Have you ever noticed how easy men have it? Here’s a case in point. I was telling my husband, Carl, that I needed a new dress for our granddaughter’s wedding, whenever that might be rescheduled after the pandemic. He said, “That’s easy. Just order one online.”
“You must be kidding,” I responded. “Women cannot order clothes online. They never fit.” I haven’t ordered clothing online since my last traumatic experience some ten years ago when I had to send the items back three times before I finally got the right size.
“That doesn’t make sense,” Carl continued. “You know your size, right? Just order your size.” This from a man who can walk into a store, pick up a shirt or pair of jeans and take them home without trying them on. They always fit. Men have it easy. Why? Because men’s sizes are both simple and consistent. Men’s shirts go by neck size and sleeve length. Period. Men’s pants are sized by inseam and waist. Period. Shopping done.
Women, on the other hand, have too many fashion choices. Even before considering a size, we must choose among the categories of Women’s, Petite, Junior, Half, or Plus. Once that decision is made, we might be able to wear any size between 6 and 14 depending on the fabric, the cut, the brand, and the style. Furthermore, if you shop at Chico’s, the sizing is totally different. At Chico’s, I might wear a size 1 or 2. That’s hilarious!
For women, even the length requires a decision. In dresses and skirts, you have mini, midi, maxi, or street-length—whatever that means—each of which could hit anywhere from the thigh to the ankle, depending on whether it is Women’s, Petite, Junior, Half or Plus. Slacks for women can be long, short, regular, petite, cropped, flared, skinny or boot-cut. Need I go on?
The fact is, I never knew I was a Petite until I was in my fifties. You see, I’ve always been slightly overweight. Do you see where I’m going with this? The word, petite, by definition, means slender, small or tiny. How can it make sense that someone who is slightly overweight is also slender, small or tiny? Well, in the fashion world, Petite refers to clothing made for women who are short in stature and short-waisted with short arms, which means it’s possible to be a 16 Petite. Isn’t that an oxymoron along the lines of deafening silence?
So, men, take my advice. The next time you are waiting impatiently outside the women’s dressing room, sitting in the “husband chair,” holding your wife’s purse on your lap, and watching HGTV on the television provided for your entertainment, try to remember it’s not her fault that she has been in there for two hours trying to buy one dress. When she finally emerges for your opinion, out of breath, hair disheveled, with sweat beaded across her forehead, the only appropriate comment from you is, “Honey, you look beautiful in that dress.”
Cindy L. Freeman is the author of numerous award-winning short stories and three published novels: Unrevealed, The Dark Room and I Want to Go Home. Website: www.cindylfreeman.com; Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/cindy.l.freeman.9. Her books are available from amazon.com or hightidepublications.com