I Don't Know What Size I Am!

Part 2 in the ongoing saga of the ill-fitting Anthropologie dress! PLUS, Body dysmorphia!
Publish date:
January 18, 2012
body image, body dysmorphia, sizing

Remember that time when I asked you all if you thought my dress was too tight? And you were all like, "Uh, your dress is too big"?

In retrospect I reailze that I expected you all to tell me that I look amazing and I hated it when you said the dress didn't fit right. I'm still not entirely convinced you were right, because Fashion Director Eric said it looked perfect and whatever, polka dots. Also, you guys miiiiight be sluts. OK, I said that. I can't help it that you guys want all clothing to be skintight!

Plus, I did actually wear the dress all day and a commenter told me it would be gross to return it now.

But I am willing to concede that I may have a slight issue when it comes to sizing. I've been so many different ones! From the smallest I've ever been at a size 8, to the largest I've been at a 26? 28?

Currently I'm somewhere between a 10 and a 14. I wear a Medium on the top, mostly, and a Large on the bottom, mostly. Partly it depends on the sizing of individual brands (Forever 21 doesn't fit me at all, perhaps because I'm 28), but partly it depends on me having no effing clue what the dimensions of my body are.

When I first lost weight, it was really bad. I routinely bought skirts 4 or 5 sizes too big. Even my boyfriend, with his limited understanding of women's sizes, was confused when a size 16 bathing suit showed up at our house. The same impulse that made me run into the bathroom in the middle of class to check that I hadn't magically and instantaneously gained 100 pounds back also kept me from accurately gauging my size. I was a size 16 on the inside, you see.

I pretty much get that I'm no longer a plus-size. But I also have a lot more confusing choices now that I don't do 99 percent of my shopping in one plus-size retailer.

Every time I go shopping, I bring like 3 sizes of everything into the dressing room. When I like something, I waffle endlessly back and forth between the two best-fitting sizes. How do you tell which one is RIGHT?

When I was larger, something "fitting" meant that it zipped or closed. Now that a multitude of sizes will physically fit on my body, I am totally thrown. I often have the experience of wearing a newly purchased clothing item, and realizing halfway through the day that it actually fits horribly, usually in a saggy or drooping manner. Usually I've already removed the tag.

Plus, half the time when I shop at vintage or thrift stores, the item I believed would fit me is cartoonishly big, and the other half doesn't even come close to zipping. So it's not even that I think I'm bigger than I am or smaller than I am. I just have no clue!

I'm also a major YO YO when it comes to my weight -- I'm forever up or down the same effing 20 pounds, which means my consciousness of what my body looks like is always on some kind of weird lag where I don't realize how thin I was until 3 months later when I see a photo of myself. At which point I've already gained the weight back anyway. I should get up every morning and do one of those body outlines they make anorexic girls do in rehab.

I don't know what I'm looking for exactly. Commiseration? Does anyone else have trouble with appropriate sizing? Is there some kind of embarassing "Look at your vagina with a hand mirror" type exercises I can do to get a more accurate impression of my body size?

(By the way, I realize that I am TALKING ABOUT MY WEIGHT a little bit here, but with a purpose I hope, and not negatively.) And just for you guys, I went back and tried on the Medium. In retrospect, the clerk may have been right....but I still think you should watch what you say about people's curves!