Okay ladies - now that we're alone...
I'll start - my name is Tea and I am a hard-to-fit woman.
Now - I know what you're thinking: "aren't we all?" - and of course to some degree that answer is yes. But if you're able to walk into a clothing store at the mall and pick up ten items and have half or more of them fit the way they should - I'm not talking to you. It's not that you don't have fit problems, I'm sure you do - but the fact of the matter is that I'm totally completely 100% jealous of you. Just so you know.
No - I'm talking about women like me. Oddballs if you would. Now, usually I'm totally okay with being a bit
oddball - in fact, I relish it. I like being "different", and I'm a fairly confident person, so I can usually pull it off. But - brace yourselves ladies - I. Hate. Shopping.
Nope - not joking. Hate it. Ten-thousand percent, loathe with every fibre of my being, wish I could be just about anywhere else, would rather clean my bathroom than shop for myself. And here's why. I'm "hard to fit".
Here's the rundown so you know what I'm talking about:
- I'm pretty tall for a woman, but not SO tall that the "tall woman" speciality shops clothing fits me.(plus - I can't afford their clothes anyways) I'm about 5 foot 9-ish, but the majority of my height is in my legs. So, if I want to wear jeans with a cute pair of heels (though those are impossible to find - more about that in a sec) I need at least a 35 inch inseam, 36 is better, 37 requires heels for sure. What's the average inseam on pants you ask? 31 inches. Yup - I look like I'm wearing floods. In flats.
- Because most of my height is in my legs, I am, therefor "short waisted". Apparently that means that the distance between my shoulders and my natural waist is more of the "petite" range of sizing. Let's get one thing clear - I am nowhere near "petite". "Petite" is not a word that anyone... anyone would use to describe me. So THAT means that any item that has a tailored waist does not fit me because it tailors where I start to widen out again, or if I can get the waist in the right spot the straps/shoulders are so long I look like I'm auditioning for a flashdance video.
- Also - apparently I have super "strong" calves. That means that any of those cute knee high boots that are SO fashionable right now definitely won't go over my giant calves
- AND I have wide feet. Woo-hoo! And evidently if you want to buy dress shoes in a wide-width they all look like I stole them from someones 80year old great-Nonna (no offence to anyone's Nonna or great-Nonna... I'm sure she's awesome, but honestly, do YOU want her shoes?)
- Now (guys if you're secretly still reading this, this would be the time to click that link) - on top (ha- on top) of everything else, I'm also a rarer bra size. Yup - you'd think that someone who's got all these weird fit issues like me would at least be able to buy a bra from a regular store. Well, you'd be wrong. I'm a 36H. There, I've said it - my bra size - on the Internet - but I'm not scared anymore - you know why? Because I've gone past being scared to say it to being ticked off - because I have had EVERY iteration of bad-bra-shopping you can possibly imagine in the last few years. Everything from sales associates telling me "you can't possibly be that size, no one is REALLY that size" to "just go up a few band sizes, then it'll fit" (yeah - and then I'll be able to carry cans of pop in my bra band because it'll be so freakin' loose) to "are you sure you measured properly?" (which is usually just general disbelief... because I'm too stupid to know how to use a tape-measure apparently). to... (and this is my favourite) super-expensive speciality bra shops who say "Of course we have your size - and you're in luck - they're on sale today for only $99.99!" ................... yeah. Awesome. And because of my busty-wonderfulness, I haven't been able to buy a shirt that buttons up the front since I was a teenager, not without going home to sew the placket closed, or buying a shirt that's about 4 sizes too big and looking like I stole it from my Dad's closet (okay, I'll admit I did that a LOT when I was in high school, but it was the 90s, grunge was IN). Or from wearing a vee or scoop neck shirt without looking totally obscene. Awesome.
But I'm MAD. I'm angry that because retailers out there have decided that it's cheaper to make clothes that fit one standard of women's sizing that any of the rest of us who don't
I have, in my desperate search - found a select few retailers that are STARTING to open their eyes to the fact that not everyone fits their concept of standardised sizing - and if you're looking for ideas, I would suggest you check them out too (and before anyone asks - NO - I am not getting paid by or sponsored by any of the following retailers I'm about to list).
For women's clothing that fits varying different shapes:
For bras in uncommon sizing
Also: AdditionElle & Penningtons (for band sizes 38 and 40+ respectively)
For shoes in many widths (narrow, regular, wide, even extra wide, AND wide-calf boots)
If you're a "hard-to-fit" woman and you've found some great retailers, let me know and I'll add them to the list!
And get out there, find a way to find things that fit YOU the way YOU are - be proud. Be you. And if you're like me - feel free to be noisy about it too - maybe then we'll start to see some change.