Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Sizing Things Up.

On my last morning of freedom (I begin grad school tomorrow), I slept in and then headed out for a stroll. 

I dug through my Healthy Living Summit Swag Bag for breakfast. 

 It was pretty darn tasty- the melty chocolate outside contrasted perfectly with the crispy NuGo Crunch and almond insides. I'm excited to try more NuGo products in the future!

It was gorgeous this morning! I strolled along the bay...

 ...and along some residential blocks. I ended up at the Nostrand Ave. Salvation Army!

 The thrifting gods were on my side today! Pink tagged clothes were on sale, and I scored three pairs of jeans, four blouses, two black t-shirts (for my school uniform- not pictured) an a HAWT dress for... $27.05. Oh. Yes.

Thrifting is a test in patience, perseverance, motivation and resilience. Frustrations include: finding awesome pieces and then realizing they're stained beyond saving, having PTSD flashbacks to 9th grade (fur-cuffed cardigans, anyone?) and getting your hair caught in a sequined pants suit. The most harrowing part of the ordeal, in my opinion, is finding things in "your size". By the way, what size are you? Seems like a pretty personal question, right? I'm happy to answer though. I wear a size 5...err... 27... but sometimes a 0... oh- in that brand I'm a 7... European 47... and an 8, and a 29, 30, XS, 4, S/M, Childrens 14, 6... And the list goes on. 

Each of these pairs of pants fits me fantastically. And they're sizes 4, 5, 8 and 27. Hanging next to these in my closet were a 31, 2, 00, 8 and 10. Ummm....

WHEN did sizes stop meaning anything? In a way I'm grateful, because I very distinctly remember a time when my jean size and my self-esteem were VERY closely linked. But the creative licenses clothes makers are taking when sizing their pieces can cause similar panic in those who aren't so willing disregard the number on the tag. At the thrift store today I observed a woman near tears as she fought to get a blouse over her head. I offered to help and we got it around her shoulders, but it quickly became apparent that the shirt was just too small. I told her I didn't think it fit right, and she insisted, "It HAS to fit. I don't wear bigger than a medium. God, I hope I haven't gained weight." This woman was by no means overweight, and looked pretty fit to me. The shirt was obviously cut small, but because she had decided that she was supposed to fit into clothing labeled M, she automatically assumed the fault was with her body, and not the manufacturer's.

Vanity sizing is NOT a secret, (covered here in USA TODAY, here on STYLE CASTER, and here in the NY TIMES) and it's NOT only happening to women (covered here in Esquire). 


When I'm President of the Universe:
Clothing will be sold strictly based upon measurements, as in bust, waist and hip size. While it won't provide the esteem-boost that vanity sizing does, it WILL prevent us from thinking our bodies have changed based on  fickle sizing discrepancies, and maybe, just maybe we can start selecting clothing solely by what looks good on, regardless of what the tag says. 

Do clothing tags stress you out? How do you deal?