost a mere $17.95), i figured that its screaming flower design might be a bit too much for the country club so off it came and into the “no” pile it went. and i repeated this pattern of unzipping and shimmying until it became all too apparent that with each passing garment, either my body was too large to fit within its noodle-diameter arm holes or my waist was so small that a few dozen of my friends could have fit in the pants with me. what. the. heck. how was it that depending on the type of apparel -shirts, skirts, dresses and pants -i could be a small, medium, or large? and while i’ve accepted my body (well, on most days) for what it is (and what it is not, too), i couldn’t help but get a bit frustrated on the lack of continuity.

i just want to be able to walk in a store and know that i’m pretty much a size blank. i realize that with the cut and style of some of the “in” fashions, it’s important to size up (i’m looking at you skinniest of skinny jeans) or down (and you, over-sized boyfriend sweaters) but for the most part, i don’t want to have to think when trying on clothes. i don’t want to have to remember if this is the the store where i feel like everything is a sausage casing (forever 21, you still make me feel like this quite often and yet like a drug, i can’t seem to quit you) or if i look like an olsen twin for the fact that the garment also doubles as a tent. so please oh please do us all a favor clothing retailers and get the sizing within your store under control. if i wear a small in the short sleeve version of that blouse, i would hope that i am a small in the long-sleeved version as well. i feel like i’m being more than reasonable here, right?

and emotional state aside, we all know that the universal limit for the number of items one can take in with them into a dressing room at a given time is 6 (7 if you’re lucky), so in an effort to cut down on the amount of times i have to ask the pre-teen working the dressing rooms for my “next batch” of clothing -as i have basically had to get duplicates of every item for the fact that i no longer know if i warrant a medium due to the presence of, i don’t know, actual bicep muscles, or a small, due to the fact that i was skipped over in the ample bosom department.

so needless to say i did not walk out of h&m with any additions to my sartorial stash. i was [   ] close to adding another pair of peep-toe wedges to my collection but apparently no one (at least not h&m or urban outfitters) thinks ladies have a size 9.5 foot. we are either 9’s or 10’s (duh, we’re all 10’s as it equates to everything aside from footwear). well news flash. my foot is a tad bit too wide to warrant a nine and still slightly skinny enough to slide right into that ten. so riddle me this, how is it so darn hard to produce a shoe that lies somewhere in-between?

and speaking of in-between, if we have sizes XS & XL, can we have a SM, too? as in smedium? the size that is slightly larger than a small but not as boxy as a medium? or can we have varying degrees of arm width? like: skinny arm, toned arm, body-builder? or how about the length, too? sometimes i size up because the shirt is so darn short i’m fearful of having an inconvenient MDE -that’s mid-drift exposure -moment. i understand crop tops are apparently a thing again, but does every blouse have to have barely enough fabric to cover your hip bones? i just need it long enough to tuck into my pencil skirt, please and thank you. otherwise i will be forced to buy a number of long camis to wear under all of my tops to avoid such a wardrobe catastrophe. but that was probably the fashion industry’s ploy all along (buying camis to compensate for covered belly buttons = $$$ in their greedy little pockets). do you have something against the long-torsoed folk of the world? i bet the same people who hate on long-waisted gals also punish them for their 9.5-sized flippers. i see where this is going…

but for real. i’m totally cool with avoiding the stores that make me wish my bod had never gone through puberty (i’m never going to be able to wear anything at guess and that’s OKAY) and rather focusing on the retailers whose clothing makes me feel proud of the work i’ve put in (or what my parents’ contributed) to making this bod what it currently is, but can y’all do me a favor PUH-LEEZE? let your small be a small and your large be a large. your 2 be a 2 and your 10 be a 10. otherwise i’m going to be in the dressing room for like a year sifting through a sea of tanks, trousers, and tunics. and we all know my fear of bad dressing room lighting…

or maybe saturday’s unfortunate run-in with irrational sizing was simply my bank account’s way of telling me to cool it on the retail therapy.

either way, this has been a post. and thank you for listening.

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