Shopping for My Size Always Makes Me Feel Fat

Twisted 14

size tagIf there's one thing I hate about shopping (which is kind of impossible 'cause what's not to love about clothes!?), it's the dressing room. It's like a civilized torture chamber, what with the two feet of space, the cheap wooden bench that no one ever uses, and that forsaken mirror -- and uh, sometimes there's more than one mirror. I've learned that dreams go to dressing rooms to die. And die they do.

Take for instance the other day, I made myself try on a shirt prior to buying it. It was a cute shirt, the appropriate size and length, but still, I wanted to be sure. In the fitting room, my worst fears were confirmed: Seems like every time I try something on in the right size, it's always too small, too clingy, too tight.

Ever feel like dressing for your body only leaves you feeling fat?

I don't know if it's just me, but I've got to assume that this is happening to women (and guys, too) all over. It's like every time I go to pick up my size, I have to be skeptical. The numbers on the size tag rarely match up to how the fit will be. And dang, is it frustrating. It's upsetting that trying on my size -- and not fitting into it -- has such an effect on how I feel about my body. Wouldn't you be put off too if your size doesn't fit you?

We can all sit here and say, "No, it doesn't bother me," but on some level, it does. You want to fit into the size you know reflects your shape. There is nothing wrong with wanting that. So how frustrating it must be to try on YOUR size and feel like it's too small, too tight, too not right.

Speaking from personal experience, I know I am not in denial about my size. If I'm a true medium, then I am a true medium. No complaints there. I expect that a medium, regardless of where I'm shopping, should fit like a medium. As a consumer, a shopper, and a lover of fashion, I expect that from the places I shop. I usually end up buying clothes a size up. I find the fit is more comfortable, more flattering. It's a backwards system, though. Is it too much to say that stores cater to women's body image issues? I don't think it is.

I understand that stores base their sizing on their fit models, but let's break that down for a second. A fit model is still a freakin' model. What if stores did something really revolutionary, like use real women to structure their sizes? How hard would it be to give women what they're looking for?

Doesn't seem too impossible.

Do you have a hard time with clothes sizes? 


Image via sporkist/Flickr

body, shopping, confessional


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Mariah Hildebrand

Ugh this kind of thinking drives me crazy. I work in retail and there are so many women who come in, try on a small, if its too small they refuse to go a size up. Cut the labels off it bothers you that much. And realize that clothes are made by many different manufacturers so of course sizes arent going to be consistent.

nonmember avatar singer825

So I get what Mariah is saying but some stores the sizing inconsistencies are to an extreme. I am a size 2 or 4 but I own jeans that fit me and are a size 10. I ordered shirts last year to be embroidered for my company and come to find out that when they arrived, they seemed to be sized for toddlers. I had to put the majority of the medium sized women in 2X and 3X which made them feel SUPER awesome. 1 to 2 size inconsistencies depending on the style of clothing is understandable. 3 to 4 size inconsistencies is just stupid.

Rhond... RhondaVeggie

If you consistently need to buy a large then that's your size. Your true size is probably even larger thanks to vanity sizing. A woman who is a standard size 6 can typically buy a size 2 nowadays. When I was wearing a size 12/14 I was supposedly a size 22 but a size 22 off the rack wouldn't stay up let alone look remotely good.

nonmember avatar christy

If you believe that you are a size 10 but consistently fit in a size 14, you are a size 14. No matter how much you hate that number on the tag. Wow, talk about a case of denial!

B1Bomber B1Bomber

I buy whatever size fits, although it would be nice if you could generally snag an 8 off the rack and have it fit, instead of needing to get the 6, 8, 10, and maybe jr version in a 9 before finding the one that fits.

It is mildly annoying when I fit into an XL or more, because if I (at 5'6, approx size 8 pants, 36B, etc) wear an XL, what about the women who normally wear an XL? They just don't get clothes at that store, I guess.

EmmaF... EmmaFromEire

It's not a case of ''well if you buy X then you are X''. It's not that at all. It's a case of the bizarre variety of sizes out there. I can vary up to four sizes, depending on the B1Bomber said, she wears a size 8, but can be an XL? Size 8 isn't an XL, that's what's frustrating. It's the reason I rarely, if ever, buy clothes online. I hate buying somethign if i can't try it on first, because shops vary their sizes so much

the4m... the4mutts

Depends... Kylie here, looks more like an xs. Not even a medium. Maybe she has her own issues about how her body looks in form fitting clothes? She obviously has issues of some sort, judging by all the hateful things she says about women's breasts, her vesion of fashion and what "real" women should wear, and talking nastily about women that wear clothing she doesn't agree with and telling them to cover up.

On the topic, it depends on if you LIKE form fitting clothes. I'm a size 12-13 in jeans, but I don't like skin tight jeans, so I buy a 15. Its not just size, but taste in clothing, and your own body issues that come into play.

I will agree though, that no matter where I go, let's say I find a shirt I like in a large, and it fits, so I buy that, and 1 more of the EXACT SAME EFFING SHIRT, but a different color, the 2nd shirt almost never fits. Clothing companies need to step it up about 10 notches in their quality control departments, but we also need to be realistic when shopping. A size med @ walmart, isn't going to be the same as a medium @ abercrombie & fitch, kwim?

cleig... cleigh717

I hate shopping for that reason too. I have no size. Its whatever fits today I hope fits tomorrow. I'm breastfeeding so it really rings true. I like clothes that fit though. Big fan of those!

nonmember avatar Anna

I buy what looks good on me.. Yeah it sucks to have to try on all different sizes to get a good fit but its only ME that sees the tag so I never worry about what the numbers say. You know what your body looks like, what does it matter what 'size' you are?

spect... spectralmind

It's our fault. As you point out, you are not in denial, but most women are. Vanity sizing has gone off the deep end for a reason, and it's because Women like the brands that tell them they are smaller. If it keeps selling, they are going to keep doing it.

I can be literally 4 different sizes, depending on the manufacturer. I think I am really a 20, but who knows? My wedding dress was a 24, and in Walmart and Target, I can fit into Extra Large clothes just fine... I am NOT an XL, I am a 20! I am smaller on top than on bottom, but I am PLUS size... always makes me chuckle when I can fit into "regular" clothes, because I know there is NO way that should be happening... and I hate to say it, but I'm not surprised it happened at Target and Walmart of all places, either.

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