I bought the blue jumper in this photo because it reminded me of an outfit I wore in high school in the 1970s, soft cotton corduroy with Captain Kangaroo pockets, a metal zipper in the back, and a short skirt. So when I went to try it on in the store, I was determined it was going to fit me. And it did. After I switched from a Medium to an Extra Large. Now I don’t mind being an XLG per se. Who cares, right? But I’m 5’2”, menopause weight 140, and if I’m an XLG, what is everybody else?
What happened to vanity sizing? I thought clothing manufacturers were manipulating us into buying more by shifting sizes down as we get bigger. I’ve been a size 8 for most of my life, and now that I’m wearing a stylish meno-pot around my middle, I was really looking forward to being a size 4. Please manipulate me!
Last week I went to a parking lot sample sale at the headquarters of a popular sportswear brand. No dressingrooms, no returns. They were selling all the leftovers in their warehouse. I found a very cool pair of jeans for $30 with a big number 28 on them and I was thrilled. My inseam is about 28” and I’m always glad to find pants for short people. The thrill faded fast in my livingroom when I tried them on. Of course, the 28 was referring to the waist, not the inseam. Brain cramp. Did I need to be reminded that my waist is now more of an out-dent than an indent? After I nearly broke a hip pulling them on, they were sort of the opposite of a thong. Let’s call it a hong. They covered my hips but nothing in between.
Clothes sizes feel like an implied criticism. But nothing is more humiliating than standing half naked in front of a dressingroom mirror, on icky carpeting, under fluorescent lights designed to show every flaw and blemish. Sometimes I get so hijacked by my blackhead safari, that my ego is too deflated to shop. I need to save my money for cosmetic surgery. Really, if they want us to buy their stuff, how about a dressingroom with twilight, a mirror that’s slightly out of focus, and a robotic voice that murmurs, You look so much thinner than last time I saw you.
After I bought the jumper, I went looking for Frye boots to complete my retro look. Of course, it was a mistake. In the 1970s, my feet were made of rubber and I would have walked on nails if they were in style. After trying on a few pairs of leather stovepipes, and traipsing in front of the store mirror, the bones in my feet were using the F word and threatening domestic violence. My nostalgia bubble popped and I finally came to my senses. Age before beauty. My need to be stylish ends at my feet.