My Three-Sized Body: No Judgment

So here’s a funny story.

Thursday I got scared into buying a suit.

Suit Shopping

(Not the suit I bought. But similar. Also not with a wrinkly checked shirt.)

We all have mock medical school interviews with our advisor this month, and she is known to be very conservative and very adamant about making sure we all look just so.

Black suit. White button down. Buttons buttoned. No crazy jewelry. No nail polish. Panty hose if we wear a skirt. (the horror!)

We know this, and it’s good advice considering she’s been on admissions committees for multiple medical schools. I plan to look 100% sharp for the actual interviews next fall, but I wasn’t going to buy a new suit until closer to then. My last real suit was purchased 6 years ago and no longer fits. I just happened to have worked jobs where suits weren’t necessary.

So after my roommate got back from her interview last Thursday, she told me that she was picked apart a bit for her outfit. She’s telling me this as I look at her in her lovely dark grey suit and light blue button downed blouse. She looks great. I can’t believe she was criticized at all!

So I decided to just bite the bullet and buy a suit now. My interview is in a few weeks, but I want to look my best and not run into any issues. Goal is to make the intimidating mock interview as painless as possible. So it was off to the mall.

I was hoping to find a blazer that matched my current JCrew pencil skirt, but apparently those don’t exist. So I went into Ann Taylor because I know pants there have fit me before.

I had luck. I found a conservative, simple black suit and bought both pants and a pencil skirt. I also got a white button down shirt. (I cannot believe I didn’t own any of these things.) It’s good quality and fits so I feel good about it.

But y’all, the dressing room was just a mess for me. I have no clue what size I am in anything anymore, and I am definitely not proportional! I took in a range of 3 sizes for each piece, and even some petites for the jacket. I tried on every single fit of pants because I don’t know if I’m curvy or regular or standard. (Don’t even get me started on trying to online shop. Impossible.)

Here’s the funny part: The three pieces of the suit I bought are THREE DIFFERENT SIZES.

My body is so bizarre.

The suit jacket is smallest, then the skirt, then the pants. And the suit jacket is almost too big and the pants are almost too small.

Pear-shaped much?

At one point the store manager looked at me while trying to figure out correct sizing and said, “Well, honey, you’ve got a butt.”

I do.  That I do.

(Side note: I often sing “My girl got a big ol’ booty. Your girl got a lil ol’ booty” to JC. I don’t think he finds it as funny as I do.)

Anyway, such is life for me and my disproportionate body. Thank you mama for that body type blessing :)

Clare and Mom

Body Twins &  Stand Up Paddle Board Buddies 

Moral of the Story:

Shopping for me is a process of trying on a bunch of sizes, with no judgment as to what the number is, and just buying the size that fits the best.

After all, clothes that fit, no matter the size, look better than clothes that don’t.

And I think my butt looks quite nice in that pencil skirt;)

 

 

Comments

  1. For future, The Limited is AWESOME for suits. Seriously, i walked in the and the lady told me what fit I would be and asked me a range of sizes. She was spot on. And I was the same. I was a different size in the jacket then the pants. I tried to deviate from the plan and try some of the other cuts and where one size would be WAY TOO small, the next size up was falling off. suits are weird!

  2. I don’t think it’s your body, I think it’s the sizing! I can walk into one store and be one size, and walk into another and be a completely different size. Screw sizes! Haha I don’t think anyone has a perfectly proportional body!

  3. you’re awesome babe! i never worry about numbers either. it is JUST a number!!!!!!!!!!!

  4. I had some good luck finding suits at NY and Company – I bought 2 there when I started my last job, though that was a while ago!

  5. You look fantastic! My body has always been so mis-proportioned too. But I truly believe that 99% of women feel this way. You are definitely NOT alone!

  6. Don’t most people have to buy different sizes in different pieces? Your body is not “weird” as you say (which obviously points to the fact that you’re uncomfortable with her body), it’s just that women are shaped differently from one another!

    • wow what a nice thing to say.

      • I wasn’t being mean but simply pointing out that most women DO have differences in the top and the bottoms of clothes. Why do you think they sell things in separates? You act like you have a “weird” disproportionate body with a “big ‘ol booty” instead of pointing out the fact that all bodies are different and shopping is a pain in general (especially spending the money.)

        It just seems like you overanalyze everything about your “new” body and still obsess about sizes and numbers, even if you say you accept it.

        • your comment was quite accusatory and not something that anyone would like hearing. Golden rule.

          • Clare, I don’t think Allison was trying to be mean really. She is right that most people DO buy suits/tops and bottoms in different sizes because women have bodies of all different shapes (which is why things like suits are sold in separates). It’s great that you say you are comfortable with the way your body is now and you love your ‘big booty’, but if someone were to just read this post they would think otherwise by the way you focus on having to buy three different sizes and how that must mean you have a weird or disproportionate body. Your body isn’t weird or bizarre, Clare, and it might benefit you to stop thinking that it is.

          • I agree, I don’t think the original comment was meant to be accusatory and/or mean. As someone who has a well-documented interest in removing ED stigma and promoting body acceptance/healthy body image, you do seem to spend an awful lot of time focusing on the problems with your body. Within this one post, you mention your body in a negative way at least 5 times – it’s disproportionate, it’s bizarre, it’s a “blessing” (implied sarcasm). Clothes shopping is a nightmare for most people, because of this exact experience. But someone who is truly comfortable with her body might have focused instead on how frustrating it is that, within one store, various styles are cut in such different ways that it’s makes it difficult to predict what size you might need.

        • I really didn’t find the originial comment mean at all! I am really confused by your reaction and response. She was complimenting you and asking that you not insult your body.

        • Perhaps I just read the tone of the comment wrong – I’m sorry for a snappy response if you truly did not mean to be rude.

  7. Mehhhhh forget jeans, suit shopping is definitely the hardest for me! I don’t think I have ever bought one without having to get it tailored.

    I love your point though, I think the reality is that 80% of us are in your boat, few of us are proportional, and I won’t even GO down the vanity sizing v. Abercrombie sizing rabbit hole haha

  8. It’s so hard shopping for your body when it’s changed recently! I’m trying to find some new summer clothes (nothing from last year fits anymore) and I literally have no idea what sizes I am now. It’s a little discouraging!

  9. I was just thinking about how sizes are so arbitrary anymore this morning! I’m wearing a pair of jeans today that fit me now as well as they did 10 pounds heavier. Stretch material is a blessing and a curse!

  10. Clothes that fit is such an important thing!!! It will make you look and feel like a million bucks :) Glad you found something!!! :)

  11. I completely agree with your statement – clothes that fit, no matter the size, look better! As a future attorney, I know a thing or two about dressing in conservative suits. It’s almost foreign, especially as a current student who wears sweatpants to class from time to time (guilty). Good luck on your mock interview! I’m sure your outfit will look great :)
    NewEnglandOutlook.com

  12. I think we’re all a variety of sizes. I’m a variety of sizes even when it comes to the same thing – pants a different size from each other just depends where it’s from, same with tops, etc. It’s weird. Also kind of annoying, yet funny.

  13. Ohhhh my goodness. This is me to a T. I have a super petite upper body (this girl ain’t blessed in the chest), but my hips also do not lie. ;) I’m pear-body twins with my mom too, and I’m proud of it. Buying prom dresses can be a hassle because of this though…ohh well. I know you’ll rock that dress suit because you are confident and gorgeous.

  14. I am the complete opposite. When I bought a suit with a skirt, pants, and jacket the skirt is the smallest with the jacket being the biggest. Ha!

  15. I’m with you on the size doesn’t matter! Why try to buy something that is a smaller size and uncomfortable when you could buy something that is one size larger, be comfortable, and look better? No contest for me!

  16. Yep I agree. Pants can be a real dousy. I don’t even care about the size. As long as my hubby gives me the googly eyes I know I’m fine ;)

  17. Girl, I feel ya! I have wide hips and a big ol booty, but a SUPER tiny waist and average chest. Clothes shopping is extremely difficult especially for bottoms, but when I find something that does fit…man, do I look good :) I believe it was Queen who sand “fat bottom girls, you make the rockin’ world go round.” Yes, yes we do.

  18. Certain clothes are a nightmare for me to shop for and suits are one of them. I used to work at Victoria’s Secret back when the dress code was dress pants only and then they changed it to dressy all black, and I never wore a pair of dress pants again. I’ve NEVER found a pair that fits me well and doesn’t make me feel bad about my body! When I shopped for interview outfits during college, I went for pencil skirts all the way. I’m glad you can laugh about it now, it’s really so true that every body is so different.

  19. Suit shopping is a nightmare for me. Smaller on the top and bigger on the bottom. ;p

  20. Ugh, clothes shopping is the worst. I tried on dresses and jeans this weekend and at one store, each style was a different size. Super annoying. I am always jealous of my husband because his jeans are all the same. I wish women’s jeans and parents were sized the same way.

  21. I’m bigger on the bottom than I am on the top too. Thank goodness for separates!

  22. Clare – since as you said you haven’t worked in a job where suits are expected, you may not know that it’s very common to buy pieces and have them tailored to make them fit correctly/exactly. So I’d always recommend buying a little too big so things can be taken in – yes, tailoring isn’t cheap but for your good suits it’s a must. And your size experience is totally typical – that’s why they sell the pieces as separates! I have jackets that are three sizes larger than my skirts to accommodate my shoulders/biceps (and most of my skirts are tailored because what fits nicely over my thighs and hips ends up gaping loosely at my waist).

  23. I ABHOR SHOPPING!!!!!! Ugh. I cannot stand it. I have many many many people who KNOW this about me. Which is why I just wear my yoga clothing and that’s that! It’s comfortable. It’s easy to shop for, and I LOVE IT -lol!! If I need to dress up at night, I just put heels on while wearing my yoga clothing and BOOM! DONE ah ha ha ha ha! Yeahhhhhhhhhhh my friends aren’t really all that happy when I do that but at this point, I am KNOWN FOR THIS so they don’t even really care either! YES! If I rock it enough and OWN the look, then people think it’s just the norm! ;)

  24. I have not suit shopped before, but I’ve found that all clothes/brands/styles fit differently. It is so crazy that there isn’t more of a standardization. For example, I own pants that range from size 3 to size 12…. so strange!

  25. I have FINALLY started to learn/realize that the size on the tag really means nothing. What is a “2” in one brand is a “0” in another and a “4” in another. I have stopped focusing so much on the number and instead on buying whatever FITS me best. Nobody wants to see me walking around in too small of pants (I have a butt, too!) ;)

  26. Ugh, I cannot buy anything without trying it on first! Online shopping? Forget it.
    My problem is opposite yours, though. For a “petite” girl, I have big arms/shoulders (I blame gymnastics) and am more busty than I am in the derrière, so I usually buy a larger top and smaller bottom. And since I’m only 5’3 (which really isn’t that short!!!), the bottoms are often short/petite, meaning they are just barely long enough. I hate shopping and usually return home from the mall depressed. Now I’m figuring out the joy of finding maternity clothes; my regular clothes are getting tight, but maternity dress pants/crops are ginormous in the thigh/hip on me. Leggings and dresses for the win!
    Anyway, as long as you look good and feel good, that’s all that matters! Good luck with your upcoming mock interview.

  27. I hate buying suits! It’s mainly because I’m lazy, but I’m also 5’0 and I have to tailor EVERYTHING. Most things just look weird on me due to my height…I’m a big online shopper though!

  28. Thanks so much for sharing your shopping experience. I think lots of us can relate! I SO hate sizing – it varies so much from store to store and even from style to style within the same store! Like you said, as long as YOU feel good, confident, and the clothes fit well – regardless of size – you’ll be rocking that outfit. ;-)

  29. Love this! You look great! And such a good reminder to buy what FITS! Sizes and numbers differ store to store and it’s so easy to let those numbers get in your head sometimes! Thanks for the reminder, also you and your mom are adorable :)

  30. Sizing is whack and doesn’t mean a thing. So rude of the manager to comment on your butt, I can’t believe she said that. You’re not disproportionate looking at all. Most women vary from their top to bottom sizes. Your mom looks super fit and has a great figure, be proud! After several kids and post menopause, it takes a heck of a lot of work to stay that thin and fit. Well, that’s what my mom says.

  31. Clare, I can relate so much to this. When I got out of treatment for my ED at a healthy size, I challenged myself to shop in stores I never had before so the number wouldn’t matter as much. It was so frustrating – especially having to ask for sizes that previously made me super-uncomfortable. For me, though, I was really able to tell how different my mindset was at a healthier weight because for the first time in a looong time, I was able to say, “The sizes are SO WEIRD at this store.” LOL. I would really like to see you do a post on how the clothing industry manipulates women into thinking something is wrong with their bodies when, in reality, it’s the industry that needs a good reality-check with how human anatomy works. I’m hoping that as you continue into medical school, you’ll realize how wonderful the body is and that it’s not weird or bizarre – it’s amazing!!! I also wanted to say that it would have been REALLY helpful if you had posted a picture of yourself in the clothes you bought rather than an old photo. Could you maybe post one in the future? It’d be great to see an average adult woman in a nice outfit – proving that you don’t have to be emaciated to look good! :-)

  32. It’s not your body, it’s the sizing. Truly, everyone I know, regardless of body shape, seems to have similar issues. My personal added complication is that I live in Japan, which means I’m sized out of loads of shops here, while buying smaller sizes in the UK and US (although the sizes vary so much!). It can be pretty frustrating! At least now you can focus on the interview content, rather than what to wear!

  33. I so get it! I have the same problem at Ann Taylor and Loft! I tell my hubby that they don’t leave room for your butt in their pants. ;) BUT at least you are going to look great at mock boards. I’m praying… and I’m praying that you get into your school of choice!

  34. I’m pretty sure I’ve never bought a set in the same sizes … it’s the worst in bikinis!! Sometimes I’m a few sizes apart. Glad you’re embracing it :).

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