Believe it or not, in 1971 I was 5’7″ tall and weighed 125 pounds. I was a perfect size 10.
I can say that with complete confidence because my first full-time job after graduating from high school was a pattern maker’s model for 3 (preppy,/collegiate) quality clothing manufacturers – John Meyer of Norwich, Emily M, and Jones New York.
My job involved being a live dress form. Designers would make an original garment to be put into production and sold as part of a clothing line for one of the labels. The designer’s original would go to the factory in Norwich, CT, where I worked so that a pattern could be made to mass produce the garment.
The pattern maker would make a pattern for the garment and from that pattern, make a sample. That’s where I came it. I would try on the sample so the pattern maker could check the fit and make any alterations if necessary. If the garment fit me well, the pattern was used to makes thousands of that garment that would all fit me like they were made for me, because, well, they were!
Fast forward to 2016. My body has gone through a lot of changes. It’s been intentionally starved to make it skinny, it’s been overfed and under exercised, and it’s brought 4 new lives into the world. It’s been obese and it’s not obese anymore, but it’s a lot older. Standard clothing sizes have changed over the years, and I’m not a “prefect size any number” anymore
It’s a given that when you’re overweight you can’t find clothes to fit. Isn’t that what overweight means? You are over the weight that clothing manufactures design and make clothes to fit?
It certainly seems that way, but as much as overweight (some of us prefer the word “fat”) are targets of discrimination, including by the clothing manufacturers, it’s not just fat people who can’t find clothes that fit.
I lost weight. I am not fat nor am I overweight, but do you think that makes it any easier for me to buy clothes that actually fit me? Ha! Not even.
I lost weight but the weight I didn’t lose, is in my belly. Yes, I have the dreaded belly fat that I prefer to call my gut. Where did the weight come off then, you wonder? It came off my butt and thighs.
I have the classic, aging multigravida body – big gut; no butt!
No, I’m not mad at my body for its shape, it gave me 4 beautiful girls, 2 of whom weighed more than 9 pounds at birth. Why should that baby belly be a thing of contempt?
There are a lot of us shaped that way, so why is it that clothes are not made to fit us? Why is it an assumption that if a woman wears a size 10, she has nicely rounded thighs and a firm, high, rounded butt to go with them?
My size 10 pants fit at my waist, but they’re saggy in the rear and baggy in the thighs. The pants that fit my thighs and rear won’t zip all of the way up. To get them buttoned I must employ the little elastic hair band trick to bridge the gap between button and button hole.
Buying a bathing suit is really tough. Many women lose weight and cry that their boobs shrank. Not me. They get bigger when I gain weight, but even at my thinnest I still am well-endowed. It’s assumed if you’re busty, you got a big butt to match.
I tried on suit after suit that fit well everywhere except in the rear! Typically you’d expect your bathing suit not to do a good job of covering your rear end. I try on these bathing suits and instead of allowing the butt I don’t have to hang out, they simply sag.
Lose, gain or stay the same, the way your clothes fit may be a source of irritation forever. Clothing industry standard sizes simply don’t relate to standard body shapes.
I’m a perfect size 10, it’s the size 10 clothes that aren’t perfect!
If there is anything positive to take away from the frustration I have with finding clothes that fit, I developed a healthy body image. I have come to accept my body. It’s a perfect body and I won’t accept the notion that it’s flawed because clothes don’t fit well. There is nothing wrong with my body; the problem is the clothes.
So I’m just going to put on what’s comfortable and be done with it!