Thursday, October 11, 2012

An Adventure in Sizing

It occurs to me that I’m not really sure how to wear clothes anymore.  Now, part of this is due to the ever-changing world of “fashion”…but the other part is definitely due to being overweight most all my life.  I, like most pudgy people in the world, always dressed bigger than I was.  Baggy clothes “hid” the fat, and after all, if I hid my real shape, you’d never know if the fluff around me was a McDonald’s-induced mid-section or just a large sweatshirt.  At least that was the theory.  I realize now that I most likely wasn’t fooling anyone but myself, but I digress.  Having perfected this method of clothing my body over many years, now, as an adult who is (slowly) becoming more fit, it occurs to me I don’t know what size I actually am.  It also doesn’t help that clothing companies don’t have any sort of consistency in woman’s sizes, ESPECIALLY with pants.  Good heavens.  I can wear a 12 one place, go somewhere else and I’m an 18.  Or better yet, I flux between 3 sizes IN THE SAME STORE.  Seriously people, this is why women have issues.  Anyway, moving on.
This is very evident to me today, as I bought some Rockstar cords from Old Navy very recently.  They are labeled as “super skinny” and “flattering on every shape!”  That last statement I took as a bit of a challenge.  I of course tried them on in the store and chose the ones that I thought fit best at the time, i.e. the ones that did not squish out my middle like the breakfast pastry the look was named after.  Excited about my purchase (and that I would have a reprieve from wearing so many skirts to work), I wore my new pants the next day.  As soon as I left the house I knew I had a problem.  The pants were too big.  And as big as they started out, they only got bigger as the day wore on, leaving me at the end of the day with a butt so saggy and unattractive that the only rock star I was emulating was possibly Steven Tyler, or maybe Sting.  This would not do.  So I packed up my pants, headed back to the store, and returned all three pairs for a size smaller.  I went to put them on this morning…and there were definitely some aerobics involved.  I had to do the very intricate Dance of the Tight Pants (which I’m quite positive was perfected by Nathan Fillion, Cap’n Tightpants himself*).  This involved the Jumping Up and Down While Hoisting From Waistband, as well as the Knees to the Side Squats while Shaking Rump.  It was quite a production, one that would have brought a tear to anyone’s eye.  Tears of laughter, that is.  After that ordeal with pants only ONE SIZE smaller, it occurred to me that perhaps I’m not actually sure how clothes are supposed to fit me.  Feeling like an orange on toothpicks, I went to work.  I received two compliments on my fancy pants within 20 minutes of leaving the house, so clearly what I deem too small is not seen as such by the rest of the world.  Either that or they’re lying to me, but I find that highly unlikely.  That brought up the question, if other people think I look fine - cute even - then how do I judge what’s the right size?  Should I just assume if I feel my pants are too small they actually fit?  And seriously, whose idea were skinny jeans anyway, and why do they want to torture people?  So here I sit at my desk, wondering how much these will stretch, if they’re worth it, and what on earth I’m actually supposed to look like in clothes.  Pondering this to myself, I texted three of my friends the following:

Let's say you have cute pants.  Said pants stretched out in the first size you bought so you exchanged them for smaller.  You're not convinced you don't look like an orange on toothpicks in the new ones.  Do you keep them knowing they'll stretch a bit, keep them and work out, or return them and mourn your loss?

The answers I got back:
"LMAO!  Keep them for reasons 1 and 2"
"If the orange on toothpick reference is accurate and not an exaggeration, you cut bait and walk away.  Otherwise, give it time grasshopper." (thanks Travis)
"Return them and by MC Hammer pants instead, bring back the early 90s"

I think the general consensus is that I’ll keep them…but probably do a little extra core workout for a while.
*If you have no idea what this means, you should probably go watch some Firefly.  You’re welcome.

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