11 October 2011

Where's the method to the madness with clothing sizes

I mentioned in a previous post that clothing sizes are just plain fucking stupid. A Gap size 2 is the same size as an Old Navy 4 and both of those are the same size as a Banana Republic size 8. And each of those chains is owned by the same parent company. If they can't get some standardization in their clothing sizes, then we shoppers are just fucked.

I have learned not to even give a fuck about what number is on the label of a garment.

I wear size 2 pants and 4 shirts at New York & Company. In Trina Turk clothes, I wear 4-6 tops. Banana Republic tops, I'm an 8 and it's snug and the sleeves are frighteningly tight, I'm a 6 in their pants. Theory size 6 pants fit, Armani size 6 is a bit too big but a 4 is a bit small. Liz Claiborne size 4 pants are too big and 4 inches too short and Claiborne small shirts fit perfect if I don't want to move my arms (the sleeves are too tight even if I go up to a medium). I wear an 8 in Malandrino pants. I'm in the 8 to 10 range in Victoria's Secret, Chadwick's, and MetroStyle tops. Thrown in a Chico's 0 on top AND bottom and it gets more confusing than confoozing. So the numbers on the tags in garments are meaningless.

However, when I go into H&M and see an awesomesauce dress and have to go up to a size 10 to get it to fit my chest AND IT'S STILL SNUG, sizing is beyond meaningless. That is so far beyond random that it's just CHAOS.

To put icing on the cake, and here comes the part that has me so pissed, the waist was AT LEAST 6 inches too big and the sleeves were so fucking tight that I was in danger of ripping seams if I tried to move my arms.

I want to know who in the fuck clothing manufacturers think they're making clothes for. I have to shop high-end, high-dollar labels to find pants that are long enough. What the hell is with all the fucking short leg high rise pants out there? Thank heaven for Yoox, where I can find Armani and Malandrino pants for under $70, and thank heaven for New York & Company for making good pants that average middle class women can actually afford.

And what the fuck is going on with tops? Why doesn't anybody make shirts with sleeves that actually fit women's arms? Granted, all that damn cable I've pulled and coiled has given me a muscular shoulder/chest/back and arms, but moms pick up kids & groceries & toys all day long, which means that they don't have toothpick arms either. (Moms & non-mom-women are fucking strong, moms do lots of STUFFZ that would wear out the average man.)

So why do so many fucking clothing manufacturers make sleeves for people with toothpick arms, even when the sizes are definitely not for toothpick torsos?

I get it that most people really can't find clothes that fit perfectly off-the-rack. I get it that we all need to make friends with a tailor.

But a tailor could not have made that H&M dress work for me. A tailor cannot make Liz Claiborne pants work for me. A tailor cannot make shirts work for me when, no matter how large I go, the fucking sleeves are too fucking tight.

I'm angry. I angry at designers who only design and cut for 00 sized models. I'm angry at fashion mags for calling Laura Stone's size 4 body curvy. I'm angry at an industry that treats size 8 and larger as "plus size". I'm angry at an industry that doesn't make a lot of options for true plus size women. I'm angry at mass media and advertisers for bombarding us with images of unattainable perfection. I'm angry at manufacturers who have no fucking clue what the fuck real women look like.
At least I had a good day in spite of the fact that that awesomesauce dress was never going to work for me.

My sister bought me lunch in a restaurant I love that doesn't exist in this Podunk hellhole called Shreveport. I got to hang out with her for a while, which is a win for me. I did a lot of damage when I was using, so to actually be able to have a relationship with my sister, instead of screaming matches, is a good feeling.

So it was a good day.

Now, if only clothing manufacturers would get realistic with their sizing and start cutting clothes for real fucking people, I might run out of shit to bitch about.


  1. Word.
    *too sick to rant. Thanks for doing it for me*

  2. If size 8 and up are plus size(size fucking 8!) and most American women wear size 12 or larger, shouldn't anything less than an 8 be the rarity? Shouldn't it be the regular sizes and then the minus sizes?
    And why the fuckity fuck can't it just be regulated? So many inches from here to there and so on = size 8. Seems simple to me.

  3. Shevaun, I love to rant. Glad you're better!
    Joules, even though your idea would put me in the minus group, I like it. I have a friend who often sneers that zero isn't a size. Or maybe she sneers that zero isn't a person. Either way, she's probably right.