Sunday, January 3, 2010

I complain on Sundays...

A gaggle of gripes to satiate your craving for the bitter within me... Don't act like you're not excited...

This week:

The standards of sizing...
Is my ass really fat... or do you just want me to think it is?

(I know all you ladies are feelin' me, and the way I see it, this can no longer be ignored)

WTF is the malfunction with the Nation's Master Female Sizing Chart!?! I mean, really?  Is it written in WingDings with nary a legend near? Perhaps it's so old the numbers have smudged and blurred and therefore it's every sweat shop for themselves?

There just seems a major disconnect between the size of my ass and the number (or letter) on the tag? And why, Fashion gods, do you relish in giving my self-esteem a giant kick in the testicles when the ultimate goal is to get me to buy your shit? A skosh counterproductive, no?

I'm a girl who loves to shop. I love clothes. I get giddy at the mere mention of Nordstrom. I long for Manolo Blahnik to be my baby daddy...


But throw me a hip bone here, Couture. I have enough on my plate obsessing over celebrity diets and the stylish new sections of my skeletal system that should be jutting out from my emaciated figure. I need no help from you burying myself in the guilt of last night's cookie dough...

After years of research and self-loathing, it has occurred to me that the more you spend the "smaller" you become. A little term known as "Vanity Sizing"... And God bless it! Banana Republic, I'm a size 2. Citizens of Humanity jeans, a 27. Dolce and Gabbana size -4... (okay, not really... I can't even afford the cover charge to walk in to Dolce and Gabbana).

Alternately, H&M has me at a size 10. Old Navy, I'm a Medium on a good day. Every piece of clothing in Forever 21 cringes and laughs upon my entrance. And most junior's departments make me cry.

Therein lies the problem. While I like to pretend I'm wealthy, and can spend the kind of money that will support my delusions of thin, my income has other ideas. My paychecks mock me as soon as I open them. Hence, I can often be found browsing the racks of the local Ross Dress For Less. And while I prefer the kitschy little overpriced boutiques sprinkled throughout my fair city, I'm certainly not above a quick trip to Kohl's. But being the shopportunistic gal I am, I have a real hard time forking over the cash for a designer size 2 when I know in my heart I could probably pay half that for a questionably-made size 6.

Now, to be clear, I'm certainly not narcissistic enough to let the number (or letter) printed on the tag rule my self-worth. I have no trouble buying a large, if it is called for. My issues are mostly with the blatant lack of consistency. Pairing a size 4 pant with an XL top seems like fractured logic to me. Or a size 29 jean with an XS sweater. Again I say, WTF?!?

And furthermore, why are men's designers so much smarter than women's? It's as if they all met years ago in some secret underground society pow-wow and drafted a standard issue male sizing chart that would be passed down throughout generations in some sexist ploy to weaken and ultimately dominate the female consumer. They concocted a plan to have both waist AND length sizing... in every combination imaginable. A concept lost upon crossing the threshold into any ladies department. A men's Large is an actual Large, their Small, an honest to goodness Small. My boyfriend wears a Large shirt, 34 x 34 pant. There is absolutely no wavering from this. He can walk in to any store from Target to Neiman Marcus confident that if there is a Large or a 34 x 34 on the shelf, it will fit like it was tailored to his body. No fitting room required.

I, on the other hand, am grabbing fourteen different sizes in every garment, hoping against hope that I stumble upon some functioning combination that isn't so ill-fitting it forces me to run screaming from the dressing room in search of the nearest bridge to dive head first off of. Alone I try on outfit after outfit, longing for a bevy of strategically placed ruffles and back pockets positioned deliberately in a manner that doesn't accentuate the fattest part of my ass. Praying silently that I don't have to walk to the register brandishing an XS, an XXL, and a size 26, then when asked if I need a gift receipt replying "No, it's all for me" through gritted teeth. Certain that if I find a pant that fits over my Italian hips, I will be paying another $20 to have the length altered to my 5'3" frame. And then resenting the fact that I just paid for all that fabric they'll have to remove so as to avoid looking like Tom Hanks at the end of the movie Big. Because, as a woman, if your waist is a size 4, there is NO FATHOMABLE WAY YOU ARE NOT 5'10"...

Let's be honest, women are the life blood of fashion. If it weren't for us everyone would be running around in silk-screened, sport-themed tees and Hanes sweatpants. Don't we deserve to feel confident in the unvarying coherence of numbers and letters hanging in our respective closets? Shouldn't our loved ones be able to walk in to any given department store, purchase us an adorable cardigan, and trust the integrity of the published size? And in the absence of such assurance, is it not our duty to stage a Sizing Revolution?

I'm thinking of sending a bill to congress on this one. Maybe march on Washington. This inequality and suffering has gone on long enough! The oppression must end!


  1. Amen, sista!!!

    I do the same thing! I go in with sizes ranging from 5-??? and pray to the fashion gods that something (anything) fits. And the lighting in the fitting rooms? You can do a whole other post on that!

  2. While my saddle bags are screaming at your size 2 frame for this post, my heart understands. The lack of consistency makes me angry. I don't fit into my pre-second-baby 16s but I go out and buy a new 16 (short) at Old Navy and they fit (but are too long for my 5'3.75" height. I'd love it if "short" length were actually "short." :) Although I tend to delve in the large/XL shirt category, my hubby bought me a Husker women's shirt, and it was a 2XL. I about cried but it fits fine.

  3. Preach it sister!! I'll sign the bill.

  4. I will tell you what my mom told me. Many moons ago, when she was a teenager, she worked at pants factory. She did waistbands. She said that as long as the waistband, inseam and so on are within 2 inches of the size it is that size. So a size 14 could be closer to a 12 or a 16. it sucks. Oh and she also told me these pants were shipped to Macy's and Woolworth's. Guess who charged more?

  5. i love this post. thank you for your honesty and your witty writing skills.