Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Sizing Myself Up

When I was 19 years old, I stood 5’8”, weighed a very skinny 120 pounds – and wore a size 10 or a Large. Always. There was no question.

Today, I am 48 years old, the same height and weigh 25 pounds more. And I am wearing a brand-new pair of shorts, a size 6.

But guess what? I should have bought the size 4. The waist on these is so big, I need a belt to keep them up.

Oh, come on!

I have once again fallen afoul of “vanity sizing.” Clothing companies have been adjusting their sizes over the years as people have become bigger. They figure that we, the shoppers, will feel so good about fitting into a smaller size that we will buy the garment.

It drives me nuts. I don’t like shopping as it is. (Imagine diving for rings in a pool: you take a deep breath, kick to the bottom of the deep end, and with your head hurting from the pressure, try to grab the rings before you run out of air. That’s how shopping is for me.)

I can see that it works, though. Some genius put the size labels – large block-letter S’s, M’s, L’s and XL’s – on the outside of the not-vanity-sized uniforms for my daughter’s high-school soccer team. Talk about “scarlet letter.” My freshman daughter desperately did not want to wear a L. Though not overweight, she thought people would see the L and think she was. I told her, to no avail, not to pay attention to the label, to get one that fits. But it wasn’t until she saw an older girl – the very nice, beautiful, soccer-star senior Ci Ci (whose part-time job was modeling) wearing a properly fitting L, that my daughter felt OK about it.

This should all be so much simpler than it is.


  1. Amazingly irritating. Same thing in men's clothes, too. That's why all my pants are frayed on the bottom. I just don't want to go to the store. --J

  2. Wow! Who puts the labels outside? How annoying!