Don’t be this boring, ever

Actual sentence appearing on cnn.com today as a caption to a photo:

Jessica Ordona (in white) disliked the fit of her jeans, so she signed up for a class she says addressed the issue.

Dear inhabitants of planet Earth: If you need a special class to make you like the fit of your jeans, YOU ARE WEARING THE WRONG JEANS.

This obviously is infuriating for all the usual FA and feminist reasons, but what’s killing me today is the sheer fucking drabness of a world where people are convinced that instead of thinking creatively about how to dress, they should pay money to sculpt their asses so they can wear the same fucking clothes as everyone else. There is a whole world of creative people out there who look awesome in clothing, and it’s not because they spend five days a week doing ass workouts. It’s because they use their fabulous minds rather than their six-pack abs to decide what to wear.

Don’t like how you look in skinny jeans? For god’s sake, wear something else. Someone profited by convincing you to put on the jeans in the first place; don’t let someone profit off the fact that they don’t fit you now that you have them.

143 thoughts on “Don’t be this boring, ever

  1. YES!!! I had the same thought when I rad this article. We shouldn’t have to change our bodies for clothing to fit – we need to change the clothing! There is always a brand out there that fits right. I’ve learned which brands of denim work for me (i.e. run bigger in the thighs, since mine have always been muscular), what cuts I like (skinny or straight leg), and that I cannot wear low rise if I want to flatter my hips and waist.

  2. Yes! After having wasted god knows how much money and time and self-esteem on poorly fitting jeans, I’ve finally realized that a) the same size isn’t going to work in every brand of jeans I buy so I will have to size up occasionally, and b) some things just don’t look good on me, so I shouldn’t buy them!

    I’m not going to pour any more money into stupid things meant to make me fit into something that will never work for me.

  3. Well, and if there isn’t “a brand out there that fits right,” for whatever reason, you don’t actually have to wear jeans. I’m not dismissing the very real problem that many fat women have of not being able to find clothing that works with their bodies, or the marginalization of plus size lines in larger stores. But for any reason, whether it’s system-wide or individual, if your jeans don’t fit, the problem is with the jeans, not with your body. That problem might be very difficult to solve — for instance, if you’re sized out of certain stores — or it might be easy — don’t wear the “skinny” cut — but the problem is never with you.

    And for god’s sake, if you’re wearing straight sizes and you have the time and money to take a special class just so you can wear skinny jeans when you go out on the town, you have been brainwashed. Wake the fuck up.

  4. Yes, most recently the plus-sized Levis I ordered claimed they fit “every body” but managed to strangle my knees, (which I didn’t think were particularly out of proportion to my body…). So they, like other things I order which don’t fit properly, were sent back to Levis and I restrained myself from including a little love note/rant about their marketing message.

    Skinny jeans seem to offer the confinement and unforgiving fit of a legging without offering the stretch comfort of a legging. Why put yourself through that, at any size?

  5. A quote from the end of the WHYY article:

    “If I [exercise and eat properly], and if I am loving myself, and I am loving my body, then I think that I will just naturally start to become smaller.”

    Oh honey, no. I’m so sorry, but no.

  6. actually on-topic comment: The Uniform Project (whose website, weirdly, is down right now) is utterly fascinating to me, since I’d honestly never thought of remixing one piece of clothing that way.

    One thing that FA has brought me is the realization that thinking creatively about clothing is something that I CAN do. Not very well, yet, but it’s a skill that I can learn.

  7. @SM- you’re right; there may not be a brand that works. If not, there’s the option of making them yourself (or having them made) or, yeah, just not wearing jeans at all.

    @JustMe – it varies by brand, but the pairs of skinny jeans I’ve bought are all quite stretchy. Definitely more comfortable/wearable.

    @Annie, I thought that way for a long time. I used to cry to my mom that there had to be something wrong with me because i was always active, ate the same as my friends, and was bigger than all of them. How sad. I’m so much happier having realized that this is how my body wants to look.

  8. Great post! It dawned on me a few years ago that I could just say no to jeans. I love the look of jeans, but I can’t stand wearing them. They’re too tight, too loose, cruel to my midriff, etc. To heck with them. Yoga pants and palazzo pants rock!

  9. “If I [exercise and eat properly], and if I am loving myself, and I am loving my body, then I think that I will just naturally start to become smaller.”

    Until… what? Where does it end? When you disappear? I’m so glad this statement is false, because if it were true my favorite shapelings would have evaporated years ago!

  10. “Sarah B didn’t like the fit of her shoes, so she signed up for a class she says addressed the issue”

    That sentence could mean sooo many things. I’m not optimistic enough to think it’s NOT a gym class, but still. Way to leave it wide open CNN.

  11. Clothing Revelation #1:
    Wearing clothes that are the wrong (read: “acceptable” and “small enough”) size does not actually make you look, feel, or be any smaller than you actually are.

    By a strange coincidence, the day I suddenly understood that was the day that shopping stopped being the Non-Stop Parade of Tears, Frustration and Self-Hatred.

    Today’s corollary (CR #1.2):
    Jeans that come with special yoga classes are a lot like that “acceptable” size that pokes and squeezes and reminds you that you’re unacceptable, except with a built-in Unrealistic Fitness Program! And they probably result in a sore butt.

  12. When I read this I thought, “Huh, so if the next thing designers come up with force us to have one arm, I suppose I’ll have to get an arm removed… because, you know, I change my body based on what the fashion industry is telling me I should be wearing right now.”

  13. I agree whole-heartedly with the sentiment that the jeans are wrong, not the body, but I feel more sadness and sympathy than contempt-tinged boredom. After all, she’s been told in a plethora of insidious ways (as yesterday’s post explained so eloquently) that wearing sizes above 2, or 4, or 6 or whatever is really unacceptable. Sure, that sounds crazy to folks working from a FA perspective. And as someone who’s been wearing vintage dresses for well over a decade because modern clothes just don’t fit, I really dig the admonishment to wear the kind of clothes that are meant for your body shape, not just sizes that fit. But breaking out of the sanctioned style bubble is hard and scary, especially given the judgment women’s appearances are subjected to. I guess it’s boring to hate your body the same old way for not being able to wear the same old “everybody”-else-wears-them clothes, but it’s totally understandable, too.

    I wonder, though, does this kind of defense of her run-of-the-mill self-hatred kind of dehumanize her? Is it more honest to just be bored without justifying the obviously anti-feminist, anti-FA, ant-body motivations behind the statement?

    Perhaps I would be able to see the boredom as something more neutral if I didn’t still sometimes feel a glimmering of kinship with this woman’s frustration.

  14. Wow…I mean, if it was some cool do-your-own-tailoring sort of workshop that would make sense, but this? No.

    I would LOVE to take a DIY tailoring class. That would actually be USEFUL. I’m proportioned so that “petite” length jeans are way too short and “regular” length jeans are way too long. Learning to tailor my own pants would save me a lot of hassle.

    Of course, then there’s also the expense of a sewing machine . . . *sigh* Someday . . . .

  15. Lorienczhiu: OMG yes! This revelation completely changed my life. It took me a long time, but I finally figured out that while yes, I WAS a size 2…when I was 12, I’m NOT now. And that’s not because my body is doing something wrong. It’s because I’m a grown-ass woman who isn’t a size 2 and that’s ok.

  16. Dear inhabitants of planet Earth: If you need a special class to make you like the fit of your jeans, YOU ARE WEARING THE WRONG JEANS.

    Also, if you have to lay down to get them on. My sister used to do this.

    Try a good fit, instead.

  17. I guess it’s boring to hate your body the same old way for not being able to wear the same old “everybody”-else-wears-them clothes, but it’s totally understandable, too.

    Obviously, I have sympathy for women who hate themselves the “same old way” — they’ve been sold a bill of goods, as have I, and that sucks. Part of what we do here is to point that out and work out ways we can combat it.

    But look, let’s be honest: self-hatred IS boring. Cookie cutter fashion is boring. Wanting to look like everyone else is totally understandable in our culture, but that doesn’t make it not boring.

  18. ^ Also if you use a coathanger, shoehorn, or crowbar to get them on and off. (Totally did that back in the day. What a waste of nerve endings!)

  19. This was my first thought upon reading that article. It is bizarre and quite frankly effed up to have a specific workout to fit an item of clothing. And the more I think about it, the more horrifying it becomes. We are not all fit models, and that’s OK!

    Though I’d be more terrified if it was for Urban Outfitters’ cigarette jeans. I actually got stuck in those in the dressing room for about 10 minutes. Apparently ‘cigarette’ stands for “if your legs are shaped like them and lack any sort of muscle definition”.

  20. Wow…I mean, if it was some cool do-your-own-tailoring sort of workshop that would make sense, but this? No.

    Ha! I think we should brainstorm some classes that WOULD help when your jeans don’t fit.

  21. Wow…I mean, if it was some cool do-your-own-tailoring sort of workshop that would make sense, but this? No.

    Right! Having read only the quote, without clicking the link, I thought it was going to be about how she learned to sew, or just attended some What Not to Wear-type class that taught her how to find a shape that flattered her. And I thought SM was objecting to the boringness of taking a class about jeans that fit — because, seriously? — not the nature of the class. Took me a few more lines to get the concept, at which point… *headdesk*

  22. Semi-OT, but the other day I was looking at a “plus size” clothing website and saw that they carried size 10. At which point I realized when I was a very ill teenager whose bones protruded all over my body, I was STILL a fatty fatterson plus size girl by some weird standard. It made me feel oddly a lot better–there really is NOTHING I could do to change this!

    I gave up on jeans after my second child was born. They didn’t work too well for me after the first kid (I gained 50 lbs during pregnancy, then lost it all in 2 weeks–holy belly flap, batman!) but the second kid was born via c-section and jeans just plain hurt. Then I realized they made me feel ugly and lumpy no matter what size I wore, so I switched to wearing skirts and other more flowing things. It seemed like sacrilege at first–EVERY modern woman must have JEANS, right? But I feel a lot better without them, honestly.

  23. Jessica Ordona sounds like a real piece of work.

    “I don’t like the fact that when you sit down, your stomach comes over them,” she says.

    I don’t like the phrase “the fact that.” What a sad goal in life. PhD? Happy, well-adjusted children? Save a piece of rainforest? Oh no! I want to sit down in jeans and not have my belly go over them!

  24. While I agree that this is totally asinine, it makes me more frustrated than disdainful. Yes, women have options other than jeans off the rack and there are creative people out there making outfits at all sizes. But what the hell are you supposed to do if you’re not one of those creative people? I mean yes, you can go over to the yoga pants rack instead of the jeans rack, but what if you don’t like yoga pants? What if you want to be stylish but you just do not know how? The best you can do is see what other people are wearing, or see what items the store puts on prominent display, and buy them. But these things are, of course, never sized for fats.

    Not to mention the other obstacles. I’ve got two children under the age of 3. I am seriously lucky if I can carve out two hours to go to the mall over the course of six months. Fashionable fats are the first ones to tell you that it sometimes takes WEEKS to put together an acceptable outfit. If you can’t just waltz into a store and buy whatever “boring” thing they are pushing at you, then you need the time and focus to learn a whole new skill set. Frankly, going to the gym is more realistic, even though it won’t work. My gym has child care. Thrift stores and sewing machines do not.

  25. @lauren argh, the skinny leg thing drives me crazy. I guess I must be an outlier even for my size, but like, the socks at Torrid are too small for my calves, for instance. Because I have muscles. I’m hardly an athlete, but dude, I’m big, and I walk around all the time. So thus, my body developed muscles to hold up my large frame. Seems logical, but I guess it’s not so obvious to designers.

    Same with my feet. A woman who is 300 lbs and 6 feet tall is well-advised to have large feet. But try finding anything dressy above a size 10. And then all the fat fashion plates that show the women shoving their feet into these tiny little Miss Piggy sandals, grrr.

  26. This is why clothes shopping can be a long, drawn out process for me. I refuse to buy something unless I like it and it looks good on me. When I was in high school, I would buy clothes that I didn’t really like because my plus size options were limited. I would tell myself “Oh, I’ll learn to like it.” If I tell myself I’ll learn to like something, I’ll never truly enjoy it. I stopped doing that this year; I’m much more selective about the clothes I buy. If I’m spending money on something, it better be worth my while.

    Don’t waste money on the class; just buy jeans (or any other article of clothing) that frickin’ fit you!.

  27. Nobody ever offered a “vintage style slacks workout”, which I think would have to involve swimming in a chin-strap bathing cap, playing golf and talking like Katherine Hepburn. (Making out with Spencer Tracy optional)

    I would love a tailoring class, simple alteraitons used to be a standard part of Home Ec classes, though you were at the mercy of the skill level of your teacher. My mother’s attempts to make things fit my waist (big hips, small waist = clothing difficulty) was to slap in some elastic, giving me the equivalent of old-lady “easy fit” jeans, only much more lumpy. Put me off getting things altered”.

    Recently, I took a job in an environment that required me to step up the dressiness a notch, and went out looking for dress pants. The best result was from buying one size “too big” and getting them taken in at the waist. It cost about $20 for the alterations at a local dry cleaners. Now I have two pairs of wide-legged suit pants that fit my waist and skim over my hips, I feel like Lauren Bacall when I wear them!

  28. Dude, I totally thought it was a class about learning to love the sknney jean, even if you don’t like them. Not an exercise class. How boring.

    Of course, I also do tailoring and mending and alterations in the Boston area- not just for fat women, or even just for women. There are people out there who can help you make that shirt you love but doesn’t quite fit right actually work for you. Or make the skirt you want desperately but can’t find in a store (I had someone offer to buy a skirt I made off my ass once. It was kind of awesome).

  29. I’ve just discovered stretch denim and I’m wearing jeans again for the first time in 20 years. Good timing, since I’m riding an ATV for work. I actually found some at LB that fit. I was very surprised, since I’m short and round. Nice! I was expecting to have to buy men’s pants and re-make them.

    Now for a bit of my uniform rant. Why can’t women’s uniform pants come in a size larger than 22? Men’s uniform pants come in every size under the sun, but the waist is always much too big. So, men can pick a pair off of the rack and I have to buy a pair, take apart the waist band, put in darts, elastic and pleats, re-attach the waist band and hem them. Do I get paid for this? No. Makes me feel like women aren’t welcome in my profession. Or at least not women over a certain size. Hrmph.

    Gimme a denim skirt and a tank top and I’m good to go.

  30. ooh…redhairedgirl, you do professional alterations? I’m looking for someone in Boston who won’t charge me $40 just to hem a pair of jeans…

  31. Frankly, going to the gym is more realistic, even though it won’t work. My gym has child care. Thrift stores and sewing machines do not.

    I’m not arguing against going to the gym, and I’m also not saying that it’s easy to be a fashionable fat person for whatever value of “fashionable” you like. I’m saying that if you have the time and money to take a special exercise class whose sole purpose is to fit your ass into jeans that will not be trendy in six months’ time, you are doing the most boring thing with that time and money that I can possibly imagine. You’re welcome to disagree.

  32. $40 to hem a pair of jeans? Seriously? I do it for $10, $15 if something goes horribly wrong and it makes me cry (Yes, I do have a “it made me cry” surcharge. I’ve never needed to charge it yet).

    email me at redheadedgirl.boston at gmail and we’ll talk.

  33. Skinny jeans that fit skintight were ugly the first time they came around, and the second, and they’re still ugly now. When will fashion ever learn?

  34. Fashionable fats are the first ones to tell you that it sometimes takes WEEKS to put together an acceptable outfit.

    Can’t say I’ve ever heard anything like that. Are you sure you’re not thinking of straw fats?

  35. @ Annie – yes! rock being a grown-ass woman!

    The only time I ever bought tiny little jeans was when I was in the middle of seriously disordered eating. I probably hadn’t eaten a real meal all summer was was getting used to getting light-headed on a daily basis, but hey! I was a size 3!

    For the next ten YEARS, when I was, you know, not starving, I would get so angry at myself when I failed to be that size, to fit clothes the same way. “Acceptable” went from 3 to 8 to 12 and back down, but it was always, always smaller than whatever size I actually fit into that time.

    So fuck that, and fuck “fixing” my body (through yoga classes*, starvation, whatever). It’s not goddamn broken.

    Also, I would sign up for a class on how to turn all those too-small pants I bought into something awesome and less shame-inducing than a pile of jeans that don’t fit in the back of my closet. Sundress? Cute skirt? Denim patchwork OVERALLS? I am so there.

    *I’m not hating on yoga, but the point of yoga is not to fit into jeans I don’t like anyway, or render me the “right” size.

  36. I do like my skinny jeans, but I usually have to buy ‘em a size bigger than normal trousers or skirts. The reactions I get to this are ridiculous, “But you’re NEVER a size 14!!!???” Well, uh, yeah, I apparently am.

  37. what’s killing me today is the sheer fucking drabness of a world where people are convinced that instead of thinking creatively about how to dress, they should pay money to sculpt their asses

    Methinks you’ve failed to understand the importance of getting buns of steel.

  38. Hah! I thought it was a sewing class, too. I was really hoping there might be a class out there on good ways to tailor jeans. I’ve taken some tailoring classes, but they tend to concentrate on fancier clothes than I’m ever likely to put on (I’m the What Not To Wear victim before Clinton and Stacy rush in… you know, oversized fleece and yoga pants for all occasions). I’m quite handy with a sewing machine and make a lot of home type things, mostly because they’re outrageously expensive to purchase. Slipcovering is easy though, because shape of a couch is the shape of a couch and, unlike my waist, doesn’t change when the couch sits down, you know?

    As for the actual article. Man… I love exercise and I think fashion is a fine thing for those that like it, but seriously? A class just to fit in some jeans? There really are days when I seriously wonder if there isn’t a conspiracy to distract women so that men can keep ruling the world.

  39. There really are days when I seriously wonder if there isn’t a conspiracy to distract women so that men can keep ruling the world.

    It’s not a conspiracy: it’s out in the open!

  40. “Methinks you’ve failed to understand the importance of getting buns of steel.”

    Hahahaha. I used to do the Buns of Steel video. Didn’t do anything for me except make my butt really, really sore. Then again, I wasn’t wearing jeans at the time. I was living in Russia in the mid-90s, and women couldn’t afford jeans then. There’s another thought—the privilege of being able to BUY jeans in the first place. Hmph.

  41. I just bought some skinny jeans, and while they are, like all jeans in that style, too small for my thighs, I like them. I dropped a size in the last year, and at my larger size, skinny jeans were too small in the thighs. Thing is, when I dropped a size, the pants that fit me also decreased in size, so I was putting a slightly smaller me of roughly the same shape as before into slightly smaller pants of roughly the same shape as before. They fit exactly the same way as they did before.

  42. SM, you’re right… we’ve been had by a ploy that’s only half a step more sophisticated than “hey, look, you’re shoe is untied”

  43. I do like my skinny jeans, but I usually have to buy ‘em a size bigger than normal trousers or skirts.

    And it seems like this class is entirely designed to prevent the tragedy of having to buy one item of clothing in a size bigger than what you think you should wear.

  44. And this is why I’m trying to teach myself how to sew.

    Screw you fashion industry, I’m playing by my rules now!

  45. Learning to sew isn’t a priority in my life at the moment, so I choose to screw the fashion industry by shopping at Goodwill. I get a real sense of satisfaction from knowing said industry is not getting any of my cash. Plus, I like to spend as little as possible on things I don’t actually care about.

  46. Me three on nudism. Even at a nudist colony, though, you do have to have a robe or a sweatshirt with you all the time. You know, to cover your chairs for hygiene reasons, and so you don’t get scratched by brambles.

    I don’t know why I know this, but I do.

  47. On the one hand, YES.

    On the other hand, sometimes I really really want to wear a trend despite the fact that it looks really wonky on me. Or I really want to wear a trend and I can’t find it anywhere in a way that fits me well, so I end up buying it in a way that fits me not-well (Old Navy boyfriend jeans, I am looking at you). But when that happens, my options are make it work, or give up. Not “exercise until it looks better.” (Unless there is some kind of magic exercise that can make me taller, in which case I might consider signing up.)

  48. Can I come with you, SugarLeigh? Life would be so much easier if we didn’t have to worry about clothes.

    I love love love the knit denim jeans at J. Jill. They don’t carry them in plus sizes, which I fail to comprehend, but the 18 fits me. These are only “denim” in name, cut, and dye job, they aren’t durable like real denim, but oh my gods they are comfortable. Fat shifts and moves around when we move. Soft stretchy fabrics move with our fat. Ergo, fat people will probably be comfortable in the knit jeans and, y’know, buy them. This isn’t rocket science, J. Jill!

    Perhaps we could start an emailing campaign? “Dear J. Jill, you are totally missing out on the plus size market with your knit jeans. We want these soft stretchy jeans that will fit our curves! Love & kisses, The Fatosphere.”

    Re: tailoring – My mom is pretty good at sewing and tailoring. I keep asking her to teach me clothes-fu, but life keeps getting in the way. *sigh* She’s currently altering some denim cropped pants for me so that they will be capri length and fit my waist. (I bought them knowing they would need alteration, but the fact that the butt, hips, and thighs fit me darn near perfectly made the tailoring time worth it, IMO.) The finished pair is made of awesome! She managed to put in elastic that doesn’t look like crap. For once I have non-stretchy pants that don’t fall down when I stand or dig into my waist when I sit! Amazing.

  49. Exercise because it makes you feel good. Work out because it gives you endorphine highs, keeps your heart going, lowers blood pressure, lowers stress, and keeps you standing upright. Keeps you standing, period!
    Walk, run, do yoga, pilates, chase your kids, swing from the monkey bars, lift heavy objects.
    Please, PLEASE! DO NOT work out in order to fit into skinny jeans!!!!!!!!!

    (I do know one instructor who teaches the Skinny Jeans workout. But she has been teaching pilates and yoga for 30 years, and she ALWAYS emphasises alignment, injury prevention and health, rather than fat burn and “looking good in a bikini.”)

  50. Those blogs made me wish I had sewing skills and the time to utilize them.

    I used to torture myself when I would fit into a size at one store, but not fit into the same size in a different store (or heck, in the same store in a different pair of pants!), as though my body should conform to whatever clothes I happened to try on.

    I can’t believe I lived that way for as long as I did. I can’t believe this woman actually went to these lengths for one pair of pants.

  51. I wonder how much of the rhetoric in the class is focused on fitting in to your oh-so-trendy jeans. Because minus that, the description of what they’re actually doing sounds pretty good. Helping to fix my back and my alignment after I sit at the computer all day? Yes please! So I can wear certain clothes? NO THANK YOU.

  52. @Meryt Bast: Even if this is minority opinion, I like me some skinny jeans. Took a while for me to think that–I was very anti-trend for the last year (two years? when did this start?!) but I tried one particular pair on and fell in love! Wearing them now, in fact.

    Which is all to say: Follow your own rainbow on this, but don’t go around saying everyone looks bad in something. Not helpful to me, to you, or to FA, IMO. When I feel good and comfy and confident, I am not fishing for compliments. Just wearin’ clothes. (I’m no Stacy-and-Clinton-“What Not to Wear” fan. I wear skinny jeans and pencil skirts as a pear and I love it.)

  53. shape of a couch is the shape of a couch and, unlike my waist, doesn’t change when the couch sits down

    Now I’m wondering “what would a couch sit on if it wanted to relax?”

    My mind is an odd place sometimes.

    DRST

  54. Wow…I mean, if it was some cool do-your-own-tailoring sort of workshop that would make sense, but this? No.

    Ha! I think we should brainstorm some classes that WOULD help when your jeans don’t fit.

    How to Hem
    Dare to Dart
    Shopping for Clothes that Fit
    Finding a Tailor
    Beyond Jeans: Slacks, Skirts, and Dresses

    When I was in high school, I would buy clothes that I didn’t really like because my plus size options were limited. I would tell myself “Oh, I’ll learn to like it.” If I tell myself I’ll learn to like something, I’ll never truly enjoy it.

    Me too! I used my size as my winnower, not what actually looked good or that I liked to wear. *headdesk*

    Fashionable fats are the first ones to tell you that it sometimes takes WEEKS to put together an acceptable outfit.

    Can’t say I’ve ever heard anything like that. Are you sure you’re not thinking of straw fats?

    Or superize fats. I had a few years where the ONLY place I could buy bottoms in my size was Casual Male, which meant a) drawstring “active pants” or b) serious alterations.

    Or I could order online, try on, send it back when it doesn’t fit. Or maybe forget to send it back and wear it anyway.

    This is why I don’t bother trying to be a fashionable fat. I have too much trouble trying to even fucking find business casual clothing that fits. (And yes, I KNOW folks on the FatoSphere complain about all they can find is business casual. It’s all too fucking SMALL.)

    Fuck the whole thing, I want to join a nudist colony.

    If I didn’t have so many contact allergies and a rack of doom, I’d be right there with you.

  55. At first I all I was going to say was, Intransigentia didn’t like the fit of her jeans, so she pulled out her old sewing books and researched online and got a sewing machine and patterns and fabric and more patterns and more fabric and started learning pattern drafting and still doesn’t have jeans that fit quite how she’d like, but at least she’s learning and having fun.

    But wow, holy privilegepants, Batman. I have the time to sew every once in a while; the money to have developed a pattern/fabric/machine stash; the space to store it and work in; the physical ability to do the work; and the math/geometry confidence to alter things willy-nilly. Plus I’m not sized out of plus-sized brick-and-mortar retailers, so I do still have stuff to wear until I get actually good at making my own stuff.

  56. So I did not click to the article and therefore did not realize that the class being referred to was an exercise class. My first thought was, “Hey, SM, what is wrong with a class that teaches women how to love their bodies more, even when wearing jeans?”

    Here’s how FA is starting to mold my brain: I actually assumed that CNN might be covering a class to help people love their bodies. :)

  57. @Laurakeet, I’m with you. I like skinny jeans. I get that everyone doesn’t, but I think I dress myself in flattering clothing and generally like how I look. I know many people who don’t like skinny jeans, but that doesn’t mean they look terrible on everyone.

    Also, I love your username.

  58. Redhairedgirl, I’m also near Boston, and I’d love to find a reasonably-priced tailor who is understanding about fat and body image stuff. (I think body acceptance is a really good idea, but I’m not very good at it yet.)

    In addition the sewing classes suggested above for “a class to address the issue of disliking the fit of one’s jeans,” it might be a class in finding clothes that flatter your body type. Or a feminist class about how beauty standards oppress women. Or a class about how to use meditation or self-hypnosis to feel better about oneself.

  59. I’m agreeing with KC here: I thought the class sounded like a great idea after hunching over my desk all day. If, and this is a big IF, the focus is on feeling good not on looking good in a pair of jeans.

  60. Dressy shoes larger than a size ten–no problem! i have worn a size eleven for 20 years, and sometimes need a 11.5. Zappos has plenty of shoes in sizes larger than that and various widths, too. With free shipping and returns, I order a bunch and return what doesn’t fit, just as if I were in a store.
    Nordstrom’s, of course, has many larger sizes, too….

    Lane Bryant’s Right Fit jeans deserve a shout out. I am tall and round-butted and for the first time in my life, I have a pair of perfectly comfortable (because they fit) jeans–the Blue flares. I get tons of compliments, too. They come in short, regular and tall, and three body styles–straight, curvy and in between. The quality is good, and the price is OK!

  61. “I wonder how much of the rhetoric in the class is focused on fitting in to your oh-so-trendy jeans. Because minus that, the description of what they’re actually doing sounds pretty good. Helping to fix my back and my alignment after I sit at the computer all day? Yes please! So I can wear certain clothes? NO THANK YOU.”

    Yeah that’s what gets me–it actually sounds like a really good class, but one that I could never, ever set foot in because of its focus. Geez, body haters, do you have to ruin EVERYTHING?

  62. @The Intransigent One – My current skill level is at mending tears and an occasional pants hem.

    I recently impressed myself by successfully shortening the straps on a sundress to not show my bra. Next up is getting a friend to help pin so I can hem it. The cut of the dress and my apple shape make the dress very much shorter in front, which looks very pregnant, which I’m not. So.

  63. “It dawned on me a few years ago that I could just say no to jeans. I love the look of jeans, but I can’t stand wearing them. They’re too tight, too loose, cruel to my midriff, etc. To heck with them. Yoga pants and palazzo pants rock!”

    Oh yes. I had that moment about a year ago, and since then, only pants with stretch waists for me. Oh so much more comfortable.

  64. If you don’t like something, you can either change it or learn to live with it. Personally, I don’t think one approach is inherently better or less boring than the other.

    However, if you find that you can’t change something or that repeated failed efforts to change something are making you miserable, then learning to live with it certainly becomes the best path forward.

    We’re talking about weight and body size in this thread but surely this goes for anything in life.

    What’s that old saying: “grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change; the courage to change the things I can; and the wisdom to know the difference”.

    That said, it’s a totally asinine article. I love pilates but calling it “skinny jeans workout” is just marketing schlock and CNN should be ashamed of itself for giving them free publicity.

    I blame CNN’s news values and the cynical marketing tactics of the gym rather than an individual who is trying to tone up.

  65. Hello! Yes, clothing should fit your body, not the other way around. It took me until last year to realize that I just don’t look good in tailored pants. Jeans, khakis, trousers, etc, just do not really work on my shape. So, instead of trying to mold my body into a shape it doesn’t want to be, I have a wardrobe of flowy, loose pants, skirts, and dresses.

    I look good, I’m comfy, and I don’t stand in front of the mirror hating what I see when I try to wear something that would be cute on someone else. Because I’m not that someone else it would be totally cute on, I’m me. So, y’all can have all the pants. I don’t need ‘em.

  66. Now I’m wondering “what would a couch sit on if it wanted to relax?”

    I asked this question out loud to my girlfriend, and she immediately replied “A chair! DUH!” So there ya go.

    I can’t even begin to think about the article. I already have a headache…

  67. The girl needs some Etsy. Stat.

    You alter the clothes to fit you. You do *not* alter *yourself* to fit the clothes.

  68. Here is the thing: If an exercise class changes how your pants fit, it’s not because it changed the shape of your body. Maybe you gained some muscle and lost some fat, so your ass is a little bit smaller. But it’s still your ass. It’s the same shape your ass is and was always meant to be. So it’s not that you were wearing the wrong kind of pants.

    Just the wrong size.

    And as we all know, the quickest and cheapest solution to that is either A) have the pants altered or B) buy the right size in the first damn place.

  69. @living400lbs – If the dress has a waist seam, the easiest/best way to do it may be to take the back of it up in the waist instead of hemming it around the bottom, especially if there is any kind of a hem treatment like a ruffle or some kind of trim, or if the fabric has a pattern.

  70. Oh and hey, whoever gave the shout-out to the Right Fit jeans, they are also available at Fashion Bug and Catherine’s, and in trousers suitable for office wear, so that women of nearly all sizes can find pants that fit for nearly all occasions.

    But even the Blue doesn’t fit me. It still puts my waist and hip measurements two or three sizes apart.

    It’s not their fault, I mean, okay, if I wear pants that fit in the waist and the hips, I have to have a zipper about 4-6″ longer than standard or add an extra hidden one into the side seam, because otherwise the garment doesn’t open wide enough to pull up over my hips.

  71. I was 37 before it suddenly dawned on me that the thing I hated most about my body was not the body itself, which was pretty awesome in its own unique way, but was the fact I found it nearly impossible to find clothes that fitted me properly. And this had been as much the case when I was a size 12 as when I was a size 22. All of a sudden I had this epiphany that I had wasted so much of my life thinking there was a problem with my lovely functioning natural body – short-waist, big hips and all – rather than that there was a problem with the off-the-rack clothes that simply weren’t designed in a way to fit and flatter my body.

  72. Once again, SP is full of awesome timing! I just recently wrote a couple of posts about my buying jeans for the first time in well, ever! I was another one who had the “oh no I’m a size 12 and size 12 jeans don’t fit me therefore I cannot buy jeans” mindset. Yeah screw that.

    Being that I’m super-short, the jeans I bought were way too long, but I followed the instructions over at Unapologetically Fat to hem them and I was so excited with the results I’ve been showing people ever since. No really. Its kind of sad :D

    Someone also posted a link to indiDenim, who custom make jeans to (from what I could see) fairly big sizes. Kind of expensive though, but I think if you can afford it and love jeans, it could be worth it.

  73. I cringe a little to think of the years I spent, the time I wasted and the damage I did to myself trying to fit into a certain size, or certain style of clothes. Even now, I get twinges about skinny jeans: I couldn’t wear them in the 80s the first time around and won’t wear them now (the difference is actually kind of empowering–at first it was like some invisible fashion police telling me no; then I realized, wait–I don’t like them, they’re not comfortable, and I have other options. So I’m stressing over this why?). I like to work out and lift heavy and you know what? My butt and hips won’t go away, and I no longer want them to. I may still have to learn to sew to get stuff that fits them, however. Grr.

    @Auds: I know! The class itself sounded great, but I too would have to boycott on name alone. Seriously.

  74. To those commenting on the skinny jeans in the 80s:
    My teenage foster sister landed herself in the ER using a clothes hanger to zip her jeans. *shudder*

    I also have given up on jeans, and pants in general (although I usually wear leggings under my skirts) because I was always uncomfortable in them. It’s been about 3 years since i made that decision and it really has made a difference in how i view clothes and how I feel about my body in them, both for the better.

  75. Another shout-out to Right-Fit jeans at Lane Bryant/Fashion Bug, but they really need a “super-curvy”. I get the curvy in the smallest size that comfortably goes over my thighs and hips (I could do with a little looser, but it’s ok), and the waist is still too big. I shouldn’t be able to fit my fist in my waistband when it’s zipped up. And these are the best-fitting jeans I’ve ever had. I could get them altered, but I have no idea where to go and the last time my husband went to a random place to alter jeans they came back looking *horrid*. I guess I could wear things that are not jeans (and I do) but I do a lot of hiking and camping and I need them for the durability. So, I just deal.

    I hate the clothing industry, it really needs to figure out how to fit people.

  76. My salesgirl/Jeans Expert self is fuming over this.

    You need to figure out what style and size works for you, and GO WITH IT. I’m short with skinny legs, a long torso, big hips, a belly, and a rack o’ doom. Skinny jeans make me look like an emo boy, looser jeans make me look bigger in the thighs. Methinks the midrise flared jean should do it, and it does. Problem solved.

  77. I’m with Nicole.
    Here’s the fantasy article starting with that caption as the lede:
    Well Rounded-Type-Two disliked the fit of her jeans, so she signed up for a class she says addressed the issue.
    A shopping/sewing/self-esteem class offered by the local community college teaches women how to shop for jeans that fit, how to alter jeans that don’t, and how to feel good about themselves no matter what size they wear.
    “Before the class, I bought the wrong size jeans,” said Ms. Rounded-Type-Two, wearing a size 4 petite Right Fit Jeans from Lane Bryant. “When we took them back to the sewing studio to hem them, I realized my life would be changed forever.”
    One of the best aspects of the class, according to Ms. Rounded-Type-Two, was the professional photos taken of her and her classmates in their jeans. “I decided to wear only my jeans,” she said, giggling. “It looked like a high fashion photo shoot!”
    “I realized how great all the other women looked when they wore a size and shape that fit properly. Now I want to go up to women who are wearing jeans that don’t fit right, and whisper, ‘there’s a class you should take.’ “

  78. Someone profited by convincing you to put on the jeans in the first place; don’t let someone profit off the fact that they don’t fit you now that you have them.

    This is what gets me. I swear that if women ever started liking themselves, the economy would collapse.

  79. Can’t say I’ve ever heard anything like that. Are you sure you’re not thinking of straw fats?

    Wow. I’m sorry that the people I know in real life apparently don’t exist? Many of my fashionable fat friends sew their own clothes, or alter the things they buy. Between the task of finding and choosing pieces and coordinating items that match and fit, and actually altering them, it often takes them weeks. Obviously not weeks of 24/7 work, but 3 hours of shopping one day, 3 hours of shopping a couple of days later, some sewing here and there, some more time shopping…packaged all together, yes, it does take them a while. They are my friends. They talk to me. I witness their lives.

    Straw fats. How fucking rude and unnecessary. You really could have stopped after the first sentence and your disagreement would have been clearly made. You did not have to imply that I was making things up in order to disagree with me.

  80. Can you imagine if this takes off what people’s schedules will look like? Monday at 6pm Skinny Jeans Fitnesss Class Tuesday at 7pm High heels-ercize etc etc

    On a plus (hehe) note, today I went shopping for the first time since delving into FA and the only reason buying something in the biggest I ever bought was a big deal was because it would have been a big deal in a very different way 6 months ago!

  81. And while I wouldn’t personally take a class like this, no, it’s not the most boring thing I can think of. I would do it myself if it actually worked. Not because I hate my body or because my body needs changing or because I must bed to the will of the folks who produce jeans, whoever the hell hey are – but because if it worked, I’d finally have a targeted item to buy and would be able to spend like 98% less time shopping. (Obviously this is not the POV of the woman in the article, though.)

  82. @randomquorum – that’s basically the method I use to hem my jeans, but I only use it as a temporary hem until I can get them done professionally.

  83. I hope I’m not the only one who finds the “______ doesn’t look good on ANYBODY” meme annoying. I happen to think that in general, fat women can rock the skinny jeans just as hard as skinny women can.

  84. I don’t get the skinny jeans trend. I’ve always been more partially to stretchy, wide-leg, foldover at the hips black pants people workout in. I’m such a slob. I can be found in the club dancing in those pants and a light t-shirt. Of course, I dance for 2 hours or more at a time so yeah, I like to be comfy.

  85. @ Stacy,

    I, too, was all ‘pshaw’ aboout your statement that it takes weeks to pull an outfit together… and then I remembered that fabulous Eileen Fisher skirt I’ve had in my closet for three years. Beautiful, beautiful skirt, and it doesn’t go with anything else I own, but every time I go shopping I still hope that I will finally find a top in the perfect cut and colour and I will have achieved the holy grail of coordination: style + colour +fit. ( Oh, but then I’ll have to find the right shoes!)
    Or I could just dye my top half with India-ink (woad isn’t a good match, colour-wise) and brazen it out.

  86. I haven’t worn jeans since I was 17 (I’m 44 now) and had the epiphany that I just didn’t LIKE jeans and didn’t feel comfortable in them and didn’t look good in them. I don’t like pants at all; I started wearing skirts and dresses in high school and never looked back. You’d be surprised at how many people are SHOCKED that I don’t have a pair of jeans, and then I can practically see them thinking, “Oh, she’s probably too fat to wear jeans.” Whatever. My issue now is finding something practical and comfortable to wear for hiking. I used to wear running tights (great because they are good to sweat in) and long t-shirts, but I’d really like something more protective these days. Any ideas?

  87. Skinny jeans are awesome, and wearing them was a small but significant part of my body acceptance process last year. Because they have no shape; they’re just stretchy tubes of straight-cut fabric. The shape they become when you put them on is just the shape of your legs. They don’t hide your flaws. They don’t promise to balance out the width of your hips, like bootcut jeans (which, by the way, only look good with boots or heels), or skim over your unsightly fat, like wide-leg trousers. I remember shopping for jeans as a teenager, during the height of the comeback of flares….I would look at myself in the dressing room mirror, at the jeans that gapped at the waist, strangled my butt and thighs, and then ballooned out to tree trunks below my knees, and were ALWAYS too long. And I thought, “I’m so sick of trying to make my ass look less giant. I have a big ass. Adding a bunch of extra fabric around the calves is not going to change that.” I’m proud today to wear my skinny jeans with my favorite ballet flats, and to show my legs for what they are: short, thick, and adorable.

  88. dear sweet machine: this post might have the highest awesomeness-to-word-count ratio ever, also the best post title i have maybe ever seen. linked it like a boss.

  89. Something I’ve never understood is even though I’m a petite person, I seem to have big calves. It’s really weird, but I’ve always had trouble fitting into most boots over my ankles, especially if they have laces or zippers. Which is unfortunate, because I adore funky fashion and while sure, I can make my own clothes and have-how do I make my own knee hi doc martens? It’s also sort of funny, because the problem is probably the fact that my feel are so small that I wear kids’ shoes (a size three and a half or four!), so obviously my legs are going to be bigger than most children’s are. (And yet this is the first time that I’ve realised what the problem is-I have child sized feet, but adult everything else-it’s not my body’s fault that I’m a womyn!) But it still sucks… Because damn it, people with small feet need high-heeled rockin’ fetish boots for nerdy conventions too!!!

  90. Ha! I think we should brainstorm some classes that WOULD help when your jeans don’t fit.

    Accepting Loss 101: How To Toss The Damn Tiny Pants
    Making Rugs Out Of Everyday Materials

    I signed up for yoga today, yay! My main reason in choosing ths particular class was that the description made no mention whatsoever of body shape or weight-loss.

  91. I was writing about this just a couple of weeks ago – from my perspective of hating jeans, so I’m a bit biased. :) But I think what I was fuming at was skinny jeans as a symbol and tool of weight oppression, not jeans that fit.

    It’s the idea that the body should fit the jeans that infuriates me, and that it is such a transparent scare tactic to keep women buying product, but so many women buy into it, hook line and sinker.

    I like to sew, but I spend most of my time making costumes – I rarely get around to actual clothes making, except for alterations. I buy lots of things at the thrift, and alter to fit – this also works because a lot of thrift clothes are from older women, and not only larger (so easier to alter to fit), but made of nicer materials (due to older women being in more “exective”-type jobs where I live, not implying that teenagers don’t like nice clothes). I have (and have always had) a very curvy hourglass figure with big boobs and hips, so jeans are not for me – I’ve hated them since I was forced to wear them as a kid. They make me feel dumpy and frumpy. Give me a great belly-skimming pair of draped linen pants any day!

  92. “Methinks you’ve failed to understand the importance of getting buns of steel.”

    Can never have enough fridge magnets stuck to your ass.

    Skinny jeans are so…meh. I want bell bottoms back, and natural waists.

  93. “… I seem to have big calves. It’s really weird, but I’ve always had trouble fitting into most boots over my ankles, especially if they have laces or zippers.”

    ME TOO. ME TOO ME TOO. AND I HATE IT.

    My calves seem to be a little smaller now, and I actually have been able to find a couple of pairs of mid-calf and knee-high boots that do the trick, but when I was in high school and college, it just would not happen. And I loved tall boots so much that I would wear them anyway, even though I couldn’t zip them or tie them all the way. In hindsight it looked a little ridiculous. The worst part was that my calves were just big enough not to fit any normal boots, but still too small for the special wide-calf boots (which I thought were all ugly anyway).

    Part of the reason for it, I think, is because I was a pretty compulsive exerciser in high school and college, so it was probably all solid muscle. Now I’m not nearly as active, so I’m sure the reason for the drop in size is a loss of muscle mass. Which just goes to show another reason why exercising for an article of clothing is ridiculous. Your particular body in its most toned state still might not conform to what is necessary to wear certain clothes. You may look freaking awesome, of course, but that still doesn’t guarantee that the skinny jeans or the knee-high boots will fit right.

    If you’re going to go to that length to shape yourself up, you should do it, see what you look like in the end, and then see what fits and what looks good. That way, you might actually be pleasantly surprised to find, “Hey, I never thought I could wear these/I never even considered these before, they look really cool now,” instead of, “Fuck I’m STILL too fat for skinny jeans.” Glass half full.

  94. And so begins the effort to turn “unique” into a meaningless word that means “just like everyone else”

  95. Count me in with the “huge calves, can’t wear boots” set. Once I actually got a pair of cheap boots and attempted to modify them to fit my calves. However, my design/alteration skills were even worse then than they are now, and 1) I didn’t work, and the boots still barely fit my calves, and 2) the boots ended up looking ridiculous.

    This thread has also reminded me of a friend of my who recently posted to her LiveJournal about how she could finally fit into Express jeans. Like, many of her friends in college and beyond are able to, and she never had the shape for it, and she has finally gotten herself into a particular shape that fits these pants. I was so sad to read her post. They’re jeans. She’s in a top-tier law school, and her point of personal pride is getting into Express jeans.

    Then again – I also found that I can “finally get into Express jeans” – as long as I quit trying to cram myself into the women’s sizes and just go for the men’s pairs. Case in point: fit the jeans to you, not the other way around.

  96. The skinny jeans bashing here makes me uncomfortable. Why? Because I think it’s that “fat girls can’t wear X” stigma that most of us (even the thin ones) internalize, being flipped around to “Well if only skinny people can wear X then it sucks!”
    It isn’t true that fat girls and women can’t wear skinny jeans. Modern skinny jeans aren’t even supposed to be tight in the body, but to have a particular leg silhouette (snug in the thigh and calves with a narrow, but not tapered, leg opening). In the right size and with the right cut, anybody could wear them.
    It doesn’t mean you have to like them, of course. And the right size and cut might be hard to come by. But they aren’t the same as 80s skinny jeans, and they can actually fit a variety of body types.

  97. Aaaand I just realized people might be talking about the “I wish I still fit in my size 4 jeans!” skinny jeans. Unlike any particular style, clothes that are too small never fit. Um, sorry for the mini rant. I don’t change sizes a lot, and I burn through jeans in about 6 months, so it isn’t the first thing I think of.
    Skinny jeans (trendy)- good/neutral.
    Skinny jeans (too small)- bad.

  98. I hope I’m not the only one who finds the “______ doesn’t look good on ANYBODY” meme annoying. I happen to think that in general, fat women can rock the skinny jeans just as hard as skinny women can.

    I totally agree. Remember, “tiny pants” is actually a metaphor, not a euphemism for skinny jeans.

  99. and this is why i never wear pants. well, unless you count leggings, yoga pants, long johns, and sweats, but that’s only when sleeping, bumming around the house, and layered under skirts in colder temperatures.

    i partially blame the weird private elementary school i went to that didn’t allow jeans; no big cos i was a high femme child in the 90’s and dresses and leggings worked just fine for me. but ever since puberty my thighs deflate and spread out when i sit down, making tailored pants difficult – plus i have a very high waist, hips that appear large and curvy but measure small compared to my waist, a small yet round butt, and need the petite length even though i’m 5’7″. i took to wearing men’s pants until sophomore year of high school, when even my dickies started biting my thighs in certain positions. then i made them all into skirts and have never looked back. i think i wore the same diy jean skirt nearly every day when i was 17.

    recently i took a gamble wit some delias skinny-but-actually-straight-leg jeans on clearance, but i think they’re too big, still sag in the crotch and slip off the back, but i fear the next smaller size will greatly restrict my movement. fuck that. i’ll take my altered carhartts with insets on the sides so i can climb things and big manly pockets so i don’t need a purse any day. i also wear the waistband of stuff on my bottom half on my hips, below the muffin top. oh the horror. and by horror i mean no more belly-biting squirmy discomfort, and hello curvy bits!

  100. What I find so funny is how anybody might think that every trend is going to look good on them, and there’s something wrong with them if it doesn’t. It won’t. And, that’s fine. Yes, if you want to always wear whatever jeans happen to be most fashionable at the moment, you’ll probably have times when the jeans that are in fashion don’t fit your body well. If you look at fashion throughout history, there have been styles that would have fit people with very curvy figures better, styles that would have fit people with very slender and straight figures better, styles that fit people with big boobs better, styles that fit people with small boobs better, etc. It does seem like skinny jeans are going to fit certain body types better than others, but that’s not an indictment of anybody’s body type. It just means that there are rarely trends that work for everybody.

    And, it can be a pain when jeans that don’t fit your body well are in style, even if you don’t want to wear them, because they do seem to take over. Very low-rise jeans do not work well on my body: I tend to end up with pants that are clingy around my hips and thighs and butt but then too big around the “waistband”. And I do remember a few years ago having it be an enormous pain to find jeans that didn’t stop right above my hip bones, but I’d usually manage to find a couple of pairs that worked, and in the last few years that’s really changed, and it’s much, much easier now to find jeans with a rise that is more comfortable for me.

    But there wasn’t a problem with either low-rise jeans (which are just a style of clothing, and seem to fit some people really well) or with my body. It was just a problem with a particular style on my particular body. I tend to think there’s nothing wrong with skinny jeans AND there’s nothing wrong with a body that doesn’t fit well into skinny jeans. It’s unrealistic to expect that every trend will fit your body, and it’s silly to think there’s something wrong with your body for not fitting every trend.

  101. On a side note, I’m really jealous of how many fatshionistas look amazing in their skirts and dresses, because I am SO not a skirt/dress person. I wish I was, because I think skirts and dresses look adorable, especially on fat women. But it’s just so not me, for some reason.

    I’ve been a relatively stable size for a long time, so I haven’t had the problem of having a closet full of clothes that don’t fit, but I have had the problem of buying clothes that just aren’t “me” but hanging on to them in the hopes that one day I’d magically find them comfortable. I finally, a few months ago, purged my closet of the cute skirts and dresses that I have had hanging in my closet for years and years but literally only worn once or twice, and, when I did wear them, immediately came home and put on jeans. I gave some to a friend who does wear skirts, and some to Goodwill, but for some reason it was really hard to hand some of them over. I would love to be the woman rocking the cute skirt, but that’s just not me. And, honestly, now I feel much better having those clothes out of my closet, because they were just an attempt to fit myself into a mold that isn’t for me, even if I did fit into the clothes, in a literal sense.

  102. Right on, it is true that the problem is with the clothing, not you. Consider the difference between sizing in men and womens clothing for example.

    Clothes for men for the most part are tailor made to fit a man’s body. If they can’t find something in their size, they can find dpeartment store specialty sizing or go a big and tall store. The clothing manufacturers generally use all the same measurements so a man usually knows what he is going to get from one store to another. And there is usually no shame involved.

    Compare this to womens clothes. Women’s clothing is tailored based on some fashion designers idea of what a woman’s size should be. They then create a sample based based on this one ideal, or they use a model’s measurements, and then they then base all of their clothing lines on this one particular body frame and then say it should apply to all women across the board. And since every desingner uses different models, the sizing varies. So what is a size 14 in one store is a size 12 in another. So instead of having the clothes tailored to fit us, we are told we have to “tailor” ourselves to fit the clothes, and then we are told in society that we are crap and that something is wrong with us just because we don’t fit into their clothes.

    And heaven forbit they design clothes to actually fit our bodies. Who ever heard of such a thing, why its just deplorable, we can’t have fatties looking good, then they will stay fat and they won’t lose the weight to fit into our clothes, and we can’t have fat women in our society thats just unacceptable.

    I’m paraphrasing here of course, but you get the idea.

  103. “Dear inhabitants of planet Earth: If you need a special class to make you like the fit of your jeans, YOU ARE WEARING THE WRONG JEANS.”

    This is WAY too logical.

  104. OMG. I haven’t even read all the comments and I’m sure I’m repeating things but it makes me CRAZY when people need a class or a diet because they don’t like the fit of their clothes. As you all say, CHANGE YOUR CLOTHES THEN!

    God. I’ve heard things like “I like how clothes fit me better when I’m a size 2 than a size 4″. It’s so stupid. It’s like, SO BUY A SIZE 4 when you’re a size 4! Or even *gasp* ignore the label and just wear whatever fits.

    I do NOT “like how clothes fit me” better at size 10 than size 14. I do, being part of this society, AND having some fears about health or about the slippery slope of how-fat-will-i-get, still feel like it’s somehow better if I’m a 10 than a 14, but that’s my own crap to deal with. So I’m not saying I’m immune to this thinking. It just kills me when people try to pretend that’s not what it is, they minimize it like “oh I just want my jeans to fit better”. It’s just so stupid and illogical my mind is exploding. It’s hard enough to deal with my own stuff around this without having to address the stupidity of that, especially when it comes from people in my life who buy an entirely new wardrobe several times a year because they can afford it, so the financial implications of buying new clothes in another size if their weight changes aren’t even an issue.

    Ok. done ranting.

  105. Exercise is good though! They class actually sounds like a lot of fun. The gym probably is just selling it as the Skinny-Jeans class rather than the low-impact, pilates/yoga fusion it is because people have a clear understanding of what that means. Seriously guys, its Yogalates (which sounds delicious) not boot camp.

    I think the marketing is wrong, but I can’t blame the gym for this one. What they don’t mention is how often patrons asked for a tummy trimming class. The gym saw a need that was not being met and fulfilled it by rebranding something they probably already had. Its a smart economic choice for the company.

    It does, however, show a failing in society. The fact that there is a need for skinny jean class is straight up sad. But gyms are not in the position to offer therapy, so offering a class is the best they can do.

    Go ahead and flame me if you want, but we really can’t be mad at the gym for this one.

  106. @Electrogirl, I’d be with you on that write-in, I have spent an embarrassing amount of money at J. Jill, despite resentment over their “plus size tax.” They changed the fit of their jeans and jean-cut pants a while ago and it no longer works for me, hence the Levis ongoing experimentation.

  107. Keeks, I don’t think the idea is so much, how could a gym offer a class like that, because obviously they are in the business of making money and everyone here is aware of that.

    What people are taking issue with is that one should attend an exercise class, any exercise class, for the sole reason of fitting into a pair of pants.

  108. PS, I’m reminded of the time when I was trying on interview suits at Macy’s, had a 14 and a 16, and was perplexed by the fit of the 14 jacket, which was gapping a bit in the back but fit in the shoulders. A saleslady nearby oh-so-helpfully sneered, “it’s not the clothes, it’s YOU.”

    Uh, excuse me? Apparently I should apologize for failing to have the right body type to fit into Liz Claiborne’s suit.

    I was furious, but somehow I managed to find my way to customer service to give them a couple of helpful tips about how they might better consider serving their customers.

    PPS: I have most of my weight in my butt and thighs and have liked the fit (maybe not so much the price) of Jag plus jeans.

  109. It does, however, show a failing in society. The fact that there is a need for skinny jean class is straight up sad. But gyms are not in the position to offer therapy, so offering a class is the best they can do.

    Where on earth do you think this “need for skinny jean class” comes from? The gym is not separate from “society”: it is a part of society, and it is not profiting from something that exists in a vacuum. It is perpetuating misogyny and fatphobia as it profits from them. I’ll be as mad at the gym as I please, thank you.

  110. I really don’t think the gym owners are thinking, “Women out there are suffering because fashion often makes them feel bad about their bodies. What can we do to help?” and then come up, out of the goodness of their heart, with the idea that the best they can do is try to help women fit better into their jeans.

    They are both contributing to and profiting off of the very same body-hatred that the women in the article expressed. It’s not like the body-hatred came first and the gym just altruistically decided to do what it could about it. Personally, even if the workout were fabulous and empowering, I still wouldn’t feel okay about signing up for a class that was selling itself as a “skinny jeans” class. There are still, I’m sure, plenty of gyms out there that are calling their classes “pilates” and “core workouts” and focusing on core strength rather than jean size, and I’d much rather, if I were somebody who did my workouts at a gym, put my money towards those businesses.

  111. It does, however, show a failing in society. The fact that there is a need for skinny jean class is straight up sad. But gyms are not in the position to offer therapy, so offering a class is the best they can do.

    Yeah, that’s us, always ignoring the impact of society.

    Peepers, I interpreted Lesley’s post as being about how she is always on the lookout for good clothes that fit, and that putting together a wardrobe takes her more time than thinner people. She can actually put together an outfit with great ease, though, because she works so hard to find the elements and — what’s important to the content of the post — because she thinks creatively and carefully about clothes. That’s really what’s behind her fashion sense, not the raw materials that take so much effort to seek out.

    However, that was a reasonable response, unlike the little shit fit stacy threw, which I just noticed! Hilarious.

  112. I like skinny jeans on me. It’s hard to find a pair that fit well, but that’s mostly to do with my relatively small waist rather than the actual skinniness (i.e. it’s a trousers problem, regardless of the leg style). Personally, being short and having a big bum, I think they look better on me than flared jeans unless the flares are very well made.

    I finally figured out last winter (when a sales lady looked at my calves and was absolutely sure they’d fit in the regular size boots and was a bit amazed when they didn’t) that, in my case at least, it’s not that my calves are especially big (I have the very typical shapely, somewhat muscular legs of the women in my family – even as a very skinny teenager I never had *thin* legs, but equally they are the part of me that has least obviously changed from when I was quite a lot thinner) so much as that my legs are short and thus my calves start to curve outwards correspondingly lower.

  113. lunaestrella, it can be easier on doods to find clothing that fits, but if you’re trying to come in on a budget it’s still hard to get tall pants above a 38 waist. Or if you have a particular brand/style in mind. My husband is a 40/34 and loves cotton khakis from a few companies he was able to wear when he was a 38/34. Now we have to cough up megabucks for the Casual Male XL house brands of pants, which don’t hang right on him and aren’t as nice a fabric. (I think they’re George Foreman?)

    Obviously the problem isn’t that he needs to stop being middle aged in order to fit into Dockers, and nobody would dare suggest he take classes to try to get shorter. Still, it would be nice to shop nearby instead of planning day trips to Upper Buttcrack Nowhere to buy pants.

  114. @Rahel: OH GOOD LORD SOCKS. Long wool socks are my enemy. They’ve gotta have a little bit of spandex or I’m outta luck.

    That’s another sad thing about this workout. It does not even own up to the fact that body size and body shape are two entirely different and often unrelated things. Even greatly underweight I doubt I could fit into those ‘cigarette’ jeans, just because that’s how I’m built.

    It’s giving women this idea that you CAN change your body to fit some bizarre standards. In some cases, that’s simply not possible, and what is that going to further do to the self esteem of the women who buy into this?

  115. Yeah, my husband is 6’5″ and he does okay finding pants (he prefers a 38/36 but can get away with a 38/34), but he has such a long torso that it’s virtually impossible for him to find shirts that fit well in stores. And, although he’s a bit larger now and can more easily find things at big and tall stores, even now finding a extra-tall shirt in a large his hard, and finding an extra-tall shirt in a medium used to be near impossible. He also wears a size 16 shoe, so finding him shoes is another major problem.

    So, yeah, even though men’s sizing often seems more flexible and sensible then women’s sizing, there are still plenty of men who for various reasons are sized out of easily finding clothes.

  116. Re: boots – I loooove tall boots. The taller the better! If I could find thigh-highs that had some hope of fitting my Thunderthighs O’ Doom, I would totally buy them regardless of price or my family’s opinion. Two years ago I found mid-calf boots that fit! Toe Warmers made a boot with microfiber uppers and a laced gore (I think that’s what it’s called) in the back. Pure genius. I can loosen the laces or tighten them according to what my weight is doing. Can’t find this style anywhere on the interwebs, which makes me sad. Don’t give up, fellow boot lovers! There are occasional nuggets of gold in the river of boots!

    “I have spent an embarrassing amount of money at J. Jill, despite resentment over their ‘plus size tax.'”

    So have I. >.> I went to their website yesterday to see if I could link to the awesome knit jeans. I saw a link to women’s sizes, and my jaw just about hit the floor. Holy shit, they have plus sizes?! I never knew they had plus sizes! I’ve been shopping at my local J. Jill since they opened a store in the local mall, how did I not see… oh. Of course. I didn’t know they had plus sizes because there is no plus section in the store. Maude forbid fat women actually come in and try stuff on. Grrrr! And retailers whine about there being no market for plus sizes. Well no shit Sherlock, people don’t buy clothes if they DON’T FUCKING KNOW THE CLOTHES EXIST.

    The really sad part is that I know I’ll keep going to that store. The lovely soft fabrics, the classic styles that are just so me, the saleswomen who know me and are nice to me… damn you, J. Jill. Even in the face of size discrimination, I know I won’t be able to resist the next sale. Curse my weakness!

  117. @electrogirl: Yeah, I forgot about or managed to block out the J. Jill store locations’ “preferential” sizing. They carry 18/20 “Misses,” too, not just Ws, but don’t seem to stock them (or anything in the way of XL) in stores. Grrr. I vow, I honestly vow, to divert some J. Jill funds over to Etsy next time. After seeing the Etsy post/discussion here I actually joined and bookmarked some really interesting designers…

  118. @Fillyjonk – If you’re interpreting the “take WEEKS to put together an outfit” as “build an outfit from pieces already in one’s closet” then yes, that’s usually not the case.

    I took it to mean “acquire all pieces of an outfit”, which speaks directly to Lesley’s post. It also reflects my experience. Although, with folks posting about the JCPenney article, I noticed they now have extended sizes. Hmm…

  119. Hell yes, it takes a long time to buy a new outfit, unless serendipity strikes. For shitsake, I’ve been looking for the right jacket and skirt for job interviews for over a year now and still haven’t found it.

  120. OMG I have the calves that don’t fit boots too! I have very square, very big calf muscles, and unless the boots are stretchy somehow, I can’t zip them more than about halfway. Which is a shame, because I love boots!

    But I had the same problem when I was at my all-time skinniest.

    Maybe there’s something wrong with the cut of the boots?? Nah, that’s too easy…

  121. I am in the process of putting together a new wardrobe which works for me and for my needs and which includes a lot more linen pants and loose jackets and a lot fewer pairs of jeans.

  122. Yes, JC Penney does have extended sizes now and I bought a few cute pieces. They seem to not be cut right for my body, and run a bit small. I don’t feel comfortable wearing them, but it’s a step.

  123. godless heathen and lori, I stand corrected. I wasn’t aware that they raised their prices. I guess big boys are stuck in the same boat with the rest of us. That stinks that you have to go out to the boondocks to get clothes.

    Oh just so you know, my hubby is a big guy too and can’t wear regular suits because his shoulders are too large.

  124. I’m going to sign up for a class that addresses the issue that you should find jeans that fit your body, not find a body that fits your jeans.

  125. I read that sentence as it scrolled past my reader here and in a couple of other places and kept thinking “What are they talking about? Seems weird but not worth discussing.” Finally I found a moment to read the post. Apparently it never occurred to me that it was a class to change the shape of her butt, I thought it was a class to educate her in what kind of jeans she should like – or something. Maybe I’ve had a teeny personal victory in the body shape battle. :)

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