One Size Fits None
The Problem with Women’s Clothing
We’ve all been there – maybe it’s payday, maybe you’ve decided to treat yourself, or maybe it’s a day ending in y… You’ve hit the shops looking for some new additions to your wardrobe; you’re in the fitting room with a bundle of possibilities… yet, nothing seems to fit. You feel horrendous, as you choke back tears and vow to start the diet tomorrow. But, have you ever taken a moment to think maybe your body isn’t the problem?
There seems to be no rhyme or reason to women’s clothing sizes. We’re presented with numbers – 6, 8, 10, 12, 14, 16, 18 – and we’re supposed to be just one. But, the problem with women’s clothing is the size doesn’t stay on the label – it labels us. We’re all guilty of dubbing ourselves a particular size. How many of us strive to be a size we’re not? But, sizing varies so widely, nobody is ever truly one size.
Let’s start with the fact that no two shops are the same. Sizes are supposed to help us pick items that will fit, yet you can try a size on in one shop and be a completely different size in another – and if that size is bigger, then we’re naturally inclined not to buy it. Not only is it a giant inconvenience to try clothes on in every shop, it’s also hugely damaging to our self-esteem. It’s hard to remember just because one shop labels something bigger, it doesn’t mean we are.
But, size doesn’t just vary from shop to shop – it can vary in the same one. A huge culprit for this is H&M. While it’s a well-known fact that the majority of their clothes verge on the small side, there are certain items that are massively oversized. One moment, you can’t fit into a size 16 dress, the next you’re buying an XS sweatshirt. This makes online shopping particularly difficult when you have to begrudgingly return most of your order.
What’s even more frustrating is when an item of clothing only fits certain parts of your body. We’re all different shapes and sizes, so it’s inevitable that clothing will fit us all in different ways. But, sometimes clothing is far too disproportionate for the size it claims to be. You might find a top that fits your torso perfectly, but the arms are tiny. Maybe you’ve come across a pair of jeans that fit everywhere but your calves. Perhaps you’ve tried on a dress that is baggy at the shoulders, but skintight across the hips. The issues are endless and equally infuriating.
But, possibly the worst thing about women’s clothing is when you buy two identical items… and one doesn’t fit. It’s the ultimate insult – after finally finding something that fits, you can’t even buy another one. While slight variations in sizing may be expected of stores like Primark, shops like New Look are just as guilty of this. Jeans are particularly bad for this, which makes it hard to stock up when you’ve found a pair that do you justice.
The absurdity of women’s clothing only fuels body image issues and further highlights society’s unrealistic expectations. We’re so conditioned to believe that certain sizes are more acceptable than others, but how can this be when sizes differ so much? So, wear what you feel comfortable in. Wear what you feel you look good in. Wear whatever the hell you want. Just pay no attention to the number on the label – after all, you’re the only one who sees it.