Today is a rant day.
My husband and I are going on a mini vacation with some friends this weekend. Just a little weekend getaway. Adults only. Fun times. MUCH NEEDED.
My body has changed drastically since having kids. Before kids, clothes were, essentially, just a matter of finding something I liked. Now, after kids, it's about finding something that FITS. My hips have moved. My stomach isn't as flat anymore. My legs are jiggly. And there's always that gap in the back of my jeans. What IS that? I mean, seriously.
I wanted to find something cute and airy to wear over the weekend. Maybe some cute shorts, a couple of long and loose tees, maybe a nice dress for the night when/if we decide to go out. I have this vision of me in a cute pair of shorts with a long tee and sandals, my hair and makeup looking all nice and put together. The usual things- things I don't have at the moment. So, to Target with 2 kids I go.
Target has some cute stuff, right? I grab a few pairs of shorts that were calling me, I grabbed some shirts, I grabbed a dress, and the kids and I went off to the "try it on and stare at yourself for way too many minutes at poses you never realistically do in real life" rooms. I was pretty excited! And, just to make sure I was doing it right, I picked out multiple sizes of all the items.
So, on to Shorts #1. Size 4. Pull them on. Way too small!! Could not even get these bitches zipped.
Shorts #1 in size 6. Well, better, still tight. But, now I'm not really liking the style. Or the color. Let me try on the size 8 just to be sure... whoa!! I can't even get these to stay on! There's that gap I was afraid of. And now, I just look like I don't know how to dress. Toss them all to the side.
Shorts #2. Size 6. We'll start here. The other pair seemed okay in size 6, maybe these will be better. Stretchy, good. Okay, pulling up over the thighs nicely. Hey, look! They fit! Until I look in the mirror. What is that gap about?! Let's try a size 4. Well, these actually fit better than the 6. But... the length is weird and it's just drawing focus to the part of my thighs that I don't WANT to look larger. Toss them to the side along with the size 8 that I'm not even going to bother with.
Shorts #3. Size 4. Wait... are these baggy style? *look inside at tag* Nope. High waist/slim fit. I didn't even grab a size 2. I don't even care. I'm done with bottoms.
Moving on to the dress. Pull it on. It's a Medium. Okay, it's cute, but it's doing this weird poofy thing right in the belly area. Did I grab a Maternity dress? Nope. It should fit fine. Try the Large, it'll be better- what in the world?! Now my boobs are hanging out because the dress is so big that it doesn't cover shit!!
By this time, the kids are yelling, "Mommy... I have to pee!" "Mommy, can we go get legos now?" "mommy.. mommy.. mommy..." ugh. "Let me try on these few shirts and I PROMISE we will go find the cheapest lego sets we can, okay? Yes, and a snack too. Okay, and a drink. No, no movies. We have Netflix- can you have WHAT? A CAR? Baby girl, you're 3! Let's focus on peeing in the potty first!"
On to shirt #1 in a M. It fits okay. It's a tank top. Turn to the side. Oh hell. Too big. Everything is showing when it's clearly not supposed to. (This wasn't one of those low cut side boob shirts.) Try on the small. Great, I look like my armpits are being strangled. I throw them both down while mumbling age-appropriate obscenities that only make my children ask about candy.
Shirt #2. M. Waaaay too small. What.Tha.Hell. L. Still too small. It's not even cute anymore.
Shirt #3. M. My boobs can't breathe. My stomach area is just way too flowy... I don't know what's going on with that. How can it be BOTH too small and too big?? I start crying. I really like this shirt too. It was a cute one. It was really soft and it had some sort of moon screen print on it and I really really wanted this one to be THE ONE. My kids are now comforting in the fitting room with "Mommy, it's okay. We'll get you some legos too!" Thanks, babies.
On my way home, I started thinking about how much time women spend in stores trying to find the perfect fit. We spend a LOT of time in clothing stores. That's why men hate coming with us. That's why they all gather in that spot to sit outside the store. Then, I realized:
Men hate coming with us because THEY DON'T KNOW WHAT IT'S LIKE TO GO THROUGH THIS! One brand's size 4 is another brand's size 7.5 (which they don't make) and yet another brand's size 3 (which we can't find because odd sizes are in the teen sections and those obviously don't fit our after-pregnancy hips anymore).
Men have universal sizes. 34/30. 30/32. 28/34. They have universal styles - cargo, straight, slim, etc. They have button-ups with neck measurements that basically tell you this shit is going to fit or it's not. Fitted, Slim fit, the others. T-Shirts are normally the same - S, M, L, etc. Now I'll give them this one. Tees will vary depending on brand and material. Some run small, but no more than maybe a size. Fit, however, depending on the style can be a bit baggier or a bit more fitted.
Men have this amazing luxury of ORDERING ONLINE! A woman orders online and we have to get 4 sizes and colors if it's our first time ordering because we don't know what we're getting. We have to check where it's made. If it's made in certain areas, we know it's not going to fit because it's designed for body types we don't have!
So, designers. Here's my challenge for you: Create a universal measurement system. Give women a waist/hip/inseam measurement for bottoms. Give us a bra size for shirts. You're a 32A? Here's your shirt. 38DD? We've got you covered. Literally. Dresses need to go bra sizes plus inseam. Not every woman who needs a large is 6' tall. Not every small size is 5'2". We need some consistency in our lives. We already have so much we have to deal with from society- let us take a breather with our clothing. Or at least fix the gap in the back with pants.
What are your thoughts about this? Comment below with your thoughts and stories!
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