Location: Palm Beach County, Florida, United States

Recently have been told I look like Mary Ann from Gilligan's Island. I hadn't heard that in years, but that is a good place to start as to what I look like, although she had a better bod. I have three boys and have been married for 13 years. Born of a Navy family, in Hawaii, one Mom, one Dad, one sister and one brother. The eldest of three children. BS in Applied Mathematics. Consider Pensacola my home town although I moved every 2-3 years of my life growing up. Currently work in the aerospace industry in an engineering position while being a Mom. Of Celtic heritage and very proud of it.

Wednesday, August 04, 2004

I Don't Know Many Average People

I’m providing you with my train of thought on how I got to this post.

I was over at Refractional Darkness, where S. had commented on his good fortune while thrift shopping. (I can’t find his damn permalink, so you have to scroll down to Thrift Shop Bonanza.) Thrift shopping is really big down here. With Palm Beach, man you get some great clothes for next to nothing. Then Little Joe commented about how he thought he should write a post about the Frankenstein store where large men have to shop. (Little Joe is 6’6”.) Oh and slightly off topic, Little Joe also has a post on things he has been mistaken for. People are so damn dumb. Someone actually tried to take shelter under him once. I hate to admit it though, that one made me laugh. (Sorry, Joe.)

So I am now thinking about how difficult it is in our society to buy clothes if you do not fit the exact mold of ‘average’. For God only knows how many years, Plus sized women were subjected to having to wear clothes that could have been mistaken for a tent, covered in flowers or horribly awful patterns. I’m not kidding. It was disgusting stuff. And when I was pregnant, how many times did I say to my husband after I left a maternity store, “Why is it that these yahoos think that just because I am with child I suddenly have the urge to wear little lambs and bunnies on my clothes? And lace! Ditch the frickin' lace!” Get a damn clue. I’m a woman carrying a baby, not a baby! Stupid idiots.

For the longest time, it was very difficult for us women of below average stature to find clothes. Now, just as the Plus sized women, we have our own stores, and our own little corners of the department stores. It is more than just an issue of the pants are too long, as a distinction between average sized clothes and shorty clothes. Pockets don’t hit in the right places… things are out of proportion for us.

For example, in men’s terms, Grau is 6’ tall. Little Joe is 6’6”. If Grau had a sports jacket and wanted to have it altered to fit LJ, beyond the fact it can’t be done, you would never say, “Oh, lets just add 3 inches of coat length to the bottom”. The pockets would be too high for Little Joe’s arms. Proportion is more than just body length, it is arm length too.

I went to this fashion thing a long time ago for small women, before the fashion jerks realized how much money they were missing out on shorty people like me, and they said things like “Go shop in the children’s departments. Their earrings are more proportionate and so are their purses. You don’t need to be carrying big handbags. Little girl bags are your size.” Wrongo! I’m sorry, but I’m way the hell past wanting to wear tiny cute heart earrings and I like my handbags to look like a damn woman’s handbag. I don’t need a tiny white purse with the gold clasp and fake pink flower, that looks like it’s only big enough to hold a spare pair of panties in case I pee in mine. (Update: I reread this and realized it made it sound like I am not potty trained! Obscure reference to the fact that's what some little girls carry in their little girl purses!)

Anyway, in women’s fashions they have come a long way to cater to those of use who are not ‘average’. I don’t know about men’s fashions (I hate to shop), but if they haven’t gotten a clue yet, let us hope they do soon. No more Frankstein stores. A section in the corner of a department store suits most of us fine.


Blogger Contagion said...

oh now, I liked buying my clothes from Omar the Tent Maker! hehehe, actually, at least in the stores I shop in, if you are over 6ft 2 and wear anything bigger then an XL you are going to have a hard time finding clothes. Trust me. I wear a XXL. Then again I also still shop in the high school kid stores, because I refuse to believe I'm a grown adult!

7:09 AM  
Blogger Boudicca said...

It's funny, but when I go into a store that carries men's clothes, like Sports Authority, and I see the XXL I always think, "Do I know anyone that big?" I guess I do, I'm just not aware. I'm not related to anyone who is and as short as I am, anyone over 6' tall is the same height, whether they are 6' or 6'6". At some point, you can't really see the height differential. (Mild exaggeration, but not much.)

7:23 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

A lot of guys wear clothes (especially shirts) bigger than the "need" to as a comfort thing.
For example I could probably get away with wearing an L, but I tend to get the XL's partially because it's more comfortable, and partially because it helps hide the spare tire :P

BTW, the Thrift Shop post is here, if anybody cares...


9:48 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Damned HTML tags - the post is here. ..

9:51 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Well, I have the opposite problem you have. I'm 5'9" - let me tell you - regular sizes end at 5'7" and talls begin at 5'10" I am therefore in "no woman's land". To tall for regular, too short for tall. I wear a 34" inseam and hardly ever buy long sleeve shirts (sweaters will stretch) - I hate clothes shopping!!!

-- Teresa

10:56 AM  
Blogger Graumagus said...

One of my problems is finding pants that fit right. I have a weird build where my hips are almost as wide as my shoulders (and I have pretty wide shoulders) even when I was down to 210lbs I wore a 42 waist. I can find pants in a 44-46 waist (this is the midwest after all hehe) but they usually come in at least a 34" inseam.
I need a 30". I hate having to hem up pants. (The thing with my odd build is also why my doctor said my "perfect" weight of 178lbs on the BMI chart is complete BS)

11:38 AM  
Blogger Anathematized1 said...

Hmmm, I am 4'7", and fat. So my clothes range between shirts that go down to my knees, pants that are at LEAST 8" too long (usually more like a foot), some of my skirts I have to pull up over my boobs like a tank-top dress or something...Unless I do the roll and tuck which is rolling the waist-band over and tucking it into itself to secure it. That's real attractive lemme tell ya.

I used to wear clothes from the kids departments, but I always felt REALLY dorky. I couldn't even IMAGINE doing it at my current age. Don't get me wrong, I love my Spongebob loungepants (and Spongebob thong *snort*), but I have to go with you on the highly disturbing factor when adults wear children's clothes. It's just wrong and creepy.

Things are so annoying, expensive, and BAD for me (I would spend the same amount getting my clothes altered as I paid for them in the first place, except I'm cheap and look like a lil handless, footless, brown, oompah loompah draped in funny cloth) I am actually trying to get a job in the area of a college that has a fashion design program so that I can construct and sew my own f'ing clothes.

6:21 PM  
Blogger Boudicca said...

You can't wear clothes from the kid's department once you become a woman since kids don't have hips. So even if you can find something on a hanger that is short enough in length and the proper porportion from print size to pocket length, they're built for hipless buttless young girls.

Teresa, I had a roommate that was 5'10. She had the same problem you have. We used to gripe together, althugh I have to say, it was worse for her. I wish we bought our pants by inseam like men do. I hate this size thing.

7:03 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yeah, what's the deal with sizing on women's clothes?

For us men it's easy - you take a tape measure, measure your waist - if it says 36", you're a size 36. That simple.

Is it all simply because women are supposed to be naturally more "dainty" than men, so they came up with this BS sizing system where a woman who wears a size 8 would wear like a 32 in men's clothes or something?

And how do women actually know what size they are?
Do they just try on stuff randomly until they find something that fits right, and hope that it's the same in the next store?

I've tried buying clothes for girlfriends several times in the past - and it always confuses the crap out of me :P


11:34 PM  
Blogger Boudicca said...

-S. don't bother buying clothes for women unless they say, "I like THIS item, in THIS size, at THIS store". It's not worth it. Seriously. Every store is different and it pisses me off. At one store, I am a 2. In another a 4. Yet another, I move on into a 6 sometimes an 8. No rhyme or reason and it is very aggrivating. I wish they would have some standard sizing for us, but they do not. And in the event that you shop for a girl, if she is under 5'4", you want it to say P after the size for Petite, or shop for her in a petite store or section... short stuff shopping.

2:03 PM  

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