1.17.2007

the fat of the land

in a moment of workplace boredom i decided to spend a few moments of brainclearing time looking online for a pair of superlong superskinny black pants. this has been an ongoing quest in my world, as i imagine the superlong superskinny black pants would, if i owned them, make my life into a magical amazing wonderful place where i am infinitely happy and endlessly renowned. also my legs will look superlong and superskinny, and also miraculously i will have kate walsh's hair. all this will happen, i am sure of it, if and when i find these pants.

i had this brief flash of inspiration and decided to check out delia's, which is a website that used to be a catalog that used to be the bee's freaking knees when i was in high school nine thousand years ago (more accurately: seven) and now is awesome because now that i am 25 i have decided that i want to be 13 again and delia's (excuse me, dELiA*s) helps me fulfill that desire.

you know what they have at dELiA*s? superskinny black pants. that come in a variety of inseam lengths so that, were i to get the 34-inchers, they could in theory be superlong. this is, naturally, superawesome.

until it comes to the issue of sizing. mostly i buy my pants from places like banana republic and the gap and old navy, where sizes run in even numbers, and where i am (gasp) a size 12 (which Princess Diaries author Meg Cabot informs us all is not fat. thank you, Meg Cabot, though i believe my mother would beg to differ). but juniors stores like dELiA*s (i love typing that) and alloy use this incredibly confusing odd-numbered system.

logically i would fall somewhere between a size 11 and a size 13, right? right? wrong. here is dELiA*s size chart:


now, for comparison purposes, click here to see the size chart at Banana Republic.

if i wear a 12 at Banana, which means i have a "low waist" of 33.5 inches? that means that at delia's (i am officially not giving in to their stupid spelling now that i hate them for always), where your waist is your "low waist," i wear a size 17/18. aka 2XL. aka enough to make me recoil from my computer screen in horror, not want to buy the pants even though they are exactly what i want ENTIRELY BECAUSE the label will read "17," and i can barely bring myself to even click on that in the drop-down box.

that hypothetical 12 that exists somewhere between an 11 and a 13? a delia's 12 is a banana republic four. FOUR.

deep breath.

this sentence right here is where i provide you with thoughtful commentary on how this grotesque inflation of clothing sizes helps make teenage girls - delia's target demographic - feel fat all the time.

this sentence is where i call for the retraction on delia's part of these stupid claims that they are making clothes for "real girls" by going up to size 19/20, because they are NOT going up to size 19/20, they are just going up to size 14 like every other store out there and then slapping an extra couple of points on the clothing.

i am actually rageful right now, which is why those are filler sentences and not actual thoughtful discussions. i am in fact a little disoriented by the magnitude of my rage. but the incredibly worst part of all? is that it works. it works on me. because this sentence right here is where i tell you that even though the superlong superskinny superawesome black pants are exactly and entirely what i am looking for, that once i own them i could rip out the label and wear them with spindly heels and drapey sweaters and be a superhero of amazing pants, i will not buy them because i cannot bring myself to buy pants that are size 17, even though i know objectively that they are equivalent to a size 12. and even though, as Meg Cabot tells us in her sequel, size 14 is not fat either, i am pretty much inclined to tell Meg Cabot to go fuck herself for no reason at all except for rage displacement, and possibly also to go firebomb the headquarters of delia's a la Dresden.

9 comments:

a lady said...

yatch, please. I've bought a 13 in juniors. that's a size jump from a BR 4 to double digits and then some.

get the pants. cut out the size. that's what I do...then my clothing usually fits better, too.

I heart you. get the fucking pants already.

Marcin said...

Are their sizes not small because they're for teenage girls?

Anonymous said...

Hmmm. A size 12 BR pant has a hip size of ~40, which kind of corresponds to an 11-15 range there. Perhaps they use these numbers to dissuade adults?
(mace)

Marc Alan Fishman said...

Hey Helen,
It doesn't matter what size you are if the desired results occur. I haven't owned clothing that didn't hide an extra x since high school, and I'll be damned if I let society make me care. Moreso than that though... You gotta flaunt what you got. I would assume as a super heroine in super skinny black pants, you would want to attack a super hero in whatever is fashionable in NYC. But the most important thing you must know.. the shocking secret of every guy worth dating in the world...

pause for dramatic tension...

It's the size of the womans confidence in herself that attracts the guys for the long haul, and honey... you got enough of that to be an f'n super model. Well, that, and boobs.

stockholm said...

Women's sizes are one of the more depressing things on the face of the earth. On a whim I decided to see what size I was in womens clothing and I almost fell out of my chair - in men's i'm skinny to normal - not so much in women's sizes. I damn near developed a body image problem right then and there.

Anonymous said...

I agree with Marc, but, as a teenage girl, I completetly agree with Helen? I think that's your name. I often shop at Delia's, but I rarely ever buy pants there because I am afraid of what size I will be! I already know I have long legs, about 36" inseam, but one time I ordered shorts online size 7/8 and couldn't even fit into them!! It was a major self esteem blow. Right now, Target is doing the same thing, only not as big a jump. If these stores are trying to get MORE people to buy their clothes, they should be making the size numbers smaller, right?

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