August 25, 2010

On My Soapbox: Shopping Frustration

I went clothes shopping with my friend CT tonight.   She was sweet... and brave... to ask me to join her.  You see... I am not a shopper.  In general, unless it's scrapbooking supplies, I'm a get-in-get-out kind of girl.  Or, better yet, online or catalog shopping.  That's my true preference.  But every once in a while, I like to get out to a store I haven't been to in a while, and browse.  I have to be in the right frame of mind, of course, so apparently the stars were aligned just-so when my friend asked if I'd like to tag along tonight.

I'm experimenting with some "perspective shifting", and it worked well while I was shopping and I actually came home with several items of clothing, so BONUS!

But here is my frustration and one of the MAIN reasons why I detest clothes shopping. 

A size should be a size should be a size.  What I mean by that is... if you wear a size 10 (which I don't), you should be able to go into ANY store and pick up a size 10 pair of jeans and believe that they will more or less FIT.  Now, I'm much larger than a size 10, but I'm picking that number as a size to talk about.  Perhaps those of you out there who are a size 10 can tell me differently... perhaps when you are a "littler person", unlike myself, you actually CAN go into any store and a size 10 will fit.  But it's absolutely not true for bigger sizes.

I just bought my size of pants, recently, from a "sister store" to the one I went to tonight... but from a catalog.  I wear them to work.  They fit.  They are "my size".  So, I waltz into this store tonight and thought... let's check out a pair or two of jeans.  The salesperson says to me, "these run a little small..." but I pick  up "my size" anyway just to see what that means. 



I couldn't barely get them up thighs!  "a little small?"  What's up with that?  No wonder I get depressed shopping if I can go for store to store and have to keep increasing my size.   Seriously, these were not a little small.   In order to get these jeans to fit me, I swear I would have had to go up at least TWO sizes.

No way was I going to do that (I have enough issues with my current size), so back to the floor I went and picked out a nice pair of oversized, light-weight, comfy...... pajamas! 

I wandered around a little more.  Found a couple more shirts to try on... liked them.  Score for me.  But, get this... some that fit were "my size" and others... yep, I had to go up a size or two, depending on how you look at it.    Let me 'splain... these shirts were "two" sizes per shirt... so for example, it would be a choice between a shirt sized 8/10 or a shirt sized 12/14.  If you're a size 10... that 8/10 might be a little snug.  But that 12/14 might be too big. 

You can't win! 

Aside from the random sizing frustration... and seriously, what's the point of having something labeled a certain size if it doesn't physically compare to the size on the label of an item of clothing right next to it... we both had a good night and went home with new duds.

Thanks for inviting me CT!!  We'll do it again sometime, right?


  1. I learned that lesson the hard way. Online/catalogue items are always the right size and those in the store ALWAYS are actually 2 sizes smaller than they should be. It baffles me.

  2. I've got to know which stores sell 'true' sizes and which ones don't! Seems I am a size smaller in more expensive shops which is a bit suspicious. Do they do that deliberately so you think 'Hey, I can get into a size smaller than normal, let's go back there and buy more'? I'm only 5'1" so have the added problem of 'Petite' clothes! Size 10 'normal' = Size 12 'petite'. WHY?!

  3. I have found that even when I figure out what size I need, I can take four pair of the exact same size and style jeans into the fitting room and all four will fit me differently! So much for quality control. This even held true for my daughter who wears a junior size 8 at American Eagle - four pair of the same jeans in the dressing room to find the one that fit well.

    What infuriates me even more is that men's sizing doesn't not suffer from this issue. Mens pants are sized by waist/length - so they go into a store, pick up size 30/32 and know it will fit. Ditto with their dress shirts. Sized by neck/sleeve length. 15.5/32 fits the same in every store. And how about this - in a fancy store my husband can go in and buy a polo shirt from the mens section in a size SMALL. I go to the womens section of the same store and need an EXTRA LARGE in the same basic polo! Yet I am smaller than my husband. Where is the justification for that????

  4. So true! I get most of my clothes from a couple of different outlets so I've learnt which sizes fit me for their stuff, but if I buy elsewhere I have to grab 2 or 3 different sizes to try on (the size I usually am and the one above and/or below) to find the best fit. *sigh*....

  5. is my take on it...having been anywhere in my adult life from about 110 pounds to 190 pounds when pregnant, I've come to a wonderful and freeing conclusion: Size doesn't matter. Sounds a little too simple, a little bit cliche, I know...but here is my take: For my WHOLE life, things have not fit exactly here or exactly there. SO, I use size as a guideline. Since I do not wear my tags on the outside of my clothes and even my husband would have trouble purchasing an item of clothing for me, I figure the size is for me to know and only me.

    When I walk into a store, I go to the rack and I figure out what size I should wear, then I automatically get the size smaller and the size larger and I take all three to the dressing room. ONE of them will be small/large enough and then I can concentrate on FIT. Does it FIT me and is it FLATTERING and do I like the pattern, etc. Once I find one that is small/large enough, then the size really really no longer matters, see? Then the only thing that matters is: Do I look good in this article of clothing or do I like how it makes me feel?

    When I decided that tags and thus sizes and labels and anything else that might give me a superiority or inferiority complex is on the INSIDE of the garment and not the outside, it totally changed how I shopped. Now I LIKE it and I like how I look. Its very liberating!


I love hearing what you have to say. Thank you for sharing yourself with me!


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