CJDaily's Blog

June 3, 2010

What’s in a size?

Filed under: Uncategorized — cjdaily @ 9:37 pm

Is there anything more humbling than coming to terms with your post-baby pants size?  Ok, or maybe your post-college pants size?  How about your post-puberty pants size?  Ahh, yes, I think we’re all on the same page now, ladies.

Here’s my problem–I don’t see, I literally cannot see clearly when it comes to my clothing and body shape anymore.  I will be browsing in a store, and hold up a shirt I like and think, “Hmm, this looks a little big.”  So I grab the next size down, and when I try it on, voila, I get stuck in it, staggering around the dressing room with my arms pinioned above my head, desperately trying to wrench it free of my rib-cage.  When finally, gasping and red-faced I escape from it, I look at the mirror in bewilderment.  Whose body IS that?  And why does this shirt look too big for me, when it in reality I could use it as a leg warmer?  I think I may have reverse anorexia.  Anorexic’s see themselves as fat even though in the mirror they are actually wasting away.  I, however, pick up a pair of pants I could have worn in middle school and think, “Oh yes, these must be my size.”

Take today, for example.  While shopping at Target, I came across a pair of capris I wanted to buy to wear at work.  Now, women’s sizes are completely arbitrary and can be totally different from store to store.  Poor Jesse was confounded last week when he surveyed two of my dresses hanging in the closet, side by side. 

“Honey,” he said in the cautious tone someone affects when talking to the seriously deranged, “Do both of these dresses fit you?” 

I looked around in surprise.  “Yes, they do.  I bought both of them recently.”

“Ok, well are you aware that this white one is a size two and this pink one is a size seven?”

“Yup,” I smiled blithely at his consternation.  “I’m a two in women’s and a seven in juniors.”

“Oh.”  He didn’t seem convinced and looked even more bewildered when I went on to say, “Of course that white one is from Banana Republic, so it’s a two.  But if it were designer, like Diane Von Furstenberg, I’d be a four or a six.  If it were from Old Navy, I would be an extra-small, since they don’t often do numbered sizes.    At Lucky Brand I’d be a twenty-seven or twenty-eight, since they do the European sizes.  And if I’m shopping in the juniors section at Macy’s it’s a seven or a nine, since they do odd numbers instead of even.” 

I watched as Jesse’s brain exploded a little bit, and he just wandered off shaking his head, mumbling something about how he’d never buy me clothing again. 

But back to my trip to Target.  My favorite jeans are from Target, and they’re a size two.  They used to be big on me until I had Belle, and then they were the only jeans that fit anymore, so maybe they’re my favorite due to lack of options, but still.  I figured if I was buying the same brand of pants, I’d stick to a two and they would fit fine.  Only, when I saw these shorts, they were odd numbers, so I grabbed a size three.  I held them up and they looked about right to me, so I took them to the fitting room.  It wasn’t until I’d taken them off the hanger and was putting my first foot into them that I looked down and went, “Woah.  These look smaller from above.”  But I gamely put both feet in and pulled them up to my knees, where they came to a screeching halt. 

Deflated, I pulled them off and put my own pants back on.  Walking back with them past the little station where people monitor what you take into the changing room, I asked the lady standing there if she didn’t mind letting me scoot out to grab a bigger size.  She agreed, and I went back and resignedly pulled a size five off the rack.

Once back in my changing room, I pulled up the fives and felt a surge of relief when they slid up over my hips.  My relief turned to chagrin when I realized that the button was about three inches away from the buttonhole and no amount of cajoling could coax the two together. 

Cheeks aflame, I slithered back over to the lady at the station and asked if I could, once again, go back and get a different size.  I think I may have seen pity on her face when I muttered, “I was a little optimistic about my size.”

“Up or down, dear?”

“Up,” I sighed, “definitely up.”

I stalked back into my dressing room with a size seven and eyed it with trepidation.  A size seven is a perfectly nice size to be, but only if you’re expecting it when you roll out of bed in the morning.  There’s nothing quite like thinking you’re a three and being rudely disillusioned by a pair of capris to shake up your day.  If these didn’t fit and I had to go back and get a nine, I would just gracefully slink away.  Possibly to throw up my lunch.  I pulled up the sevens and held my breath.  They made it over my knees, always a good sign.  They slid up over my hips, another positive.  Wincing, eyes shut, still holding my breath, I pulled the zipper up slowly. 

Success!  The button met the button-hole!  My legs didn’t look like they’d been shoe-horned into the pants, and nothing too obscene was hanging over the top.  What a relief!  I smiled in triumph at the nice lady when I exited the dressing room.  She smiled back, probably relieved that I wasn’t going to commit hari-kari on her shift.  While on the way back through the women’s section, a pair of jeans caught my eye, so I grabbed a seven and tried them on.

They fell to my feet after buttoning them.   Bemused, bothered, and bewildered, I tried on subsequently smaller pairs until I went home with the size four.  Go figure.



  1. I hear you! Sizing these days is ridiculous, and I haven’t even had kids yet. Vanity sizing has gotten out of hand. I wear petites, and while I’m pretty much a 00P-0P in tops, pants can range from 0P-4P depending on the store. I don’t even try junior sizes anymore. Thankfully, I can still wear children’s sizes. I can get away with a 10/12 in kids tops or a 12/14/16 in kids pants! I fear the day I might ever be pregnant…who knows what I’ll be able to wear!

    Comment by Jenn C — June 10, 2010 @ 10:24 pm | Reply

  2. Hahaha. Amazing. I had no idea the struggle you go through. That’s why I don’t buy women clothing…or anything else.

    I saw this on TV the other day and I think it might be the PERFECT solution!

    Comment by Sean Carney — September 27, 2010 @ 10:27 am | Reply

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