It’s a crisis in our house when my wife has to find “something to wear” to an event. This event is usually days away, so shopping online is not an option: this is going to require a trip to the mall.
My wife is normally a happy, positive person going into the mall to find clothes. Coming out of the mall she is usually a depressed, frustrated, and despondent version of herself. Having gone with her on a few of these trips, I have isolated this change of mood to the changing room. The sequence of events is as follows:
- Happy wife walks up and down clothing isles, gathering an armful of clothing “in her size” (more on that later)
- She disappears into the changing room
- She comes out of the changing room empty-handed, depressed and frustrated
I have never been in a ladies dressing room, so I can’t be exactly sure what goes on, but I figure it’s something like this:
- Tries on article of clothing – Won’t zip or button because it’s too small
- Tries on another article of clothing – Zips and/or buttons, but is too big and falling off of her
- Tries on another article of clothing – Fits but is “not cute”
This keeps up until she’s through all the stuff she carried with her into the changing room. Upon exit, the look on her face tells me everything I need to know: I’ll need to pick up a bottle of wine on the way home.
To me, the problem seems to be this whole “in her size” issue. Having inquired into the issue, apparently women’s sizes are based on numbers, not inches. As I understand it, they system goes like this:
- 00 : Either a child or a super model.
- 0 : Probably still a child or someone trying to be a super model.
- 2-4 : The range where you find anything you want, in any style you want, anywhere.
- 6: Maybe not as easy as 2-4, but you still have a decent chance of finding what you are looking for.
- 8: Things are starting to get a bit more difficult to find, but you’re still hanging in there.
- 10: You crossed the threshold into hit-or-miss land. This is like the clothing-size equivalent of purgatory.
- 12: You’re now mostly in “miss” land, and shopping is no longer a pleasure.
- 14: The clothing manufacturers have decided you don’t need to wear anything but jeans and tops. Lower your expectations, and start limiting where you shop and you won’t go naked.
- 16+: You’re now in what is called “Plus” and all bets are off. The numbers are now mostly throw-of-the-dice, so don’t expect them to relate to your body at all.
This is my perception based on talking with my wife – blame her if I have it wrong.
I’m a big-and-tall guy, so I can’t shop anywhere I want. However, when I need something to wear for an event, I go somewhere that has clothing sized in inches, and I have them take my measurements. I’m in-and-out with an outfit in about 15 minutes, and I really only try the clothes on to see how they look, ’cause I know they will fit.
Seems to me, if women’s sizes were based on inches like men’s sizes are, a whole lot of stress can be avoided.