I’m guessing that you, like me, have had the experience (more than once) of trying on a garment in a store, and finding that it doesn’t fit.
We are not alone – this is completely normal, and when you start to understand the history of where those standardised sizes came from it makes a whole lot of sense!
Did you know that the history of US-based clothing size standards has a rather murky past?
Here’s a fascinating interview on the Radiolab podcast with the author of Butts: A Backstory by Heather Radke who discovered in her research about why she found it so hard to shop for clothes that fit, how standardized clothing sizes came about in America, and the reasons why you’ll find it hard to find anything that fits.
Clothing Size Standardisation
Listen here to the podcast – it’s fascinating stuff!
“I had always felt like there was something wrong with my body because I often couldn’t find clothes that fit me well, but when I learned about the history of sizing and the way sizing works today, I realized that clothes actually aren’t designed to fit. They can’t be,” she said. “There are just too many variables in the human body for clothes to fit most people well.” Heather Radke
Want to know what Normman and Norma look like? So did I, and here they are.
And then, as mentioned in the podcast, the search for the real-life Norma – here are the measurements they were looking for.
One of the things I find quite bizarre as I read the entry form, is how bust size is supposed to go up by an inch for every inch of height – as if the two things are intertwined. It shows how sizing standards and pattern sizing is so unrelated to real humans.
Who is the New Norma? It’s a Fit Model Named Natasha
And then, how much do you look like fit-model Natasha Wagner who currently is the bottom many manufacturers based their clothing shapes and sizes around. Check out her story her in Vogue Magazine where she’s described as the perfect body – not too curvy, not too straight – which means anyone who is more curvy or more straight…. well they just have to lump it as clothes are not designed to fit you at all!
Both Heather and I agree, there is nothing wrong with your body, it’s the clothes are not designed to fit it, so don’t expect them to. Remember to tell yourself this every time you shop and things don’t fit like you wish they did! There is absolutely NOTHING wrong with you!