On writing this, I’ve just returned from the tailor. I needed two pairs of pants and a dress hemmed; Both were MILES too long, and I am 5′ 5.5″, which is quite an average height for an American gal according to every chart I’ve ever seen. Yet I am not anxious or uneasy about having to tailor my duds. I didn’t start questioning my proportions, height, or body just because the clothes I bought didn’t fit me properly. I didn’t worry that I should be taller or longer-legged because I know it’s not me, it’s the clothes.
I feel like more and more women are adopting this mentality, and I’m thrilled to see it. You try on enough dresses that seem ridiculously short and wonder if you’re an absolute giraffe. You struggle to find a bra that fits your girls and wonder if you’re a mutant. You search and search for cute shoes in your size and wonder if your feet are really that outrageously unusual. But you’re not. You’re not a giraffe, or a mutant, or a bigfoot. You’re marvelous. It’s not you, it’s the clothes. There is nothing wrong with your body just because it won’t fit perfectly into off-the-rack everything. You should not attempt to change how you’re shaped, how you look, or how you feel about yourself just because nothing at Zara or Forever 21 fits you. Needing to alter your clothing is not an indicator that you should alter your body.
It’s not you, beautiful. It’s the clothes.
Clothes should fit you, you needn’t fit them. The styles, shapes, and specific garments that slide onto your gorgeous form and make you grin at your radiant reflection? Those are the ones that deserve the honor of bedecking your bod. Don’t let ill-fitting clothing convince you that you’re wrong or strange. Celebrities – who spend hours exercising every day and hire chefs to keep their diets monitored – have every single item of clothing they own tailored to fit, including plain tees and camisoles. No one – not even a professional clothing model – looks amazing in every garment ever designed. Don’t expect yourself to, and try not to agonize over the items that fight your body.
Easier said than done, of course. I know exactly how disappointing and unfair it feels to realize that not a single item from a particular line is going to work for you. When I adore the aesthetic of a brand or store and cannot squeeze into anything they offer, I feel heartbroken and hurt. And, perhaps more importantly, I’m inclined to blame myself. I mean, obviously if my hips can’t be jammed into a single pair of those pants I’m a disproportionate, repellent eyesore. But I try to remember that those fit issues aren’t about me. They could be about the designer’s narrow view of bodily proportions, they could be about fitting a perceived set of average sizes, they could be about some quirk in that specific pattern or design. They could be about any number of factors, all of which are utterly unrelated to me, my figure, my body, and my value as a human being.
Many women can shop at mall stores, and many of those women look amazing in nearly everything they throw on. But the emphasis here is on the “nearly.” There isn’t a single, solitary soul walking this earth who can wear every garment ever designed and look ravishing. There isn’t a woman alive who has bought everything she owns from a mass-market store and had it all fit perfectly, as if tailor-made for her unique curves. Everyone deals with clothes that are “good enough,” everyone needs to visit the tailor for certain garments, and everyone looks awful in something.
Those off-the-rack clothes that just won’t fit you? They say absolutely nothing about you. YOU are amazing. Every last one of you.
It’s not you, it’s the clothes.
Image courtesy Gap // This post is such a favorite that I wanted to revive it for any new readers. I’ve been struggling with professional balance lately, and will be bringing back the occasional archived post until things calm down a bit. Thanks for your understanding.
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Originally posted 2014-05-13 06:16:09.