The search for a great fit

Eaton Centre HDR

The other day, when I went to post another outfitblog, I realized that I didn’t have any photos uploaded! Hopefully that will be rectified by the end of the weekend. In the meantime, I’ve been thinking about how store-bought clothing fits.

Recently I posted about my measurements, writing about how knowing them, instead of being scared and shying away from them, has helped me figure out the ways clothes fit me and what styles I like to try and why. This, coupled with learning a lot about size acceptance and stopping the hate against myself and my body, in turn has helped my self-esteem and pruned my wardrobe of unflattering items.

However, there’s another side to this as well: my increasingly growing frustration with clothes shopping, and my dwindling patience against crap that doesn’t fit.

For example: Thursday night, I stopped at the mall after work. I needed some fashion tape for an upcoming wedding I’m attending, and I knew Torrid carried it. I figured I’d pick up the tape, maybe try on a few pretty dresses, and come home with a couple new purchases.

Turns out they were out of fashion tape, but I decided to browse the store anyway. I grabbed a bunch of things—including jeans!—and made my way into the dressing room. An hour later, I left the store with three pair of panties, owl earrings, and a butterfly necklace.

Here are some of the things I tried on…

…plus five pair of jeans.

The shrug looked really bad at the bottom of my boobs, but the size larger had super wide shoulders that winged out. The tie neck top had an elastic hem that I couldn’t quite style properly at my hips. The butterfly cardigan gapped at the buttons (and the size up was too big). The red sweater with the hearts on it seemed to fit the best, but I still wasn’t in love with it, and I didn’t want to plop down $40 on something I wasn’t in love with.

And the jeans! Oh boy, where to start! I tried on a pair of curvy straight and a pair of curvy skinny jeans, both in size 20 (regular). The straights just weren’t my style, and the skinnies were way too long, both in the leg and the waist. If I pulled them up so the crotch fit where it’s supposed to, the waist sit directly under my boobs. I moved onto the size 20 S (S for short, Torrid’s term for petite), but while all the lengths were fine, I had trouble buttoning. Next up, size 22 S, which was just a smidge tight in the hips and gave me a bit of a muffin top. Last try for the size 24 S, which gaped at the butt and showed off my underpants.

After the jeans, I gave up for the night.

It used to be that I would leave a store with plenty of things, not particularly because I loved them all, but because I figured they were good enough. I didn’t care enough about my body to think it was worthy of well-fitting clothes. I would tell myself that fat girls are supposed to be frumpy, not completely understanding that very attitude wasn’t helpful at all!

Reading other people’s blogs and seeing lovely outfits on beautiful people of all sizes inspired me to start choosing clothing carefully, seeing it as something fashionable and not just something to keep my naked body covered. Once I got to that point, I felt less likely to throw down my charge card on ill-fitting or poorly-constructed clothing.

For these reasons, I’ve come up with two options that I’m turning to more and more: learning to sew, and buying from Etsy. I’ll feel better about those loose blouses or long pants once my skills at the sewing machine have matured beyond simple tote bags. And Etsy is great at finding a seamstress to make an amazing custom-fit dress! Last weekend for a combined bachelor/ette dinner, I wore the best wiggle dress in the world—mine is mustard and brown instead of red and black—and the bride told me she was impressed with how well it fit. (Sadly, I don’t have any good photos of me in this dress yet. To be fixed someday, for sure!)

So maybe I am a little picky about what I put on my body, but I know that when I do find something, it will look amazing and I will feel totally and completely at east.

Photo credit: “Eaton Centre HDR” from christopher.woo

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4 thoughts on “The search for a great fit

  1. I’m a size 18 and it’s so hard to find a pair of nice jeans that fit. Gonna keep trying. I feel what your
    saying. When will the jeans people find time to make jeans for us?

  2. I’m so glad you’ve gotten to this point. I feel like sometimes it’s super necessary to feel angry – why the fuck don’t stores want fat money too? XD Why is fashion so uniformly designed for certain body types?

    I’m so glad you’ve found size acceptance and come to accept your awesomeness.

  3. Mia says:

    Holy cow, I can’t wait to see you in that wiggle dress. It seems like small, indie designers and clothesmakers are stepping things up to fill the size gaps that RTW clothing lines are ignoring. Maybe someday the rest of the world will get with the program, eh?

  4. @June: Jeans are so weird. I’m glad that a lot of stores are now coming out with different cuts, like Right Fit, but it is still hard to find a good fitting pair. So far, Lane Bryant Right Fit 18 Blue are the best for me, and even those have some issues. Maybe one day!

    @Tia: I remember reading an article about Torrid a few years ago, while they were still new. Someone was quoted as saying that the store glamorized fatness, and fat girls shouldn’t have stylish options, because then they wouldn’t be motivated to lose weight. I think that’s when I cried a little inside, and really started looking into the whole size acceptance movement.

    @Mia: I love the small, indie clothesmakers! Etsy is my friend, as is my new sewing machine and my learning skills. People used to get their clothes custom-made all the time; it would be great for that to come back into fashion again.

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