I detest shopping of all kinds, whether it’s food, shoes, clothing, you name it. One of my genie wishes, besides a personal chef and masseuse, would be my very own personal shopper. Considering my sizes have fluctuated wildly over the past decade with the birth of two kids, getting in shape, falling out of shape, etc. etc., the idea has never been more appealing. My personal shopper would just know, never ask what size or what measurements, and bring me fabulous clothes that fit.
Until this reality comes to light, I have an analysis for you that may put your mind at ease. If you ever feel in a funk after a shopping endeavor, I know why.
Behold: It’s the madness that is size confusion.
Take basic necessities, although some may argue we don’t need these: Panties, undergarments, underwear, knickers, however you like to call them.
If you look closely, you’ll see that the pant size is larger than the underwear size (except if you’re tiny). I understand there’s the matter of a hip measurement, but who really knows what that is. I mean, who can trust that is accurate, and how often does it happen that you go down a size with anything? This is instant size confusion, and a breakdown of trust.
I have a theory that no matter what store you’re in, you’ll undoubtedly find this:
Someone has opened this package, and it was no accident. It has been opened for the purpose of establishing a size reference, and no one has bothered to take it away either. The store knows better. They know it will happen again, over and over. It’s not like we can try on underwear.
It doesn’t help that there are dozens of different styles to choose from. You got your bikinis, your high-cuts, hipsters, boyfriends, boyshorts, low rises, briefs, boxer briefs…This doesn’t help matters. It’s not uncommon to see this sight:
If you risked taking home a package, and later decided to return the item, well, I have a theory about that, too. Deep in the dark recesses in the back of the store, there’s a huge warehouse bin filled with returned underwear, and it’s not even sorted. I know, I’ve dreamed about this. You may never see it, and let’s hope you don’t.
Now for underwear’s cousin: The mankini, or what is commonly referred to as the “Speedo.”
My son plays water polo, and so I must order a Speedo-type suit. Typically, the waist measurement correlates to the numeric size of the suit. A waist size of 26 will be a 26 size suit. Easy peasy, except when I need to actually order one.
What kind of voodoo logic is this? It’s Common Core math, isn’t it? How does a 26 1/2 waist equal a size 30 suit? Luckily, it’s denoted as “S” for Small, but if you ask me, all these suits looks smallish.
Why don’t I talk about a sport I’ve tried: Running and the Running Shoe
I no longer run, but when I did, it was my understanding that the proper running shoe was one size up from your normal shoe size. My normal size 7 grew to a size 8. Since we’re now running, and not simply standing around, we need more space, a bigger size.
If you find yourself in a harrowing situation where you’re flying down a hill, you want to have ample space to be able to cushion the shock of a dramatic halt, without your toes slamming into the fronts of your shoes. Right? I would argue that your normal size shoe should be able to compensate for the most dire of circumstances, and I can’t think of anything more dire than the one I just described.
Trying to find the perfect shoe, you may find yourself reading a couple of reviews about shoe performance. The wearer will describe durability, materials, etc, and then throw in for good measure that the shoe fits “true to size.” I ask, True to what size? My old size? My bigger size? The size I want to be? What? What?
I know you want to help and you’ll say, “The running shoe size, of course.” Are you sure about this?
Look at this chart for size:
This is size confusion at its best, a stew of utter randomness.
Now, let’s talk about pants. No, let’s not. If we were really smart, we would simply wear tent-like assembles, with no panties, no bras (goes without saying), and no shoes. We would survive, be less confused, and dare I say, more comfortable.