As a woman in her mid-40’s, I’m finally on the other side of the coin. I can say I’ve seen a few things in life. It seems each decade a new life struggle gets tossed my way. And in my 40's, well let’s just say buying clothes sucks. Ill fitting clothing is the norm.
The ups and downs of weight gain is a weekly battle as menopause draws closer. The hot flashes don’t entice working out. A slowing metabolism makes the couch a lovely place. A bag of cheddar and sour cream Ruffles feel great for an achy body with irregular food cravings. And there’s no medical study needed to confirm gaining weight later in life creates a bigger, more saggy bosom.
With my "wardrobe" morphed into the same 7 things I wear all the time, the last thing I want to do is go shop for ill fitting clothing. Being asked every 43 seconds if I’m doing okay is annoying. If I actually make it to the dressing room, it doesn’t make me feel any better having the sweet 19-year-old 105 lb girl bring me her suggestions which include large sizes of things worn by gals two decades younger than me. Bigger isn’t always better...a motto I apply to a lot of things.
I know, these are all my self-induced problems, and I take responsibility for them. But I also know many women agree that shopping for clothes has become incredibly difficult, regardless of body size. Between vanity sizing and a gazillion clothing brands made all over the world, women’s clothing sizing is simply broken.
Sure, there’s a “standard” in women’s clothing. But just because you say so, doesn’t mean it’s real.
Sizing Stats Over the Decades
According to an article written by Eliana Dockterman for Time, a 1958 size 8 is the equivalent of 00 today. In 1970 a size 8 is equivalent to a size 2 today. A 1995 size 8 is like today’s size 6. And in 2012 that same size 8 is now split between curvy and straight, with body measurements of 36 ¼”, 28” and 39 ½” for curvy, and 36 ¼”, 29 ½” and 38 ½” for straight.
In addition to that craziness, we have size “trends”, and don’t forget to add the sizing variances between women’s brands.
H&M busts are on the tiny side, while Guess is on the larger side. Torrid focuses on plus sizes, while Zara is meant for the opposite. It’s no wonder women hate in-store clothes shopping these days. We don’t know what size to look for.
Ill Fitting Clothing: Specific Problems for Today’s Varying Body Shapes
Women’s sizing misses the mark in one major way.
Standard sizing doesn’t take into consideration a woman’s body shape. And thus, ill fitting clothing is born and thrives in the stores. We all know two women can wear the same size, but not fit the same garment in the same way. You may love Zara clothing, but if you’re tall, forget about it. You can’t shop Victoria’s Secret if you’re larger than a D-cup, and that’s pushing it. And if you want a maxi dress from anywhere while being 5’2”, prepare to pay extra to have it shortened.
Aside from the weight gain I’ve experienced in recent years, I'm 5’10” and have always had problems with sizing. Jeans are often too short. The sleeves on sweaters annoyingly fall somewhere between my forearm and upper wrist. The buttons on flannel tops pop open at my bust. And zipped up jackets squish my boobs if I can zip them up all the way. Not to mention, blouses are typically too short. Bless my husband of four years for sweeping me off my feet in our later years!
Ill Fitting Clothing: A Made to Measure Solution For You
The solution to all of these problems is made to measure clothing. As women turn to eco-friendly brands focusing on organic fabrics and a light carbon footprint, we should also turn to brands that offer custom clothing adjustments. Not only will your clothes fit better, less will be thrown out saving you money.
Made to measure typically makes one think of expensive custom suits or that wedding dress customized specifically for you. While this used to be the case, today there are independent fashion designers who are beginning to blaze this trail. Me being one of them.
Recognizing the sizing problems I have had, custom clothing adjustment options are at the core of what I offer women through my brand Mallory Bloom.
Petite women should have the option to shorten the length of pants and long skirts so they fit well. Ripped jeans and dirty maxi dress hems shouldn’t be acceptable. Petite women should have the option to shorten long sleeves so they rest at the wrist. And rompers shouldn't be so long that they sag.
Tall women who endure pants that flood above the ankle shouldn’t have to put up with short inseams. You should have the option to a custom inseam length. Jumpers shouldn’t provide eternal wedgies, so having the option to lengthen the torso is important. And normal blouses don’t need to be un-intended crop tops. Lengthening a blouse by a couple of inches makes all the difference to us.
For those women who have larger chests, a boob keyhole is not a new fashion trend we want to partake in. Having the option to order a button up with a DD cup (and no safety pins) is welcoming. Full chested women also have the crop-top effect, so you should have the option to lengthen a blouse. Or perhaps enlarge the armhole so the top isn’t so tight in the armpit. Worrying about ripping something if we raise an arm for a hug is funny, but a real struggle.
And for those of you ladies with a curvy or mixed figure, Mallory Bloom is the solution for you too. A DD bust doesn’t mean my hips are also 45”. And maybe they are 45”, but I can still have a B bust, can’t I? Swimmers are in great shape, but their shoulders tend to be wider. A shoulder adjustment for you should be an option. You get the picture.
Ill Fitting Clothing: Clothing Adjustments at No Extra Cost
Made to measure, or clothing adjustment options, have a bad reputation for being expensive. In part, the increased cost comes from it being a niche offering. Not many brands offer made to measure. Some designers are better suited in other areas and don’t want to offer it. Made to measure isn’t scalable so large brands don’t go there. And small brands that want to sell millions don’t go there either for the same reason.
Solving your sizing problems by offering customizable clothing adjustment options is at the core of my collections with Mallory Bloom.
I didn’t start this brand to be the next Prada or Kate Spade, although that would be nice. I incorporate customizable options in the garments I make because I want you to love what you wear, and wear what you love. All at no added cost. There are enough things out in the world today that make us feel poorly about ourselves, but our body image tied to clothing doesn’t have to be one of them.
Or better yet, reach out to me via this link with any questions you have about your sizing. I promise I’m a real woman, not an autobot. I'd love to see how I can help solve your sizing problems.