Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Sizing Up Women's Clothing

After nine months of wearing maternity clothes I was anxious to hit the stores and get new clothes. Anyone with a child or two and a baby know how difficult it is to shop for clothes let alone actually try them on. Nevertheless, the maternity clothes were hanging on me but my regular clothes were still too tight. I had to get something to wear.

I loaded up the kids and hit the department stores. With the baby fussing I knew I’d be taking my chances and probably wouldn’t have the luxury of trying on the clothes. I’d play it safe and get large and extra large T-shirts, a skirt or two and some stretchy shorts. In the “misses” section of Kohl’s they had T-shirts on sale for 50% off. I loaded up on several extra large T-shirts without trying them on.

I’m not a big woman, I’m average sized but I like my T-shirts to be nice and roomy. Even with my new and improved boobs (I’m nursing), I’m still a medium sized woman. Imagine my surprise when I got home and the extra large T-shirts were too small!

What happened to the vanity sizing of women’s clothing? Remember when a size 12 would be labeled as a size 8 so the woman would feel flattered? I hated that system but at least there was some consistency, you knew to try on sizes a few sizes smaller than you actually were.

Has the pendulum swung the other way? Do I need to be shopping in the “plus” size section? Instead of trying on size 8s, do I need to try on size 18? Or has my changing body swelled beyond what I’m willing to admit? Or is the “misses” section the new “juniors”?

Standard sizing for women’s clothing is non-existent. Sizing varies from store to store, manufacturer to manufacturer and sometimes even by designer. To make it more confusing, add in the different size categories: juniors, misses, women’s, petites and plus sizes. A junior’s size 8 is different from a women’s size 8.

• Junior’s sizes are designed for teens and younger women with slimmer hips and busts than those found in misses sizes.