The Many, Myriad Sizes In Your Emotionally Manipulative Closet


Trying on clothes recently, I found that the sizes of the garments varied. Widely. One shirt was a Large; another an XL, another an XXL. Pants ranged from 14 to 16 to 18 to 20. An informal poll of coworkers revealed that we all have a minimum of three different sizes in our wardrobes. What the hell?

It seems there are many factors at work:

Weight Gain/Loss
Having clothes you can’t — or don’t — wear because they’re too small or too large is a common problem, but it’s not always the issue. Still, feeling reluctant to get rid of items that don’t fit makes sense: You paid for them! You might even love that blouse or dress, and it’s hard to say goodbye to pieces we’re emotional about. And if you’re a yo-yo, weight-wise, you’ve got that little voice in the back of your head whispering, keep it, you might wear it again. And you know the voice might be right.

For many women, there are wardrobe items that fit and look great except during that time of the month. The words “fat pants” do not accurately describe the giant muumuu or “boyfriend jeans” or infinite-stretch yoga pants you may choose during your time of need.

Interesting Proportions
The human body is fascinating! Quite often — and this will simply shock you — it presents itself in a form where the top and the bottom are different sizes. Large-busted and slim-hipped; full-hipped and small-busted; small-waisted and full-hipped, etc. Clothes rarely account for these unique — and not at all rare — variations.

Seasonal Shifts
My summer clothes tend to be smaller than my winter clothes. Winter coats and sweaters tend to get sized up, so that I can layer underneath them; and in the summer, I’m more active — biking, running around, sweating all the time because it’s so damn hot — and my clothes can be slightly smaller/more fitted. I don’t know/don’t care what the actual difference in my summer/winter weights is, but as many of us know, a mere three pounds can make a huge difference in how something fits.

Last, but not least:

Standardized Sizing Is A Joke
Sometimes it’s not you, it’s the system. if you wear a Small T-shirt from Old Navy, you’ll need a Medium at Abercrombie & Fitch. If you have a 31-inch waist, you’re a Medium at LL Bean, but the largest possible jeans at Hollister won’t fit. You cannot shop there. There’s no overall synergy between Juniors, Misses and Women’s sizing, and even those names are ridiculous. Does any of it make sense? Not really!

Of course, it doesn’t matter how many sizes you have. It’s just interesting! And because it fascinates me, here is a poll:

And feel free to add your tales of sizing woes in the comments!

Image via caimacanul/Shutterstock.

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