Tuesday, April 23, 2013

one size fits none ...

On most days, you can find me in workout gear. It doesn't matter if I actually have or plan to workout. I live in spandex and I am OK with that.

Usually.

You see, every once in a while, I need to dress like a responsible human being. I have meetings. And events. And appointments. And not every occasion calls for sweat-wicking compression gear.

When these occasions arise, I have a few outfits I rely on. Most of them include a pair of jeans that I have been holding onto for seven years (they've been discontinued for that long). The rest utilize a pair of slacks that I love for their vibrant color. Until I started training for Cedar Point FullRev, these pants fit me perfectly. Then over the course of the last 10 weeks, my quads grew by two inches to 24 inches around, which if you ask me is just insane. I know know people who have waists that size.

Anyway, thanks to my monster quads (and my own internal demons) I really started to hate the way my clothes were fitting. And then there was the issue of all of my shorts, which had now become suctioned to my thighs. Things were getting ugly in my closet and it was beating me up. Bad.

Instead of trying to come to terms with clothes that I now hated, I decided to just suck it up and by some new ones. I went in with high hopes. I figured I'd size up from a 6 to either an 8 or a 10. No biggie.

But, it was a biggie. I gathered every style of shorts in the store in both a size 8 and a 10 and headed to the fitting room. I started with the 8s. I pulled them up and buttoned. Despite fitting throughout the butt and leg, I was uncomfortable with the crease they were creating at my midsection. So, I did the obvious thing and sized up to the 10. When I put them on, they were noticeably looser in the butt and leg (giving me complete saggy ass), yet there seemed to be little to no difference at the waist.

Frustrated and knowing that sizing up to find the waist fit that I was comfortable with would leave me with a horrible fit elsewhere, I walked out defeated.

Then, as I was about to leave, I turned towards the men's section. I looked at my mom and said, "It would be insane for me to try on men's pants, right?" She said, "No," and I went searching for a pair that I might be able to pull off.

Five minutes later, I was walking out of the store with two pairs of men's shorts. I was happy to have clothes that fit and completely demoralized that I had to shop in the men's department to make it happen.

Now, here's the thing. I know I don't have a "typical" body type. I have no waist. I never have and never will. Honestly, I am a sizing nightmare (if you go by standard women's sizing). My chest measures 37". My waist (at the smallest part) measures 34.5" and my hips measure 37.5". I'm proportional. If you like straight lines.

The thing is with women's sizing I am all over the board. Just look at this chart. It assumes that you have a waist and thus, clothes are cut for people who have a waist. People not like me.


See? On this (and most) charts, I fall between a 4 and a 6 based on my hips and I am a 16 based on my waist. How is that even possible? And why aren't designers/stores offering more things in an athletic cut? I can't possibly be the only one with this body type.

Now look at the men's sizing for the same store.


It's cut and dry. No messing with hip size. You just find your waist and go. Which isn't really even accurate, since my waist measures between a M and a L, yet the shorts I left with were a size 31, which is actually a small. So apparently, I am an XL woman or a S man. Makes total sense to be.

Do you have sizing issues like me or are you actually able to put on a pair of skinny jeans and go?

24 comments:

Alili said...

Ah yes, I just took my own self esteem blow recently while trying on swimsuits and jeans. My hips were great for birthing babies, but fitting pants are a nightmare. :(

eisparklz said...

You are not alone. I rely on jeans with a TON of spandex (and sized 30in., rather than 6-8-10) and dresses. I've completely given up on shorts because I can fit them around my waist, but they cut into my quads. My new butt isn't helping either, but I like it better than not having one!

You're beautiful and strong.

Katie said...

I am the same way. I have no waist. Never have. Even in a size 4 now, I am not curvy AT ALL . . . I remember getting sized for a dress once and I was 36, 34, 36. I am a personal trainer and see so many women get thinner and more curvy when they weight train and I feel like I really bulk up. I get huge shoulders and arms and thighs too!

Michelle said...

For sure. And you'll love this...because I'm so short I have to shop in the kids section...but NOT the girls section...the boys! You made me smile.
Did you watch that Dove video floating around facebook? It's a good reminder of how hard we are on ourselves.
Also, just wanted you to know, I divorced the scale this week. I'm working out hard. I am eating right. And the scale hates me. I'm tired of trying to have the "I'm becoming dense and that's good" conversation.

Kasey said...

Having a waist is no picnic, either. 30 (D, just bc genetics love to laugh), 24, 34. Finding jeans that fit my waist AND will get past my thighs and butt is near impossible. I do what my husband calls the Frog when I put on my few pairs of jeans that fit. It's a squat-wiggle-squat-wiggle maneuver to get my jeans past my thighs and butt. I can't tell you how many times I've been in a dressing room and the jeans just stopped at mid thigh and laughed at me. "Yeah, right, we're not getting past that!" And I have large calves, too, which caused the most deflating dressing room day I've ever had- I tried on a pair of "skinny capris" last summer, and the thigh part of the jeans wouldn't get past my calf, even when I sized up to a 6.
Even athletic clothes piss me off sometimes- brand like Running Skirts aren't labeled for muscle butt- I wear 2s in jeans, smalls in every other brand that exists, but for running skirts, their size 3 (which is an 8-10, and the liner still cuts into the sides of my butt!).
Oddly-shaped but AWESOME women, UNITE!

bobbi said...

yes yes yes. I have NEVER had a waist, and when you add in the inches of post baby saggy skin, now I REALLY don't have a waist.

I keep trying to find a new pair of jeans with zero luck. Nothing fits me right. We should start a new clothing line...

Shellyrm ~ just a country runner said...

I have no waist either! and athletic legs. at least that is how they are referred to in polite company. I still haven't even gotten my new gear for my YMX Ambassadorship because I dread even buying tops knowing I just look like a brightly colored box.

Amber said...

Oh I hear you! I have a waist...but it's high. And I have a long torso so that makes it extra fun. I am thankful for a long torso though because if I didn't have it, I'd be 4 feet tall because my legs are so short. Don't get me started on why women's pants only come in 3 lengths (if you're lucky) and I always fall right in between petite and average. Not that I'm knocked up, it's causing a whole other set of issues but I'm trying to keep my eye on the prize in this temporary situation. No shame in shopping in another department if it means getting clothing that fits and makes you happy/comfortable!!

MCM Mama said...

I'm about the exact opposite from you, but still find that men's stuff often fits better.

I have a 10+ inch difference between my waist and my hips. If it fits my butt and thighs, you could put two of me in the waistline. Plus I'm short with long legs so petite is too short and regular drags the floor LOL. When I can find them, men's 29 inch jeans with a 29 inch inseam are my favorites LOL, but they have to be loose fit to accomodate my rear.

All that to say - I hear you.

Cory Reese said...

Ahhh, this is the reason for the popularity of sweat pants!

Wolfador said...

Find a local tailor and have your current clothes refitted. Cost is usually minimal unless it needs a ton of work done.

bakerunlive.com said...

I have a tiny waist, but larger thighs and calves (too much running and weight lifting in high school, and they have never gone away). So getting a pair of jeans that fits is a nightmare. I currently own 1 pair of jeans. My boyfriend can't understand why I won't buy more pairs once I find one that fits. I don't know- I keep hoping the industry will change!

Laura Anderson said...

I totally have this problem! I very rarely can buy a pair of pants off the rack and have them fit in all aspects. I have short legs (thanks dad), but big quads(running/lifting, no matter what I do they don't get smaller), but my waist is smaller than the typical size pant that fits my quads. So a pair of pants is always too long, to tight in quads, or too big in waist. What has it taught me...find a good tailor.

Meredith said...

I had a giftcard and went shopping with my Mom recently. My hubs texted during the trip... "how's it going?" My reply? "I hate shopping!" Nothing fit. Too big. Too little. Too tight here. Too loose there. I was beyond defeated and convinced that my body was a complete mess. I got home and told him, "do you want to know why I only buy running clothes??? Because, running clothes fit me! They aren't too tight or too loose. I feel and look strong in running clothes. I don't have to worry if it's in style, or if I look 50 or if I look like I'm trying to look 20..." You touched a bit of a nerve here :) In the winter, if I have to "dress up" it's leggings, tall boots and some sort of appropriate shirt. Sorry for the experience, but glad you found something that fits. Hey, what about Athleta's clothes? I get their catalog and their clothes appear to be tailored to more athletic builds??

Cindy said...

i have no real discernible waist either...35-30-35 here, 5'2'', athletic build and short waisted to boot. it goes without saying that i never, ever, ever, wear anything that is tucked in and envy people who can!! tahnk goodness i live in jeans and lululemon!!

kimert said...

I can relate 110% to this post! It's crazy how sizing is anymore. And for someone like me who has lost a ton of weight, it's very frustrating! I have gigantor quads too but measure about like you in the waist/hips. Makes shopping a blast...or not..as you learned today. Glad you were able to find something that works!

Running Backwards in High Heels said...

I have the opposite problem.. My waist is tiny and I have child birthing hips, therefore most pants don't fit me well... I stick to dresses mostly. Especially in the summer. They are SO comfy and casual and you could not have brushed your hair that day and still look presentable. Win for me!!

Kurt @ Becoming An Ironman said...

While I will admit that female clothes do seem to have less variety in sizing options, I do find I'm hard to fit clothes to.

It used to be that the waist and inseam on pants would not match up right or be very difficult to find. But now for the styles I used to like, what fits on my thighs has extra room on my waist and what fits on my waist won't go past my thighs. I guess shorts it is! And shirts are tough. However, race shirts seem to be pretty good about being long enough for my torso. Most others will shrink too much if I dry them on any heat. Belly shirts have not been in for quite some time!

Zaneta said...

I absolutely hat shopping for pants or shorts of any kind! My issue is that if I get pants to fit my bubble butt and thighs, the waist is so huge I have to wear a belt cinched so tight they pucker! Sweat pants it is! :(

Nicole Orriƫns said...

I found a great solution: I only wear elasticated, jersey skirts. They always fit me! I like to call my style shabby chic!

Mom's Home Run

Bron said...

With you. 1million percent on this one! Years of rowing and cycling have led to larger than 'average' thighs.... In top of that I have a long body, so most tops I like are too short and don't sit nicely on my hips...

Holly K-N said...

Ohhh yes...they're all a bit different, but everyone has a demon. Mine is a "hill climbing butt" topped by a very small waist. Granted, not a straight line, but do you know what makes a "hill climbing butt" look bigger? Ah yes...a tiny waist. Doh.

I'm guessing you aren't a skirt person, but if you're willing to give it a shot, almost everyone looks good in a casual dress with a band/gathering just under the boobs, and a skirt that goes out from there. It automatically gives you some shape, and even a slightly flowy skirt provides some coverage for legs (or hill climbing butts) that are a tad on the larger side. It took me many years to accept a dress as "casual wear", but I buy inexpensive ones (Target), and wear them everywhere. They're also really efficient - one piece of clothing, and go! [And sometimes even made of technical/spandexy type fabric!]

Christine said...

I have the same problem! I was happy when straight fit and boy cut jeans came out. I wear either a 6 or 8 but it all depends on the waist issue :) I wear the same two pairs of jeans over and over....

Carrie said...

I buy men's jeans. I don't know who made the decision to make women's jeans "skinny" and when, but I haven't found a single pair of women's jeans in the past 10 years that fit me in both waist and thighs without looking ridiculous. So about 7 years ago I started buying men's jeans. Straight cut, no super-tight thighs, and even better -- you don't need a bikini wax to wear 'em! Why do they make women's jeans with a 1-inch zipper and cut down to your hoo-ha? Seriously!