I don't care that the average person's fat (except for the health consequences). I don't care that the typical person's vain. But when being fat and vain becomes institutionalized to the point that I get inconvenienced, yeah, I'm going to rant.
When I bought a Garmin Forerunner, it came with an additional, extra-big wristband that could be attached. I was shocked, as I had to use the smallest hole on the smaller band and the thing was still none too snug. Young men no longer wear watches (they check time on cell phones), so watches are designed for middle-aged men who are roughly twice my weight - actual athletes of normal size need not apply. I now know what the extra band's for... look at this picture to see where skinny people wear watches!
I went to see a movie and, because they crammed in as many seats as possible, the rows were so close that I had to sit spread-eagled to fit in (and at 6 feet, I'm not exactly a giant). This didn't mean that I was using the leg space of two seats, though, as the seats were wide enough for someone who was 350 pounds.
That, I'm actually okay with. It's the fact that vanity sizing has crept into men's clothes that's set me off.
It started with women's clothes, specifically bras. Nearly 85% of women wear the wrong size bra (according to people who actually study such things) and this is because the sizes stated on them have nothing to do with their actual size. The band width (and here I'm admitting to knowing far more about women's underwear than a non-transvestite should) might be measured at the fullest part of the breast, beneath the breasts or 5 centimeters (2 inches) below the breasts - and even then might not be listed correctly.
That was just amusing in a "how vain women can be" sort of way. It quickly spread to all clothes, however. A size 6 today would have been a size 10 only a decade ago, though the average American woman is now a size 14 or 16. The sizes no longer have a standard, but are sized to vanity, so that women can say, "I'm still a size 16. My old clothes must have shrunk. And I can still get dressed without putting down the cannoli!"
Okay, that was just mean. So sue me; it's a rant.
Now it's spread to men's clothes. I went clothes shopping and had to bring a tape measure with me, to see what the real waist sizes of pants were. It was a real time saver, as the smallest sizes, waists of 28-31, were all 32 inches or larger (I was looking for 31) - no one carries my size, because I'm not fat enough. The only pants that are not vanity sized are Levi's and Lee jeans and I could find my size - in the teen's department.
Shirts are impossible. At least I can now search the racks, as I've gained enough weight that I'm no longer looking for the impossible "pencil-neck" 14 1/2. First I had to find "tapered cut," then "slim cut," "European cut," and finally had to buy shirts meant for men 80 pounds heavier than me and have them recut.
I get that the realities of retail mean that I'm going to be hard to shop for, but size... is size. Stop the vanity sizing! An inch is an inch. Labels should tell the truth, even if you don't want to know it.
Sunday Night Musings
1 week ago