I can’t believe what she was wearing

While I would like to make it clear that under absolutely no circumstances would I ever like to repeat the time yesterday in between leaving a train from Kingston at Union Station and arriving at Pearson International for a plane to Columbus, it is rather gratifying to note that I am still capable of the sort of organization and efficiency that it demanded. I left the house with the leftovers of the squeaky cheese in the fridge (good plan or the cat will eat it), got things more or less moved from one suitcase to another, and even remembered to take my spare laptop battery and tossed a half cup of coffee in the planter on the porch, which I’m going to call “watering” since it was the best I had time to do.

True, upon arrival here in Columbus I did note that in my hurry to throw things into a suitcase I had packed some rather odd things, like plenty of clothes, but ones that somehow add up to only two matching outfits… which is somewhat particularly problematic, since I am here for four days, but since I’m not a very snappy dresser anyway, I suppose that I can live with it. I’ve always wanted to be someone who dresses well, like my mum or my sister, who are always wearing something that A) fits, B) does not have a coffee stain down the front of it, and C) is not missing a button, but I think that as long as I keep hating clothes shopping and refusing to do it except under the direst of circumstances, I’m probably going to keep falling behind the pack.

I know I’m not the only one who hates shopping. I hear all the time about people who love it, or people who find great things or people who search until the find something great, but I just don’t have the stamina for it. I get in there and there’s nothing I like, or if I do like it they don’t have it in my size, or if I do like it and it is in my size, it crosses my personal threshold for what I can afford – or think it should cost. I have left behind beautiful clothes that fit me beautifully that I could totally afford because I still thought the price was nothing short of highway robbery, and left in a huff.

Then there’s the anger. I’m not a weird size. Depending on what kind of store I’m in, I somewhere between a size four and a six, although I do have rather large “accessories” in the front. I’m short, true… but not so freakishly short that it should be a barrier to dressing, but somehow it is. Take Gap pants. The average North American woman is 5 foot 4. I’m 5 foot 1 (and a half. I have good posture) that means, to my way of thinking, that if I go into a store and put on their average length pants, they should be too long for me. I can live with that. What I don’t understand is why their “short” length is still a good 5 inches too long. If 5’4″ is average, and I’m 5’1″, then why the hell would the short length still add up to 5’6″? Why we’re at it? What’s up with the monkey arms? Why in the name of everything reasonable are the sleeves on all shirts so bloody long? Or why do they think that if you’re 5’1″ tall, that you must also be unreasonably thin? I’m at a healthy body weight, clothes shouldn’t be judging me like that. Also, my arse is normal. I have been looking at the arses of other women (not in a creepy way) and have determined this. So why doesn’t my arse go into half of the pants in the world? These questions have never been suitably answered for me, probably because I’m asking them of a sales clerk at the Gap who has no idea, no concern and really wishes I would just buy another 3/4 sleeve shirt and another pair of capri’s that I’m gong to wear as full length pants and get out of the store.

All of this is a long way around saying that if you see me this weekend and I’m wearing the same thing twice? Blame the Gap. It was a set up.

411 thoughts on “I can’t believe what she was wearing

  1. Its not just size, its body type.
    some of us are long legged, and short torso.
    some of use are long torso, and short legged.
    most clothing is made for type 1.. (leaving the many of us type 2 bodies dragging our pants hems.
    i am 5’5″ in theory, pants legs should fit me.
    –they don’t–
    did you ever think of the idea a travel wardrobe?
    (all one color way.. a 1000 shade of blue and everything matches! (or pick a color besides blue–one that suits you!)

  2. I totally relate to hating to shop for clothes! If I do find pants that fit, I buy 3 pairs in different colors – then 5 years later I regret not buying duplicates. Same thing with shoes. I will wear something that fits until it is not legal to wear anymore, or my feet get wet walking through a trickle of water and I will cry when I have to retire it.
    I am a perfect candidate for what not to wear except that you have to go clothing shopping with all their money and I can not spend more than say $20 for a shirt and $35 for pants, nope won’t do it!

  3. I’m also 5’1″ (on a good day; in my Danskos, add another 2″), and have the most horrible time finding clothes that fit. I am a petite plus size (how’s that for an oxymoron?) which means I am rather brick-shaped and short to boot. I have the shortest torso I’ve ever seen (about an inch and a half between my ribs and my hips), and HATE clothes shopping. You’re in good company. I agree with helen (of troy) about the single colorway wardrobe — could totally work for you.

  4. All clothes are meant to fit the mannequins in the store wearing them…and not very well even then, so if you don’t have a body like them, you are supposed to look dorky in clothes. Designers don’t have real people in their homes to drape fabric over, and have you ever seen the concept drawings? Even on patterns sold in the fabric stores? Barbie. All of them. In all her glorified unnatural anatomy.

  5. I’m 5’6″ and skinny with no accessories upper front or butt, sleeves are always too short, hips are always too big – nothing off the rack fits me either. I always used to have my suit skirts altered, jackets weren’t too bad if I avoided those with bust shaping. Life is simpler now – coveralls work for me, sort of. I still haven’t mastered the matchy-matchy thing.
    Glad you made your travel connections although the story potential was huge.

  6. I wish I knew which Gap you’re shopping at, becuase all the ones I shop at in my area have everything too small!
    Granted, I’m 6’1″, but clothes labeled “tall” should fit someone, you know, TALL! Sleeves that end before reaching my wrists…pants that expose my ankles (while proudly proclaiming “TALL” on the label).
    At least you can hem or have them hemmed. No one has yet discovered how to lengthen pants or sleeves!!

  7. Shopping rage, I’m with you on that one. I promise whatever you wear when you are in London this September, we will all be so made up to see you. Have a great weekend Steph.

  8. I’ve often contemplated taking on the tradition of a sari (they are beautiful). Total empathy from me here – I hate shopping for clothes that are obviously designed to fit mannequins.

  9. You know we have some fabulous shopping around Columbus. πŸ™‚ I would be happy to show you stores where you may find things in your price range and that fit.
    But if you really want to blame someone for the ill fitting clothes blame the use of fit models. It’s why women’s clothes are never the same size store to store and it’s just frustrating. When they finally start labeling women’s clothes akin to men’s 32 w 34 l then we will finally have a way to find clothing that fits. πŸ™‚

  10. Try shopping in the Petites section. Capri pants and sleeves will actually fit. Love watching your life but would be exhausted with the schedule.

  11. I dunno, I’m 5’11 and the tall sizes always seem to be too short. I think all of the pant and sleeve lengths are the same no matter what and they just label them differently to confuse us and make us feel like misfits.
    My advice is for you to move to somewhere like Israel, where you can get away with wearing short sleeves and pants 80% of the time.

  12. And what about the sizing?! Clothes I bought 30 years ago, sized “small” still fit me well, although when I shop these days, the tags in things I can barely tug up over my hips say “2X”. At the same time, my dress size is 16. And tall people have the same woes, dear ones, in trying to find the right lengths.
    On the bright side, it is because I could not find purple socks that I learned to knit socks. Now it’s just a matter of finding purple yarn, which is FUN. Yarn shopping beats clothes shopping all to heck, don’t you agree?
    Of course, after I learned to knit, and after I spent many hours and quite some money indulging my love of sock yarn, I walked into (coughWalMartcough) the other day and there, in the sock aisle–yep, at least 5 styles of socks in PURPLE. Sigh. O, the irony, right?

  13. Those sleeves are too long so that we can keep motivated to knit garments for ourselves, not only for children. It’s Knitting Goddess’ way of encouragement.
    As for pants length…. maybe it’s a conspiracy thing… they provide us too long pants and let us think of wearing skirts.

  14. Steph, you and Abby just need to go find a quiet spot that serves beer and disappear from TNNA. Then all will be right in the world and no one will care about what you are wearing πŸ™‚

  15. You really are 5′ 1″? I am 5′ 2″ and I thought you were taller than me. No, really. Mmm, maybe I’m not really 5′ 2″? no no no, I am pretty sure I am.

  16. >> Why in the name of everything reasonable are the sleeves on all shirts so bloody long? <<
    I have broad shoulders and have exactly the opposite problem. Women’s shirts, even short sleeved ones (!!) don’t fit me properly half the time, driving me to buy one size larger so it fits my shoulders…but then the rest of the shirt hangs around like a big, frumpy bag. Not awesome with novelty t-shirts!
    Don’t even get me started on pants. Pants, I have decided, are running an evil conspiracy against all average-sized women.
    Thank heavens for knitting and being able to properly size our own clothes!

  17. I love clothes, hate the shopping! I think 90% of the clothes out there (whether “short” or “tall”) fit about 10% of the population. Blech. For me, if I try on a cute top and shrug my shoulders up to my ears it fits perfectly! But try to wear it normally and it bunches and gaps in an unsightly manner. One of the reasons I love knitting…if all goes well (I mean, if I swatch), I can knit me a sweater that actually fits my measurements! Amazing.

  18. Um, Stephanie, do what the rest of us have done that hate that scenario and send your measurements to someone at etsy. Clothes made to fit make you wonder why anyone ever gave up on tailors and seamstresses.

  19. HAHAHAHA! Oh, girl, I totally feel your pain! I hate hate HATE clothes shopping, and avoid it as long as I can or until my pants fall apart.

  20. I have the opposite issues, being 5’9″ and trying to find pants that aren’t too short. I hate shopping, but have discovered that I don’t mind it if I just shop at my beloved Value Village – the serendipitous and inexpensive nature of thrift store shopping totally works for me. (Levis for $5! etc)

  21. Yes, I agree with all your comments on buying pants. One reason I loved it when you could have ragged edged bottoms and just let the strings hang! I am also the only one in the family with normal lenght arms. I have just about given up on finding sleeves that fit!
    But I have yet to knit my first sweater. Still haveing too much fun with socks! Alice

  22. I’m going to make my husband read this. He always wonders why it takes me sooo long to try on clothes or find one dress for an event. He walks in, tries on five pairs of pants buys three and is done.
    Of course, I usually have two small children running circles around me in the dressing room, while trying on the too short shirts and cover-my-whole foot pants. That makes the whole process even more interesting.

  23. It’s why I learned to sew as a teenager–cost, sizing and height–even as a kid I couldn’t get things to fit, and it bugged me that after paying for the clothes, I then had to pay for alterations–especially as men usually don’t have to pay for theirs!
    But really, at TNNA they won’t even see the Gap stuff. They’ll just be checking out the knitted stuff on your back, so you can relax.
    On a regional note, glad to see the fellow Montrealers are keeping you supplied with bagels and squeeky cheese at your events–it’s kind of like knitting–bit by bit we will convert all to the wonder of a Montreal bagel!!!!

  24. You, know, just today I was thinking the same. And after walking around for 2 hrs in search of one suitable pair of trousers and few tops (which of course I did not find) it suddenly hit me: it IS so much easier to design for flat and skinny people – no one needs to bother about all the different sizes and shapes of boobs, bellies and arses and thighs and shoulders and the, shame on me for bringing it even up, LENGTH of extremities – no, mam. It is high time to buy ourselves sewing machines and pick up that utterly useful craft in this anorexic fashion world, where most women don’t fit in.

  25. We need to trade stores! I have freakishly long legs (a 32 inseam on a 5 ft 7 body) and arms (my husband calls them monkey arms) and every time i am forced to go clothes shopping i wonder why all of the pants hit me as capris and I can’t seem to own a single shirt that doesn’t have 3/4 length sleeves. I think that it’s a conspiracy by clothing designers to make women feel bad about themselves no matter what our size.

  26. OMG!!! You must be me!!! I SO hate shopping and the only reason I have clothes is because I either spilled something on my shirt and now need to run out and get another one to wear to work right then, or because someone in my family handed me something and said it doesn’t fit them anymore (and doesn’t fit me either, but I’ll take it).
    Some of my family members go to the mall at 8a and don’t leave until 8p (WHAT the hell?!). They told me they don’t know how I got into the family without the ‘shop gene’ (shopping for yarn doesn’t count, according to them).
    Clothing stores are too crowded, the racks packed too tightly, nothing on the clothing indicates it’s for folks 5′ tall (that would be me) except for polyester pants and nylon shirts, and I’ve been WARNED to stay away from polyester pants because it would ruin my credibility.
    Can’t someone just make me some clothes that fit, are reasonably stylish and bring them to me? I’ll pay (not a lot), I swear!

  27. Uh, try being 5’8”. I’m too tall for average length pants and too short for tall length! I’m neither fat nor thin, have reasonably lengthed arms. And yet, all shirts are either too tight in the chest or tent-like, with sleeves that are always too short! Store bought clothes are horrible!

  28. Having had three babies in the space of three years, I’ve discovered that the maternity clothes are even MORE frustrating to shop for than regular clothes, because NO ONE sells them anymore!!!!
    My other pet peeve, shorts. I can buy shorts for my husband and sons with no problems. Try to buy some for myself, HA! Let’s just say that I’d rather have the hem of the shorts fall closer to my knee than my rear-end. I really hate buying them for my daughter. With all of the weirdos out there, I really don’t want my three-year-old dressed up like a tarty pop-star!
    Maybe we should just knit ourselves the wool or cotton equivalent of a burlap bag to wear, LOL!

  29. my daughter is 10 and 5’3″ tall. She weighs 80 lbs. Only elastic waists stay up, and all pants are too short. Mortification is pervasive.

  30. I am also short, 5′ 2″, and even the petite sizes in pants I have to shorten! I have never been able to figure out why they don’t make women’s clothes the way they make men’s. Waist and length in inches, and shirts the same way… neck size and arm length. Maybe women just don’t want to know their waist size! Oh… and a single color of clothes works great for traveling!

  31. Apparel retailers and manufacturers of N. america and beyond watch out – this group is fired up! Frankly I am 5’7″ and average pants are too long on me – I prefer a moderate heel and I still have to hem so I am not dragging pant legs on the ground. If you like flats it seems as though any pant you find is going to have 4″+ of extra length…

  32. Don’t you also love how when you go buy pants for men, the sizes make sense? As in, they are measured by waist and length? I remember trying to explain to my hubby the whole women’s sizing 4,6,8 etc. it took me over an hour and he was still extraordinarily confused. “So, if you are a size 6, that means all the size 6 women are also the same height? That makes no sense” to which I replied “No Mike, it doesn’t it’s just the way it is.” I feel your pain Stephanie.

  33. I haven’t been shopping for clothes, like in a mall, since….
    I’m a thrift store, garage sale kind of gal. If it doesn’t fit just perfect, I chalk it down to only having cost a buck.
    Brassieres and shoes are diffent. I spend a pretty penny on both. Oi, how about the price of brassieres these days-$48! That’s $24 per. Such is the life of a…. ahem…..right….you got the picture

  34. I’m 4 foot 10 and a half inches. I cannot tell you how happy I was when 3/4 sleeves came back in style. Finally, I could wear a shirt without rolling up the sleeves.

  35. As someone who is 5’3″ (ok fine 5’2 3/4) I can say that the Gap, Old Navy, and every other closing store is in on it. I do have to say that I envy your ability to purchase the capris for pants. I can’t even do that because of the my height, they are “high waters” on me. BTW does anyone still use that term? I do, but I still see people wearing ridiculously length pants, where I can see the tops of their shoes and socks! And they don’t even have the decency to wear handknit ones!

  36. Here’s to the Anti Shoppers! I’m a smidge under 5’9″ and, shall we say, Reubenesque? I curve where women are supposed to curve. Somehow, this makes me “plus size” which means that I, apparently, have no taste in clothing. All I want is something that suits my body type that isn’t covered in ginormous floral prints or something that in no way resembles my grandmother’s couch. Good thing I’m a classical musician. I can wear black most of the time and get away with it. (If you can look past the cat and dog hair.)
    Have a great weekend! I’m sure you look just fine!

  37. OMG, i am so with you! I’m also 5′ 1″, and “short” pants from the Gap, J Crew, Banana Republic, Old Navy etc. are ALWAYS too long for me. Sigh.

  38. At 5 foot 4 (average height!), I have to buy pants in petite and they are still a tiny bit too long! I can’t figure that one out. Buying shoes is also an annoying experience. The only shoes that fit me good are a kids size 4 at Payless. They are wider than the ladies 6! (I have fat feet, a result of carrying 3 kiddies). The upside of kids shoes – I got 2 pairs less than my hubby’s 1 pair!

  39. Amen on the shopping hatred. I detest it so much that I make most of my own clothes. Then, by gum, they fit. And, I don’t see MY clothes walking down the street on someone else.
    The one exception is jeans. Those I buy. But at 5’6″, I have to get the “petite” lengths because most of my height is in my torso. Go figure.
    And don’t get me started on trying to buy a button up shirt when you are the owner/operator of an actual bust line!

  40. Hello,
    I’m 5’2″ went I stretch really hard and I know what you are talking about with Gap. There’s a store in Montreal, and Quebec City, called Simon’s on St-Catherines. There’s a petite section and they have a petite section. I buy my jeans and capris there. The French Dressing brand fits beautifully. Granted, it’s not cheap but I don’t feel disformed when I try the clothes, which is a plus in my book.

  41. I’m fairly tall (5’8″) but have the world’s shortest legs and longest torso. I am also three different sizes.
    I HATE shopping.

  42. I’m 5’8″, 170 lbs (which according to the charts is heavy, but according to me is pretty damned good for just having had a baby six months ago!), long legged and short waisted, with an average ass and — well, until nursing, teensy “accessories.”
    Nothing fits me either.
    The long pants are just barely long enough. Don’t even talk to me about the “average” length. They look like those highwaters I remember wearing in the 80s (ew).

  43. I think you need to stop shopping at Gap. Different brands fit differently. There are no standard sizes. and their’s clearly don’t fit you. You should also be looking at the petites section of whatever store you do go to. “petite” is the fashion industry’s way of saying “short”. You’ll get better sleeve lengths that way (not to mention pant lengths, and tops with shorter bodies…).
    And I’m convinced that half the pants in the world don’t fit anyone’s arse. Very frustrating. The last time I bought pants I was all excited because I could actually fit into a women’s 16 at GAP, but I bought the men’s anyway because they fit my waist better. And I have a defined waist. The women’s pants were more gapey. That made NO SENSE.
    As for matching, that’s what neutral pants are for. They go with almost anything. Or you could just pick a set of colours that all go together so that whatever pants and shirts you pack, they all go together. You’ve got more important things to do than shop.

  44. I’m actually not the kind of person, at all, who would ever specifically endorse a product or store, BUT I have only good things to say about Mark’s Work Warehouse (with apologies to our American friends reading this who don’t know what that is). They have clothes that fit women over the age of 25. Their pants have hips in them (and come in every possible combination of waist style and leg length–petite fits my 5’2″-ness perfectly), their blouses & tees have room for frontal accessories AND everything is well-priced. Clearly a woman is in charge.

  45. I just went shopping last night – so I share your pain. Pants are the bane of my existence. I’m 5’9 with a very small waist but with hips and a booty – so if I get pants to fit my waist, I can’t pull them up over my rear – if I get them to fit my rear, I’ve got a three inch gap in the waist. And then there is the length to contend with. The only solution I’ve found is low-rise pants – but then you have to be careful to avoid the “coin slot” syndrome. Really, who ARE pants made for? It doesn’t seem like they fit ANYONE!

  46. Ha! Try being a 5’8″ curvy diva and go clothes shopping. I don’t think I’m freakishly large, but why is it so hard to find pants that FIT and flatter, tops that won’t make me look pregnant or reveal more than I want to show at work, and jackets that button without pulling across the bustline, shoulders and sleeves? Whenever I do find something that fits, I wear it until it falls apart. I also won’t buy something if I think it’s overpriced, which eliminates 90% of what’s out there!

  47. LOL – I’m 5’6″ almost 5’7″, and for wearing to work with flats instead of heels, I have actually bought “short” pants before…
    which is wild because in highschool at the same height (and only 1 to 2 sizes smaller) I did have some “talls” because the regular ones were too short!

  48. I know what you mean. I am 5’0″ and I run into that clothes fitting problem ALL THE FREAKING TIME! Petites pants are sometimes OK, but I also am *ahem* larger in the chest area than most petites and have stopped buying petite shirts a LONG time ago. One of the reasons I like to knit is that I can control the length of the sleeve on sweaters. I have to fold all my store bought ones!

  49. I am the same height as you (well, I don’t think I can squeeze out that extra half inch without special shoes), and have done that same pants rant, *to the word*, so many times I can’t count.
    I could give some leeway when I lived in Minnesota, where everyone is Norwegian and 6 feet tall. But in New England? bah.
    This is why I now own a sewing machine. I barely know how to use said machine, but I will eventually.

  50. I also don’t like shopping. The main reason is that not all the seamstresses are using the same inch! It’s very frustrating when you try on 3 items of the same size, in the same store, of the same brand and they all fit differently. Who has time or want to try on all the clothes in the store to get one shirt or trousers?!?! I’d rather knit. Which is why I wear trousers until they become unseemly then the torture begins. Have a good weekend!

  51. Amen sister! I am constantly challenged when clothes shopping. I have had good luck with J Jill (on sale) for tops and recently ordered pants from them for the first time (I wear a plus size-catalog only). I am 5’6″ and the linen pants I ordered fit great but are at least 4″ too long. These are not ‘talls’. I think they say the instep is 31″. I am certain I don’t have a 27″ instep! I am keeping the pants because it’s hard to find good fitting ones, but I will have to hem. Sigh.

  52. Speaking of a ‘travel wardrobe’ (as some commenters have mentioned)…
    Did you know that the amazing naturalist and BBC personality David Attenborough (I think he’s a Sir now) always, but only always, packs a light-blue oxford shirt (long or short sleeved) and khaki pants every time he goes on a filming junket?
    That way, even if they’re parsing together clips from 2 different continents filmed 6 months apart, it looks seamless to the viewer.
    Plus, you should see his suitcase.
    When he shuffles off this mortal coil, it will be a sad day, but one in which I bid on his suitcase (auctioned off on eBay to benefit some ecological foundation, to be sure). Battered, buckle-up, leather, no rollies. Amazing. In go 2 blue shirts, 1 pair khaki pants, 1 pair khaki shorts, and he’s done.
    Perhaps when you find the ideal pair of capris, you could take a deep breath and buy 4 pair.
    Same with that great shirt (I just snorked up 3 button-up white ones at a Nordstrom sale half-off.)
    Uniform? to be sure, but then again…
    They pay more attention to what you’re saying that way.
    (And you won’t have to stalk any wild animals, neither.)
    Say hey to TNNA for me – I was supposed to be there this time! Poot.

  53. Well, I understand what you are saying I hate clothes shopping (so many of us agree — unite!).
    A few suggestions that have worked for me and some others: shop at thrift shops, yards sales or sometimes the ‘mens department’ (uses standard, sensible measurements unlike ‘ladies’) is the place to go. :::sometimes:::
    Also …… I have my handy sewing tools polished and waiting! If you were a bit closer you’d have a ‘wardrobe’ in no time. And you would only have to have a couple of fittings. Then you would have your own designer pattern. This is what has brought many people my way when they are sick… and tired of being demeaned at shops. By the time the get here…. they’re rather hostile.. if you know what I mean…. of course you do!
    Have a great day! Chin up! With your lovely ways and beautiful smile… well, let’s just say you have nothing to fret about!

  54. I feel the same way!!!! same short issues, same accessory issues. oh well, it’s usually llbean for me. no malls!!!

  55. When I rule the world, there will be Garanimals for fashion-challenged adults. Remember those clothes for young kids? The kid knew that s/he could wear two purple panda items together & all would be well.
    In my world, there’ll be clothing icons for body shape, proportion (tall/short), and style. You’d choose the shape & proportion based on what fits you best & style items would match/compliment one another.
    Or we can all give up & just wear tunics of some kind.

  56. I can relate. I’m 5’8″, so the “average” pants should fit me, or possibly be a bit short, since I’m longer legged than my friend who is the same height. Instead, I have to either wear shoes with a bit of a heel or hem things. Thank goodness that my clogs count as having a heel, since I truly despise girly shoes.
    Another problem I’ve noticed is that most designers seem to think that if you are plus-sized you must carry all your weight in your stomach, hips, and thighs, but still have a small chest. I don’t. Consequently, I end up having to buy super-baggy shirts that are 2-3 sizes too big just to be able to button the darned things across the chest. I seriously believe that women’s clothing is designed by men who haven’t seen a woman in years, if ever.

  57. At least you CAN take things in or hem them. Long sleeves are only 3/4 on me. Try being a 6’2″ tall woman. Once you’ve let out the hem and it’s STILL 3 or 4″ too short – you’re just stuck with your ankles flappin’ in the breeze! And why do clothes manufacturer’s think that women who aren’t stick figures want to look like floral couches? I HATE clothes shopping, I think I’ll go buy yarn!

  58. @ Jo-Anne: I .have. taken up wearing saris. And men’s clothes, which as someone pointed out, have sizes that make sense. Clothing gives me a headache, but where I live it’s definitely too cold to go without. Someone else mentioned etsy tailors. I’m off to find out what it might cost to get something that fits.

  59. Sounds like you need “petite” clothes! Not sure if you guys have Ann Taylor Loft in Canada, but they have great casual clothes in petite sizes.
    Petites usually have shorter legs and shorter arms, but “normal” everywhere else. I would recommend shopping online as well – it’s often easier to find petite sizes online than in a store. I’m the opposite – long arms and legs, and I shop online about half the time because the stores carry limited amounts of long lengths. Good luck

  60. Don’t sweat it, Stephanie. The only people who really care about such things are ones who wanna make money off ya or people you wouldn’t want to be friends with anyhow!
    I’m 57 and over trying to be fashionable. I’m at the “at least I’m clean” fashion stage (from one internet joke I read somewhere). I sew and my uniform has become camp shirts you don’t tuck in (they hide a myriad of irregularities) and nice slacks with elastic waistbands for work {fortunately more casual looks are OK these days). With the variety of wonderful fabrics available in the world (and I quilt, so it works for my other stash too), you can vary your look from day-to-day without much effort.

  61. I agree with JoVE at 9:38 am. I have given up on the Gap, and I agree with the notion of neutral bottoms. My pants consist of two pairs of black ones in different styles for work, khakis, and two pairs of jeans (found jeans that fit and bought two!). My skirts are two different styles in black, a long flared microsuede one in a deep coffee brown that works with all colors, one long and one knee length denim skirt, and a couple of summer skirts. I switch out tops, footwear & accessories according to the seasons. It may not be the most exciting wardrobe, but it works in that I can pair up just about any top and bottom and make an acceptable, if not fashionista, outfit.

  62. Amen, sister! And how about when you go to ONE store and buy THEIR brand of clothes, but you need TWO different sizes because they don’t fit the same way? I am also short (esp in my torso), so I FEEL YOUR PAIN. Ditto on the shopping experiences, too.

  63. Try being “almost” plus sized. Everything in regular stores is too tight and everything in plus size stores is too big. Plus I am well proportioned. I am like a large barbie, in that even though I am larger I have a well defined waist and hips. And they don’t think larger girls can have a waist I guess because any pants I can get over my butt gape hugely at the waist.
    But I have the opposite problem from you with sleeves, I have super long arms and my wrists stick out of everything. Especially coats and sweaters.
    My sister is 5’10”, about 120 lbs and has really short legs and a long torso. She has previously unimagined issues with clothing. (Not that anybody can generate any sympathy for someone who is 5’10” 120lbs.)

  64. Ugh! The nightmare that is clothing shopping! I hear you with the pants drama (way too long and can’t get over the derrier and I’m 5′ 5″!) but am totally opposite for shirts. Apparently I have monkey arms and nothing is long enough. Praise be the 3/4 length shirt. It is never too short! But, in all the annoyance of buying clothes that don’t properly fit, I am crossing to the dark side and getting a serger to go with my sewing machine and making my own clothes! Sure, it will compete with knitting, but all for a good cause! πŸ™‚

  65. You said it all! And don’t even get me started on how men can buy things that are made to measurements (which they tell you so you know what size to pick). All we women get are arbitrary numbers assigned to the clothes – about all you can count on is that for a given manufacturer, something with a higher assigned number will be larger (in some way) than the garment with a lower assigned number.
    But when my DH needs pants, I can go to the store and buy any pair that are 36/34 (waist and inseam, respectively) and 95% of the time they will fit just fine. Same thing for shirts.
    Way No Fair!

  66. Hey, try lugging around the VanRossum hips, a post-menopausal stomach, 40 extra pounds and then go shopping where the only thing that fits are elastic-waist pants and maternity tops. If I go into the Gap with my daughter, they practically ask to see my Passport. Pass the chocolate!

  67. As a plus-sized woman (all over) who HATES clothes shopping (practically have to be dragged out to do so), I have been living in Cotton Ginny Plus for casual stuff and Pennington’s for office-type clothing for the last few years πŸ™‚ I highly recommend both stores to anyone who has access to them. Not only are the clothes fairly reasonable in price, but the measurements are realistic *and* most of the women working in the stores are *not* size 2s πŸ˜‰ Plus the clothes are not all “ginormous floral prints” or “grandmother’s couches”, they’re nice, well made and a selection of styles so that you can find the one that fits you best – and most importantly, *comfortable*!
    (The petite section – both regular and plus – has nice stuff too ;))

  68. hah! I am laughing so durned hard! And as another ‘average height’ person (5’3″ thank you very much) I can attest to the same dilemma.
    My solution? the Juniors Department at Fred Meyer – jeans fit poi-fect-ly πŸ™‚

  69. Should we ever meet you are not to look at my bum at all, not even in a non-creepy way. It’s not mine, I’m looking after it for a friend.
    I hate clothes shopping, it takes up valuable knitting time. I find a T shirt I like and buy nine of them. When I was much younger and didn’t mind everything being on show (mind you I had less of it then) then shopping was much simpler. I did at one point do what “they” tell you, all my clothes were black, red or cream and everything went with everything else. It made packing for holidays really simple and I could get dressed for work in the dark.

  70. they are so long because that is what is “in” right now and they assume you are wearing 4 inch heels, lol. I wear birks so I currently have a pair of gap jeans I adore but are about 10 inches too long on my 5’2 frame. They make my arse look cute though!

  71. Except for yarn shopping, I, too, detest shopping. Always have. My mother could not understand how her daughter could possibly 1. Hate pink and purple without being a redhead 2. Hate lace attached to clothes by fishing line 3. Hate spending all day shopping, especially ‘window shopping’. Have an excellent time in ‘tropical’ Columbus!

  72. Wow your cat can open the fridge?!
    I had pshycosymatic chest pains in the GAP last night trying to buy a pair of pants!
    Dumping coffee on plants is not only to be counted as watering but fertilizing and composting as well!

  73. I’m the same. I absolutely detest clothes shopping. All the stuff (cheap stuff) is not in my size. I am not a stick insect. I can’t wear some clothes as it interferes with my spine problem. I can’t wear heels too. It took me five soddin years to find a pair of boots that look good with a skirt. I point blank refuse to spend over Β£20 for a pair of trousers. Don’t even get me started on bras. Why would something that is just a scrap of material (o.k more than a scrap with me) cost over Β£30. We change sizes that often that it’s ridiculous.
    So I have my basic cotton trousers from Primark and t-shirts. Yup! I shop in the mens section (desperate times and all that). I’ve worn the same loafer design for the past five years.
    Gimme my yarn and books anyday.

  74. Just so you know- I hate Gap because their shirt sleeves are too SHORT :)- or really, they fit in the store and then shrink, leaving me with an inch of bare arm, and bare arm in winter is not okay. And, by the way, I’m a skirt girl- usually solves the pant length problem (seasonally appropriate fabric, of course).

  75. I can’t remember you ever posting this early in the morning! This clothing thing must really have you exercised.
    I feel for you. The one-and-only store that carried fashionable clothing in my size, that I felt was worth the price they were charging, was bought up a couple of years ago. The store that replaced it has the same clothes, for twice the price. Except for replacing jeans as they’ve worn out, and souvenir t-shirts when I’ve traveled, I haven’t bought any clothes since then. I haven’t decided whether I’m going to bite the bullet and pay higher prices, or seque to a wardrobe entirely made of hand knits.

  76. It is difficult to be the extreme in either direction.
    I am 5’1″ tall and have what would be considered a “full figure” but I do have a waist. I cannot wear women’s sizes because the waist is too large. And if I choose a misses size that fits in the hips, the waist is too large. When did designers decide that women don’t have a waist?

  77. I hate clothes shopping. I am spot-on average height, and when I was thin I thought my arms were extra long because the sleeves on nearly every blouse or jacket I tried were too short. Now I’ve gone up a few sizes, and all the sleeves are too long. Who are these women who’s arms lengthen and shorten as they change weights?

  78. As someone who is 5’6″, I can still sympathize with you, as the most perfectly sized pants I have ever bought, were a pair of capri’s. To wear as full length pants.
    If only they could come up with some “universal” sizing…

  79. Don’t feel alone–I’m 5’6″, not fat, just ‘normal’ and every freaking pair of pants (except Levi 501’s, my default pants of choice) have legs 6″ too long. I guess at my ‘normal’ weight, I’m actually supposed to be 6′ according to the clothing industry. Arggghhh!

  80. You, my dear Harlot, are built like a woman. A short woman, I’ll grant you that. Not a teenager. Not a tween. A woman.
    This means that (IMHO) 93% of all clothing on the market is (a) aimed at the under 21 set and, therefore, not marketed to your demographic; (b) designed to fit only the not-yet-fully-developed bodies of the target market and, therefore, not designed to fit your body; and (c) meant to be worn with shoes designed to increase your apparent height by 4.672″ precisely and, therefore, not going to work at all with your stature as I know that your shoes do not fit this description at all, at all.
    Relax and be content: you are not alone.
    Ask me how I know all of these things.
    -trek, the 5’4″

  81. I am 5′ 3″, and I find that the Gap ‘short’ pants (I’m about a size 4 too!) are just that teeniest little bit too short. Short enough that I just look like I outgrew them. Maybe my large arse takes up more fabric on mine, and that accounts for the difference in our fit? Of course the regular pants are way too long.
    Never try on pants at Jacob. They are made for people 5′ 10″ (I know this because my 6’1″ friend always finds them a teeny bit too short).
    The only place I’ve found with ‘short’ pants that are just right is Old Navy. Cheap too.

  82. See, I’m tall and the pants and sleeves are generally too short.
    This is just the best reminder of why we knit–because how else can we get things the way we want them??
    (Is it as hot in Columbus as the forecast predicted?)

  83. I’m 5’11 with all of my height in my legs, but relatively normally sized everywhere else. I have enough trouble finding pants that fit me in North America. Then I moved to Japan. Right. The fact that the average adult male barely comes up to my shoulder should give you an indication of how futile clothes shopping is for me in this country. I’ve finally found a couple of stores that sell tops and shoes that fit me, but bottoms? Not on your life. So any time I fly home for a visit I have to spend half of my time shopping for pants. I’m not even going to begin with the utter impossibility of finding anything remotely my size to go under said tops…

  84. Welcome to Columbus! It is hot as hell today and humid too!! Sorry about that. If you look around downtown and see the KeyBank building, that’s where I work. I will be missing you and sorry I couldn’t come to see you. Come see me on my farm about 45 minutes northeast of here if you get bored. You can visit my sheep family and I’ll give you some cool fleece!
    As for the freakishly long pants, well, I can’t complain. I am a little more than a healthy body weight, 5’6″ and pants are usually a perfect length for me. Now, if I could just fit them around my middle section…. On the other hand, I do relate to people that are 5’4″ and I end up hemming a lot of pants for my friends. Hell – bring them with you and I’ll hem-up for you! πŸ™‚

  85. I feel you! I’m 5’1″ (…and a half), and I am constantly tripping over my own pants.
    At the Gap, go for boot-cut. They’re slightly shorter than regular pants on regular people, so they ARE regular pants on short people!
    I may possibly be experiencing the same “arse” issue as you, too. If I can get my (not exactly huge) butt into a pair of pants, then they’re all loose around my waist and pop out in the back and I have to wear a long shirt to keep everyone from seeing my underwear. If you’re talking about wearing jeans, then look for a brand called Grane. They’re cheap, like $25 a pair, comfy and and not all stiff like plaster, and they FIT! (Paris Blues always fit me really well, too, but they’ve gotten really gangsta in the past few years.)
    Good luck!

  86. Tailors – they can fix a lot. But then you have to reduce your price point – so you finish with the price point you were shooting for.
    I’m like lora 5’8 but not average nor tall. My pants are always a tad short. (Because I hate pants that drag and fray behind you.) But just to throw it out – sometimes I can find a great pair of men’s jeans or pants. Or they are great enough that a nip at the waist works great for a good price. And hey why do men get to shop with their waist size and inseam size? Do you know how less stressful life would be if you could just shop that way off the rack? *sigh* In a perfect world.
    I’m not going to go rant about shirts – I’m at a loss – size XL for skinny me because of my shoulders and the girls….which have now left the show. (It was a perk from breastfeeding…. but now its just pitiful, all that va va voom for the hubby…MIA.) Hmm….maybe I should convince the hubby – #4? Hmm…Nah.
    More yarn. Thats whats needed. woolgirl here I come!

  87. columbus? ohio? daaaamn, the two weeks I’m not there, of course >.<
    I agree with the capris as pants… I’m 5 foot.
    one time, mom looks over at me and goes “didn’t you buy capris?”
    “so why arn’t you wearing them?”
    “I am.”

  88. As others have said: it doesn’t get any easier if you’re tall! I’m 5’11” (about 180cm) and I can never find pants long enough (after a certain size, clothing goes out sideways, not heightwise) or shoulders wide enough in shirts.
    What I want is for someone to start making women’s clothing that goes by the same logic as men’s — actual, real measurements. I don’t want to have to try on everything from an 8 to a 14 when I go to a new store: I want pants that have an inseam of X and a waist and hip of Y and Z.
    Of course, 3/4 length sleeves are kind of a blessing, because it means that when my sleeves only reach partway down my arm, I can pretend it’s supposed to be that way (or just lop off a few inches and make them 3/4 instead of obviously too short.)
    I keep saying I’m going to get better at sewing and make my own clothes, but knitting keeps getting in my way instead. πŸ™‚

  89. Perhaps the best thing to do is to stay out of The Gap and go to petite stores that actually know what they’re doing (there must be some… yes I suffer from wishful thinking). Maybe Cleo?
    Ann Taylor Loft is great for petites (prices okay as well, the Loft one, not the non-Loft original). I am short too, and their pants fit me perfectly. This store is only in the States, it is a must-visit whenever I cross the border. I’m waiting for it to come to Toronto… So take advantage of your travels!

  90. Finally delurking to say: I have the EXACT same problem. Even in the petites section. I am 5’2″ and cannot find a pair of pants that I don’t need to shorten to save my life. I think it is because they don’t take into account that petite women usually have proportionately (how often do you get to use THAT in a sentence?) short … well EVERYthing. Arms, legs, torsos, everything. they make the clothing template for a “normal” sized woman (ie: 5’8″ and about 120 lbs. usually with a long torso) and then scale them wider or narrower depending on a larger or smaller size. This never takes into account that those of us who weigh more than 120 have curves in places that “normal” woman had none. Or the fact that petite women’s total torso length is much shorter than the model’s not just their legs and arms…Hence the reason those cute tops with waist shaping end up shaping my hips…

  91. I am with you! What is up with that? I was trying on pants the other day at Winners and the Gap and started to think… Am I the only one who is sick and tired of getting it up over only their knees? I kind of like pants that cover my assets and then are not sweeping the floor at my lowly 5’2″.
    May the fashion gods listen to your rant.

  92. haha, my mom is also 5’1″, and don’t forget the “and a half” πŸ˜›
    I know what you mean – I also don’t shop for clothes very often! I’ll agree that most of the time I just find them too darn expensive. My usual method is to browse those at Wal-Mart whenever I go in to pick something up, and if I find something nice that I like and fits, I get it.
    But that’s also a good thing about knitting – you can make (at least part of) your own wardrobe! πŸ˜›

  93. Yarn Harlot, I couldn’t agree more. I am 5′ 2″ and very curvy, and I’m too big for regular stores and too small for the big girl stores. I am a no-size.
    Most of the time I think it’s all part of patriarchy – keeping women feeling bad about themselves and their size. What drives me most nuts is that men would NOT stand for it…and we do.

  94. Oh my gosh, I just had a meltdown on my blog about this very thing. Don’t forget that so much of the fashions now lean toward looking like a $2 hooker. I’m with you sister, clothes shopping is totally the devil. I consider slacks and “dressier” t-shirt type shirts a triumph and that’s just the way I am happy to dress.

  95. Been reading your blog for a while–first time poster. (Hello!) Just wanted to say that I feel the same way, pretty much exactly! I despise clothes shopping for the very reasons you described. Nice to know I am not the only one.

  96. Tell me about it…clothes manufacturers are out to get us. I can’t tell you how many shirts I’ve tried on that are too tight around the waist, and I’m 5’4″ and 110 pounds.

  97. Take heart, pretty lady! I worked as a runway model and clothes don’t really fit me properly either. I mean, if they don’t fit ME, who do they fit? Grumble, grumble, grumble!

  98. I am 5’6 and 1/2 inches, which means almost everything is either too long or too short, regular length pants are ankle length and tall pants are dragging on the floor, sleeves don’t even get me started on that one. Also I am about a size 12/14 a little bigger than normal, but not big enough to be a plus size!!! So I have to either loose 20 pounds or gain 20.
    I love summer clothes, short sleeves and capris!

  99. Amen to the fitting problems, and to the poster who pointed out that clothing was getting smaller over the years. I sew, so I know my measurements have not changed in 20 years. And yet my dress size is three sizes bigger.
    What you need, dear harlot, is a uniform. For you I suggest…
    1) Dark pants, either gray or black or navy or jeans. they all go with black shoes and belts and so on, don’t even bother looking at other colors. For travel make them soft knits that roll up, take up little space in the suitcase, and don’t wrinkle.
    2) White shirts. Be they t’s or tanks or blouses or shirts, just make them all white. Goes with everything. For travel make it t’s, roll them up, and if you do coffee them they’re easy to replace, even on the road.
    3) Put all the color and pattern into sweaters. Lots and lots of gorgeous detailed sweaters. What’s under them will always go, and it’s *much* more fun to shop for yarn and patterns.

  100. Oh, but the problem with capri-length pants on a 5’1 or even a 5’4 woman? They look like highwaters.
    I think the tailors are behind it. They want you to have to bring all your pants in for proper hems. Because even though I know how to hem a pair of pants, I’m more likely to wear highwaters or get some shoes with a 2″ heel to avoid pant-drag.

  101. I am 5’1″ and stocky (broad shoulders) and have to wear petites. Here’s what I wear and where I buy them:
    Jeans: petite from Style and Co at Macy’s. No hemming needed.
    Pants: petite from Talbots, Anne Taylor, and yes, the petite pants need to be hemmed. I work in an office environment and dragging hems are not professional, nor safe.
    Skirts: petite from anywhere, much easier to fit.
    Knit tops/sweaters: petite from Chadwick’s, Talbots, Anne Taylor. Hit the end of season clearance for great deals. I got great deals on cashmere sweaters last March this way.
    The only Misses size items I can wear are tops if they have 3/4 sleeves. And yes, I wear Misses capris as normal length pants.
    For in store shopping, I go to Kohl’s.

  102. Hello. 4’11 here (I have good posture). Shopping is hell. This week was mother-of-the-bride shopping, but only because my daughter insisted upon it. I bought a dress in 1990 and one in 2006 and now another this year. My left eye is still twitching and mostly because there are two marriagable daughters who will assume parity.

  103. Dude! For years I thought I had freakishly short arms – glad to hear I am not alone. I actually just bought a pair of pants that looked like capri’s on the model, but hit my ankle bone. I am keeping them anyway – they fit everywhere else.
    Here is my shopping plan: Winter – find a pair of jeans that fit and buy 5 pairs. Find a sweatshirt that fits and buy 10. Summer – repeat with short and t-shirts.
    As for socks, I am now knitting my own since no matter what department I buy them in(womens, boys, little girls), the heel pulls up to my ankle.
    Also The Gap should be avoided by anyone over the age of 25.

  104. Another good reason to knit… though I don’t think you really want to knit denim pants….
    I’m the one that needs the monkey sleeves (long arms)and everything looks 3/4 length even when it’s not supposed to.
    Yep, buying clothes is a real pain – often to the point of frustration – or, if a really bad day, tears. Nope, we’re not strange and weird bodies but the clothing industry is very limited. Really wish it was like for men’s suits and the tailoring was included. Price of an item usually includes the shortening/lengthening/tightening/loosening that is not included in the inital sticker price.
    Fantasy: personal shopper… or getting my sister to do it who always gives me awesome stuff for my birthdays. I wish I knew how she did it.
    Congrats on the pre-organization. Coffee probably adds nutrients to the plants.

  105. Have someone take you up to the Tuttle Mall or over to Easton for some good shopping. Ok, reasonable shopping.
    And while you are downtown Columbus, have someone take you to German Village for a go-around in the Book Loft and down to Schmidts for a Beer and Brats evening. There is a lovely Columbus brewed beer that they serve there. And the saurkrout (sp?) balls are divine!!!
    Enjoy Columbus!

  106. At 5’8″ all pants were too short when I was a teen, and now many are too long on me, including the pair I’m wearing right now. My sister sews her own clothes, but that is not happening here, so I wear old stuff, and occasionally find something that fits. One idea: ask your daughters to shop for you, keeping the receipt so they can return what doesn’t fit. They will probably enjoy it!

  107. I suggest going with the “Travel Wardrobe” idea. Pick your favorite color & build around it as painlessly as possible. Make a list on your computer of what you need to take & print out a fresh copy to check off each trip. (Also works great for camping equipment, etc.)
    Or get a button to wear like a former art instructor who was known for her eccentric outfits. It said, “I didn’t dress in the dark. I’m an Artist!”

  108. I hear ya. I hate shopping, too.
    I love 3/4 sleeves. No rolling up, or making do.
    I love Annie C’s instructions for a uniform. Makes perfect sense.
    My advice would be to find, and treasure, an excellent tailor or seamstress, so you can have things hemmed or adjusted to your specific measurements.
    I should take my own advice.

  109. Wow. Nothing like shopping to stir up quite a lot of opinions.
    Shopping is an art – it really is. It’s knowing what cuts and brands fit your body without any excessive holding of breath.
    It is also possible to do this on a budget. Between thrift stores, overstock stores (Ross, TJMaxx, Marshall’s), ebay and the sale rack, it can work.
    The trick is for the women who love to shop, fit, and bargain-hunt to gather around their sisters who are talented in other ways.
    You might try Ann Taylor Loft. It’s cheaper than Ann Taylor, forgiving of sizes, AND they have a petite section. They also work well for those whose cups runneth over.
    For jeans, you might try Tommy Hilfiger or DKNY Jeans. They’re about the same price as GAP jeans, but they do nicer things to your tush.
    I also reccommend thrift stores for husband clothing. I never spend more than 5.50 on a shirt for him, and he has shirts by Nautica, Eddie Bauer, Ralph Lauren, Banana Republic, American Eagle, and Haggar.
    Then you take what you saved on husband clothing…

  110. I’m Short (5’2.5″) and heavy(190+/-) add to that a Spinal cord injury that makes it difficult for me to put on and take of regular type jeans and I end up at WM buying size 16 or 18 petite elastic waisted jeans πŸ™‚ I dont wear jeans much I tend to live in sweats and shorts bought in the male section so a) they fit and arent to long and b) the shorts actually cover my thighs! As for shirs I vary between lgand exlarge T-shirts or pullpvers, no buttons of course. I Know my measurements and plan to make myself some nice sweater tees and long sleeve ones to wear as the weather cools. I only wear my jeans when the situation demands it so I am definitally a fashion lacking 35y/o.

  111. I’m 5’9″, and my legs are disproportionately long for my height (34″ inseam). I can buy long-inseam pants from a couple of catalog places, but that’s it. And until a few years ago, when the sleeves-hanging-down-over-the-hands thing got fashionable, I would unbutton my cuffs under my sweater/jacket sleeves so I could straighten my arms. In the 70’s I bought cuffed pants so I could let out the cuffs and hems and end up with pants that came to the ends of my legs.
    What I want to know is why women’s clothing companies can’t size things the way men’s clothiers do? They get inseam lengths and sleeve lengths to choose from, and we get–the Gap, who thinks we’re all the same damn size!

  112. Ah. But you do like shopping. For yarn. πŸ™‚ I am the same way, since I have trouble with clothing at the other end of the spectrum–I am tall (5’10”), but not freakishly so, but my legs and arms are long, so nothing fits.
    Yarn always fits some pattern, and never makes your arse look fat.

  113. You said IT and very well indeed. Cut the slacks off and you have enough to make a pair of shorts for a child, cut the sleeves off put elastic on both ends and voila you have leg warmers !! Trouble is I HATE any kind of sewing EVEN to sewing a knit sweater together . The maufacturers could save a LOT of material and expense if they only knew how much of it is a total waste. Someone should send Stacey and Clinton from What Not to Wear to you . Just imagine a whole week in New York and ALL that money to spend on just your clothes !!!! Lordy I know I couldn’t do it. They probably wouldn’t let you wear or keep your Birkies tho–I’d hide the suckers in one of the girls bedrooms first. Have a great time at TNNA

  114. Darlin’, as we age our bodies change. Weight is redistributed. Clothes are not designed for 40+ year old women. Welcome to the club.

  115. Unfortunately it goes the other way around, too. I’m 5’9″ and shopping for pants is very traumatic. When I do find a pair that fits, I take extremely good care of them and try not to
    If you have it in Toronto, I would recommend checking out the petite section of Ann Taylor Loft. They have beautiful clothes and great sale items. πŸ™‚

  116. Don’t forget that Gap pants shrink about 20 kazillion inches when you throw them in the wash. Ask me how I know…

  117. I HATE shopping. I’m 5’6″, supposedly average height, and I used to be able to buy pants that were the right length. But then someone decided to start a trend, “oh, let’s get all women to wear high heels,” so now they make the pants longer. Feh. I wouldn’t wear high heels if you paid me. My philosophy about clothing and shoes is if it isn’t comfortable, I’m not wearing it. If it isn’t suitable for taking a hike in the woods, it isn’t really me.
    And why can’t clothing manufacturers get it through their thick heads that women have breasts?! None of my shirts fit right! Stupid idiots!

  118. I have to have shoes on to be 5’0″. To make it worse, my body is normal size but I have very short legs. (My butt is close to the ground.) Petites don’t fit my trunk and average length doesn’t fit my legs. Does that make me a “Misfit?”

  119. I am a capri as full length pants wearer too!
    I have noticed when I am able to slim down to a size 2 that pants fit me perfectly in length, but who really wants to give up all those cheeseburgers?

  120. Clothes don’t fit normal women because they weren’t MADE for normal women. Most of the people who design clothes for the rack are men that idealize and perpetuated a distorted view of how they think a woman SHOULD be shaped, not how she really is.
    Also, I get most of my clothes from Discount stores that sell overstocked designer stuff at half price — or less! Nothing feels better than paying less than 50 percent of retail. Nothing.
    I’m 25, at a healthy weight and I do yoga and run races, I’m 5′ 7″ and yet I, too, have a hard time finding pants that fit well.
    Silly, isn’t it?

  121. 3/4 length sleeves are a dream! I, too, am 5’1″ and have such problems with pants, but 3/4 length sleeves are usually perfect for me, especially since it’s always cold in my office and the longer sleeve (and hand-knit shawl, of course!) helps.
    My mom and I (both short) love Coldwater Creek. You can shop online (and if you need to return something, you can return it at the store, rather than pay for return shipping), and they have great things. What we do is we know exactly what size/styles fit us in their clothes, so we watch. And they almost always have 50% or 75% off sales, and lots and lots of good stuff on clearance.
    Some of their stuff is really glitzy with lots of sequins and beads.
    We don’t do glitz.
    So people pass it up becuase ewww glitz, and it goes on clearance, and then more clearance, and then more clearance, until finally, my mom has bought jackets that would normally be $75 for $6, and spent a couple of hours with a pair of scissors and snipped off all the glitz, and it looks fantastic.

  122. I hate clothes shopping too. Sometimes I feel like a total weirdo, but then I realize that I’m not the only one:) That’s why it’s great to be a knitter!

  123. as someone who is 5.1 3/4″ I can totally totally relate, but i don’t have any assets up front, and must therefore knit sweaters designed for a 12 year old- however, i have finally decided that i was tried of looking like a frump, so i shop in only stores that carry true petites (for women under 5’4″) i wait for their sales use coupons etc. and usually can do pretty well. if “home” doesn’t have such places, I’d recommend doing your shopping while on tour here in the us, you can look nice in classic pieces with minimal investment in the long run- things that pack well too!- i too hate clothes shopping for the exact reasons you mentioned, and refused to “dig” for a bargain- yarn yes, clothes no- when you’re in atlanta again, maybe we can find a way to shop for clothes and drink at the same time-

  124. Hope some of those clothes are summer clothes so you can stay cool! Welcome to nice, hot Columbus!
    Wish I could see you at TNNA. Enjoy your stay and stay cool!

  125. Boy, judging from the number and tone of the comments, you really touched a nerve with that one!
    So allow me to add my two cents: why the bloody hell can’t women’s clothing come in actual measurements, the way men’s do, instead of arbitrary numbers that change from one manufacturer to the next? Why can’t we get separate waist and length measurements? And, what the heck, while we’re at it, how about a separate hip measurement, too? I’m 5’11”, my best friend is 5’2″, and we both wear a “size 6”–whatever the heck that means. But obviously, it is a physical impossibility that the same item of clothing could ever fit both of us, right? So why is there only one size option that either of us can choose?
    (And don’t think that just because a woman is tall and thin that clothes will fit her properly, either. They don’t.)

  126. I’m SO with you … I’m 5’4.5 and I don’t get the super long shirts. Why the hell does a shirt from the gap have to go down to my damn knees?
    I did, however, find some great undies and bras at gap a few years ago – bought dozens and have been making it with those ever since. They have – of course because I didn’t buy enough apparent – discontinued that extremely comfy style. This is exactly why I stopped shopping at Victoria’s Secret and Bath and Body Works. If I like something, and I buy it, when I go back to get more, it’s NEVER there. It makes no sense to me, but to hell with them all. I avoid shopping like the plague because it never fails to annoy me.
    Good luck and have a great weekend Harlot!

  127. I hear you on the shopping, on all fronts. Myself, I’m 5’8″ but have a 34″ inseam. Try and find women’s pants for less than $50/pair with a 34″ inseam. No joy, nowhere. Also I wear anywhere between a 30-32″ waist (so, proportional). I went into a Suzy Shier 2 years ago looking for capri pants (to circumvent the inseam issue), and found a pair I really liked. Asked the sales associate, “Do you have these in larger than a size 9?” Her response – straight face – “No, why would we?”
    I hate shopping.

  128. I’m at the other end of height (almost 6 ft) and I tell you, its also hell. Never ever there are women’s pants long enough, as well as long-sleeved t-shirts, jackets, anything. (And there’s not even the chance to shorten.) But I understand you, clothes shopping sucks!

  129. The clothing industry sucks. That’s all there is to it. I’m tall – 5’10” and a 4 or 6 depending on the crazy vanity sizing at the store (a rant for another day) and I have hips and a normal butt – and can not find a flipping pair of pants to fit. My question is, who do these clothes actually fit?

  130. As someone who is not an average size, I feel your pain. Apparently, if you’re a “plus size” you must either wear a floral muumuu, dress like your kindergarten teacher, or dress like a hooker for guys who like “big girls”. (Vinyl pants with lace-up legs in size up to 4X? COME ON!) And apparently, if you’re overweight, you must also be 6′ tall. It all makes perfect sense in the eyes of the drugged up clothing designers.
    At least we have the option to knit something that *actually fits*. (That is of course assuming that we took time to check our gauge and measure ourselves properly…)

  131. 5’3 here! I have the arse problem (I only avoid the length problem by not minding ratty hems in casual pants and wearing skirts when I need to look nice). I am a perfectly reasonable weight for my height, but I have hips and a notable, but not disproportionate, arse-al region. Finding pants that accommodate that is some kind of epic quest, I swear. Either they won’t go on at all, or I find a size that goes over my bum but you could fit 2 of me in the waist part, and belts make me look squashy and bulgy at that point. I’m usually not the first to cry “conspiracy theory” but it really does feel like I’m being told “Don’t have a shapely arse, have a washboard!”

  132. And then there’s the jacket in XL that I cannot button over my not particularly bountiful chest and then I put on a jacket in a sz 12 and it fits beautifully. Go figure!
    As to pants, at 5’5″, I have to cut off 4 inches from every pair. In a short/petite size I only have to cut off 1 inch, that’s assuming I can wrestle the pants over my rear.
    Aargh! I hate shopping.

  133. As my dear old Mom would say….Just brush your hair…no one will notice as long as you’re there.
    Oh yeah, don’t forget the clean undies ;o )
    I hate shopping for pants. Absolutely hate it! I can feel fine when I go in the fitting room. When I come out…OY!

  134. I can’t believe there is a major fiber arts event right in my home town and I can’t go : ( I am not a buyer/retailer just a yarn enthusiast. I glanced at the schedule and it sounds like it’s going to be a blast.

  135. I SO hate shopping for clothes. Tammany said exactly what I’m thinking – thanks! It’s great that when we knit we can alter patterns to make clothes fit. Sewing clothes is a lost art, but even if you are a skilled seamstress, it is a real challenge anymore to find quality fabrics. Women’s clothing stores rarely offer alterations, as is routinely offered for men’s clothing. I’ve come to the point where I only shop through catalogues.

  136. yeah..i have the really long legs, so the scary long pants are good, except i still cant wear heels, and the dread waist gap.. so i buy men’s jeans and sew..

  137. Hey watch it, I’m one of those monkey arm ladies! 5 10 and nothing is ever long enough. Pants are always too short. Tops never cover my left over baby bump. Good reason to knit your own tops.

  138. A word on the dreaded Leg Length – designers assume ALL women wear heels. ALL THE TIME. I think those heeled slippers, a la Joan Collins, must be coming back as well.
    That said, I am of the Ann Taylor Loft school as well. Check it out when you’re in the States – The sales ladies in Portland are usually all pretty good too. Better than the other stores in town as a general rule – maybe they train better?
    Another advantage to ATL – they sell all their own stuff so their sizes tend to be consistent. So if something fits you, odds are more will too. And their clothes all coordinate – a HUGE help for this fashion-challenged soul. Let’s just say – all my work pants are either black or grey because I can always match them that way. Sad but true.
    If the Loft’s clothing fits you and you like it, you can shop online with them. I have found anntaylorloft.com to be a pretty friendly website, has a better selection of sizes and has a good return policy.
    Good luck!

  139. I hate shopping too. It is impossible to find anything if your short, 4’11”, and curvy. I can wear anything from a 12 to an 18 and they all fit. I usually go with similar colors so there is no thinking. The only time I go clothes shopping is when my best friend gets me wired on caffeine and sugar before we go, that way I’m too giddy to be crabby at her. She also knows where to find shops that have a better chance of having clothes that fit. Thankfully she only attacks my closet every few years.
    It is not that your clothes don’t match, your just making a fashion statement. lol

  140. I have the feeling you and my mother would get along just fine: she hates shopping unless it’s absolutely necessary, and has a short fuse once we get into the store. She especially loves yelling at clerks in the shoe department that half the girls in her daughter’s middle school class have feet size nine or larger, yet they do not carry above a size 10.
    Personally, I have been told that I am built like a model (tall and skinny), and since the reason most people hate clothes is because they are designed for models and not real people, you’d think this would mean I’d haven no trouble finding clothes. Nope. NOTHING fits. I feel your pain.

  141. Oh boy, have you ever hit a hotspot with me.
    I consider myself an average height and only slightly increased belly (middle age spread) – a very boring 5’4″ and 165lbs – why are so many “large” or “extra large” clothes too small to fit into?
    It’s like the model for “average adult woman” is a 12 year anorexic!
    I hate shopping for clothes too because the act of trying them on is so humiliating and defeating.

  142. Clothes shopping is just a nightmare, period. My mom & sister are the average height (5 ft 4 in) and everything is too long for them. I’m tallish (5 ft 8in) and most pants lengths are perfect on me -which makes no sense. I am always wondering what in the world all the average or less-than-average women do – hem everything?? It wasn’t this way 20 years ago, when I was a teen it was almost impossible to find pants that were long enough. (so I’m really not complaining) But the sleeves – usually still too short for me.

  143. Oh, I can really relate to the ‘short’ length pant thing. Aeropostale is another culprit of having short lengths that are average lengths in disguise!

  144. I also hate clothes shopping. And can I add, I absolutely resent being a non size? A negative size? I am not abnormal. I am slightly underweight, but not skeletal. You wouldn’t look at me and think, “anorexic.” Yet when I go into Old Navy (I like to spend even less on clothes than the Gap), none of the women’s pants or skirts fit me because their smallest size is too large. Clearly, nobody is a size “zero.” That doesn’t make any sort of logical sense. And how can I be less than zero? I just buy guy’s jeans and call it a day–but they’re always a little shorter than I’d like because the smallest waist size doesn’t come with a long enough inseam. All of which begs the question, why can’t women’s sizes go by inches, too? Why do we have to figure out what every single store means by “size 4” when they all mean different things? ARGH!

  145. I am 5’8″ and my height is all from the waist down. When I was a kid, clothes came in 3 sizes too short, too big around, or both. I learned to sew in self-defense. I liked short skirts (but commercial products were indecent). I likes long skirts (mid-calf is NOT long). By learning to sew, I could control the length. When I sew pants, the first thing I do is add 4-5 inches to the bottom of the pattern.
    This is also not a problem that only women have. My younger brother wears 32X36 jeans (yes the 36 is the inseam). These are hard enough to find, but dress pants are almost impossible. Yes they come with hemming, but if the unhemmed length is 36, well you can imagine how well that works.

  146. Make your own. A great excuse for another stash! I’ve spent the last 5 years pregnant, breastfeeding, being vommited on or having food ground into my clothes. My entire wardrobe is either falling to bits or pretty dated (not that it was ever very trendy). I can’t face all that clothes shopping, so I have started sewing a new one. It’s a lot of fun and it all fits.

  147. I totally feel your pain! I’m 5’5″ and when I try the “short” jeans on in the Gap they are still on the long side. And I’m totally built like Kermit the Frog (all legs, no torso, but with hips).
    But *shhhhhh*
    I love my sleeves to be reallyreally overly long! I don’t want them to change that part!

  148. Packing is impossible – I always over-pack and then wear the same 2 outfits my whole trip. No one ever notices. My advice is: Black shoes, black pants and a pair of jeans, and button-down collared shirts in a handful of colors will never do you wrong. Buy the shirts to fit your “accessories” and you can take them in a little at the waist if necessary. Dress them up or down by tucking or not, and adding hand-knit sweaters!
    I’m 5’10” or more, with some serious accessories in front, a relatively little waist, serious hips and not much backside. I’m tall, long-legged, curvy, womanly. I feel pretty good naked, but I hate buying clothes! Everything pinches and pulls somewhere if it fits well somewhere else, NOTHING is cut right (too long, too short, too straight), everything is expensive… I’m 25 and I LIKE clothes and fashion – on other people. It’s so fun in theory but the frustrations of shopping stomp any wardrobe creativity I might have. I’d wear all men’s clothes for the simplicity of it, but I feel frumpy and that’s not fair. I think the sari idea is absolutely brilliant, but I live in Minnesota so that’s out of the question for most of the year. I think the reason most women hate our bodies is not because of our bodies but because of the clothes we’re forced to squeeze into. Imagine how much happier and more united women would be if only our clothes could fit us!
    I guess I’ve officially stopped lurking… Stephanie, I adore you!

  149. 2 things…
    1. You can wear a burlap sack and no one would care. At least no one that matters.
    2. If you’re knitting something fantastic, which you usually are, no one’s going to notice that you’re wearing the same thing as before. You know the knitters are really only going to notice the knitting.
    Side note on #2…maybe you should go find a yarn store and make sure you have enough fantastic stuff to knit with to make sure no one notices the dress code violations!

  150. I’m so excited when I find a pair of pants that are long enough, I buy them in every colour and wear them until they are long out of style. Latest find: Eddie Bauer shaped jeans: “one size smaller in the waist than the hips”- nice way of saying your ass is too big. Who cares? I actually had to take them up!

  151. I have the exact opposite problem…. I’m 5’10”.
    GAP sleeves seam freakishly short with shoulders of a linebacker on me. The reason is GRADING. Most corporate apparel companies like the GAP grade up and down from the sample size (usually size 6 or 8; missy, not petite) which means the farther away from the sample size you are, the less likely the garment will fit properly. There is usually no Petite fit model. Us freaks outside the “average” get a mathematical formula.

  152. It’s because you’re supposed to wear shoes with heels. I’m 5’6″, and I can’t wear the “regular” length Gap pants without rolling them up.

  153. I know this one! I know this one! Tall, average, and petite/short mostly refer to the “rise” on the pants, the length between the crotch and waist, and less to the legnth of the legs.
    I am 5’1 1/2″ too (the half inch is VERY important), and I usually wear average, and just accept that I will have to hem. But I do empathize about the difficulty of finding pants to fit. I have, ahem, curves, and apparently women these days aren’t supposed to. Even at my skinniest size 4 days, I still found that some things would just not look right on me, because they don’t expect women to have hips or a rounded bubble butt. (My husband disagrees, which is why he married me. πŸ™‚
    When you find something that fits (after trying on four different sizes), buy several. It will save you the headache for a while.

  154. The answers to all your questions about clothing and fit are summed up in one sentence: Clothes don’t fit and cost WAY too much because (a) they were probably designed by men; (b) the manufacturing companies are probably owned; (c) the retail stores are probably owned by men; and (d) the purchasing agents for those stores are either men or anorexic 25 year old women. Note that none of the above have ever had to purchase clothing that accomodated one’s arse or one’s “accessories”.
    As for me, I buy petite sizes (I’m 5 foot 2) in stretchy fabric and with elastic waists; mostly black, with colorful tops

  155. I’m 4’9 (you took your shoes off when you took a pic with me in Tennessee), and I absolutely feel your pain with the clothing. I’m short enough that it does hinder me when I’m buying clothes. When I was in high school the short length Gap jeans were a perfect fit. Now, they’re inches too long. I did once buy a pair of capris that had a cuff on them, and just undid the cuff for some perfect full length pants. Dress pants are the worst though. I have 2 pair in my closet that I haven’t worn yet because I haven’t gotten around to getting them hemmed.

  156. Somebody said Lands End. I heartily second that and add LL Bean. they have pant legs with 28 inch inseams and three or four cuts to take in several bum shapes. They also have shirts in x small that fit my 5 foot 1 3/4 inch shorter arm narrower shoulder frame. Also do not go clothes shopping by yourself. You need someone to help you find the right stuff and run and get the different size while you contemplate yourself in the fitting room mirror under florescent lights in decent privacy. I hate shopping too.

  157. There are about 150 posts ahead of me, and I know there are millions of women in North America, and I’m pretty sure that we 150+ people are only a small fraction of the people who hate shopping and have issues with finding clothes that fit, so WHO is out there buying clothes???? Are there REALLY people that fit into the clothes in the store?? My summer pants wardrobe is entirely Flax elastic waist pants, and frequently FLOODS because of my 5’2″ height…the floods look, on me, like regular pants! I’m with EVERYONE that has posted!!

  158. Maybe we all feel this way about clothes. I’m on the smaller end of the spectrum and swim in the smallest sizes because of size inflation. Going to the “juniors” section is the worst option because I end up with my belly button hanging out, looking like Brittney Spears. I have a niece who is an Abercrombie fit model. She’s their size 7 and gets to try on their clothes to make sure the sizing is correct. I’m sure all the stores do this. Perhaps they need to stop employing high schoolers.

  159. OMG yes on the floral/couch designs for plus sizes. I’m not, but my mother is (heavy, short, large accessories, narrow shoulders). Trying to find stuff for her for a job interview…what a nightmare. And on the topic of plus sizes…I’m a size 10 or 11 in pants (but 8 or less in tops, go figure, and don’t ask me about dresses). Plus sizes start at 16. There are a ton of women heavier than I am. Why don’t more stores carry their sizes?
    As for me…freakishly long torso, slender shoulders, short arms, pudgy tummy but slender waist, wide hips, large butt, preference for flat shoes (and not ballet flats either – I have to be able to walk in them). ‘Nuff said.
    Oh, one more thing. Is it so much to ask designers to make fitted t-shirts that don’t show off your bra because the fabric is so thin?!

  160. Oy, the “accessories”.
    I often laugh (hysterically) at my friends who wish they had large accessories. They just don’t seem to get it that tops don’t fit right when you have extra volume in that area. Then again, if they were to get some artificial accessories, they would be nice and perky – unlike my real accessories which have been attacked by pregnancy and gravity.
    Clothing designers suck. Sometimes I think knitting patterns suck too. It’s impossible to imagine the changes I would need to make to knit something that is modeled on a waif, or how to modify an empire waist so that the seam isn’t sitting on top of my accessories.
    Darn anatomy!

  161. I am presently trying to find new jeans that fit, since I’ve noticed the distinct signs of aging in the jeans I’ve had for oh, so long. After two frustrating days of trying on ill-fitting pants meant for uncurvy derry-areas or people with no waistlines, I headed to the internet and did a search for “jeans that fit.” One website came up that seemed intriguing — zafuDOTcom. They asked me some questions about body fit and then showed me a list of jeans that should fit my body well. I have written down the names of the ones available in stores in my area, if the price was not astronomical. The website lists their prices-Cool! Some are orderable online, some are for sale in local stores. Since I haven’t gone shopping yet, (need to fortify myself before making a third attempt) I can’t say how well their recommendations work. But feel free to try it! They say they can help with dress pants and bras, too.
    ~ Dar

  162. I can’t believe how they can ignore all of those out there that are 5’1″ and under! I am 4’10” and the best thing that has happened to me (off the rack-wise) are CROPPED PANTS!!! whoa, I can put them on and they fit. They come right down to my ankles like real regular pants.

  163. Glad your squeeky cheese made it into your fridge safely. πŸ™‚
    I finally got the chance to blog your Kingston visit and in case you are interested: http://knitpurlknitpearl.blogspot.com/2008/06/june-four.html
    Sean freaked out on the way home over the Count von Count on Seseme Street. It was a LONG drive back to Montreal πŸ™ I dont think I will ever put the Count back on TV for him again!
    Have fun at TNNA! Can’t wait to hear about it!

  164. I’m 5′ tall, and I have the same problem with pants that are technically sized for “petites”. I feel your pain.

  165. I have a similar problem, except the complete opposite: I am a 5’5″ size 1-3, and I also have rather large accessories. Large for my frame, not necessarily large in general. When I find things that fit, I buy 10. Ok, maybe 2.
    What’s worse, clothing designers are switching sizes around: what was once a size 12 is now a 10 – or even an 8 – so my size is literally falling off the map! I’m not that thin, and I eat a lot, I just can’t help that I fit into the smaller sizes. My mom is 5′ even and she weighs barely 90 pounds, tiny women run in my family.
    … as do women with clothes that never seem to fit properly. Which is why I think my mother learned how to sew…

  166. Let’s split the difference, eh? I can often buy “normal” length pants and practically wear them as capris.

  167. I just went on my first vacation in a decade, and wanted to try to find a skirt or dress. I’m 5’8″, and fairly average sized. Went to Coldwater Creek, and the only things that fit me were: (1) small (??); (1) size 6; (1) size 14; and (1) size XL. I had to walk out without buying anything, because even though those “fit”, they all looked like crap. I’m not even going to start with the shirts.
    And the only way I can get pants long enough is to buy men’s pants. They, too, look like crap on me, but I can pick them up for $13 at Costco, and not have to try anything on until I get home.
    Hate shopping.

  168. I hate to shop too! That’s one of the things that my husband loves about me!

  169. I have the opposite problems being of enormously long torso and arms and ‘regular’ legs, but I thought it was that I just hadn’t completely evolved, rather than malice on the part of clothing mfgrs, though that possiblilty lurks in the back of my mind.
    What I do is wait for my sister to buy stuff, get tired of it, and hand it down to me. It’s a little dated, but it fits!

  170. Eddie Bauer started selling their women’s oxford blouses with the cuff on the size small starting past my wrist, and I’m 5’5″. You’d have to be well over six feet. They landed in bankruptcy court recently. If the shoe fits…

  171. I completely sympathise..
    But, I have a suggestion. Personal Shopper. Ask your local large department store if they have a personal shopper. (Macy’s does, Nordstrom’s does, etc.) They’ll ask questions, and when you come in have stuff pulled in your size for you to try on and they help you pick things out. And, (at least at Macy’s) – the service is free.
    Takes a bunch of the hassle out of shopping. And, you deserve it.

  172. Skimming through this thread, I think one this is obvious: store bought clothes do not fit any women.
    Could this be the root of why we shop so much – we’re constantly in search of the top/bottom/whatever that fit properly, and we’re so disgruntled by our search that we simply purchase something that is adorable, but doesn’t necessarily fit correctly.
    That would explain all my wardrobe one hit wonders…

  173. 4′ 11 3/4″. and the word that helps me is “amortization”. Yes, those trousers/shoes, that shirt/jacket are $200.00 but I will wear them 200 times well,100 times which makes them only $2.00/wearing. That and a lot of scarves and shawls!

  174. I used to love the Gap and I still buy some things there (I have long arms and legs, so the length issue works to my advantage), but as I’ve aged, I’ve found that the clothes at Eddie Bauer and J.Jill fit better. My thirty-something arse fits in all of the pants and both stores have an excellent selection of clothes in both petite and tall. They also have pretty good online sales which saves me the hassle of going to the mall in the first place.

  175. Hi, my name is Micky. I am another hater of shopping for clothes. We ought to form a group.
    I even hate all those commercials where all the women are walking on cloud nine, just because they found a sale. Yeah right.
    The only clothing I have bought for myself is Metallica t-shirts. And that’s only because I bought them out of the Metclub store online. Everything else I own was either given to me or is as old as Methusala.
    I can never find anything I like. And it’s too frustrating to try.
    On the other hand, I could shop in a yarn store for hours. And sometimes do if I am by myself. The kids get bored of walking around and around the same aisles after the first couple of times.

  176. This is why I wear skirts, almost exclusively until it’s wayyyy too cold out. Long, flowy skirts. And amazingly, Steve & Barry’s seems to fit most people, and at their incredibly low prices you can buy lots of shirts to spill coffee (or splash acid, in my case) all over!

  177. Clearly the only solution for any right thinking person is to knit as much of their own wardrobe as humanly possible πŸ˜‰ Then everything would fit exactly!
    I also hate shopping. Thankfully I have developed a “personal style” that mostly involves t-shirt and jeans. So thiat makes things just a tad easier.

  178. I feel your pain. It’s especially frustrating going into store after store after store and walking out feeling freakish from the waist down. That’s why 1) I have plenty of skirts, and 2) I go to thrift shops to buy jeans and casual pants. Think of it. All those brands are in one location. Some lovely person already broke them in for me. And they’re so cheap that the cost of having pants hemmed (I’m 5’2″) still adds up to a great deal.

  179. You know, you would think, with your experience that someone who is tall with long arms and legs would be set. But everything has arms too short, the legs are either floods on me or I get the dreaded low crotch where the crotch of the pants are about four inches south of where it should be. I have a big arse but somehow the industry thinks that means that I will have a big waist too so I get this fabulous grand canyon size gap at my waist that even pokes out shirts.
    It is always a delight, isn’t it?
    I don’t know how anyone can enjoy shopping. They must never get the shirts with designs right at the nips, no saggy bottoms (or worse, saggy fronts!), no fabric hugging a roll in the middle I didn’t even know was there!
    This is why I like shopping for purses.

  180. This is really puzzling- I am 5′ 1″ and a bit- I like to think I am 5′ 2″ but then I am an optimist- for me – a uk 8/10 so a Canadian 4/6 ? and a bit of an oblong shape -I have to have a Gap size 2 jeans which fit on the hip but are loose on the waist – long and lean style ( I am neither so go figure??) which only comes in the regular length- this I either wear with summer flip flops scraping the floor or with boots with a 2″ heel the rest of the year- perfect length-so how come its so different over there and they are so long- isn’t Gap universal?? Why in the Uk is the inside leg a regular 31″?

  181. I am SO with you on that shopping crapola.. who has the time or… patience?!? ok, not me.
    I’m taller but only because of a long torso, I have legs that would look great on a 5’1″or so person.. have issues finding pants/skirts the right length… Very Short Legs.
    My fab find this past year was a pair of gauchos.. kinda like wearing a skirt but not… nice length.. comfy and yes, I realize they’re not ‘fashionable’ anymore and I just don’t care. I also happen to love thrift stores and will always hit them before a regular store if ever I get the urge… or actually think I need some item of clothing… those ‘moments’ tend to get less and less the older I get :^)
    You’ll look fine, no matter what you throw on. Seriously.

  182. I had painful clothing issues myself until I found C. J. Banks which is the plus size version of Christopher & Banks. I am assuming that Christopher & Banks follow the same styling guidelines as my beloved C. J. Banks or this information will be totally useless to you! Which it may be anyway, but, what the heck? I’m trying to be helpful here!
    OK. So why do I love this store so much? After spending a reasonable amount of time (well, maybe quite a bit of time, but it was the first time there) I found they carry consistent “formulas” of styles that are repeated each season. They then take these styles and create extensive color combination sets that can be mixed and matched. Once I found my “formula” style and size, shopping there became a breeze. I just pop in, find the styles and colors I like, try them on to pick my favorites of the many choices I’ve found, and then I’m out of there. It’s great. I can go in and be out within an hour with clothes I love to wear. What is really, really wonderful is they have sales where EVERYTHING in the store, including SALE items, is marked 40% off. That is exactly when I shop. You do need to shop early for the best selection. You can even sign up for email notification of upcoming sales. I know it’s a marketing tool, but I would miss out if they didn’t send it!
    If they don’t have these stores in Canada, do you think you could arrange a book tour to coincide with one of the 40% off sales? Consider it “multi-tasking” or “good use of time” or “combining resources”. You are more than clever enough to come up with an appropriate “excuse”.
    I don’t even work for them, but after this testimonial, I think I should! Good Luck!
    P.S. After reading your blog for over a year and having seen you on tour, I am the last person in the world who thought my first responding blog comment would be about clothing rather than knitting! What a hoot!

  183. I totally agree with you that most clothing is not made for a “normal” person. I actually work for the Gap (Old Navy) so I know lots of people like you. “You mean you don’t have any shorts that will actually cover my ASS?! They are all only an inch long?”
    I am at the other end of the height issue though, I am 5’9″ Problem is my legs belong to someone thats like 6″4 and the upper half belongs to someone about 5’2″… Dress shoping is a freaking BLAST because the “waist” hits my hips and the knee length crap comes to my upper thigh.
    I think that is why people learned to craft, they got fed up with the clothes made for “normal” people so they just said, “screw you!” and started making things that actually fit real people.
    P.S. Half a cup of coffee SO counts as watering…

  184. I’m with you on the clothes shopping thing. I have almost no patience for it.
    I have been mystified for years why it is impossible to find a pair of women’s jeans in black denim. I haven’t spotted a pair of those for my own age bracket since mid highschool, circa 1998. (I even tried Hot Topic, and they failed me.)
    Though the frustration clothes shopping does reinforce my knitting habit. I have giant monkey-arms and a long long torso, and I still can’t find shirts long enough not to share about an inch of my middle with the world at large. Deal-withable for most of the year, but not winter. This would be why I’ve taken to kniting all my own sweaters.

  185. I am 5’9″, which isn’t outrageously tall. Yet Gap jeans in “long” length don’t even come close to being long enough. Who are they building these clothes for?!?!

  186. If it makes you feel any better (probably not), I have long legs and the tall or long are too short. I have no idea who the type is that they make some of these clothes for…but my Gap experience is trying on the tall/long size and asking one of the sales people if the pants were too short, which she replied “we have talls” and when I informed her that what I had on were tall her only response was “Oh”.

  187. My mum heard once that people who make clothes for big companies each have one size to do and they have to work FAST. So, if they run out of a sleeve (for example) of their size they might just grab one off the pile of the person next to them (who of course is making a DIFFERENT size!). I have NO idea if this is true or not, but it would make SOOO much sense to my experience of the world of clothes shopping. This is currently quite extensive as I’m losing weight successfully and am starting to move down the sizes. But are they consistent? Are they heck!
    Remember though; the lovely knitters who come to hear you are coming to HEAR you and not gawp at your outfits – unless of course it’s knitwear, in which case it would fit you anyway πŸ™‚
    Enjoy your weekend as much as you can!

  188. I learned something recently from my cousin who works at Gap’s corporate headquarters that I found fascinating. All of their clothes are based on the measurements of one woman (or maybe a couple of them — the number is very small), a “fit model” who is deemed perfectly average and who is paid a hefty sum to stay the EXACT same size and weight all the time. Smaller and larger sizes are calculated from her measurements. For those of us who are not the exact same shape as this fit model, we’re out of luck.

  189. My office’s plants LIKE coffee (they tell me so).
    As to the shopping…ugh. I do all mine at the thrift! (And there I find things.)

  190. Quote: On a regional note, glad to see the fellow Montrealers are keeping you supplied with bagels and squeeky cheese at your events–it’s kind of like knitting–bit by bit we will convert all to the wonder of a Montreal bagel!!!!
    Posted by: Barbie O. in Montreal at June 6, 2008 9:20 AM
    and not just the world! They sent some up on the shuttle! With sesame seeds – NOW they are worried about seeds floating in zero g – duh!
    Have fun at TNNA – getting the English mags these days – boy are they ever excited about September – Yay Steph!
    Jenni in Edmonton, where it “might” rain – hard!

  191. I’m five feet tall, and I so hear you on the pants thing! I definitely should not have to hem ANKLE length pants and buy capris as real pants. Along the lines of monkey arms are the monkey torsos going along with t-shirts. They are all this super-long, way-fitted shape now. It drives me up the wall.

  192. I’m at the opposite end of the spectrum. I’m 5’8″, which is not freakishly tall, and I rarely find long sleeved shirts where the sleeves are long enough and jeans are always either too long, or fit perfectly and then shrink. T-shirts are always too short in the torso, too. Try shopping for size 9-1/2 shoes, too. Most companies stop their half sizes at 8-1/2.

  193. There is a reason they call it “average” rather than “custom”. Unfortunately, if you like stuff to fit, you have to pay three times as much.
    I do have the same problems, but mine are opposite. I am about 5’9″. 35″ inseam. All pants (including talls) are way too short. All sleeves are too short. And, the clothing makers at large seems to believe that if you are tall, you must also be fat. I have a cute behind, but not much for hips or cleavage. I am a 6, not a 10+.
    At least you can fix things that are too long for you. Its hard to add length that isn’t there.

  194. Hey, I’m 5′ 1 1/2″ too! (That half inch is important, because it makes me the tallest of four girls in the family.) My accessories run on the large size, I have a small butt, and I hate hate hate shopping. Separated at birth, perhaps?

  195. Your complaints about shopping and sizing are all too valid. I never go shopping for clothes, other than online. And the pants these days seem to be all made for giants (in length) and fairies (in bust and hips). If only going around naked weren’t so disconcerting for all concerned.
    Or just in socks, or towels or something.

  196. Try being a ‘normal’ Canadian woman attempting to buy pants in France (oooh, that rhymes). I managed to rip a pair of pants while cycling, only brought 2 pairs to keep within a carryon, so really needed to replace them – however, women in France have no hips (well comparatively)…I could not find a pair of pants without the waist making me look like I was stuffed into a paper bag…

  197. I’m 5’9″, with long legs and a short torso. Sleeves are always too short (since there are few “tall” shirts, apparently no one having flagged that women with long legs have long arms, too).
    Pants are always too short unless they’re “tall” in which case they’re occasionally too long.
    Being short-torso-ed, crotches always fall below my actual crotch. (I love Land’s End clothes in theory, but in practice I have never owned a single pair of their pants that fit… the rise is always too long.)
    Having hips means that pants that go over my hips and thighs are huge in the waist. (Luckily I recently found some pants that appear to fit in that department, so hopefully I’m good until they wear out.)
    I have wide shoulders, so many shirts are too narrow in the shoulders, and those that aren’t apparently assume I have breasts big enough to match my shoulders. I don’t, so the shirts don’t fit there.
    I really, really wish I liked to sew.
    I bought my interview suit on clearance at Nordstrom’s and paid them to make the pants fit me. Worked like a charm. I swear once I start my new job and get something more closely resembling a good salary I’m going to start looking into having alterations.

  198. I have to say I *loved* reading all these comments (ok, not *all* of them, there are too many and I do have to do some work in order to get paid, but close enough…). Is there a single person here who has no problem finding clothes? It doesn’t seem like it.
    I am a very (naturally) thin, long-legged and short-torsoed 5’6″ who has been the same size since highschool (read + nearly no hips and relatively, though not extremely small on top)! This means if I want to find clothing that quasi-fits I have to wear Juniors styles. I am 32. I will take a pass on that thankyouverymuch.
    In Banana Republic sizes, I am a pant size 00 Tall. Now, I do have proportionately long legs (and arms – I did a little happy dance when extra long sleeves came back into style), but size 00? Come on. Is that even a real size? They don’t even carry them in the store – you have to order them online. There are people who are smaller than I am – what do they get to wear? Pant length and sleeve length is nearly always a problem (too short, even the tall sizes), shirt length is sometimes too long. Every single store sizes things differently too – at Anne Taylor Loft I am more like a 2, and at H&M (sometimes you can find good pants and turtleneck deals there in the fall – avoid in the summer like the plague (hoochie hoochie styles abound)) I am like a 4.
    I like the suggestion about finding a tailor/seamstress and have things made to actually fit me from now on. It has to be worth the expense to not have to go through this heartache every time I try to clothing shop.

  199. You’re not the only one – for the most part, I don’t enjoy shopping. If I need something, I go, I find something what works, and I get it. Probably several of it in multiple colors.
    The only time I sort of enjoy shopping is when I go with some friends. Then it’s a social outing and we’re out doing something (which happens to be wandering aimlessly through stores), while spending the day together chatting.

  200. I took a flat pattern drafting class once, and the instructor stressed to us that each store has their target customer. At the Gap, it is plainly not you. It’s not me either, because I am 5’4″ and everything is too long on me there too. Apparently their target customer is very very tall. What I’m saying her is that you just haven’t found “your” store yet. Plainly the Gap – and probably Eddie Bauer and Banana Republic too – are not “your” store. Don’t give up. I loved that ochrey/greeny sweater you wore in San Mateo. If that’s your style maybe your more a “granola” girl (like me.)As for the cost of clothes, I’ve come to the conclusion that my wardrobe is better equipped, and I’m more happily dressed if I go ahead and buy the more spendy clothes, but just don’t buy as many of them. And stick to a color family, because then when you reach in your closet and blindly toss stuff in, everything goes…if in an artsy sort of “granola” way, then so be it!

  201. I just bought an outfit (of separates) by Ralph Lauren. The top, the pants, and the jacket are all three DIFFERENT sizes. I can understand the top and the pants….but shouldn’t the top and the jacket be the same size? Nope – they are the biggest and the smallest size.
    Go figure!

  202. I’m 5’6 but I have a long torso and short legs. Thus I have to buy my gap pants in “short”, even though, technically I am not short.
    However I like getting my pants from Land’s End these days. They will tailor them to whatever inseam you want without extra charge if you catalog order. I get the 30″in inseam and all is good with the world. They make good non-fussy chinos. Sorta classic- don’t ride too high or low.
    Also the best travel clothes ever are from Travelsmith (google them)– They are a bit expensive, but everything is made to pack down small, not wrinkle, and stuff comes in sets so you can mix and match. Given that you travel so much, it might be a worthy investment. I have several of their travel stain-resistant white shirts, and a travel fleece overcoat (so warm- I usually like wool but its so heavy to travel with.) Both were saviors on job interviews last year– during one interview I spilled tea down the front of the white shirt, and it just beaded up, and I wiped it off with my napkin. Really- no stain. And the coat was warm even when I arrived in upstate New York in the middle of a raging snowstorm for an interview. So check out Travelsmith–I love their stuff.

  203. If I were there in my homeland I would sneak you out to the Eddie Bauer Warehouse Outlet on the west side and see if you could find some nice petite stuff there for cheap cheap cheap.

  204. I hear ya about the short/petite label. I’m 5’0″. Even petite’s are too long. BUT I did find a Dillard’s label pant that is labeled…Petite Short!
    Have fun in Columbus

  205. Yeah, this is why I learned to sew (& knit). 5’1″ total, my inseam matches my husband’s (28″), and I have the Neck That Ate Cleveland – practically no torso at all. Bottleneck shoulders and a waist-to-hip ratio that Mae West would have loved but modern designers never dream of. Couple that with fluorescent lights in tiny rooms with 3-way funhouse mirrors and I will do anything to avoid clothing stores. I can think of so many more enjoyable ways to waste my time.
    About designers – a friend of mine once worked for one. She finally asked him why he kept asking her to model the clothes, since she wasn’t the youngest or most attractive woman at the shop. He told her “You know, it’s real easy to make a flat surface look good”.
    We’re paying them this kind of money to be lazy???!

  206. Personally, I think it’s a conspiracy. All the clothing manufacturers have huddled together and determined that the only women in existence (or at least the only women worth catering to) are between 5’6″ tall and 5’7″ tall.
    Me? I’m 5’10”. I can never find pants that are long enough. (Hello?! If a 33″ inseam fits my 5’7″ sister perfectly, that means it will not fit me perfectly. Therefore, it is not to be considered a “tall” pant.) And don’t even get me started on not being able to find shirts with a long enough torso or long enough sleeves.
    And then there are the manufacturers who actually do a decent job of creating “tall” clothing — but yet the smallest size they come in are mediums. Hate to break it to them, but some of us tall people actually fit into smalls. Really. Truly. It happens. And, no, we’re not anorexic.

  207. Evalyn’s rules for clothes shopping:
    1. go in looking for shoes or purses, that’s when the good clothes come out – when you aren’t looking.
    2. Thrift stores and resale shops only. New clothes are not worth the price, and if you buy used, someone else has laundered them at least once and the “freakishly long” arms have strunk to “equally freakishly short.” Ditto for “will this need ironing?” and center seams that suddenly go left after washing.
    3. PETITES
    4. Stay out of the Junior’s department. We’re adult women here, even if designers think we all want to look like Brittany Spears.
    5. Did I mention PETITES?

  208. Yup, you’ve hit a nerve. I echo other readers in that when I find something that works (never at the Gap!), I buy five of them. I also used to sew my own stuff. Once I’m done with this silly degree, I’ll go back to it!

  209. We’re going through a fashion phase that demands that long sleeves come to our knuckles. That doesn’t explain the length of the pants, though. If it’s any consolation, I’m taller, and have never had sleeves on anything I’ve bought come to my wrists. I always look like I’m wearing 3/4 length sleeves.
    Here’s my philosophy on clothes: they should be a background, a pallet, if you will, for your knits. Wear some plain, neutral clothes with one piece of really nice knitwear.
    Settle on a few neutral colors and find something that fits and is available in those colors. Buy one, wear it, wash it, and wear it again. If you still like it, go back and buy four or five more. Possibly in other colors, but they can be the same.
    For neutrals, I’ve chosen navy, light grey, and maybe some other shade of blue or lavender. Neutral, but it doesn’t need to be too bland. You could use shades of brown and rust or shades from black to white. What do you LIKE? I like my blue/grey/lavender because jeans fit perfectly with that.
    If you were smart with your neutrals, everything should go together. You should almost be able to grab a shirt and pants in the dark and have something that looks at least OK. Then add your knitted piece and you’re set with something eyecatching, and unique.

  210. And while we’re on the subject, why is it that all of the skirts I’ve tried on in the last five years (only by brute necessity, I assure you: I am old enough to believe that one cannot interview for a high-tech job in pants, unless of course one is male) go straight up and down, so that they either grab my arse and won’t let go or gap enormously at the waist? People, the female figure does not go straight up and down.
    And I am stopping there because even if your software would accept a 20-page comment, you probably don’t want to read it.

  211. God didn’t intend for clothes off the rack to fit us right. That’s why he made tailors. πŸ™‚

  212. I think every woman alive can feel your frustration in her own unique way.
    I have both hips and a waist, which means I wear my jeans tighter than I’d like through the hips just to get a waistline that isn’t too uncomfortably loose.
    And, while I understand from friends the frustrations of coping with well-endowed bustlines, I have personal experience with trying to make clothes fit a not-so-well-endowed bustline.
    Every try finding a sundress with spaghetti straps — or any other top with a bra-like design — that doesn’t require at least a B cup? Blouses with a seam right under the bustline only ensure that I won’t be able to wear them without multiple layers of padding — and I refuse.
    And people wonder why my wardrobe revolves around jeans and T-shirts.

  213. When Georgia O’Keefe was in her mid forties, she threw out all her clothes and went with the black skirt white shirt wardrobe that we all remember seeing in pictures of her. She got tired of all the fuss, the worrying about what she would wear, oh is it appropriate, oh did someone see me in that yesterday? Lots of black skirts, lots of white shirts. That appeals to me *hugely*. (Which is to say, I feel your pain.)

  214. I’, with you nothing fits, and since I have spent 20 plus years wearing scrubs, ALL of my fashion sense has gone out the window. I now tned to buy neutral bottoms then just about any shirt will work.

  215. Haha, very funny, as always. I am the one with the monkey arms, why are all the sleeves too short? But it’s true, something has changed in regards to jean’s lengths. A couple of years ago, I could never find a pair long enough. Now, they finally fit.

  216. I have no sympathy. My arse doesn’t fit into . . . let’s see . . . 100% of the pants you can find at the Gap.
    Perhaps we should just all knit our own pants and be done with it. (Oooh, I see a new trend starting . . . )

  217. (I think this is my first time commenting! *uncertainly delurks*)
    It must be a “waistedness” issue, Steph — I am 5’0 and the Regular length Gap pants fit me perfectly when I have heels on. They are about 2″ too long for me in flats. But I am also freakishly short-waisted, so the hem of every single t-shirt at Gap ends up somewhere below my bum. So everyone has problems! (And unlike pants, they don’t even pretend that t-shirts come in variable lengths…)

  218. I think I must be some sort of special case, because the short size at The Gap totally fits me. Everywhere else, on the other hand… *sigh*
    This is why (well, aside from the fact that it’s 100 degrees outside) I’m converting to skirts.

  219. Malls are evil. They must be avoided. T-shirts and jeans forever.
    Seriously–I once followed my (tall, skinny, wide-hipped) friend through six stores as she verbally abused two sales clerks for the express purpose of finding ONE PAIR OF PANTS THAT FIT. She found the pants. I went to the fat-ladies store (being a bona fide fat-lady myself) and bought something with lycra that would stay up–took me 15 minutes. Hate the *&^%ing mall. HATE IT.

  220. I’m another one chiming in for hating to shop. Average height, but can’t find pant legs or shirt sleeves that are long enough. On top of that, there’s more of me than there used to be…just enough to put me in what I call the “butt-ugly” clothes dept. All I can say for pants is to try another brand H&M, Old Navy, Dockers (I know, pricy, but they don’t wrinkle and pack well).

  221. I don’t think it matters how tall or short you are, fitting clothing to the female form is an almost impossible task.

  222. Liz at 12:28, ditto – most store bought clothing doesn’t fit anyone.
    Pix at 1:00 – I have lived in black jeans (and miscellaneous t-shirts) for years. I search diligently for Lees brand, which I find in Sears and sometimes in K-Mart. They fit the hips and waist, and in petite size are only a inch or so too long, so I turn them up. I even know why there is almost always only one pair in my size in the store: I am currently average size and somewhere there is another woman my size who gets there first. I recently changed size and miraculously found 3 pairs, so I am certain to change size again before they are worn out.
    It’s the same with shoes: one pair my size and style, because they only get two pairs in the store and the other woman gets there first.

  223. I have the opposite problem.
    I’m 5’6 and I have to buy “tall” pants if I want them to be long enough on me (especially jeans, which seem to get shorter every wash). I always feel sorry for people who are really tall, because there’s nothing for them to wear.
    And I cannot find long sleeved shirts that are long enough — I’m lucky if they hit my wrist bones.

  224. I totally relate, altho’ I am tall and big. Hate to shop.
    Lane Bryant stores finally got a clue on jeans sizing – you take your waist measure and then they have 3 different cuts to accomodate the different shapes: big-hip-to-knee, all-belly, or curvy-with-skinny-legs. So you might wear a size 4 yellow, or a 6 blue instead of size 24. Works for me, and the talls are really tall. Ya-hoo!
    DaVinci noted that the “average” body height is the same as the “wingspan”(fingertip to fingertip). This is obviously not true for all of us. I am 6 feet tall, but my wingspan is 6’4”. Thus, sleeves and pantlegs are always too short, which makes a tall woman look gawky. And even capris look stupid because they thin down way before I do.

  225. Oh, Stephanie! I’m 5’4″ and I LOVE GAP pants. Being as I am the average height, you would think I would wear average length pants. NO – I wear the “ankle” length, and they still drag the ground a bit! I totally understand what you’re saying about pants length. (Please note: I used to wear average length pants anyway, back a few years ago when it was cool to walk on the bottoms of your pants and end up with half-moon shapes missing from the wear.)
    And another thing: I saved some clothes from a few years ago when I started gaining weight. Having since lost weight, I can now wear them again. I technically have the same size (size 12) of new and old clothes, but the new ones are larger. The GAP is messing with us all.

  226. Ah, you want the Gap ankle-length pants. For those of use who are 5’1″, they are the PERFECT length.
    You need a friend who does the shopping FOR you, like I do for my mom. πŸ™‚

  227. Welcome to Columbus!!! If the shopping depresses/frustrates you too much, send me an email and I can bring you some of DH’s home brewed beer πŸ™‚

  228. And yet, if you’re over 5’5″ one often has the opposite problem.
    I once had dinner with an exec. from Banana Republic. Using my opportunity wisely, I asked the following: “Can you do something about those damn low-waist pants?”
    For whom are “they” making these clothes?

  229. They make the sleeves of shirts so long for people like me. I have really long arms (you know how your armspan is supposed to equal your hight? Mine is two inches longer) and I like the sleeves on my shirts to reach at least my knuckles.
    Clothes are never going to fit everyone…which sucks.

  230. The arse issue (love that word but I sound silly writing/typing it but it is perfectly natural coming from you) is likely caused by the short zippers and the shortened rise. That has messed up fit horribly in the booty zone.
    May I suggest J.Jill.com? They have petites, and if you shop only from the sale section, there are some very good deals to be had. (I am 5’2″ and I do pretty well with their stuff.)

  231. Forgot to mention a GREAT SOLUTION:
    I bought a salwar kameez from ebay. Those lovely 3 piece outfits like they wear in India – long tunic, loose pants, long scarf. You basically choose the fabric (very basic to ooh-la-la)and most dealers throw in the stitching for free. With postage the 3 piece outfit cost from $40 up. You send Accurate Measurements and in a week or two they send you lovely clothes that really fit! Be sure to use dealers with a good rating. Search for “Salwar Any Size” or “Salwar All size”. Feminine! Modest! Comfortable!

  232. For those of us who happen to be 5’11”, imagine how those pants made for a 5’4” woman fit … sometimes I feel like the jolly green giant, even though I am decidedly not-green.

  233. I am 5 feet tall. Period. And while I used to fit nicely into a size 6 Petite, those days are long gone. I know exactly what you mean about clothes not fitting but I tell you what has really got me down this week. This week, I have been bra shopping and I had the temerity to believe (at the beginning, anyway) that I might find one to actually fit. Ha. What a joke.

  234. As others have said, it’s body type. I don’t think that there is one body type, even though clothes are made for something….
    I’m 5’10”, long body, long legs (between a size 8-12 usually) with a waist and hips. Any of the current low waisted pants are REALLY uncomfortable to me. (probably because of some hip joint issues I was born with) I tend to stick with sundresses for most of the summer. I have debated making my own pants, but even though I’ll tackle 1840’s clothing, pants scare me. Don’t ask, I don’t know why either. My mom has tried to assure me that pants aren’t as hard as my brain is trying to tell me.

  235. I sympathize with you. I used to be 5’2″ tall (lost about 1/4 during my pregnancy). I hate buying pants. I hate buying shirts. I’m an awful dresser because I hate shopping so much. Pants are nearly always too long in the legs and even the mid-rise pants are too low for me to be comfortable with (I always feel exposed). Shirts? I’m petite with a DD. If I wear something large enough to cover my ‘accessories’ I look like I’m wearing a circus tent. If I wear something that fits around my middle it’s indecent.

  236. I’m so sorry. I’m 5’2″ and there are no trousers that fit me either. Children’s jeans? Too long. Mens jeans, which quite reasonably come in lengths? They don’t come in a 27 inch inseam. My partner is 6’4″ and can’t find trousers that fit either. He is the one in highwaters and I’m the one walking on the backs of my frayed trouser legs.
    I did discover once that leather trousers do not have to be hemmed after having seven extra inches of length chopped off the bottom. Maybe you could go with an all leather wardrobe? You would have options you know. Vintage pioneer woodsman. Retro ironic cowboy (fringe and beads!). Early 80’s Madonna. Mid 90’s Cher (I would discourage the leather thong panties, however, purely on hygienic grounds). Britney Spears red leather catsuit.
    Until this becomes an acceptable and reasonable mode of daily dress, I’m sticking with thrift store skirts. I don’t have to try them on (theoretically because they might be dirty, actually because I am lazy) and if I hate them, they cost a dollar and I feel good about returning them to the same store.

  237. Wow, you clearly hit a chord with this one! I read but have never commented before. I am so with you on this! Trying on jeans is the worst thing ever. I’m the opposite though, tall with long limbs, and everything is always too short. However, we have one thing in common: asses that don’t fit into pants, for no apparent reason. Mine is also reasonably sized. I’m an appropriate weight for my height. So why on earth is it so hard to find jeans that fit?????????????

  238. Well, dear, perhaps we could switch wardrobes… I’m 5’10”, and have never yet found a pair of pants that doesn’t make me look like I’m waiting for the water to rise. And sleeves? The best I’ve ever had are 3/4 length. The designer thought they were full length, but no, they stop 3″ short of my wrists. At best. I think getting clothes that fit is one of the best reasons for knitting things myself, though I have yet to knit a pair of passable pants…

  239. The subject of saris makes me think of my experience with living in the UK and discovering the shalwar kameez. Asian women (in the UK Asian=Pakistani, Indian, Bangladeshi, etc) always had the most beautiful clothes, almost always the shalwar kameez in the part of the UK I lived in.
    It took me an embarrassingly long time to realize that the reason I could find tons of fabric stores, but no clothing store was because Asian women typically make their own clothes, or have them made.
    So I asked a coworker and she referred me to her seamstress. It was fantastic. You pick the fabric, take it to a seamstress, say what style you want (length, sleeve, neckline style, etc) and she makes it. And it fits.
    Total cost was pretty equivalent to buying a pair of pants and a top at H&M (of course you can vary a lot in how much you spent on fabric, but it could be very cheap).
    It was great. Now that I’ve moved back to the US I’m only sorry that I never asked her to teach me how to sew a shalwar kameez (cut the pattern, etc.) I thought of it many times but never wanted to in case it seemed intrusive. I should have asked.
    In the mean time, I buy thrift store clothes, for the reasons mentioned. And my suggestion for maternity clothes is just get regular clothes a little bit bigger and the appropriate style. That worked for me and was way cheaper. Yoga pants are your friends during pregnancy, as is all fabric supplemented with spandex!

  240. Amen. I’m only 5’3″ and finding pants that fit is almost impossible … and on the rare occasion that they fit perfectly in length when I buy them? Invariably, that means they’re going to shrink and be too SHORT. Argh!

  241. I really think clothes are designed to fit noone. That is why, many,many years ago, when I worked in an office where one was expected to wear “office attire” (much more stringent definition – dress or suit – no pants altho eventually they did allow pants suits), I made my own clothes. At 5’3″ & about 100-105 lb, I generally wore a size 3 then. But all the size 3 clothes seemed to have been designed for someone who was about 5′ or even 4’11”. They woul have the riht measurement for bust, hop, waist but everythong was a couple of inches too high – the waist would come about to the bottom of my rib cage & the shoulders would be way too narrow. Now I wear a plus size (altho around an 18 so at the lower end) & they all seem to be designed for someone 5’&” or 5’8″. I have found that LL Bean & Land’s End clothes fit me well if I get a regular length & a L for pants & XL for shirts. That is one reason why I always wear T’s with knit pants or shorts. I have to get something a bit dressier for winter since we are switching our opera subscription to the main floor (where everyone dresses up to some degree – floor length formal gowns are not unheard of altho not the norm). I think I may myself some black silk pants (full) & wear with some dressy blouses I already have & knit a spectacular shawl to wear over all (I also tends to be rather cool on the main floor).

  242. Gap pants fit me weirdly perfectly. Yep. Size 8. Don’t even have to try them on. Just wrap ’em up.
    But a blouse? Fahgettaboutit.

  243. you make me laugh… i have found one store that makes my size (anthropologie), which if i shop the clearance rack I get a new outfit twice a year. I agree with the price issue, such a scam, pure profit for supporting the made in sweatshop clothing. Have fun in Columbus. peace

  244. sigh…………………………… skirts.

  245. I hear you on the short. You sound like my height and size. I have a female figure and actually go in at the waist. If a pair of pants fits my butt there is at least a 3″ gag at my waist and I have to wear a belt or take tucks. Infuriating. And also the monkey sleeves thing. Good thing I know how to sew.

  246. Isn’t that odd. I’m basically your size, and the reason that I love to shop at the Gap is because their short pants fit my 5’1″ body. I always get there “curvy” cut – that leaves room for my bottom (which I also consider normal).

  247. Girl, you’re 5’1″ and you have problems?? How do you think I feel at 4’10”? My big problem is that I happen to have a rather large — ahem — “front porch,” while my torso remains small everywhere else. I can’t tell you the number of times I’ve bought shirts that are too long or too big in the back because that was the only size that fit elsewhere.
    I swear clothing sizes are developed by men. It’s the only explanation.

  248. You asked why pants are so long? Because they think you’ll wear heels with them. They know not Birkenstocks.
    Re: clothes generally, I actually envy you the “too long” problem because I have the reverse problem: I am tall as in long-legged and with l-o-n-g arms. I have been rejoicing that FINALLY arms on long-sleeved shirts are long enough for me!
    Just goes to show, greener grass and all that.

  249. I am 5’9 with (to me) a freakishly long torso and short legs. I am also a belly dancer who runs around most times with her stomach either fully or partially exposed. According to today’s sizes I run anywhere from a 12 to a 20! It makes no sense I have gotten around the issue a bit by bringing out my sewing machine. It really helps with the whole costume/ everyday wear problem. If you have the time I highly suggest it. Plus making your own clothes is cheaper which means more yarn money.

  250. Oh please, I HATE shopping for clothes. I always go anticipating fun and good results, and come out depressed because I am so -not- what I am supposed to be, according to society. I usually end up with t-shirts and things that I can just buy as Large or Extra Large (depending on my mood) and when I buy other things, I just grit my teeth and deal with it. I realized long ago that not many people fit the parameters, and that does help, usually afterwards when I am trying to talk myself back into a good mood! That I’m not alone in this! And have you heard the one about how they keep moving the little numbers to larger sizes – meaning that today a size 12 in really what a size 16 would have been a few years ago. This is to appease women’s vanity – that no matter how much weight I gain, I can still fit into a size **! Yes I hate shopping for clothes. But I do like to knit. So that’s something! I do hope you have a nice trip and I am sure, despite all of your worries etc that you will look just fine!!!!!

  251. I can’t believe you’re finally in Columbus and there are no events open to the public!!
    Check out the Arts Festival while you are here — it goes on into the evening and is a lot of fun! No yarn, but lots of other fiber art

  252. Hi Stephanie! If you would be so kind as to send those aforementioned ape-armed garments to SC, I would greatly appreciate it! I’m 5’7″ with a petite sized trunk, long legs, and orangutan arms! (Think I’m joking? Try a 6 foot wingspan. Get the picture?)
    By the way, love the books and love the blog. Keep up the great work!

  253. Sounds to me like you’d be a GREAT candidate for ‘What Not to Wear’. If you are not familiar, they give you $5000., take all your current clothes, humiliate you on television, teach you what to wear and how to shop, shop with you to spend the $5000. in New York, give you a fabulous new haircut, and makeup tips and send you on your way….. I wonder if you get that program on Canadian Television. I, too, hate shopping, but find thrift-store shopping a blast because it’s all a treasure hunt… you never know what you’ll find (like a sweater knit out of ‘Touch Me’ yarn for $3.00 (to date my most treasured find).

  254. Pants are one of those things where you just have to find the store or brand that works. Jeans especially. There’s something out there for everyone, I firmly believe, but it does require searching.
    I’ve found a couple of stores where I can, at 4’11”, find pants that fit without needing to be hemmed. And it only took four years of diligent shopping. ;]

  255. Hurrah, I didn’t realize TNNA was in C-town and THIS WEEKEND. I’m going to assume you already have a ton of people carting you off places when you’re not at the convention center, but here’s another person volunteering to show you and your sock the sights, or just the sock if you’re too busy (I promise I will not steal it and hold it hostage like certain people who shall remain nameless).
    Whatever you do, there are some things that the sock really ought to witness while it’s in Columbus. Your guides of choice will probably already know where these things are:
    – Dublin’s concrete corn
    – Schmidt’s (as mentioned already) for lovely beer and legendary cream puffs
    – The Book Loft (also in German Village)
    – Easton Town Center (for atmosphere, and several Cameron Mitchell restaurants)
    – The Victorian Midnight Cafe
    – Short North (you’re in luck; Gallery Hop is Saturday and all the galleries will be open very late)
    – The Columbus Arts Festival (also this weekend, and downtown)
    – North Market
    – Brewery District
    – Wool Grower’s Association in Pickerington (it is possible for multiple people to literally swim through mounds of unspun wool simultaneously)
    Obviously, even though this is a very small sampling of good times here in C-town (and that’s not even counting yarn shops), it’s still quite a lot. Some places will take longer than others to fully appreciate (WGA, I’m looking at you), some can be fully appreciated in five minutes (concrete corn). So, yanno. Consult your local buds and discuss amongst yourselves. And have fun! And feel free to email me for more info/directions/whatever!

  256. Hey,
    I’m in the same boat with pants being too long. I’m 5’6″ and my hips end at the same height as my 5′ tall mother. Meaning that I can’t ever find pants are short enough. My mom did teach me how to hem though and that’s a big help. Try the Bass outlet. That is the only place I’ve found that the pants are the right length and are comfy. Unfortunately and fortunately, I just lost like 8 pounds because I had a tonsilectomy so nothing I own fits unless it has elastic. Yay me.

  257. I hate packing and dread flying but reading about your life, I think that if you can do it, I can too. My daughter works at the Gap but at 5’8″ has trouble finding pants long enough. Oh well…

  258. Are all knitters this funny? You’re making me want to set aside my hooks in favor of the magic needles that seem to come with a vibrant sense of humor!
    Love your blog, Stephanie, even if you do detest my craft. πŸ˜‰

  259. I’m totally with you on hating clothes shopping. At 5′ 7″, I generally don’t have a problem with length, but circumference-wise the clothing industry and I apparently aren’t on the same page. The way they size things, my bust is a size smaller than my waist but my hips are two sizes bigger. This makes pants shopping, in particular, quite the challenge, since it means that if they fit over my hips and arse, they have about six inches of extra fabric in the waist… The other thing that gets me is the way sizes change. Several years ago, I was pretty reliably a small-to-medium, but now I’m an extra small-to-small. And I know *I* haven’t changed sizes because I’m still wearing clothes that I bought several years ago. If the trend continues, though, in another few years, I’ll have to go back to shopping in the girls’ section. :-p
    Enjoy your time in Columbus!

  260. Try Mark’s WorkWearhouse for pants, some of their pants come in 2 lengths (32″ and 30″), and the waist is sized separately, ie-6 X 30. I’m 5’3″ on a good day, I find the 30 inch length is just about perfect. I don’t know about their shirts though, personally, I find them a bit frumpy.
    Just a thought…

  261. I’ve been thinking about this a lot lately, too, and I think I’ve figured it out (at least a little). Most of it has to do with where you’re shopping: probably not exclusively the Gap, but that’s the store you mentioned. TRENDS. I thought I understood this before, but it’s only in the last 6 months or so that it’s really sunk in. I’m about 30; when I’m standing up, the hem of my pants is just barely above the ground at my heel. People older than I seem to wear pants hemmed to just hit the tops of their feet when they’re standing. My two younger coworkers wear pants that, when they’re sitting, come down to touch the tops of their feet. Presumably the Gap is making pants for them, not for you or me, so I’ve decided I’ll just have to buy the “short” length or cuff or hem my pants if I shop somewhere like the Gap. (It was such a relief when I figured this out — before that, I thought I was crazy.)

  262. Come on, Steph. All you reallly *need* is a pair of cowgirl panties. Everything else is accessories.

  263. Hahahahaha
    Do. not. get. me started. I despise shopping.
    I’ve started sewing my own clothes. This is the lengths the fashion industry has driven me to. And no, I am not an odd shape (I think. Lack of success in fitting clothing might prove me wrong on this), I just have hips and breasts. Maybe they haven’t heard of them.

  264. all that being true, i would really like to know what you think of this whole Hockey Night In Canada theme controversy. (and yes, I’m wearing a Stanley Cup on my head.)

  265. You know how everything seems too freakishly long for you? How the “short” pants are still too long? Look on the bright side: at least you can make them shorter. I’m 5’9″ with a 33″ inseam. My arms are longer than average, and I have a broad back (we’ll talk about the problems of finding a size 38A bra another time…) Most of the “tall” or “long” pants that I seem to come across max out at 32″. I roll up the cuffs on all my long sleeve shirts to hide the fact that they’re 2″ too short. After those jeans hit the wash/dryer once, they’re now not quite capri’s on me. I don’t buy dresses because the waistline ends up under my armpits. You can’t add in what isn’t there to begin with. Another reason I love knitting: I can at least make sweaters that fit!

  266. Oh, but you missed the detail that burns me the most. Their two smallest sizes don’t come in short/petite. Which means you have to be both thin and freakishly tall to wear them. I was there today. I’m still mad (although it’s really more of an ongoing thing, I’ve been complaining for years and no one listens).

  267. If you find something beautiful, it fits, *and* you can afford it…. buy. it. even if it seems wildly overpriced. if you love it, you will wear it until it’s begging you to stop and by that point, you’ll wonder why you didn’t buy two. πŸ™‚

  268. OH my Gosh! I win the short people award. I’m 4’11 3/4″. I figure I can even buy tall people pants because whatever I buy I’ll have to hem anyway. BUT the good thing is this….I can buy “regular” people capri’s and I have a fine fitting pair of pants!
    I’m sure you’ll be fine with your 2 outfits and no one would even notice!

  269. Ah, clothing sizes! I am 5’3″ and have run into the Gap problem, too. If you live in a small town where sartorial spendour comes via WalMart or Zellers (okay, the foreigners won’t know what Zellers is but Stephanie does) you learn to grit your teeth and blow one or more holiday days shopping when you are in the big city. You learn things like: if you are under 5’7″ you cannot wear Gap pants right off the rack. I know (in Vancouver) where I can get size 5 shoes in really wide; I have learnt the Joe jeans from the Superstore (Loblaws) designed by Joseph Mimram and cost $19 or $29 a pair will fit me perfectly; I know where to get underwear. And I long ago adhered to the edict if you find something you love that fits you buy more than one. So, Steph, suck it up. blow a couple of days trying things on and find out where “your” clothes are – it will save time in the long run.

  270. Once upon a time, clothes fit. I wore a standard size and, at 5’8″, the hems hit where they were supposed to. Times changed but my size didn’t. Now nothing fits correctly. Too long, too short, too wide, too narrow.
    I’m going to break out my sewing machine and start sewing again. Shopping for yarn is so much easier – as long as I buy enough (not a problem), I can make it fit!

  271. Gap? No wonder it’s a problem! The very, very few things I’ve ever found in there that fit me (5’8″ and kind of normal-sized) are very nice–but the majority of sizes and styles are meant for 12-25 year old kids, and that’s not me. No one who has ever had a child could possibly get into their pants! LL Bean has much more normal sizes, and I can just send away without going clothes shopping at all. Of course, by now I have all the clothes I should ever need for anything.

  272. Rushing to Late-Night-Knit but I had to comment, I’ll read all my colleagues’ cool stuff later. I wrote a whole blog thingie a while back about buying underwear. I’m shorter than you (I’ve shrunk to a statuesque 4’11” with advancing age – from a towering 5′ tops) but when I finally lost weight enough for normal-healthy for me I had to buy new undies. STEPHANIE!! The only underpants I could find that fit me had either Disney Princesses or Spongebob Sneakypants on them!! I cried in the middle of Macy’s. I can relate. (But honestly? You look adorable in every picture, and I’ve seen you a couple of times and you looked mightyfine. Also, I’m betting your underpants fit. Rock ON!

  273. Ah! that’s my size too, around size 6 and 5’1″ and “accessorized”, and no there are no such things as clothes that fit. Petite means no chest and for some reason elastic waist bands. Shirts must stretch or it’s silly and pants make me sad. And my husband at 5’4″ married me b/c I can hem his pants!

  274. The change to longer pants and sleeves (and shirt hems) has been a great show of mercy for me. I’m 5’9″, also with large “accessories”, and the last five years I’ve been wearing midriff shirts without wanting to, 3/4 sleeve shirts without wanting to, and capri pants, without wanting to.

  275. I have the same problem you do, Stephanie. Exactly. I am a little less than 5’1″. I just take pants that fit me everywhere else home and hem them myself. I am a normal weight, but I also have rather large accessories on top (how do you get away without wearing a bra, by the way – it makes my back hurt to try) so, dresses don’t fit well either. Good thing we knit so at least some of our clothes fit!

  276. I hear ya. 5′-1.5″ here too. I can soooo relate to having to buy the 3/4 sleeve shirts and the capris.

  277. I think this post and comments needs to go to the buyers’ associations, or whatever they have. It groups nicely the problems many of us have for clothes. Who knows someone?

  278. You need the “glare.” I have come to the conclusion that the difference between dressing like a bag lady and a “fashionista” is having THE GLARE–the one that says “I dress like a bag lady on purpose.”
    I tried it when the pizza guy showed up early and I had to open the door wearing my crossword puzzle PJs and cat slippers complete with googly eyes. Seriously–it worked. We didn’t hear him laugh until he was actually almost at his car.

  279. One of my friends recently started shopping in the “Petites” section. It has changed her life! The sleeves are the proper length, as are the pants, and the skirts are proportionately shaped for shorter women.

  280. Welcome to Columbus! I can agree with hating shopping as well yet have found people here fairly nice. I’m sorry that the clerk at the Gap wasn’t more helpful. Although, I am 5’5″ and wear their 4-tall! Too funny! Also, given the weather here this weekend, you may be wishing that you purchased a shirt without sleeves…
    BTW, if you get a chance to do a yarn shop crawl tomorrow (Saturday) afternoon, I am giving a free sock workshop!

  281. you are preaching to the choir.. 5’1″ here.. but with huge upper arms from doing hardwood. there aren’t clothes that fit me, i’m convinced. also, my idea of shopping is grabbing something as i ‘drive by’ at costco. ok.. and i admit, value village.
    i have some great socks though. i really do.

  282. I am 5’11” and I never ever in my life bought a pair of pants, that would fit me ( I refuse to buy in Tall Girl, overpriced junk)

  283. 3 words: ON LINE SHOPPING
    Figure out your measurements (using your best fitting stuff) in pants, sweaters, t-shirts, coats, jackets, etc. Most places will give you garment measurements.
    I don’t remember the last time I shopped for clothes in a “regular” store. Plus, you have time to think about it before ordering!

  284. You can buy the long pants you like and take them to a dry cleaner (they always have a lady that does alterations) and for very little have them done. Also check landsend.com, they will make your pants to fit you. They have a wide range of sizes and the quality is very good. Also in USA Sears carry this label. Good luck and have some time to rest.

  285. This has been fun reading the comments. You certainly hit on a nerve with everyone. I dislike shopping for clothing for the same reasons as most everyone else. They just don’t fit well. And the stuff I really like are too expensive. I’d rather shop for yarn!

  286. One comment for costlier brands – they have fitmodels in different sizes! If you speak to the salespeople at Patagonia or Nau or other stores, they can tell you about their small or medium fit model, and once you find a brand that works for you (or a fit model who’s proportioned like you), just wait for the sale, then shop. You don’t even have to contemplate shopping the rest of the time.
    And having that matching fit model makes splurging for 3 pairs of pants totally worth it.
    (Though, I’m sad. Nau fit perfectly, I hit the warehouse sales, and now they’re folding. I hope it’s not my fault.)

  287. Stephanie, I feel your pain on the clothes shopping. I’m similar in height and size (a little smaller on the top and a little fluffier on the bottom) and this is why I started sewing my clothes. I got tired of everything having to be altered, or being OK but not great in terms of fit.

  288. For women who hate to shop for whatever reason, although from the comments it seems to largely derive from NOTHING FITS, find a dressmaker/tailor. You will pay more but the style, fabric and fit will be perfect. You may own fewer clothes but you will like them better.

  289. I seem to do alright with clothing. Skirts. Find a skirt that is a good length for you, then find a variety of them that fit around the waist and are that length. There go your bottoms. Then go nuts with tops. It’s great. Works much better than having to find pants that fit. I’m 5’1″ as well and there aren’t any pants that fit right. Clearly, I need to drop to a size 1 or something like that for it to work.
    If your hips are small enough, children’s section. It’s great for jeans.

  290. Why can’t women wear the same thing over and over. The DH wears the same suit 3 days in row and no one ever complains. And he has about 10 white shirts to go with it.

  291. I have the same issue if I try and shop at any of the Abercrombie or Hollister type stores, but for them they always seem to think my torso would be a foot longer and that I would be *ahem* less developed. I think you’re just not allowed curves.

  292. If Barbie–that fantasy representative of women–came to life as a full-sized, living, breathing woman of any height from 4’10” to 6’2″, SHE wouldn’t be able to find clothing that fits.
    There’s something slightly consoling in that idea. The problem is not with the clothes-wearers; it’s the clothes-makers.

  293. Ok, so I can’t help you all on the pants and shirts thing. *sigh* I cant help even me in that area. But I can say for underclothes
    I luv them! They have sizes I have never even heard of. My sis is an athelete – broad back, umm, no boobs – she shops here now. (sorry sis). Me – luv them – they don’t know what to do with me. Pregnancy boobs = HUGE but with a small 34 around (there was nothing in my city that fit) …..non pregnancy boobs…small. πŸ˜› Flat $5 shipping, no matter what you order. No questions asked returns. And they have fit charts for almost every brand they carry. Ok, I will get off my soap box….it only took 3 years for me to find bras that fit…so I have to shout it out!

  294. I have a similar problem and I am 5 ft 8 in. I think I know the answer as to why. They are making them longer so they will still be long enough when you wear your 3 inch high heels !!!!! – Make sense ????? Not going to happen in this case – most likely worn with tennis shoes. I am similarly clothing challenged as I too hate to shop. Good luck.

  295. I am 5′ 8″ and 125 pounds and can’t buy any clothes that fit me. With the “vanity sizing” in the USA a size 4 is too big and you can hardly find a 2. All the 2’s are priced off the chart. The whole sizing thing has become weird here (USA) and I suspect it is in Canada. In Europe you can always find small clothes. There are no fat French women. Well, Germany is a little different, but most of them are slim, too, and all the Swiss are. They can buy clothes. Why can’t we. My secretary weighs 300 lbs and she has no trouble buying nice outfits. What goes on? Well, we can knit tops, but I draw the line at slacks and skirts.

  296. Have you tried looking for “petite” sizes? Usually they are shorter than the average length. Hope this helps πŸ™‚
    I have the opposite problem at 5′ 10.5″; I can barely find pants/jeans that are long enough.

  297. I did hear you about buying clothes. As far as I’m concerned you are a petite gal who should not be having so many fitting problems.
    On another note- I was in a workshop with Judith MacKenzie today and was proud to acknowledge (thanks to you) that she had a new book release in November. She told me you gave her a few books to read but she was only suppost to read them AFTER she handed in her manuscript. Boy, the two of you together must be an event not to be missed. take care

  298. I did hear you about buying clothes. As far as I’m concerned you are a petite gal who should not be having so many fitting problems.
    On another note- I was in a workshop with Judith MacKenzie today and was proud to acknowledge (thanks to you) that she had a new book release in November. She told me you gave her a few books to read but she was only supposed to read them AFTER she handed in her manuscript. Boy, the two of you together must be an event not to be missed. take care

  299. You look like a petite size to me. If you were in Vancouver there would be plenty of outfits that would fit you in the petite department.
    On another note, I had a workshop with Judith MacKenzie today. I was proud to be able to acknowledge her new book in November (thanks to you) and she laughed when I told her that I found out from your blog. She told me that you gave her some books to read- but only after she finished handing in her manuscript. What I would give to see the two of you together in one room!

  300. amen sister. i’m five feet nothing with a big butt and mommy belly. good luck finding pants in my size!
    can i just say that i’m sick of people in the industry calling people who are 5’6 or 5’7 PETITE. what does that make me? midget (er, little person)? i wish they wouldn’t confuse SKELETAL with PETITE!

  301. We should form a union! I sew my own; and carry a tape measure in my purse. Once you know your own measurements you can measure stuff in the store and save yourself the awful trying on. JCPenney and Sears did their own new sizing that is much better than the old systems–check out their Web sites, and you can return things that don’t fit (and no, I don’t work for either one). Once you have a few patterns that fit you, you can sew a lot very fast, and my home made clothes fit better and last longer. The clothing industry has lost my confidence and can’t seem to please so many customers. The last straw was the Chinese-made dress with toothpick size arms obviously made for a bloated scarecrow that lost all its arm straw. I vote for a return to custom tailors and dressmakers, and for a smaller but better wardrobe. I’m so glad I’m not alone!

  302. Well apparently it’s a conspiracy for tall folks too… at one point in life my 5’8″ couldn’t find a pair of pants long enough and now all of a sudden my pants, which are supposed to be average length are also 5 inches too long… we all are suffering

  303. I hear you on hating to shop. A store only has about 15 minutes to keep me interested before I get discouraged and leave. I’m 5’4″ and I’ve never found a pair of pants to fit. Petites are too short. The short length in other pants is too long. I’ve even found that the same pants in a different color will fit differently. Once I find something that works in my price range, I’ll buy several of them. Unfortunately I’m reaching the point where I need to go pants shopping again. That’s one reason I knit, so I can get what I want and have it fit.

  304. I totally sympathize with you.
    I’m 5’6″ 140lbs. and perfectly normal. However, I cry every time I come home from shopping, because I actually have a trunk and thighs!
    I love esty.com. Not only do they have beautiful handmade yarn there, but they actually have clothes that fit, because they give you exact measurements.

  305. Shopping for clothing makes me feel like a hideous swamp beast with abnormal appendages. (and most days I don’t truly believe that’s the case… MOST days…) Pants are truly the worst.
    I was really happy when “capris” were hip. Y’know, those pants that are supposed to stop mid-calf? Fit me like pants. Yeehaw. Take that fashion-mavens.

  306. You may be relieved to hear (and my apologies if someone has already mentioned this; I haven’t got the wherewithal at the moment to read all 308 comments) that the garment industry has sponsored or cosponsored or at least agreed to look at the results of Size USA, a national bodyscanning study designed to give more accurate shape and size info to manufacturers of clothing (presumably they will play nice and share this data with our lovely neighbors to the North).
    The idea being, that if they actually had a better idea how real humans are built, they’d make us some better-fitting clothes.
    Having said that, I’m on the runtyest end of the spectrum, so I’m certain the “average” still won’t remotely fit me. Sigh. Good thing I can knit.

  307. PS. Okay, I just read some complaints about bras, and I think I can trump most of them. I wear, in theory, a 28D. Note that that size does not exist, at least in the US. I have to alter every single bra I buy. Ugh. Though I am thankful to have a sewing machine…

  308. I’ve always heard that 5’5″ is the average height
    of a female. I would think it would be even higher because children now are taller than
    the previous generation.

  309. well, seeing as we are airing our clothing beefs… what’s up with ending clothing sizes somewhere around 14/16 in most stores? like the rest of us don’t need to be clothed?? and how can they justify charging extra for plus sizes (in the few places that have them!) when they NEVER offer a reduced price for petite sizes??? hmmmmm… fashion rears its ugly head and reveals its none too flattering underbelly!!! ok, i’m done now… πŸ™‚

  310. You’ve really hit a nerve-is this a comment record? Clearly the clothes in stores are meant to fit some who doesn’t read a knitting blog. Try Lands’ End. They hem pants for free. You can see how the rest of the pants fit at Sears (limited Lands’ End selections available there), then order the correct hem length on-line. Or try swapping a knitted garment for a custom sewn one or two depending upon the difficulty. Good luck! Some where in this world there must be clothes you can wear, but you are not the Gap target market. Lois

  311. I’m 5’4″ and always caught between short and regular/average sizes. “Average” is 3″ too long and “short” usually 1″ too short. My trick at the Gap is to pull out every short legnth in my size and measure them against each other. Am usually able to find a short size about 1″ longer than the rest. If this fails I look for a shorter average legnth, but usually it’s easier to find a longer short legnth. Of course the Gap crews aren’t thrilled with me pulling out 10 pairs of pants and then having them get more from the back – but too, too bad – I deserve jeans that are the right legnth!!

  312. Wow, reading these comments sure make me feel “normal”. I detest, with a passion, clothes shopping. My husband and best friend make me go. They pick out things for me to try on and then trap me in the dressing room and refuse to let me out until I find something. I am 5’2″ (and shrinking according to my children) and have not much shape to speak of and clothes just look funny on my. I can never find what I like in sizes that fit. I would rather go yarn shopping, any day!!!

  313. Clothing comes in 3 lengths for women. Women come in approximately 15 lengths. (Figure 1″ per length, and 4’10” to 6’2″?) Bosoms range from Tablespoon size to gallon size. Butts–well look at a small Asian woman and a full-size African-American woman, and note the range. Somehow, all this glorious variety is supposed to be squeezed into a very limited range of clothing sizes that, no matter what size it is, pretends that we are all balanced and proportioned the same. I used to weigh 115 pounds in early high school, and nothing fit right. Now I weigh 175 pounds (and my arms are still the same length!) and still nothing fits. I gotta learn to fit knitted items better, it’s my last hope!

  314. I feel your pain! I have the body of a 5’10 woman and the legs of a 5’2 woman, which makes clothes shopping very annoying. I just wish I had the skills with a sewing machine to just make my own. Over here, trousers appear to come in 29″, 31″ and 33″ inside legs. My legs are 28″, which is frustrating. Petite is 27″, so everything is either too long or too short. I tend to just buy long and live with the frayed ends. My other problem with clothes shopping is that most of it is unethical (cf Labour behind the label), so I tend to just use charity shops or the likes of People Tree.

  315. Dear Harlot,
    You and my mom! You both have the same problem, except she blames it on never finding anyone to go shopping with her. I’m a half a country away so it’s not my fault, I always shop with her when she visits! Anyways, about pant length, I’m 5’10 with a 32″ inseam. Do you think I can find pants that are long enough? Not without special ordering them I can’t. I’m a short torso, long legged type. (I have the same inseam length as my son’s friend who is 6’4″ tall! I know it’s a pain to have to shorten your pants, but at least you can have them shortened! When you’re tall you can’t do that. There’s no adjusting. If you order extra tall pants, they have a tendency to come in looking like they were designed for Andre’ the Giant! The hips, butt, and everything else comes in proportioned for him not me. If you factor in the fact that I could lose some weight, you realize that I am doomed to look like Bozo the Clown’s freakish fat sister LOL! I know that you hate spending too much money on clothes and sister I’m with ya, but, I do have to admit that if I find something that makes me look good, will last for years, and makes me comfortable I’m willing to spend the money. I’m a big fan of the $100 dress. (Don’t faint let me explain) I tend to head to Macy’s every so often (read when I’m going to a wedding or other big life event) and I usually find a dress for around $100. It’s usually more classically styled than trendy, and makes me feel good and actually looks great. I then proceed to wear it to death! My husband and I figured that I got 6 years out of one of my favorite dresses (bought at Macy’s) and wore it at least 40 times before it was retired (meaning that I had worn it so many times that everyone had seen it just a little too often LOL!) That’s pretty amazing! I’m a big fan of Macy’s. They have great clothes, but they have awesome sales. They also have clothes that really fit people. Everything I have ever bought there was well made, on sale at a great price, and lasted for years. When their pants go on sale, their prices are as good as the GAP’s, often better. No I don’t work for Macy’s and neither does anyone in my family or anyone I know. But, I can find clothes that fit there, and so can my Mom. You might want to check them out. As for the shopping rage, I’m with ya. It seems that no matter how secure we can be in the rest of our lives, clothes shopping brings out the insecure teenager in all of us. YUCK!

  316. Sigh…. clothes….. grrrrrrr….
    I know the clothes woes. My problem lies in the fact that I am a woman of size. Since I am larger than a size 14, most designers seem to think that I should also be 8 feet tall. I’m only 5’4. Long sleeves hang down past my fingers. 3/4 length sleeves look like long sleeves that are too short. Average length pants are at least 4 inches too long, but ironically, petite length pants are too short! I believe that it is a conspiracy by all the clothing manufacturers. They are collecting fitting room video footage of us “hard to fit” ladies having tantrums because we cannot find clothing to fit us. They probably use it as entertainment in their break rooms at the factories.

  317. I’ve got a sort of an answer to “why is everything so freaking long?”…I do alterations for people and believe me, it is way easier to cut off length and make a thing shorter than to try and add length that isn’t there. Same with sizing. If you have a choice between two garments, one too big and one too small, take the “too big” one. You can always cut it down but try adding a size or two when there’s no fabric. It can’t be done, but you’d be amazed at the number of people who ask me to produce extra width out of thin air!

  318. Ok, so here’s the weird thing: I am also 5’1″ (and 3/4″ – HA), but I have to wear the regular length in Gap jeans because the “short” are too short. So strange. AND, my arse fits into them. Well, into the size 12, anyway (which is my size).
    I have an idea! I have gotten disgruntled with clothes shopping because since I stopped working at said Gap, I have to pay full price for clothes (no way, no how) and can never find anything I need at Winners, no matter how hard I look. Soooo, I started making my own! And I look pretty snazzy, if I do say so myself.
    What you need to do is find a friend who likes to sew and make a deal. She (or he, I guess) can sew you some clothes that will make you feel good and you can knit up some socks/scarves/sweaters/shawls and YOU CAN SWAP!!
    I know I would totally go for that, so you should bring it up with your friends. You never know….

  319. You should try shopping at Ricki’s. There’s one in Square One Mall. They have excellent pant sizes, but mostly dressy pants. For more casual pants, try Reitman’s. Those stores are everywhere (including the Eaton’s Centre) and they almost always have amazing sales. I’ve noticed the Gap always fits strangely.
    I’m a bit of a shopaholic, but that’s my recommendations. I’m also pretty tall, but you can always have pant legs hemmed (right in the mall in most cases) so the length shouldn’t stop you from buying nice pants.

  320. Come on.. from reading these comments.. the average size is 5’1 to 5’4… so why is there a problem.. why hasn’t someone solved it for us yet… I am 5’3 and thank god for capris. Also… I am so glad that you brought up this topic.. I could go on and on forever about trying to find pants the correct length.{hint,, reason #1 why I have a sewing machine}.Petites work sometimes and sometimes they don’t! I never knew I was the only one, feels good to find I am not. Is this one of those topics that we all put up with and no one listens? How about all the clothes nowadays in Old Navy look like there for 10 or 12 year olds. BTW.. all my favorite people are in Columbus and I’m not.. :(( Have a great trip.

  321. O.K. here it is I’m a pattern grader that means I know how to take a sample size pattern and change it to all the other sizes needed (I get a 6 and grade it to a 2, 4, 8, 10, 12 etc.). I too am short 5’3″ and change. 5’4 and down are considered a petite. no one cares that we are average height we boomers and our parents are the ones keeping the avg height down. I am taller than my mother was and my daughter is taller than I am, The majority of ladies wear is done in Misses sizing it’s based on someone being aprox 5’7″ thus the long legs and arms, and for the most part it’s based on a B cup so too bad for the rest of you. One text on grading I’ve read has said it would take 196 sizes to cover all the body types of women (big bust, avg bust, small bust, small hips, avg hips big hips and all the combos you can get. Then you factor in your age. If you’re honest you are not built like a teenager,( and if you are oh lucky you) and if you are past 50 your waist line fills out relative to your bust and hip plus you start to shrink and droop (bye bye hormones and your spinal discs are starting to compress)
    What to do. this is where brand loyalty comes into play If you find something that fits you take note and look for them again as their pattern block works for you (it fits your body type think narrow shoulders bigger bum/pear shaped vs wide shoulders narrow hips/triangle vs curvy/ hourglass. Manufacturers cannot be everything to everybody so they pick a body type and work with it. The good thing about being a boomer is that we are such a large segment of the population that some manufacturers are starting to aim their fit at us eg larger waists relative to bust and hips, c cups etc.
    There was a woman on CBC radio a few days ago asking where the old lady clothes are she said I’m an old lady I see lots of old ladies around the young styles don’t fit and are not appropriate (skinny jeans form fitting slinky knits, no one wants to be Mutton dressed as lamb) . She wanted to be fashionable something stylish that accommodated her body and wanted to know where the old lady stores were. I gave her a resounding cheer in my head
    All you ladies reading this are on the web, all the stores have web sites, contact them and ask them why can’t I get something that fits? the waists are too small the bust is not big enough the thighs are too tight be specific it’s feedback that will make a change.

  322. *sniff* I thought it was only us big girls with the shopping hate.
    6 hour shopping adventure blogged here: a coupke months ago:) http://traceysolomon.wordpress.com/2008/03/27/dear-clothing-designers-get-a-clue/
    Also- as for the Gap— I hate this:
    Same style pants same size tag— but try on 10 different pair- and they are all different. Could they have Guage issues? I think…YES.
    and please- I’m sure you have handknits- and you know knitters:
    we only look at your knits.
    (which sounds kind of dirty and I don’t MEAN it that way…. but it’s funny;)

  323. Ugh, I feel you on that one, only in the opposite sense. I’m 6′ 1/2″ and 135 pounds, and it’s impossible to find stuff that fits. Jeans are always too big in the butt and hit inches above my ankles, and most shirts look freakishly shrunken- I’ve taken to wearing those long tank tops under everything. I’d suggest either shopping in petites or finding a tailor- I’ve heard they can be really helpful, and not all that expensive.

  324. When you are in London, visit H and M(stylish swedish clothes) and Zara (gorgeous Spanish clothes) and check out the children’s clothes age 12/13. They fit my tall daughter. Are cheap,hard-wearing, stylish and come in a variety of widths.Visit BODEN – stunning with loads of capris and diff fittings.Not so cheap but they can do good things with colours. Their winter knitwear inspiring for handknitters with fringes and buttons galore. Or try the internet.find a company that has things that fit and shop when you are jet lagged and awake and everyone else is asleep. Good luck

  325. retail clerks (of the younger generation) in general? My huz and I refer to them as having one BB rolling around in the tuna-fish can, and sometimes the BB has a flat side. It’s such a pleasure and surprise to find one with intellegence and the ability to make decisions, who is engaged in their job and not where they are going to hang after they get done with this dumba$$ job for the day.

  326. Try the petite sizes at the Gap. I’m somewhere between 5’1 and 5’2, and they are the first pants that have fit me in length since I was a kid. Sometimes you can find them in the stores as returns, but normally you have to order them online. They can be returned to the store if they don’t fit, and I believe in some places you can also have the store order them so you don’t have to pay shipping. Don’t quote me on that though. Good luck!

  327. Awww!
    I don’t think much about the other side of the spectrum. I am taller and longer and thinner than “average” and clothes shopping still bites. None of the shirts are long enough in the arms or torso. Most of my pants aren’t long enough. I hate shopping with a passion for the same reasons you’ve listed (just reverse the length issue). It doesn’t help that my fashion sense very plain. I don’t like things on my clothes. Give me a plain pair of pants and solid colored shirt ANY day. Which only adds to the headache.
    Also? All of my good clothes are for Iowa’s winter. I’ve been in Florida for a few years now and still haven’t found enough shirts to wear to work in this heat. The sweaters that I have (and LOVE!) see action maybe 20 days a year. That is probably overestimating, but you get the point.
    Good luck with your travels and I hope you find some clothes that love you right back!

  328. the gap is the only store for short
    people you could all get on the net
    and start a clothing exchange
    with so many lovely fabrics
    find some one to sew up some
    lovely out fits and not jeans
    all the time and go with a flow
    capes can still be good with a real hood
    and loser pants travel well
    sides clothes on the rack have feelings
    how would like being turned inside out
    thrown on the dressing room floor
    its not thier fault all stuffed
    by a lot of strange flesh and hollering
    try this one over here marge
    and pray that marge is the right size

  329. In my experience all the sleeves are too short and the pant legs too short. And if the legs are long enough the waist to leg part is too long. And if I want a longer length shirt it seems to automatically be bigger around. I’m 5′ 10″. It seems like all the clothes that I see on the rack would fit a person your size. Maybe we should trade stores??

  330. I’m 5′ 5″ and 32/26/38! (that is a 1 foot diff between my waist and hips!) I wear between a size 3 (shirts, obviously) and a size 12, so the first dozen things I try on might make me look awkward, but it’s still fun! Maybe at the Gap clothes are a little too boring to make the multiple dressing room trips worth it, and you should branch out?

  331. I hear ya friend. I’m 6’4 with a 31″ waist. It’s like the American clothing industry can’t even fathom the physics that would keep such a freak of nature standing upright. Every single pair of pants I own, or have worn in the last 10 years has hit me at the ankle standing and the bottom of my calf sitting. At least I wear good socks.

  332. Clothes shopping is really bad here in England, the shops only seem to have sizes 8-18 dwarfs, stuff the rest. I’m a hefty 5′ 10″ with a whopping great butt, two bellies and huge boobs.
    So you have the same problem of food going down your front, girl, when I eat, the food just plops all over me boobs. At the end of the day my tops are a real mess. Why don’t they just make bigger forks.
    It was my BIG 50 birthday 7 June, its yours on 14 June, KIP day, can I send you a special handmade birthday card designed by me. Its gonna be unique just like my Knitwear. If you want to do let me know. Hope to hear from you soon.

  333. 5′-6″ ish with a longer inseam than average, rather large front accessories (and what’s with all these so called bras lately) and a 10″ smaller waist. And a mother who loves to shop and always looks tidy. . . . .but when she buys me clothes I look, well, rather motherish.
    I stick to LL Bean and Lands End. . . normal clothes, normal coverage, and no foo=foo frilly gauzy tops.

  334. Preach it, sister. I have a very hourglass figure, and have an impossible time finding jeans that fit over the, um, bottom bit of the hourglass and fit around the narrow part. I went to men’s jeans, which is bad, I know, but comfy.

  335. Ah well the answer to that question is really very logical. The petite people ask for smaller/shorter clothes. The lanky people (such as me, coming in at 6’0 plus good posture) ask for longer/bigger clothes.
    The lanky people are bigger than both the petite people and the clothing manufacturers and therefore scare them into submission! QED

  336. I am an average height (5’5″) but I hate shopping a)because I’m always on a limited budget and b)because I am more than one size. I have a tummy from having babies but my legs are as skinny as a chicken’s. So pants never, never fit me right. In order to have room for my, um, gut, I must buy a size that is too big in the legs. I actually do not remember the last time my pants fit me in the legs. Also, because of a childhood growth problem, one of my legs is significantly shorter than the other. That also makes shoe shopping a pain, because of the lift thing I must wear inside my shoe. It doesn’t fit into just any style. And, limited budget also means limited style. Oh hell. Some days I just want to stay home and not get dressed at all.

  337. One does want control over how they look – however, people will be listening to your delightful insightful words and looking at your fabulous knitwear. Finding clothes that ‘fit’ is rare, truly hit and miss for me. Have a fantastic time at TNNA.

  338. These comments are taking on a life of their own, but it’s nice to have Girl Friends, eh? Maybe we should adopt a classic ethnic costume like the salwar shameez, or one of the European dirndls that work like a jumper, fitted only at the rib cage just under the um, accessories–the only place on a woman’s body that changes minimally over her adult lifetime. Muumuus, anyone? 17th-c. dresses that lace up the back? saris? sarongs? and cackle as we watch the lingerie executives burn in hell? just for all the miserable spandex contraptions I have worn. The thing is, at 59, what was “casual” 30 years ago now looks “slovenly” and “disreputable.” Kids wearing misfitted things look cute; I look mentally unbalanced. The pattern expert above had some good points, but the retail people don’t get it. Most of us have no access to the mfrs. but we can vote with our dollars–for me, it’s in favor of sewing, tea at hand and movies I love on the VCR. Slower but better in the long run. And I allow for the occasional mistake or project that just doesn’t work as hoped, which is also true of shopping. Fabric stores are much more pleasant than clothing stores, attitude wise. If you do take up sewing learn to sew 20 min. at a time–it has changed my life. I knit the same way.

  339. how about being 5’6″ and wearing petite pants? I have a long torso and short legs. I pratically tower over people who are naturally taller than me when I sit down. And the only shorts I’ll wear are for soccer, sine I don’t care what I look like on the field!
    I agree with someone else who suggested Marks Work Warehouse. They really do have a great selection.

  340. You know, if you need (more) clothes while in Columbus, you could always stop by the Target on Sawmill road. There’s alot of nice looking things there for reasonable prices (unless you want Issac, Converse, or Ogan… those are just expensive in my opinion) Also, I say on Sawmill because they have alot more selection than some of the other ones. Easton area is the only other one with decent selection in my opinion, but I don’t work there every evening while you’re in town…. (see, I don’t randomly pimp target unless it could end in my meeting a really cool knitter lol) *cheesy smile*

  341. I feel your pain. Never can understand that “women love shopping” stereotype.

  342. There have been lots of good suggestions-wear skirts, find one brand and stick with them, etc. but I’d like to add one more tip. Start with a garment that fits(or has been altered to fit)and find a seamstress or tailor that will make copies for you. The fewer seams or details there are then the simpler to make and therefore, the cheaper. Good luck!

  343. Heck, if I am lucky enough to run into you this weekend, I would not even notice what you are wearing. Figures, I’ve been dying for you to come around somewhere remotely close and now your in town, but not at a book signing or anything. And I’m apparantly too brain-fried to deteremine whether TNNA is open to the public or not. Just as well not to know. Otherwise I spend the weekend stalking you (in that not creepy way, of course). So at least I’ll say welcome to Columbus, please excuse everyone kvetching about the heat and know that everyone is too preoccupied trying no to look too sweaty to notice what you’re wearing.

  344. Why do designers persist in making full figured tops in either stripes that go around or large flowers that look like Grandma’s old sofa?

  345. This has obviously struck a nerve. Anyone want to start a blog covering the subject? Not me. I’m a 5’3″ middle aged female that bought a pair of shorts in the children’s department this weekend so I’m not in the mood to say anything nice at all about the clothing industry. Except that I am thankful I could find a pair without Hannah Montana or Hello Kitty on them.

  346. I’m 5’2″, also with a large chest. Not super huge, just a pretty decent C cup, you know? When I was younger and it was smaller, I just wore small – xtra small. Now I’m up to mediums to compensate for my bust which makes it not fit anywhere else. This is why I knit. My knit tops fit me.
    For pants, I’ve pretty much given up on them. Currently my jeans are mens levis with the cuffs rolled up. πŸ™ I also seem to have strange hips. They seem to be really high or something. Girls pants always result in me having wings. My solution to the hips and to the too long is to just wear knee length skirts…usually with kick ass hand knit knee highs. πŸ™‚

  347. I HATE to shop. The only clothes shopping that I do is in emergency situations – like for a wedding or something. Otherwise, I shop in my fashionable sister’s closet for cast away items. Free clothes are good.
    I am 5 foot 4 inches and weigh 110-120ish. Nothing fits me either.

  348. I think clothing fit has a lot more to do with body shape than the strict height weight ratio. You can be 130 pounds and still be thick waisted relatively speaking.
    One of the best magazines I remember growing up was a girls magazine aimed at teens and preteens (and distributed free through schools) that had a two page spread of what a girl at a health weight (something like 130 lbs) could look at. All different heights and weights and shapes. It was interesting to see that no one looked alike and that they all looked good and healthy.

  349. I am 5’6″ tall, and have three or four pairs of pants from seasons past just hanging in my closet. (I hate hemming pants almost as much as I hate shopping.) I’ve now come to rely on mail order sources that have a variety of size combos — Lands’ End now has an arrangement with Sears to allow returns to Canadian Sears stores of merchandise ordered from Lands’ End catalogues. Try Lands’ End petites, and shop their Overstocks section. Oh wait–that may be why none of my colours match either πŸ™‚ I just figure that since I won’t match even when I slog around the malls, I may as well be mismatched after sitting in the comfort of my home with a cup of tea while I do a quick online order. I order things that catch my eye in multiple sizes, then return what doesn’t fit to the local Sears. One stop.

  350. Short people can get their trousers hemmed.
    All I’m saing.
    Oh, and I buy 3/4 sleeves too, cause then you can tell they are meant to be short. I usually have to add 3-4 inces to the sleeve length of my knitted sweaters.

  351. I’m here in Columbus, too. Have not seen you yet, seems like I’ve seen everyone else I know on the planet.
    Rae and her mom Cindy saw your speech Friday, but they were charging $33 for lunch and since I was allergic to the food I decided not to go for it. I’m sorry I missed the gathering, though.
    Will hope to run into you before it’s all over. Would be a bummer to be in the same building and miss out on a hug.

  352. I have very similar issues with the clothing industry. The issue is not with my body, I like my body and think it’s quite lovely, thank you very much. So why on this good green earth can I not find clothes that fit? Everything in the “petite” section is a lie or intended for 98 year old women. I’m very nearly 5’1 (5’2 in the tall shoes!) so I totally understand the sleeve and pants legs problem. The only clothes that come close to fitting me are in the smallest adult size available. To go any smaller, I’d have to go to the clothes for anorexic teenagers who are all apparently nine feet tall.
    According to my most recent research, I’m wearing a (US) size 4 short in pants. Of which there are two entire pairs in the state of Tennessee. None of the shirts fit in the whole world except the one I made and I buy children’s shoes and socks.
    I hate shopping for clothes. Let’s not even mention the unmentionables.
    hugs(1) I feel your pain, dear Harlot.

  353. Stephanie–Love and admire that you can blog so frequently and cleverly.
    Perhaps the well-founded complaint about clothes not fitting short people(I’m 5’3″) is just the first step in the 12 that will “heal” your clothing handicap. I was born into a family of super shoppers, not having the super shopping stamina and skill also.
    Remember the line about going along the same path repeatedly, expecting a changed outcome? It makes you nuts! ONe finally acknowledges that a discipline of shopping and acceptance of “alternate” clothing acquisition methods.
    A good clothing consultant, such as they have at American department stores, such as Macy’s/Nordstrom’s will talk to you about the needs of your life, decide on a few basic coordinating outfits that you can accessorize or show off your knitting with.
    You must accept that your things will have to be tailored. You do not have the time for such things. You and your consultant can come up with a “suitcase list” for one week, two week, etc. travels. You will end up purchasing fewer items if you have a plan and with a list you could probably pay one of your daughters to have a suitcase already prepped for you when you arrive home. It will require work at first, but the preparation will pay off.
    Hope to see you in person some day. Susan93940 at Ravelry

  354. I didn’t realize until reading the comments how difficult it is for ‘normal’ sized women to find clothes that fit. I always assumed while I was struggling in plus sized change rooms that shopping would be easier if I was smaller.
    Thanks for disabusing me of that notion.

  355. Dear Stephanie,
    Just had to tell you I have spent the better part of the weekend reading all the blog from beginning to end. OK so it’s hotter than all tarnation here and the air conditioning has gone out – anyone seen my landlord?
    I have laughed and snickered and just positively felt good all weekend. Thanks to your blog for making a bad weekend more than tolerable.
    But I do wish I could remember what I was laughing about when I went to the kitchen to get iced tea. My best friend called and wondered what I was doing but I couldn’t answer because I was giggling too hard. Then I couldn’t remember why. Doesn’t matter. All I could say was Stephanie. Stephanie who? she said. My new best friend. πŸ™‚

  356. From the comments, I would say that you struck a very resonant cord with most women in the world! I love to read your column. Thanks for the laughs.

  357. Stephanie, because of you, I no longer feel guilty – thank you! And why so?
    Today, it is hot here. Well over 90. Too hot to knit. So I am wandering mindlessly around the internet, looking for amusement. I chanced upon your entries for June of 2004. Do you remember what you were doing in June of 2004?
    You started Joe’s gansey.
    And here it is June of 2008, and I do not believe that the Dear Mr. Joe has a gansey just yet, to shelter him from the cruel insults of the Canadian summer. Poor Joe. A broken leg in summer time, a house full of yarn and three teenage daughters, and no gansey. Yes, the man truly is a saint.
    But thank you, dear, for this selfless sacrifice of your high standards, so that all of us other knitters need not feel guilty about our own unfinished projects. Only a True Harlot could rise to this height of grace, of leadership, of power over our base instincts of guilt.

  358. Oh, how I wish the powers-that-be in the fashion industry would take note of this discussion. I spend very little on clothes because I don’t want to look like a sack of spuds in ill-fitting garments. I’m 5’3, not overweight but everything I try on seems to be made for tall stick women. Larger sizes are for slightly wider stick women. Regular length pants are waaaay too long and petite pants are an inch too short and look dorky. In general, the petite clothing seems to be designed for frumpy grannies. Sure I can shorten pants but what about those ones with the zippers and fancy stuff at the bottom of the legs? Those are the ones that I’m always stupid enough to try on.

  359. Word. Totally, and completely! I’m 5’2″, and pants shopping (and prices for general shopping) make me irate! i often describe it as having a “big girl” posterior and “little girl” legs. “Big” is a stretch, I think my hips are maybe 40″, but if I find pants that fit the waist/hips/bum, they are 3234 miles too long. My secret to not going crazy? Capris. I buy short pants, and they fit me just like tall pants fit tall people.

  360. For those of us who actually have found the holy grail of a pair of well fitting trousers, the thing to do is make them you signature piece, wear them to death. Then,when they wear out or styles change a bit, take them to a seamstress and have her take them apart, make you a pattern from them (your master/sloper), and you can have custom clothes for just a bit more than a discount store pair.

  361. You know something else I love? The way there’s absolutly no standardized sizing system. I own and wear a pair of jeans that are a size 0. I own and wear another pair of jeans that are a size 7.
    Granted, the size 7’s are a little looser, but not by enough that they should be totally different sizes.

  362. Steph,
    A friend of mine who is about your size has started shopping at Anne Taylor Loft. She’s been quite pleased with the number of things that she found that fit. The other thing several of us with short legs do is look for regular sized capris (suppose to stop just below the knee), they make just the right length pants most of the time. 9 out of 10 I’s say. Good luck.

  363. Since your “arse” doesn’t go all into the Gap pants (mine doesn’t either), I like to call it a conspirassy.
    It definitely was not the 1 1/2 quart of peanut butter chocolate ice cream that I ate.

  364. Since your “arse” doesn’t go all the way into the Gap pants (mine doesn’t either), I like to call it a conspirassy.
    It definitely was not the 1 1/2 quart of peanut butter chocolate ice cream that I ate.

  365. Old Navy. I know that they do online order and anything from their “short” category fits me well. (I am exactly the same height as you, with the same good posture.) Short legs and long torsos can be difficult to manage. Or you could always switch to skirts.

  366. Oh, me too on all scores. I’m 5’1 and 3/4 inches tall. Yes, the 3/4 counts for a lot. :o) And like you, I’m also reasonably well proportioned and with well sized ‘accessories’. :o) But I’d like to add one more complaint to your list about clothes and shopping….. Why do all manufacturers of ‘petite’ ranges of clothing think that all ‘petite’ women are old? I get so mad I could spit when all they offer me is bows at the throat and elastic waisted skirts!!! So, just because we are small, does that mean we have no sense of style???? End of rant. :o)

  367. Don’t even get me started on clothes. I’m 5’8″. Apparently the same above the average as you are below, but can I find long enough pants? No! No! And I’ve got some junk in my trunk, but that doesn’t mean that I have no waist? What’s up with no waist pants. I’m a curvy woman. Give me a break, GAP. I tried on one of their pairs of skinny jeans before and couldn’t even get my leg in. (Also, I second Ann Taylor loft. They include a decent amount of butt room, but still acknowledge my waist.)

  368. Steph,
    I’m 5’8″
    I have monkey arms
    I’m unreasonbly thin.
    I can’t find anything at the GAP either.
    Pants are too short
    All shirts are 3/4 sleeve
    The waistband is down around my….well, with 2 inch long zippers you get the picture. And the picture-it’s not attractive.

  369. You know, I knew this RA in college who had the best looking plants in his dorm room. One time I asked him how he got the plants looking like that, and he told me he just poured whatever leftover drinks he had around into it. Coffee, coke, beer… The plants must have loved it.

  370. Amen Sister!
    Because I have to have dress clothes for my job now, my new motto has been ‘if it fits, looks relatively presentable and I don’t have to mortgage something to get it (and it will last more than 3 years barring any unnatural events to my wardrobe) buy it’. My thing-what the deal is it with dress pants having stretch in them? If I wanted to wear a bathing suit to give a talk or teach a class, I’d do that. I don’t want everyone and their mom seeing every part of my leg- THAT’S WHY I’M WEARING PANTS!!! I’ve 5’2″ on a very good day. I’m almost sad that I’ve started knitting socks because they were the only thing I could shop for at the store with relative ease.

  371. My friends and I were screaming about this a few months ago! The clothes the last few years have been a) designed for stick-thin models much taller than I am (I’m 5’4″); b) feature styles ranging from eighties big-shoulders to what a 16-year-old refers to as ‘teen ho-slut’; and c) are so poorly made in sweatshops that they don’t survive a season of wear.
    And there is no way that I am spending $100 on a skirt that’s going to make me look like a fool and then fall apart after a few cleanings.
    Which is why so many friends have stopped shopping at US stores, and instead, do mail order from Europe. Where they have real clothes for real women.

  372. Purely informative post here … daughter going into fashion design. The ‘average’ american woman according to the fashion industry is 5ft. 8in., anyone under 5ft. 6in. is considered ‘petite’ – for esthetics. The arm length is determined by the height of the person … purportionally speaking, your arm span is equal to your height.
    My mother had the same problem with pants … she was 5ft even but was a size 24 so everything had to be hemmed up – skirts, dresses, pants, slips, etc.
    My daughter’s goal as a fashion designer? Real Clothes for Real People! She wants to design a line of clothes for girls that parents will approve of that don’t make them also look like street walkers.
    She is planning lots of crochet & knitting into the line too.

  373. Me, too! Me, too! 5’7″, really long torso (never could wear a one-piece swimsuit…love them tankini’s though), really short legs. Plus-sized, smallish waist, & what I like to call a “Beyonce booty.” I’m constantly between sizes, regular XL’s are too small, and plus sizes are usually too large. And, if it fits in the hips, it always gapes at the waist. Interestingly enough, I had the exact same problems finding clothes when I was a size 6 teenager. Nowadays, my husband often shops with me and has seen firsthand the lack of available options. So, when I do find something that fits, he’s all for it, and tells me I should buy a few in each color!

  374. Many clothes fit hangers or mannequins really well, but not actual people. YOU ARE NOT ALONE!!! πŸ™‚

  375. I’ve wondered these same things, too, only I AM “freakishly” short (4’10”) and a bit heavier than I should be. (I always knew there was more wrong with me than being left handed!)
    One of the reasons I learned to knit was so I could frog the sleeves of my purchased sweaters and make them look less like hand me downs from a gorilla. It works, too.
    Now, if only I could figure out how to unravel those pants (oh, yes, and the skirts with the border prints).

  376. The Yknit podcast…Great interview- and I soooooo needed that laugh today;)
    PS- If we have to outsource the job—you’re the Canadian I’d like to see in the Whitehouse:)

  377. I’m 5’1″ with big accessories, and anywhere from a size 3-7, so I can relate.
    I don’t think anyone mentioned them yet check out Reitmans & Cotton Ginny, they both have Petite sizes. I know they have multiple stores in Toronto (heck we have 3 of each here in Victoria). ALL my dress pants & capris come from them. I don’t have to hem my pants πŸ™‚
    I only shop the sale racks, or when there is a store wide sale on, cause I’m cheap too.

  378. also- as a former pastoral counselor-
    I’m seriously considering creating a knitting group to help build self worth. The potential for personal growth via fiber, is similar IMO to art and various other endeavors. I also believe that because knitting manages to engage all the senses- which both speeds deepens the cognitive change.
    I could go on forever about the potential for knitting and personal growth as well as community- but I won’t use your blog space.. just wanted to say- agree.. agree:)

  379. My heart understandeth!I don’t have time to shop anymore, need to walk in somewhere (not 5-6 somewhere’s)and find an outfit. One word…J.Jill. I’m lucky to have a shop here, but their online store is fab too. I have discovered J.Jill’s petites. I’m barely 5’4″, curvey(butt/boobs)small back with long arms – hard to fit. J.Jill has clothes that fits hips, covers crack, and coordinates well. They also have cute comfy shoes too. ) I went in the other day and walked out with and outfit in 30 minutes (even tried it on). They have great sales too. πŸ™‚ J.Jill has been my saving grace so I don’t look like I crawled out of the laundry pile!

  380. I’m the rare non-knitter, though I have the needles and at least three skeins, I’m just horrible at it and have no patience but put me in department store and I’m happy. But I have the same problems as mentioned here, I’m 5’7″ and shortwaisted, which means I have long legs and I’m a plused size with only the slightest of dent above my hips. And my top side is not large enough to be proportioned. And I still love to try on clothes, in the hope that something will really look good. I recently acknowledged that my signature colors are “black and blue.” It’s easier to color-coordinate but can get boring real fast. I’ll need to read all the posts now. Thanks, Steph.

  381. Hi Guys,
    I happen to be one of those awful designers who works for a large retail store ( not the Gap). I am a technical designer and it’s our job to ensure that your clothes fit properly. I want you all to know that we spend countless hours tugging, pinning, cutting , tweaking, and mulling over the fit and being sure that it looks good. I have been reading the comments, and noted there were comments here from people as small as 4’10” and as tall as 6’2”. Short, tall, slender, pear, apple. We try our best to get your clothing to fit correctly, but you guys are a moving target, and its very very hard to mass produce and accommodate everyone’s needs.
    As far as fit models go, they are a viable part of what we do. We have to use them, and their measurements are based on whatever that store’s standard body size measurements are. Fit models check the movement of a garment. When properly used, they ensure that you can actually drive your car in your new β€œcar coat”, and that you can actually work out in your new pair of workout pants instead of splitting the seams.
    The other problem is that most garments sold today are made in factories overseas. We communicate fit comments to them as best we can, and they interpret our comments as best they can. With the time constraints of getting clothing to the sales floor in a timely manner, sometimes things don’t get worked out as well as anyone would like, and we have to run with it, or there would be nothing on the rack for you to buy.
    I know its frustrating for all of you, but I can tell you this, its frustrating being on the other side of the counter as well.
    Love the blog Steph. Thank you.

  382. I think that the clothes must be made for odd people. I’m 5’9″. The average height clothes are too short and tall pants are too long. I’m anywhere from a size 8 to a size 12. Finding clothes that fit is very hard. My sister is much skinnier and also has a hard time.

  383. I totally hate shopping!!! After 8 years of being able to work in jeans and tees, I have to look for a job. I have no clue how to dress. My mom dressed me until I was in my 30’s because to her it was fun. I think Einstein had it right – 7 identical suits for 7 days of the week. No thought required.

  384. To the TALL women:
    I highly recommend JJill. Their tall pants usually have a 35″ (89 cm) inseam. At 5’9″, I have to hem every pair I buy, but I love them! My highwater days are over! Highwaters contributed to half my misery in junior high school

  385. You *do* have good posture! I tower over you by a full inch and a quarter, and never did it cross my mind that you are shorter than I.
    I have had good luck with Petite sizing, esp. at Talbot’s. And the jeans from LL Bean in petite fit me without spilling out onto the floor.
    But in general? Yes. I am also a victim of “On what earth would these sleeves/pantlegs fit a HUMAN?!?”

  386. Ain’t no way I’m reading 400 comments, so if this has been said, sorry.
    The big sizes? They just size em up, inproportion. That means that if, like me, you go out a good ways, but also ina good ways? Bad luck. It’s a tent for you. Oh, and the pants will be AT LEAST 6 inches too long. Even though they are normal length. And the arms will be massive on the top. But weirdly short, as well. And the top will still end the same distance from the collar, which, as people who love short rows know, does not really work for those of us with bosoms.
    If only I could sew and wanted to spend half of my life slaving over a machine. Then I could have some clothes that fit! Because what I really need is another fibre hobby…

  387. I’m totally fascinated by the comments. I’m the grader and I’ve just saved them all so I can go over them when I have more time. I teach grading and I may just post these for the students to go over. I keep telling them they will have a market if they can dress me (you ladies) and make me look good- I want it to fit and I want it to be fashionable. I’m curious that no one has mentioned Cotton Ginny, I find their sleeves too long (I have short arms) but they do offer a good array of sizes, regular, petite and oversizes and they appear to be directing their fit towards a mature body type I like Eddie Bauer but really I’d like to buy more than basics and I’m totally not into pastels
    Petites have always been an under served market so all of you that are 5’4″ and under need to contact the stores and tell them your woes. I used to buy jeans at Marks work wearhouse they fit great and I knew when the sales were I’d walk in pick out some colours try them on and walk away a happy woman. Then they changed the company manufacturing their jeans, where I used to have a waist that fit now I could stick my entire fist in the back waist. I talked to the staff and they admitted they had changed suppliers so I went home and wrote a lengthy e-mail to them and saying I would come back to check it out the next season but that if it didn’t change they would be losing a long time customer. I made a point of telling them that I knew what I was talking about and explained my specific fit problem. I had a talk with a designer, patternmaker boutique owner yesterday and He has exactly the same problem with menswear.
    Jeans that used to fit now don’t. He and I are fortunate in that we can draft and sew for ourselves (although I never seem to have the time but at least I know I can)
    You ladies knit. Just as it is not rocket science neither is sewing (you start simple, get help and work your way up the difficulty level) maybe the whole stitch and bitch concept should be expanded

  388. she may not be back but you shorten a border print skirt buy taking off the waistband shorten from the top, put waistband back on -Bob’s your uncle

  389. Ha! I’m not that big of a girl, I have a bit of a tummy in the front, but I end up finding a lot of shirts that don’t fit me because I don’t have tits. (Also, a lot of the shirts lately seem to emphasize on frumpy, Victorian era “I’m not letting you see my figure!” style … ew. Finally happy with my waist and now I shouldn’t be showing it?!)
    Pants … yeah, let’s not go there. I find pants that fit. They cut off blood circulation when I sit down. Or they ride up in the crotch like WHOA.
    This is one case I will probably stick with men’s jeans. Plenty of room in there for my non-existent junk. =D

  390. Speaking from the other end of the spectrum, one who is 5’7″ with large “accessories” in the back, I have usually found the reverse to be true. Of course part of the problem is that those clothes are designed to fit models and not normal human beings.

  391. Er, actually, in general, the North American woman is an average of 5’7″. Which is why woman who are considered petite, will always be able to fashion a purse out of the left over material, after hemming a pair of pants.

  392. I want to be just like Barbie, that BIOTCH has everything.
    However, I’m not Barbie, I am 5’8-1/2″ and my pants are either far too long or far too short when I do manage to get a pair I like. Right now I have one pair that fits me that I like and one pair that sort of fits me that I don’t like. That’s my pants wardrobe. Lucky me!

  393. Stephanie, being of similar shape I sooooo sympathize! May I give you two words of wisdom?
    Lee brand
    Lands’ End
    OK, technically that’s four. But it breaks into two. First, Lee brand jeans and pants. They haven’t changed their basic styles in at least twenty years, and I can still get into the same size I did back then. They have a petite line that is really petite (you have maybe an inch on me), plus they have a “relaxed” version that has room for hips/arse without having a huge, gappy waist. Try a 6P Relaxed and see how they fit. they are available at a lot of department stores and go on sale regularly, a greater benefit. I can send someone in and tell them to buy something in my size, and it comes home and FITS.
    Second, the Lands’ End people (who ship to Canada and many other lovely countries) not only have styles that fit a woman’s figure, but they come in several categories AND they will hem anything to your specified length. Cuffs optional. I love it because since I hate to shop, I can sit online and in a few minutes buy a wardrobe that shows up the right length and fitting in all the critical places. The stuff lasts through washings and cleanings and even coffee-spills (or what have you), and what if something doesn’t fit? You can return it at any Sears store if you don’t want to ship it back. Ayup. Don’t know if you can do the last in Canada, but it’s still mighty convenient.
    I like the quality of things at L.L. Bean and Eddit Bauer also, but the fits aren’t as good and they don’t hem to order. I have no personal stake in any of these companies, I just love finding places that make clothing that fits a petite person who looks more like a Gibson Girl and less like a pop tart, and wants to dress decorously. Let’s keep them in business!

  394. Hi all and greeting from a cold winter day in Africa
    Love your site! So interesting. Take care everybody and enjoy the knitting. Bye for now! Tracey-Ann in Windhoek, Namibia

  395. I’m 5’3″ and I can never find pants that are short enough (or on rare occasions, they’re all too short). I, too, have wondered about this mystery of long pants.

  396. I am 5’5″ (used to be 5’6″ but 50+ years of Earth gravity have taken their toll). What has been confounding me lately is why long pants like jeans always seem to end up slightly too short, but capris are always, always always too long on me. Clearly there is no logic.

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