Do your clothes truly fit?

"A dress should be tight enough to show you're a woman, and loose enough to prove you're a lady."  Edith HeadI’ve now lost twenty pounds, and have begun to notice that some of my clothes are rather too loose.

I’ve always had a generous definition of fit.  If a skirt is not too tight to get over my hips, nor too loose to stay up, I consider that good enough.

(I do insist on bras that properly fit.  Well-made, supportive brassieres are not a splurge.  They’re called foundation garments for a reason:  if they don’t fit right, nothing you put on over them will look its best.  Neither will you.  I could write a whole post on bras.  I think they are that important.)

Skirts do need to stay up high enough so to overlap with the bottom of the t-shirt.  I’ve had to remove a bunch of skirts from my closet that were slipping too low or hanging too crookedly to be reliable.

So I’ve increased my visits to the thrift stores to once a week.  They’re my best source of summer skirts, and I have almost replaced about as many as I’ve had to retire.

I find skirts more comfortable and appealing than shorts or trousers, and I wear them year round, with tights in colder weather.  I’d rather wear dresses – I love dresses – but they rarely fit all of me at once.

Dresses that fit on top float away from the rest of my body, or they’ll fit my hips and be huge at the bust.  Empire waists don’t usually help, because the high waist line often cuts across my bust instead of underneath it.  I believe this is because I’m tall, not because my breasts have fallen.

Sometimes, I look at women wearing dresses, and wonder if they hired a seamstress to do alterations, or do they just naturally fit into dresses?

More often, I wonder if the popularity of yoga pants is due to the fact that there are millions of women out there who cannot find clothes that truly fit.  Adding lycra is so much easier than tailoring clothes to fit the nuances of the female form.

This is how shirts are supposed to fit?   On whom?It’s not only dresses.  Many of my shirts look baggy now, too.  Losing weight hasn’t affected my shoulder breadth, so the next smaller size is still too small.

My shirts weren’t much more flattering before I lost weight.  It’s not that I buy boxy t-shirts.  They all have a bit of shape to them, at least they look that way when laid flat for folding.  On me, though, they look shapeless.  If they fit at the shoulders, they’re big at the waist.  Or if they skim the waist in a pleasing way, they’re tight across the bust.

Woven fabrics are just as bad, sometimes worse, even the ones with darts to shape them.  They don’t hang right on me.  There’s too much stiff fabric around my middle.  Bust darts aren’t located at my bust.  Princess seams rarely curve along my curves.

That all sounds rather whiny, but I don’t really think about it unless I’m shopping, which is how I spent the morning.

I understand why some women give up on trying to dress nicely.  It can be disheartening to try on item after item and not have them fit properly.  It might be tempting to think that the problem is our bodies, but it is not.  Ready to wear is based on averages, and most women are not average.

As I told my daughter when she hit puberty, “All women are wearing jeans that don’t quite fit.  It’s not just you.  Jeans fit men and children, people without hips; women just wear them anyway.”

Tell me, truly, do your clothes fit straight off the rack?

P.S. – Have any of you tried custom made dresses from eShakti?  I’d like to try them when my weight stabilizes.


17 thoughts on “Do your clothes truly fit?

  1. Rarely have off the rack clothes “worked” well for me. I’m 5’9″, so most talls are a little TOO tall/long, yet most “regulars” are too short. Add in fluctuating weight… Hello, caftan, you beautiful thing, you! (Especially in the heat.) And yes, lyra and cotton-with-spandex and the rest can be my friends, too.

  2. Aack. When it comes to pants, size 16 is too tight, size 18 too loose. I’ve literally been right in between for years (and it’s getting somewhat worse since I started losing weight). I make as many of my own clothes as I can.

    • I wish I liked sewing. I’m not enough of a perfectionist to ever get things right, but I love the idea of making my own clothes. I even follow a bunch of sewing blogs to admire the work of others.

  3. Congrats on the weight loss! If it fits my waist it’s too tight in the hips. I have small shoulders so if it fits there it’s tight in the bust. I’m short waisted but have long legs for my shortness. Lol

  4. I’m also going through a ‘changing of the guard’ so to speak. But I’m not sure it’s because I’m getting smaller, or larger, just changing shape as I get older. I think your idea that the reason so many women wear yoga pants, etc. is spot-on. I’ve often wondered and your premise makes total sense to me. That is what I am now going to tell people!

    • It’s weird, isn’t it? We think of ourselves as being a certain shape, or of certain styles as being flattering, and then, all of a sudden, we realize that doesn’t suit us anymore.

  5. I totally agree with all of this – I have no idea who off the rack clothes fit perfectly, but it certainly ‘aint me!! I find that vintage (60s and earlier) somehow tends to fit better, I believe that the quality of the clothes back then meant that they tailored properly, or maybe I just have a vintage body!!

    • I’m too tall/big to fit in most vintage, but I agree with you. I do have the body type for it. Today’s fashions seem to be cut for a less curvy figure.

  6. I just got measured for a bra and discovered I was wearing a band size too big and two cup sizes too small. I cannot believe how much better the right size bra looks and feels. Of course, now I am an odd size that is difficult to find in a regular store. I have so many problems with pants. They are too long or too short. If they fit over my hips they gap at the waist. It’s impossible to find something that fits and when I do, I go in search of more of that brand and style. I buy 99% of my clothes in thrift stores which works out well because the new styles don’t fit me very well at all. I don’t do well with the extra fabrics flowing all over. I need structure. On the other hand, for a while, the pants were all low riders and the shirts all seemed to be short/cropped. I don’t do well with that either. I want my shirts to reach my waistband. I have a long body so a lot of things just don’t fit well. Like one piece bathing suits are really difficult to find. I could go on and on. Maybe that is why I have sort of given up on trying to be fashionable. I never thought much about it before, but buying clothes is more stressful than fun.

    • That is typical; most American women wear bras with bands that are too big. I think it is because the readily available sizes are so limited. Most women make do with what they can find/afford. If you’re willing to order online, figleaves is a company that has a wide selection of sizes, and sometimes they have free shipping.

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