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The long and the shorts of it - shadows of echoes of memories of songs — LiveJournal
j4
j4
The long and the shorts of it
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monkeyhands From: monkeyhands Date: November 28th, 2008 03:13 pm (UTC) (Link)
I think this post might lead us into a tedious anecdata-filled discussion about women's sizes, but essentially the issue is this (as if you didn't know): that women are divided into sizes like 8, 10, 12, etc rather than being able to buy trousers where the waist, hip and length are measured in inches. Not only that, but the definition of 8, 10, 12, etc, varies both over time and from shop to shop at the same moment.

Which forces women into a perpetual process of calculation and trying things on and generally being messed about. We're forced to remember that we're an M&S 12 but a New Look 10, and that nothing in Top Shop fits at all because you need a waist:hip ratio of 1:1.

What puzzles me about your experience is that the posher shops tend to cut their sizes smaller as well as making them for taller people. I would've thought that a Karen Millen 8 would be equivalent to a 6 in a shop like M&S.

Mind you, I do have a pair of Karen Millen trousers (also from a charity shop)and I think they're cut large for the size (10) too.
j4 From: j4 Date: November 28th, 2008 03:26 pm (UTC) (Link)
The remembering sizes/shops is even harder if you basically only ever buy things from charity shops; you have to remember that you're a 10 in new M&S but a 14-16 in M&S stuff from the 70s or 80s, and so on. But even if something is "my size" that's no guarantee that it'll fit nicely/comfortably, so I really do think the best thing to do is try things on. No calculation involved, that way, except "does this feel right on me" and/or "is it nice enough that I'm prepared to spend this amount of money on it"? ... though I am getting better at being able to tell by looking at trousers whether they're supposed to pull up to the waist rather than somewhere around the middle of the arse.

Men's clothes aren't that much better, IME; it's hard to find a pair of trousers in the right waist/leg because they make similar assumptions to women's clothes about what the 'normal' ratio is (though I suppose it's easier to see at a glance that none of them will fit), and shirts are sold by neck size. And there's still the same problem of what the clothes are designed to look like, if you see what I mean -- does 38" chest mean it's designed to be a snug fit on a 38" chest, or a baggy fit? And then lots of men's clothes just have S/M/L instead of inches anyway. And then there's Muji which has sizes 0 and 1 or something similarly stupid. Anyway.

I was really surprised at the Karen Millen trousers, too; I've got a Karen Millen suit in a size 10 and it is really just that bit too small but it was so awesome that I had to buy it anyway. Sigh. I should probably sell it, or give it to someone who might fit in it. Do you want a black skirt suit with weird corset-like lacing up the sides? :-)
monkeyhands From: monkeyhands Date: November 28th, 2008 05:12 pm (UTC) (Link)
The remembering sizes/shops is even harder if you basically only ever buy things from charity shops; you have to remember that you're a 10 in new M&S but a 14-16 in M&S stuff from the 70s or 80s

Oh, yeah, totally. The "vintage" wedding dress I gave away the other day was labelled a 12 but now it would sooooo be a 6.

Do you want a black skirt suit with weird corset-like lacing up the sides? :-)

[making excited panting noises] Yes please! Assuming it fits, that is...
juggzy From: juggzy Date: November 28th, 2008 06:08 pm (UTC) (Link)
Have you tried it on lately? It might be a better fit now.
j4 From: j4 Date: November 28th, 2008 10:45 pm (UTC) (Link)
I haven't tried it on for a while, no, but the problem is that my back/chest/arms are too big for the jacket, & I really don't think I can lose weight off them. I think I was just fooling myself that it ever fit, really. :-(
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