It’s a fat, fat, fat, fat world

Jonathan ordered some new clothes from an outfit called Back Country. Nothing elaborate: a couple of tee shirts, some corduroy trousers and a fleece top. He ordered everything in size Small.

Now, while this isn’t Holland, where the people are large (and I don’t mean fat — just large), this is still America, where our milk fed population tends to run pretty big. On the male end, I think the average height is around 5’10” (although I’m too lazy to look it up; besides, I’m a blogger, so this doesn’t have to be accurate). Jonathan is 5’6″ and around 120 lbs. So when clothes are labelled Small, he expects (and hopes) that they really are.

But let’s set aside fuzzier terms like “small” for a moment and discuss hard numbers. What’s always driven me crazy about women’s clothes (aside from the fact that they are poorly made and rarely have enough pockets) is that sizes have never meant anything. One brand’s 12 is another brand’s 10. I’ve envied men because they can buy a 30 x 30 pair of pants, and they know they will get pants with a 30 inch waist and 30 inch inseam. As we’ll see, even that only goes so far these days.

His clothes arrived yesterday and we eagerly unpacked the box. The tee shirts were a little big, but basically fit okay. The shoulders were in the right place and they fit close enough to his chest and midsection that they looked normal. The fleece, however, was another story. I can only imagine that this this thing was designed for Burt Young. The sleeves were the right length, but everything else was blown out to size Fat. He had enough room in there for triplets and the sleeves were diaphanous enough for shoplifting canned goods.

But the best part were the pants. Who were these pants made for? Yes, the waist and legs were indeed 30 inches, but the rest of the proportions were Incredible Bulk. The crotch and ass area bulged outward, perhaps meant for a particularly well-endowed customer (or one with a glandular disorder) with a huge ass. The legs had enough material for a family-sized tent.

What gives?

For the past 10 or so years, I’ve noted the artificial inflation of women’s clothes. When I was at my pre-running trimmest at age 22, I wore a 10. Now, at roughly the same dimensions over 20 years on, I wear a 6 and I’m verging on a 4. This is just wrong, but it’s taken hold everywhere, so now an overweight woman can go shopping, happily deluded into thinking she hasn’t actually gained 40 pounds in the last 10-15 years after all. Because, lookie right here at the tag, she’s still a size 10!

I guess makers of clothing for men have it tougher. You can’t sell pants with a 36 waist as size 30 (although I’m sure it’s just a matter of time before they start trying). So maybe fat men buy these pants and just lift their stomachs over the waistband (driving the crotch even further down toward their knees). Either that, or they have them “taken out” at the tailor, or get an elastic waistband inserted.

Either way, Jonathan still needs trousers for his lithe runner’s frame, and we’re stumped as to where to find any.

6 Responses

  1. “Vanity Sizing” is the stupidest, most ridiculous concept. Can you imagine what a world it would be if there were one universal set of sizes (reminiscent of sewing patterns)? We could order clothes sight unseen and be right on the money every damn time! Good luck to Jonathan on his clothing quest.

  2. Nice to read this clothes storie.And indeed the people here in Holland tall.I am 1:81 meter and about 84 kg and a litle bit heavy because my body building! and muscles are heavy than fat!.
    In Holland the big problems whitt clothes is to short pants and sweaters!, ore to long arms and legs ;-).
    And i look now better then 20 years ego!.
    Nice storie and i hope the runningshoes are big enough for my!!!!.

  3. Rinus, when I went to Holland (both times) I couldn’t believe how big everyone was, even the women. I’m by no means tiny (I’m 5’5″) — but I felt like a midget there.

  4. Julie, 1:66 meter is not so short and for a runner a good size!.
    And why the people in Holland so large?, i think the food like cooked potatoes in hot water, vegetable, fruit and (raw)fish and milk product!.
    Some time’s kale borecole(boerenkool), potpourri, carrot (hutspot) , sauerkraut(zuurkool) and endive!.
    And a good breakfast like brown bread.
    You also see more fast food and Chinees,Italia,enz food.
    Thats not always good ;-).
    And i think the government in Holland concern about the people!.
    So, food from Holland is not so bad it all!!.

  5. A lady running friend, who also bikes, told me that she shops in the teen section in stores. She doesn’t like a lot of the fashions, but she can find stuff that fits.
    My pants are 32″x32″, which reduces my choices a bit, but not too bad (so far)..

  6. Somewhere other than America. Perhaps Vietnam?

    Big is catching – even here. I was lucky to be born in the time when kids played outside and fast food was unheard of.

    The ‘big food’ of the US amazed us. It was disheartening to order a meal at a restaurant and be unable to finish it. Once we tried to order entres instead of mains (paying the price of mains) so we could finish the meal, but the chef wouldn’t allow it!

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