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Tag Archive | "clothing sizes"

Spanx makes “athletic wear” now (but only for small(er) people)

Ladies! Do you want to look your best at the gym? Is it important that you have a good line, and look sexy while sweating?*

Well! Spanx has an athletic line now! Here’s the catch: you may not fit into it.

While I will contend that there is a considerable market of people who could use some serious compression wear for athletics — particularly plus-size women who are annoyed/hindered by their stomachs/thighs, etc. when it comes to working out comfortably — Spanx’s athletic line is not actually for these people. The largest size is XL, which claims to be a 14/16, but based on their measurement chart, my hips wouldn’t fit (I’m just above — though on top, it’s a fit).

So we end up with more of the same problem: bigger women who WANT to exercise and need compression wear, don’t get it. Smaller/normative women (I won’t say thin and cast aspersions) who have their pick of compression athletic wear (should they desire it) get a superfluous and expensive product line from Spanx. ($118 for a pair of pants?!?!?!) If I want expensive compression wear (which actually comes in my size, thanks), I’ll go to Athleta.

I guess it’s just slightly ridiculous because it’s coming from Spanx, which is in the business of “smoothing lines” so ladies can be sexy and confident in their power suits & dresses. Thus, the assumption is that these pieces aren’t really for working out in/sweating in, but for making you LOOK BETTER doing it. Fail.

Also, they’re called SPANX. Double fail.

(bitter tall woman disclosure: Spanx generally don’t fit me because they don’t make decent products for tall women, so they never come up high enough. Panty hose hanging two inches from your crotch = FAIL. Also, the one pair I bought once ripped the first time I wore it)

Conclusion: Spanx is a FASHION product, so that they’re branching out into “athletic wear” for a limited subset of sizes (and heights) is slightly ridiculous.

* LOL kidding — you can’t sweat in these! They’re not even moisture wicking!

Posted in Gear, Health & FitnessComments (9)

Cinderella was a size zero

Cinderella was a size zero

An interesting story caught my eye this morning about a Michigan teenager who won the chance to wear a $25,000 Versace dress to her prom. The thing is, she didn’t win this contest by chance. She won because she was the only girl who fit into the dress.

I’m not interesting in body-snarking a girl just because she’s a petite size zero, though I will say it was an interesting choice to use a dress worn by the very petite (5’1″!) Christina Ricci in a contest like this — how many teenage girls are 5’1″ and a size zero?

Among the pool in Waterford, Michigan? Apparently only one.  What bugs me about the article, is how it goes on and on and on about how ten other girls didn’t fit into the dress, but Kayla, like Cinderella, did, being a size zero. Ok, sure, let’s be happy for Cinderalla, but what about those ten girls who felt “fat” because they couldn’t zip into a doll dress? Nevermind that actual, legitimate “fat girls” couldn’t even ENTER the contest because there was no way in hell the dress would fit, by a mile.

Some days, I am starkly reminded of all the things fat girls just can’t have. Hell, in this case, it was unfair to anyone who wasn’t a size zero! No one can win.

I can’t help but flashback to my own prom era, and that whole malarkey. First of all, I didn’t have a date, being the tragically single, high school cliche I was. It wasn’t a big deal, but more annoying than that was not being able to find a single dress I liked that fit. I wasn’t going to wear a poofy ballgown going to a dance stag, and the dream dress I envisioned — a West Side Story style tea dress — wouldn’t come into fashion for another five years (WOE). So I wore a black skirt with a sparkly top — and not a sexy sparkly top; more like a sparkly blouse you might wear to the White House Correspondents Dinner… when you’re 50. It was all very tragic, unfashionable and fat.

Being a fat teenager = Terribly Other. I can’t even fathom what it feels like to go to the store and feel like you can try on any dress, and one of them (or more) is bound to look stunning on you. That was simply not my reality. (worst part? What I weighed around the time of my prom is my new goal. LOL)

My point is, girls larger than a size two didn’t even hope to ENTER this contest, let alone win. Setting aside the 2s to 10s, just think about all the fat girls who feel like shit because no one has designer dress contests for anyone of size. We’re not Cinderella. She was a size zero, apparently.

Anyone else have Prom regrets? I wish a) I had simply asked the boy I had a crush on and/or b) just not gone. Could have saved myself some teen angst LOL.

Posted in Body Issues, Fat Identity, Fat in the Media, In the NewsComments (3)

“Fat” Girl Shopping

Ah, the pain of U.S. women's clothing sizes

This past Saturday I went clothes shopping for the first time in a long time, and the first time since I started my diet efforts anew. It’s important to shop through your weight loss, celebrating the small victories — dropping a dress size, or even just fitting better into the same one. Despite the fact that I’ve shaved off a few inches and am fitting into my clothes better than before, attempting clothes shopping was a big ole reminder: I am NOT “normal,” I am fat, and JFC, I’m not sure I can remember the last time clothes shopping was actually enjoyable.

This is not just about being “fat” and feeling angst about buying clothes, it’s also about being, by all means, relatively NORMAL and not being able to buy clothes. I know it’s not just “fat girls” who suffer in shopping — the average American woman is  size 14, but have you BEEN in any of the trendy, cute clothing stores recently? You’re lucky if they carry a size 12. Funnily enough, three days after I began this post (did I just break the “blogging timeline” fourth wall?), Jezebel posted on a similar topic: how the average woman (person?) likely has a range of 2-3 sizes or more in their closet. The author narrowed it down to a main culprit: no standardized sizes between clothing stores. You may be a medium in one store, a large in another, and an extra-large in yet another.

True, I feel this pain, and it is part of my frustration, but it’s not just that. My personal list of grievances:

  • I am sick of trendy clothing shops where the largest size is a 12, and that 12 is cut small, essentially making it a 10 (or smaller).
  • I am sick of having to wait years for trends that only flatter flat, thin people (helloooo rompers & drop-waist dresses!) to go out of style so I can replenish my wardrobe with dresses & skirts that are flattering.
  • I am sick of going shopping and only being able to buy shirts, because they are the only thing in-store that actually fits me.
  • I am sick of having to wear empire waist shirts that half the time make me look pregnant, because they are the only tops that will cover my “muffin top.”
  • I am sick of only owning 3-5 pairs of pants, and really only *wearing* 1-2 of them on a regular basis, because finding pants that fit, are flattering AND comfortable is like the Holy Grail of Girls With Hips.

Seriously, guys: I own SO MANY FREAKING TOPS, and practically NO bottoms. Why? Because finding bottoms (pants, short & skirts) that fit, are flattering and comfortable is near impossible, and the mere THOUGHT of a bottom-focused shopping trip gives me hives. Zips not zipping, buttons not buttoning, muffin top (from minimal to OMG MAJOR SPILLAGE), getting skirts stuck on your hips (no, really, this happens), camel toe (ugggghhhhhhh), does this make my butt look big? (yes), etc. etc. etc. The mental anguish and psychological ups-and-downs of finding a new skirt or pair of pants to integrate into my repetoire is immense, and usually results in my going home to binge-eat potato chips & cookies. Instead, I prolong my fat girl denial buy getting the “new clothes high” from buying cute tops, over and over again. This time around, I decided to get out my anguish with blogging. Much “healthier,” no?

JFC, I hate only being able to buy tops in most stores

This week’s shopping trip blues were inspired by my old standard, Old Navy, and a brief pop into Anthropologie. At the former, I was annoyed once again by the 2010-2011 fashion trend of drop-waist dresses — seriously, these are NOT attractive on ANYONE with curves, or extra body fat. What looks good on a hanger makes me look like a dumpy bowling pin. I went in looking to buy a skirt or dress and came out with — you guessed it — two tops. BLASTED TOPS. This was annoying, but not so bad. Then I had the poor judgment of continuing on to Anthropologie. If I were a thin, rich person, I would wear Anthropologie exclusively. Heck, I’d just wear Anthropologie dresses every day for the rest of my life. I hadn’t been in an Anthropologie and actually looked at their clothing labels/examined them closely in years — probably more than ten, in part because, in my mind, I “can’t shop there.” I don’t know what compelled me to go in. I shouldn’t have.

What I found progressively sunk me into a mental funk — the largest size they carried was a size twelve, and upon close examination, the size twelve was *tiny*. Much smaller than I had been last I was a “size twelve” (in Gap sizes, at least). Even looking at their tops, I had no hopes of fitting them over my bust. When a fat girl can’t even default to buying tops, she goes to a dark, dark place. It was just a sad reminder — when you’re bigger, or even the American “normal,” you can’t shop at trendy, mainstream stores, or if you can, you’re lucky to squeeze into the largest size they carry. It was a dark day in my teens when I realized I could no longer shop at Express. While everyone was going apeshit for Charlotte Russe, I hung outside, coveting the cute, frilly (tiny) designs. H&M and I have a love-hate relationship, depending on the collection/brand (note to fat girls: Divided is sized *really* small). I don’t set foot in Abercrombie & Fitch, American Eagle, Forever 21 or any other store that is trendy for beautiful thin people — I just assume I don’t belong there, and move on.

I reckon this is another aspect of the “fat kid’s normal,” about which I’ve previously written. Correct me if I’m wrong, my thin friends, but I’m fairly sure “normal sized” individuals don’t own 8 million shirts but only four pairs of pants. The problem is, GREAT, I found *another* cute top but DAMMIT, I have nothing to pair it with! “Normal” people don’t steer clear of 80% of retail stores just so they don’t have to be reminded of how much they don’t fit in, literally.

I’m not saying the fashion industry has to conform to me so I can feel better about myself. In fact, usually people say “fat people have Lane Bryant” (except they would be more “PC” than I am, and wouldn’t say “fat people” XD), so there’s an “alternative.” Well, I am TOO SMALL FOR LANE BRYANT. Now, you’d think this would make me feel super good about myself, being able to go into Lane Bryant and wear the smallest size, but it doesn’t. It just reminds me that I don’t fit in with the real fat girls, either (and makes me annoyed at myself for whining). I’m in this weird, inbetween American “average” space where you only get to shop at Old Navy, Target and Walmart for clothing, because Lane Bryant is too big and Abercrombie, etc. is too small. The really depressing thing is that even once I’ve hit my personal goal — a size 10/12, I still won’t be able to shop at certain stores. My thin is still the fashion world’s “plus-sized.”

The point is: shopping for anyone who isn’t super thin and non-curvy SUCKS. (and even aside from fat vs. thin, there’s the issue of petite and tall individuals being up shit creek if they want to find clothing that fits properly). I’m not proposing a solution or hating on thin people, but rather I want to bring all my fellow clothing-shopping haters together. Are you drowning in tops but can’t find bottoms to save your life? Do you hate having to wait 3-4 years between fashion trends to find clothing that is flattering?

And don’t even get me started on shoe shopping XD

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Posted in Body Issues, Fat IdentityComments (24)

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