You may have noticed I’ve been doing a wee bit of shopping lately. Like most mothers, I put my children’s needs ahead of my own, often, and while they run around dressed like little Gap models, I am often still sporting the jeans I bought in college. But now that I have A JOB (did I mention I got a job? No? Well I did!) my shopping habits have changed a little bit.
Unemployed shopping: Head for the clearance rack. Look only for items I need. Agonize over price. Purchase only if 80% or more off, and under $5. Feel guilty.
Employed shopping: Head for the clearance rack. Look at anything pretty. Agonize over price. Purchase if it’s really pretty. Call girlfriend on the way home and say “Guess what I just bought!”
So I’ve acquired a few new things, and I’ve been dealing with mountains of laundry, and as a result I’ve been surveying my wardrobe. And I’ve arrived at an inescapable conclusion:
The people who determine the sizing for women’s clothing smoke a whole lotta crack.
It starts, of course, with the disparity between Misses’ sizing (even numbers) and Junior’s sizing (odd numbers). It was once explained to me that the even numbers assume curvier figures, while the odd number assume a more “willowish” shape. I don’t know when “willowish” became a synonym for “toothpick,” but I’m often out of the loop, so who knows.
Ordinarily I don’t even wander into the Juniors section, on account of I am 33 years old and it’s been a long time since I had a burning desire for a skin-tight see-through sweater that comes to just under my nipples. But during big clearance events at one of my favorite department stores, marked-down items are strewn everywhere and sometimes digging through the racks yields a great find.
So. There I was. I did my normal searching in the Misses stuff… I generally take a size small or a size 4. I’m not tiny but I’m on the small side, sure. But once I head over to Juniors, it’s a whole different ballgame. Forget smalls. Most size small shirts in the Juniors section would make silly but comfy hats, for me. I always start looking in medium, and go up from there. Last week I tried on an adorable sweater. I grabbed a medium, and I swear to you that although I was able to put it on, it cut off all circulation in my arms. I ended up purchasing a large, and seriously considering purchasing a small for Chickadee, because clearly the smalls are designed for 7-year-old girls.
In putting things away and culling out clothes I don’t wear and whatnot, my confusion only grew. Most of my tops are size small, with a few mediums and then the occasional large like the new sweater. Okay. I can deal with that. But my pants? If an alien landed here in his spaceship and dug through my pants, he would have no idea how big I was. Which I guess would be a welcome diversionary tactic if he was planning to roast me for a feast, or something.
My favorite jeans are size 4. I also have a nice pair that are size 3, in spite of the fact that I would asphyxiate and die before squeezing a single butt cheek into even a typical size 5. I have a couple of 4s that are too big, and a pair of 6s that are too small. That covers my pants drawer.
Hanging in the closet are my dressier pants. The most expensive ones are a size 2, because everyone knows that the more money you pay, the smaller your ass is. (I hope to someday be rich enough to become a size 0, wardrobe-ly speaking.) There’s a selection of 4s, and a couple of 6s. And a 7 that fits me just fine. Go figure.
I think it’s a shame that our society spawns so many young women with eating disorders. If only those girls could be taught that a little more shopping would result in the size they want to be, so much needless trauma could be avoided.
On the other hand, I just put on my size large sweater with my size 2 pants, and I think I felt something short out in my brain.