With the wane of summer and the cooler weather on the horizon I have been prompted to start going through my wardrobe again in readiness for packing away my light summery clothes and bringing my cooler weather gear to the fore. I like this seasonal ritual. It reminds me of what clothes I have (far too many), what I might need (absolutely nothing, but I doubt that will stop me from buying anything new), and there is always a surprise to be found in those deep dark closet-y depths . . .
(Sometimes the surprise is good―”Wow! I forgot I even had this and, even better, I still really like it.” . . . and sometimes the surprise is not so good―”Oh dear God, did I really wear that last year? What was I thinking? . . . ” This year, so far, I have found a brand new sweater (it’s still got the tags on) and rediscovered an old (but fabulous) pair of boots I haven’t worn in years . . . )
But the thing that struck me most this time was the range of sizes that my wardrobe now encompasses. I guess that’s not really that unusual. My weight has done such a merry dance up and down over the years that it is hardly surprising that the clothing in my wardrobe reflects this. But, wait a second. Didn’t I spend days last year sorting and culling and getting rid of everything that was too small, too big (or just plain ugly)? Well―yes I did. So that means that all the clothes left in my wardrobe now, regardless of their size labels, all actually fit me, as I am, right this very minute. Mmmm . . .
It has been many years since I concerned myself too much about sizing labels. At my current size and shape I ‘should’ be (according to the size charts the fashion industry insist on foisting upon us) a standard Australian size 12. (Ha―’standard size’―who thought that one up?) but I have no qualms about ‘going up a size’ (or two) if the style or material of the garment I like demands it. (I got over that particular vanity years ago. Besides, a sharp pair of scissors cuts offending labels off quite nicely.) When shopping in a ‘bricks and mortar’ shop I will often try on several sizes of the same garment and if a larger than usual size is more flattering, so be it.
(I’d much rather do that than cram myself into my ‘standard’ size and have all my ‘wobbly bits’ on full display for all the world to see. I still have some vanity left . . . )
But I don’t only shop in bricks-and-mortar outlets. In fact, most of my clothes shopping these days is done on-line. And I don’t only buy Australian-made clothes either. So this adds another complication to the shopping experience, because every country has completely different parameters for sizing their garments. (An Australian size 12 equates to an American size 8, an English size 10, a European 38 and a Japanese size 11.) And then there are the XXS, XS, S, M, L, XL, 1X, 2X sizings to contend with . . . and don’t even get me started on ‘One Size Fits All’. On what planet does one *&^%ing size fit all?? (A more appropriate tag would be ‘Fits Where It Touches’ . . . )
(By the way―if I think it’s difficult getting my own clothing sizes right, I am no better with the dogs. The last time I ordered the girls new winter jumpers, I did all the measuring up beforehand to get their right sizes but, unfortunately, I failed to take ‘girth’ into account. Mabel’s sweater was a perfect fit, but by the time I managed to shoe-horn Maudie into hers (after much wriggling and squealing (by her, not me))―she looked like a stuffed sausage. Having been in that same situation myself a number of times I took pity on her and sent the offending sweater back . . . )
So why is it such a chore to find clothes that fit? (These (First World) problems are sent to try us.) But you would think that someone, somewhere, on a planet of around 7.5 billion souls (all needing to be clothed) would come up with a solution to this irritating conundrum.
A conspiracy theorist might speculate that if clothes really do ‘make the man’ (or woman), perhaps making it impossible to find clothing that fits and flatters is all part of some nefarious, insidious world-wide conspiracy to keep the seething masses shoddily dressed (or naked) and ‘people of little influence’ . . .
The truth is out there folks. The truth is out there . . .