Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Size it up

It's that time of year again. The turkey, the stuffing, the gravy, the cookies, the fruitcake, the Stilton, the booze. And so many parties! You'll be dragging out party dresses you maybe haven't worn for a year, dresses that now are too big here, too tight there, too, well, irritatingly reminding you that your body has changed since the last time you put them on. Or maybe you are looking forward to unwrapping the jolly sweater waiting for you under the tree, with a big glaring tag in the neck shouting to all and sundry what size Santa thinks you wear. Thanks to the comparative size system, a number one more or one less the difference between a fun new garment or a whole day of food anxiety. Happy holidays, everyone.

Barbara Brownie today in the Guardian proposes a new system: what if the sizes were labeled after curvy glamor girls who wore those sizes instead of the current quantitative numbering system? For example, someone of my build might wear a size "Marilyn Monroe" instead of a 14. Wouldn't that be a lot more fun in the department store changing room than a string of XXXX's telling me that whatever size you are is okay, unless it's outside the general norm, in which case let it be known to the sales clerk running to find you an EXTRA large that you are a giant whacking fatty boom bah? I think it's a fantastic idea, mainly because it's great to know that Marilyn wore a size 14, and not the willowy size twos and zeros worn by today's nervy stars.

Or better yet, let's get out the sewing machine and a few yards of fabric and make a party dress. Once I took my own dressmaking measurements, I was quite shocked to discover that I am two different sizes, top and bottom: my ribcage, believe it or not, is narrow and slight, two whole sizes smaller than the size I wear on the bottom. No wonder it never feels like anything I buy at the store fits right, and why trips to the dressing room often end in anxiety and depression! Now that I make my own clothes, I'm so much happier with my figure, than when doing battle with the numbers on the rack at Macy's. Yes, size is relative, but it is relative to nothing except the other pieces that garment factory manufactures. It shouldn't be relative to your well-being, or your general health. 

So go ahead. Have a mince pie. It's Christmas.

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