Though I have become a crazed evangelist of the miracle that is finding a bra that fits properly, I have yet to master the art of buying underwear (which I refuse to call “panties” lest I spend the rest of the day shuddering). Even when I set the bar pretty low (must be approximately my size and not give me a wedgie), it seems like I always end up with underwear I grudgingly tolerate instead of underwear I delight in (or at least don’t grouse at). I blame, at least in part, the even-more-incomprehensible-than-usual sizing standards on women’s underwear. I ask you, sartorial gods, if underwear sizing is going to use numbers starting in the single digits and going through double digits, and if clothing sizing is also going to use numbers starting in the single digits and going through double digits, then why on earth can’t those sizes match?! Why does someone with, say, 44″ hips wear size 16 pants at Lane Bryant but size 9 underwear with Just My Size? Why does a “medium” correspond with 8-10 pants but 6 underwear? What kind of diabolical scheme is this? It’s bad enough that women have to negotiate inconsistent sizing of clothes between and within brands, so-called vanity sizing that makes clothing patterns not match up at all to store-bought clothing, stores that only carry up to a 24, the weird gap between a 12 and a 14W, the impossibility of finding a top that fits both your rack and your waist, and the completely arbitrary assignment of numbers anyway (instead of men’s sizes which at least correspond to some actual measurement on their actual bodies) — but you have to make us remember a different arbitrary number just to buy a pair of fucking underwear. Thanks for making shopping even more fraught with potential disaster.
Pardon me while I hitch up my pants so my undies don’t show.