While all clothes shopping can be a stressful experience, jeans seem to be the one that most people really hate. So that being said, I’ve also got some stuff to say about pants (and why sizes are stupid).
Eating disorders are often fueled by numbers, and pants sizes are no exception. Even in recovery, numbers can be something that people pay too much attention to, which can be triggering.
Like I stated above, jeans are one of those items that can stress people out in the fitting room. Even I’ve had moments where this is tricky, but it’s important to remember that sizes are arbitrary.
When people get stressed out about the size they wear, I like to remind them that while men’s sizes are based off of their actual measurements (inseam, waist, chest radius, etc), women’s sizes are based off of nothing.
Yes, you heard right. When women’s clothes were first mass produced, they said “let’s throw these numbers on here and call it a day.” That’s why now when we go to one store, we’re a different size than we are in a different store: because sizes actually mean nothing.
When I go shopping, I often select a range of sizes and decide which one fits the comfiest. This happened recently, and it was a tough decision, because each pair was…well, pretty comfy.
I tried on three different sizes at one store and they all fit me. So, to me, this means that while the number on the pants might seem really different, they’re not that different if they all fit my body.
Having this experience made me realize even more so how arbitrary sizing really is. I encourage you to look at sizes as an indicator of what will be most comfortable for you. Looking at the number on pants should tell us “hey, these pants will probably fit,” or “hey, these pants might not fit.” It’s not a judgment about your will-power, attractiveness, or anything in between.
The point of shopping for clothes is to find stuff that we feel good in. I’d rather wear a larger size and be comfy than squeeze into a smaller size and have a miserable day.
And the same goes for bras, and pants, and dresses, and shirts. There’s nothing worse than putting on a piece of clothing and feeling so uncomfortable, so remember that our comfort is more important that a number that no one will ever see.
After all, it’s pretty clear that they don’t mean much.