Do you remember how Drew Carey used to open Whose Line Is It Anyway? (Which is one of the funniest shows of all time.) "The show where everything's made up and the points don't matter." This is precisely how I feel about women's clothing sizes. Everything's made up and the numbers don't matter.
I have two new articles of clothing this week. One is an XS and one is an XL. What is that? I'm just one me. I was having a micro-tantrum on the way home from the mall because there's nothing more frustrating than putting on clothing items that don't fit AT ALL and feeling like a overstuffed sausage with a muffin top or like a kid wearing daddy's suit to fourth grade career day. (Mixed Metaphor Alert)
I actually complained to my husband that if something I wear on the outside (a shirt) is an XS, and something I wear on the inside (foundation garment) is an XL, I'm pretty sure that makes me the TARDIS -- bigger on the inside.
My question to the clothing manufacturers is, "Why can there not be some consistency?" I don't care if I'm a small, a large, or a quad XL. I really, honestly, truly do not. But I don't want to have to put on NINE SIZES of your item to find the right one. All that does is leave stores full of clothing hung the wrong way on the hanger and with someone else's gross deodorant stripes on anything dark.
These are the tags from some of the most frequently worn items in my wardrobe. I didn't go through my closet and try to find extreme sizes from my before-kids-flat-stomach days or from my just-had-a-baby-but-trying-to-not-wear-maternity-clothes days. Seriously, these are all from items I wear regularly right now. Are these people kidding me? My 'favorite' discovery was noticing that there are a few single brands that I have a huge size range in. This is insanely unacceptable.
Am I an extra-small, small, medium, large, or XL? Am I a 2, 4, 6, 8, 10? Who's to say? Obviously not the people who make clothing! They have no idea.
What if Toyota was like, "The new Camry will suit your family perfectly! It has between 3 and 7 seats, depending on the color." What if General Mills was like, "We sell cereal in boxes ranging between 12 and 79 ounces, but they will all be labelled as containing 4 metric tons." Would we all be like, "That's fine, I'll just hold it up against me and stretch it a little side-to-side until I find one that seems like it would work?"
WHAT ARE THESE MANUFACTURERS TRYING TO DO TO ME? Y'ALL GONNA MAKE ME LOSE MY MIND.
Men's clothing at least pretends to tell you the truth. Their sizes are at least based on the pretense of inches. Obviously, there's gonna be some variation because some of you carry more booty than others, so certain styles are going to be more flattering than others. But at least you know where to begin! I find a shirt I like and usually grab three to start for my FIRST run to the fitting room.
Look, clothing shopping is wildly infuriating anyway. This color washes me out. This fabric is itchy. This shirt is too short. This sweater is frumpy. These pants pinch the backs of my knees when I squat. These leggings are see-through. This tag is like a small cactus. These straps are too skinny. Why are they selling a shirt that says MILF on the front in the Juniors Department?!? OR AT ALL??
Do we really need one more thing about shopping to be frustrating?
I do want to be sure I am abundantly clear here that I'm not complaining that the number of letter on an item of clothing is saying I'm bigger or smaller than I want to be. I could be a size 0, a size 40, or a new size they've affectionately named 'lumpy panda but with a nice personality' as long as it was the same everywhere I shop.