2/8/13

A Disturbing Development (Or how I know J. Crew never loved me.)

Facts:

1. After a brief flirtation with the size eight when I was a senior in high school, I have worn a size ten until maybe the last two years.

2. For most of my adult life, I have weighed between about 130 and 135 pounds.

3. Recently, I have noticed the following DISTURBING developments: I have gained weight: 10.4 pounds, to be exact. I can point to no real reason for having gained this weight, although, if truth be told, I blame society. Even more disturbing, I now wear a size eight. That's right: I have GAINED ten pounds, and I have LOST one pants size.

Evidence:

Here I am wearing a pair of now uncomfortably snug size ten jeans that I got about twenty years ago.

Here I am wearing a pair of size eight khakis I got last year at J. Crew. My thumb is holding out the waistband, thus emphasizing that these pants are loose.

My friends, these pants are A LIE.

Now for the bitter truth: It is very possible that your pants are a lie too.

I wish I could tell you that this was a good thing. Sure, when I walked out of J. Crew with my loose-fitting size eight pants I felt the wonderful smugness that comes with wearing single-digit-size clothing. And, yes, maybe, for a while, I did go around shaking my head at the heavier masses while extolling my clearly superior virtue as a human.

But don't you see? It was never true! I never deserved the size eight! I never deserved the smugness. If anything I deserved greater shame because I gained fricking ten pounds, the truth of which was revealed to me today when I had my annual physical and my doctor said, "Wow! You've gained some weight."

True, true. The signs were there. I can now balance a cup of tea on my stomach. But I just thought I was getting middle-age flabby. It turns out I was it wasn't a middle aged thing. I was a weight thing.

But, no. I chose not to believe my own eyes! I chose to believe my J. Crew pants!

Now I just feel dirty. Dirty and ashamed and stupid. J. Crew never loved me. J. Crew only flattered me for my money. I'm such a size whore.

22 comments:

L.W.Roth, said...

We all are. Four years ago when I weighed 135, I wore a size 4 or 6. Fifty years ago when I weighed 120 pounds, I wore a size 8 or 10. They have been fooling us for years. Now,I weigh 148 and wear a size 10. I have what I call an estrogen deprived belly from menopause. It drove me to Chico's where I wear a 0.5 or a 1. Chico's is very kind to those of us with expanding waistlines. --And the jeans don't go up your crack; they breathe.

Kim Stcharles said...

Love your story and comparisons, and I'm so impressed that you included photos. You are a braver woman than I! In my current weight loss journey, I am going for a number on the scale, and I have a size number in mind, too. Whether it is a real size or not, it feels amazing to slip into something smaller than before. Although I belive that companies have been playing with sizes for years, right now I choose to enjoy the flattery.

Shell Sherree said...

Vanity sizing, I believe they call it. Annoying, I call it ~ gone are the days of running in and grabbing something in a hurry. Now you have to take 3 sizes into the change room in an effort to find a fit!

Daisy said...

Oh the dirty so and so's! May all their pants shrink into their J Crew cracks

Olga said...

I know! I am about to give up wearing pants entirely. (Skirts, I'll go to skirts) Obviously, LW is a very different body type than I. Chico's--the only pants that fit waist and hip, but the rise...Ouch. No breathing for me.

Ms M said...

Excellent story -- and love your humor :-). I've noticed this for a while, too. Like Shell, I have to take 3 sizes into the dressing room to find the right fit. And then there are the inconsistencies of pants that are the same brand, like a pair of jeans and a pair of jean-cut khakis, both size 8, where the jeans are too big and the khakis too tight. Arghhh!

Petrea Burchard said...

This is why I never buy from a catalog.

Bec said...

I have between size 2 and 8 that I wear on a regular basis (when I'm not pregnant). It's all relative but those smaller sizes are so seductive!

Star said...

My orderly heart yearns for a standard size / measurements ratio across all clothes production, a single kind of plug and wattage, as well as a standard keyboard with the common Roman alphabet in the center and the other letters positioned more conveniently around it. Finally bringing the much easier metric system to the U.S. would be a good idea, too. When I was little, a 5 (or 10?) year phase-in period was bandied about, but never realized. Just think, all the pain already would be an old-hat, today.

cindie said...

Thanks, Margaret! I'm on the shrinking end of the spectrum and have been feeling a little crazy about not even wearing a real number anymore when I used to wear a perfectly respectable (in my mind) grownup size. While these stores might be making some people feel better, they've made me increasingly self-conscious. At least I know it's not all in my head!

Adele said...

I also have a theory that the more expensive/upscale the store, the lower the size (i.e., Big Price = Small Size). Maybe your sizes are smaller now because you are more financially advanced? Whatever the answer is, the whole thing is a big scam-o-rama, and these clothing manufacturers are the ones that should feel shame. NOT you, Dear, Sweet Margaret!

Rois said...


I just read an article about this very thing.The author said the reasoning behind it is women's bodies come in such varying shapes but men's are more standard.
Not that any of this really helps our ego's or dries our tears of frustration.

We could all go back to wearing Toga's which were all of a standard size.

Desiree said...

I can tell from the flexed arm it's all muscle.

Karen said...

You're within 10 pounds of your high school weight and you're complaining?

One word: Shaddup!

Pasadena Adjacent said...

I once weighed 134 lbs at around 19. It lasted all of six minutes. This, after a four month diet of two fruits and four ounces of meat daily, and a weekly injection of eurine from a pregnant woman.

Don't complain to me about your muffin top. I've braved the world super sized. Buy elastic and tell the doctor when they weigh you, that you don't want to know the number. Gentle denial can be your friend.

Alison said...

If it's any consolation, the sizing in Europe is the same ....you definately have to try things on, rather than relying on the label!
Alison xx

Susan Campisi said...

Who cares about the pants? Your shoes are fabulous.

Bellis said...

Excellent scientific research, with photographic proof, I'm very impressed. Grade deflation indeed! I've stopped buying new pants, and will make do with the ones I bought at Talbots 5 years until they fall apart. I was so happy with the first pair of these Talbots pants that I bought 3 more, one in each color, all the same size (8). And would you believe it? These purportedly identical size 8 pants were all different sizes! Some too small, some too large. So we can't even trust that the size on the label is standardized. Maybe the only thing to do is to carry three of each size, and three different sizes, into the fitting rooms? Are we even allowed to take 9 pants in there? Why do we put up with this crap? Let's fight for the same clothing rights that men have!

Jean Spitzer said...

Too true. Does make you envy the relative standardization of men's clothing.

Cafe Pasadena said...

I don't like to shop for clothing, period!

Today a girl friend of mine, in her 20s, told me her mother said she should lose weight. She told me she weighed 154, but usually weighed 130.

Well, she didn't look overweight to me - no complaints. And her weight didn't seem to bother my friend either - except for the fact her mom had brought it up! It was the mother stressing out her daughter about what is an "appropriate" weight when she looked perfectly normal.

Ann Erdman said...

Blame it on the scale (it broke) and the jeans (they shrank). There simply is no other explanation.

Tales of Castle Green said...

Your bravery in even documenting it shows more body confidence than I have.

Is this like a confession, you make it and you'll be absolved of the weight?