Wednesday, December 9, 2009

THE ASIAN PINCH



Since I am going to Florida for the holidays, I thought it might be nice to get some new clothes. Not a whole wardrobe mind you , but a few nicer things to perk up my serviceable but old stock. Ouch. I really don't think I am alone here. Seems I can no longer pull something off the rack and go. True, I am not the size I was in my twenties but I am not quite gargantuan yet.

I am really easy on clothes so I have things in my closet from 15 years ago that are still good to go and are actually back in style again. Now I realize the skinny model and the quest for size zero have dramatically altered the high-end clothes sizes. What use to be a 12 is now a 6 and the old 6 is now a zero. Come on --Zero??

However, thanks to retirement and living on social security, I am pretty "low-end" these days and low-end size classifications have not changed too much. Extra small and size 6 are the iddy biddy sizes in my low-end world. I have yet to see a zero on the racks I visit.

Unfortunately, I morphed into a size LARGE many years ago but now the large I pull off the racks in the stores no longer fits and I have not gained a lot of extra weight



The shoulders in today's styles are narrower, the arms are shorter, and the fitted styles assume you have a waist. I haven't been able to locate my waist since I first discovered the elastic waist band. Now my weight may be a wee bit more but my bone structure has not changed. My arms are the same length as always.

Surprise, surprise, my 15 year old size "large" clothes still fit perfectly. What is with that if overall sizes have not changed? Anyway, thrift stores are beginning to look good, not just for the price, but for the fit. "Old" I can get into. I would cave and head for the "misses" department but then all blouses become tunic length and the sleeves hang over my finger tips. Yikes.

Most of what I buy is from China. I have hunted for "American" to buy but can't find anything. Just look at a street scene in China and you do not see tall, plump women. Like it or not, we Americans are a bigger race while they are mostly thin with delicate bone structures. Have to admit I am quite envious.

Their women appear dainty while we look better able to perform a day in the fields when we stand side by side. Now I am not tall, in fact I am a bit of a runt, but in China, I could view the tops of the heads of their comparable runts. I'm thinking the clothes they are producing are based on Asian body types.

If that is true, I may have found a late life occupation. I should go to China and become a clothes dummy (perhaps dress form model is a better term.) Then they could have a "real" American size LARGE to fashion their clothes after. Anyone else bummed enough by clothes sizes these days to want to come with me?

Ok, perhaps I AM in denial about my weight, or is anyone else feeling the Asian pinch?

29 comments :

  1. It was good to have a chuckle after the Black dog tear jerker!

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  2. I don't know what it is but my pants, shirts, shorts and shoes keep getting bigger and the tubs that hold seasonal clothes keep getting smaller shirts, pants, shorts and shoes.

    I think this must be Armageddon and no doubt fast food giants have poisoned the platters.

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  3. Patti...you're a mess! LOL! I love thrift stores and yard sale finds. The sweater I wore to the bookstore the other night was a 1.50 yard sale find!I went on medication last year for Fibromyalgia and gained so much weight I moved up two sizes. The meds help so much that I choose gain instead of pain! HA!

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  4. I'm with you Patti! There has definitely been a down sizing trend in clothes. My weight hasn't changed but what once fit just right is no longer comfortable. I've noticed the same thing when I buy anything for my husband too.
    Sunny :)

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  5. When my faithful wardrobe finally deteriorates past the point of being acceptable for public viewing, I am in trouble. I'm still comfortably wearing clothes I've had for ten or more years. The most recent "L" size shirt I tried on seemed to have been made for a Barbie doll.

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  6. Well it doesn't really matter, whether fat of slim, my luck with rack clothes fitting is really pretty dim.

    No Kidding. Not being a standard height, or weight, I am doomed to provide profit to the alterations lady.

    And it is true, the size tacked on to clothing has changed. A 14 is now a 16-18 or maybe even an 18-20 of yesteryear.

    AND ONE SIZE FITS ALL--In the past I've seen two versions in WM. ONE SIzE FITS ALL PLUS.

    It is not much better in high-end stores unless you go to a really HIGH end that offers alterations for a HIGH end fee. My 4'10" height is not petite in height or width, no matter what either dimension is.

    My skinny 5'6" husband has less clothing problems, but he is a small size, a size which is scarce in the more economical stores. I've been in WM when new seasonal clothing has just made the racks. There will be 2-3 SMALLs and many, many XL, XXL, etc. It is our obesity that sells.

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  7. Oh please come to China !! I might get to meet you..on that pretext atleast :-D

    But yes I can see your predicament. Years back I found all European clothes oversize for petite me. Absolutely nothing my size. SIze zero hadn't yet made it big yet. As always, great post. Wonder how you make even clothes sizes` funny. You're a riot.

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  8. Sizes are definitely smaller even by the same manufacturer. Have you noticed the cereal boxes are smaller too, same manufacturer. Folks are cutting down on sizes to save costs I think. I go to the thrift stores and have for years, some of the larger cities have high end thrift stores and some really great stuff. California has the Discovery Shop run by the Cancer Society which is really good. I have a couple of blouses I wish I had copies of - I may get back into sewing and make up my own patters for them, as they are comfortable and fit nicely. for casual I even venture into the mens section for large shirts the knit ones with the three buttons at the top, I really like those. a little stretch is always good.

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  9. I knew we were in trouble when clothes started coming in size zero. That doesn't even make sense. My sister used to wear a size 6, but now wears a size 2, and she hasn't changed at all. I shop at second hand stores, and I have no idea what size I am in the modern world!

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  10. It takes a act of Congress to get me to try on clothes. I walk out of there feeling like I should get someone to help me haul my butt out in a wheelbarrow.

    I do have the sleeve problem. Really--how much would an extra inch or so cost?!

    I ran into the China problem trying to find Christmas cards at one of the large bookstores. They were all made in China.

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  11. 4th Sister
    I think we both needed a break. That "dog" post hurt to write.

    Abe,
    You may be right about Armageddon but I am leaning towards the burger joint theory.

    Carol,
    A buck fifty huh, will that tears it, I am going to join the yard sale circuit.
    So sorry you have Fibromyalgia which I understand is very painful. So glad the drugs work and think the choice you took is the only one.

    Sunny
    "what once fit just right is no longer comfortable." That really says it all and after all, comfort is all there is.

    Pat,
    Barbie was originally made in Japan so there is the Asian influence again. Kind of makes sense now doesn't it?

    nitwit,
    Not fair having a skinny husband. Think I would have him wormed to make sure he didn't have an unfair advantage.
    If I have to come back, I will still want to be a woman but with a skinny man's metabolism.

    lostworld,
    Thanks for letting me see the shoe on the other foot. Had not thought about how you petite types fit in Eureopean clothes. Guess we both have problems, huh. If I can sell my idea to China, I'll see ya.

    Linda Starr,
    Now that is a good idea. Take the things that fit well, rip them out and make patterns. That way I can use different fabrics and colors and get a whole bunch of comfortable clothes. Thanks.

    robin,
    Yea, how can anything be a size zero? "A cardinal number indicating the absence of any or all units under consideration"
    Do you suppose negative numbers are on the horizon?
    "Oh yes, I wear a negative 3." Good grief.

    MML,
    The only thing worse is bathing suit shopping. That can really destroy your self image.
    I'm for the extra inch, we can always roll up or take off, you can't add on to what isn't there

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  12. Japanese women are also very slim!
    I used to be slim till the age of 50 and something. Now I have a much larger size. And I can't do anything about it. Well we'll have to live with it.

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  13. Patti, I'll come with you to China! I too have a similar problem with clothes and shoes. Nearly everything that is hung, draped, and wrapped around the human anatomy in New Zealand has been made in China, and the sizes are completely different to a few years ago. My feet used to be size 10 and a half (I'm six foot half an inch tall), when I last visited a shoe shop, we tried to encase my little trotters in glossy black unyielding "genuine" leather uppers (read plastic), and the size 12 shoes I was offered nearly brought tears to my eyes carbuncles to my toes! And don't get me started on "queen sized" sheets! The last time that you could get any that were of royal proportions was when NZ used to get such things made in Fiji (we still have a lovely Fijian made sheet, that is generous in every way and has lasted marvelously well.)

    So, I'll model the male western late middle aged form, the one with the protective air bag deployed around the middle!

    When I was to attend my sister's wedding I was measured up for trousers a week or two before the event. On the day I discovered that my hired trousers had an enormous waist, and I had to take in great rolls of surplus cloth with pins just before heading off to the church. It turns out that the sister of my future brother in law had doubted the measurements that were taken from me (some complicated thing about leg to waist ratios), and had insisted that the shop add more for the waist!

    I often think of what amazed laughter must accompany the making of large clothing for Western people! I don't think the Chinese really believe that people are that huge! We'll show them!

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  14. Hi Patti, My weigh has fluctuated so much through the years (going from big to bigger to biggest) that I had no idea the sizes were changing!!!! ha ha

    When I first started losing weight (many times through the years), I would get totally rid of all of my BIG clothes. BUT--after about the 4th time I had gained and then lost weight yet again, I decided just to put those BIG clothes in big tubs in our attic. I have tubs up there filled with BIG Summer, Medium Summer and Small Summer --along with all of the winter tubs too. I could open my own store I'm sure... But--this keeps me from having to do much shopping anymore.

    My mother-in-law is teeny tiny--and she cannot find dresses (old lady dressed) anymore at all. All clothes seem to be made for the younger, skinny generation. OH Well!!!!

    AND--can you believe that grown women actually wear those pajama pants (in all colors) out in public these days????? GADS!

    Cute post. Thanks--and Good Luck.
    Hugs,
    Betsy
    P.S. Driving or flying to Florida this year????

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  15. Agree totally Patti.....Once when visiting Bali I shopped in their department store and I seriously couldn't fit into anything....they didn't make extra large tops and I'm a size 10 -12 in australia....so I ended up going back out into the street markets and buying clothes zipped up for us tourists.

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  16. I'm so used to altering everything I wear that I guess I haven't paid much attention. I noticed a long time ago that dress makers who make clothes for "curvy" women also assume these women have the arms of chimpanzees....to go with their curves. Go figure!

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  17. I always wonder if I'm an extra large......what do really big people wear? I know there are a lot of people much bigger than me.

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  18. Reader Wil,
    Know what you mean. I am OK with getting bigger, just wish they wouldn't monkey with the actual sizes so.

    Peter,
    Pack you bags dude, we really need to do something here. Probably would be a cushy job.
    Love your "protective air bag deployed" image. Think I can relate.
    As usual, your comment had me laughing.
    Pretty sure you are right and the Asian seamstresses are stunned at how big they grow people in the West. I'm sure they knock off an inch or two here and there just because they can't believe we are so big.

    Betsy,
    I do believe you have solved the problem, just keep your own store and not have to shop.
    I must have missed seeing the pj pants you mentioned in public. We are a little backward here.
    Will be leaving on the 21st and am driving with Mighty as navigator.

    Amanda,
    I guess we are just going to have to make our own clothes. Didn't know it was a world wide problem. Thought it was just here.Sorry gal.

    oklhdan,
    Altering or just making the outfit completely may be the way to to.
    Chimpanzees arms are necessary if I go into the misses section. Hum,think I need to crank up the sewing machine.

    SMB,
    I know what you mean. They have to go into the 1X.2X etc. Trouble with that is that then nothing about the blouse fits. We really need to take care of what we have I guess.

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  19. I know exactly what you mean. I have had to go from XL to Plus 1 or 2X lately and I have only gained a few pounds. Everything is smaller now. I remember when my mom wore a size 22 dress, and she was HUGE. Nowadays, she's wear a 30 (assuming they made such a thing).

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  20. I know the feeling, I guess that's why I haven't bought anything new in some time. I figure if it still fits and looks good, in style or not, I'm wearing it. I'm short and fat and they need to make more clothes for people like me. Even when finding a pair of large petite slacks or jeans, I still have to hem them.

    And if I get womens' then the crotch feels like it's at my knees. Our one daughter and I were talking about clothes, and she said she likes men's shirts, they fit her better than a woman's blouse. I recently saw a photo of this purple plaid flannel shirt I wear in the winter, with a light purple shell under it. I told her good grief, I was looking through some photos on the computer the other day and I had the same shirt on, holding our Grandson ( he was about 9 months old) and he turned 17 this past summer. See what I mean, if it fits and it's still got some wear, I wear it.

    I hate shopping, I would rather buy the item, take it home and if it doesn't fit right, take it back the next time I go shopping. I'm not a clothes horse, I like comfortable clothing, and always wear flats anymore, for fear of tripping or turning my ankle and lord only knows I don't want to fall.

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  21. Is it me or are clothes cheaper than ever ... that might just be a reflection of where I shop. Have a great time in Florida! (Don't forget to enjoy some oranges ...)

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  22. kenju,
    Thank you for confirming it. The sad thing is that we keep buying bigger sizes thinking we are getting bigger but we really aren't. That just isn't fair.

    Patty
    Had to laugh at the "crotch" thing for I do know exactly what you mean. I'm a runt also which complicates matters. I agree, comfort is paramount anymore.

    Robert,
    Think we must shop in the same stores.
    Good to hear from you and I hope you make sure I have good weather for Christmas. Anything above 17 degrees will be an improvement.
    Oranges are a must if I can find any from Florida. If I remember correctly, Publix carries California oranges. Might have to take a trip to Indian River.

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  23. I've noticed the change in size, too. I have some Eddie Bauer tops that fit great and are a large, but they are older. I'm keeping every one of them and I have plenty from when I was working. I think the new clothes are skimpy so the manufacturer can save money on their cost of producing a garment. I have gained weight because I quit smoking 2 years 8 months ago and that drops you metabolism, and now I have to take prednisone everyday. That'll put the weight on ya!

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  24. Amber Star,
    Congratulations big time for quitting smoking. Know what you mean though. I was a skinny thing till I quit, then I realized food actually had taste.
    With prednisone, you have been hit with the double whammy.

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  25. I think what you say is very true. I don't buy much snymore and what I do buy is over the Internet. I have gained some weight but adjusted my buying habits to the larger sizes.
    In the last year, I notice that this one place where I buy all of my tops are making their sizes smaller. It may say LARGE or 1X,
    2X, etc...but compared to the old LARGE and 1X and 2X...these tops are NOT as big. I measured them and they are skimping on the amount of material. I know this for a fact, because I called the factory and they told me they have NOT changed anything---I must have recieved mismarked tops---in three different styles?? I don't think so. I got the measurements from the young lady and the new tops do NOT measure up to what she told me they were supposed to be. I honestly don't know what to do, cause I love the materials they use. A dilemma.
    BY THE WAY: HBO had a wonderful documentary called "SHMATTA", all about how the Garment Industry in New York in the early days, etc. and how it is almost now NON-Existant in the United States. EVERYTHING is outsourced to China, Pakistan, Iran, Etc., Etc. Greed Reigns.

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  26. OOLOH,
    It is a shame that the garment industry is virtually gone. I will check out SHMATTA, it sounds interesting.
    Guess we all need to take up sewing again.

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  27. Don't be envious my dear Ma'am Patti. You haven't actually seen the big fat Asians. The magazines hide them in the corner. They are neither heard nor seen.

    I always enjoy your blogs. But I have to apologize that I haven't been up to blogging myself and commenting.

    There is a solution to your problem. Get clothes made to measure. They are far better and accurate than buying a ready made whatever fashion you see.

    Like you, I am not a fashionista. My clothes are as old as two decades or more but they look as good as new because I take care of them. I wash by hands, you see!

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  28. Bonnie Bonsai
    I do hope you are feeling better and more like blogging and commenting these days. You were missed.
    I am thinking of taking up sewing again and making my own clothes. Then if they don't fit, I can only blame myself.

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  29. I am thinking of taking up sewing again and making my own clothes. Then if they don't fit, I can only blame myself. -

    There are two ways you can make out of me: it's either you make me cry or you make me laugh.

    hahaha...ah well....

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