It’s not you. It’s our clothes.

photo courtesy of Dr. Shem

Almost every woman has at least one area of her body she blames as the reason she can’t find clothes that fit. “My boobs are too big;” “my butt is too big.” Or “I have no boobs” or “no butt.” “My torso’s too long,” “my thighs are just huge”… “I’m too short,” or “too tall,” or “so broad-shouldered.”

Something doesn’t fit properly and it’s like women think to themselves: this garment was made by professionals who know what they’re doing, while my body was made by some fluke whim of bio. This probably fits everyone else just fine! It’s me and my build that’s to blame.

But that just isn’t true. In reality, that garment fits hardly anyone. Because in reality, it was never meant to.

There are countless combinations of human proportions — waists and busts and hips and thighs and shoulders and heights — that might accompany, say, any single “size 8” (whatever that means), but there can only be one “size 8” in the store. Retailers have to decide what their “size 8” looks like, and odds are: it’s not you.

You might be thinking, “yeah, that’s because they cater to ‘that body type’ that looks great in ‘everything.’” But I’m telling you: no matter what type you think it is, no such body exists.

Just for example: retail models may look tall and thin, but tall women in real life are up against the fact that retailers actually cater to the average shopper, who is more like: “average height.” So everything is a sad several inches too short if you’re tall. (I know this because, at 5’9”, every dress waist hits me in the ribs, every skirt is a mini, and I didn’t meet a proper inseam til college. High-water flares was my signature middle school look.)

Every figure has a retail-apparel Achilles heel. Anyone who claims otherwise either knows their way around theirs or hasn’t found it yet.

This one-proportion-fits-all approach is a flaw of the mass manufacturing model. Less than a hundred years ago, wealthy women dropped their dressmakers and the rest of us tossed our sewing machines in favor of newly-available “off the rack,” and we’ve been shopping that way ever since. We’ve figured out novelty and low prices, but we’ve lost clothing that actually fits. We rendered malleable fabric into static, sized garments and go around trying to cram ourselves into them, feeling bad about ourselves when they don’t fit.

But our function in life isn’t to fit into clothing — it’s clothing’s function to fit us; to serve a basic need so that we can get on with our lives.

Clothes should be subservient to people, not the other way around.

Clothing is a dependent variable to the independent variable that is our body. It is a real and actual impossibility to expect every person to fit into one of ten sizes. But it is only reluctance that prevents retailers from offering more.

I see no real reason why clothing can’t fit properly, and at an attainable price point. There’s nothing except their own legacy operations and priorities preventing clothing manufacturers from producing clothes unique to each figure, created using each person’s measurements.

Your butt and your boobs are not “too” big or “too” small. You are not “too” tall or “too” short. You have a human person body with a perfectly-human human person shape. And your clothing should be made accordingly.

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