the daily column

Clothing Conspiracy

We have managed to uncover a huge clothing conspiracy which may explain why you no longer fit into that nice size M shirt, and are now guiltily standing at the counter buying a size L even though you really aren’t all that large.

Yessiree, there’s a bourgeois conspiracy to make the untailored clothes buying public feel guilted, fat and generally uninterested in doing anything to upset the supressed place of the proletarait. It is not the simple fact that fashion has deemed a “skinny fit” to be the standard; the very size has been downsized!

Evidence, you ask for? Dad picked up a shirt at the shops recently, and his established size standard – M – didn’t fit well enough, so he had to step up to a L. Now my Dad has maintained his body shape well enough that for him to change sizes could only mean that the sizes have changed, but Dad bought it anyway, blaming a small drop in physical activity along with the trend for “slim fit”. However! Today he got me to try a shirt from 1998 which is sized M – and it fit!

These days, a standard L size will not fit me any longer, but given that I know that I’ve hardly maintained anything that passes for a figure I reasonably assumed that, yes, I had gone up a size to an XL. And yet, this shirt from 8 years ago sized M, somehow manages to fit near enough to an XL’s sizing of today. An L size shirt strains against my shoulders and biceps, but this shirt fits comfortably! Allowing for 8 years of slight loosening, counterweighed by the fact that Dad observed the shirt has always been pretty loose on him, so it has been worn less often than others might have been, and also allowing for the fact that it may well have been a loose M in the first place, it still is irrefutable evidence that the size of shirts has decreased, not that we as a society and me as a person has grown more obese.

I suspect the blame for this can squarely lie either in two factors. Either clothing manufacturers want to flatter the bourgeois elite – possibly their very sons & daughters – with the oh-so-ideal shape that lets the now-smaller shirts cling tightly to pointless muscles – the aforementioned “slim fit” – and they’ve taken it to extremes by dropping whole sizes. Or – and this is possibly the controversial part of my theory – the sizing has changed from being measured on your average person to – now don’t sue me here – the average Chinese clothing factory worker, where definitions of small, medium, large and extra large are a whole category smaller – and who would deny that a improvished Chinese factory worker is going to be smaller & skinnier than your stock standard westerner?

Skinny fit indeed.

10 replies on “Clothing Conspiracy”

well…I don’t know if what you say is true but I do know that sizes vary from country to country.

8 years ago…imported clothing wasn’t a very big thing so most things weren’t “MADE IN CHINA” Now…things are quite different as well all know. Us asians are taking over the world. Manufacturing goes to China. IT and communication in India. Technology in Japan…

Anyway…thought I might just share a lil’ from the trade.

what you talking about man? clothing in Australia’s been “Made in China” for the past 15 years basically – I can still recall my parents complaining that nothing appeared to have been made in Australia. And this shirt is made in china :P

hehe, interesting analysis of a trend… well, it just reminds me of the movie Spanglish where the mother bought clothes a size too small for her daughter to try to “encourage” her to lose weight (what a bitch!).

I find it just depends on the brand. And I know this all too well because I’ve been a frustrated shopper many a time. In fact, everytime I go shopping I ony have a moderate size range (rather than a specific size) that I look for….

1) Size varies from store to store and brand to brand – mostly because of the diference styles that they are going for. The ‘popular’ style nowadays is to have slimmer fitting clothing, which explains a lot of what you just said. It has nothing to do with trying to make people feel inferior; sif a bigger size implies negativity.

2) There is no universal ‘man’ or ‘woman’ where they shape every single ‘off the shelf’ item of clothing onto, so there is no way the sizes could possibly hope to be consistent.

3) What the hell are you even complaining about this for? If you try shirts on before you buy them, who gives a shit what the ‘size=’ label on the tag says, as long as it fits and gives you the look u were going for.

Oh yeah blah blah blah you’re all wrong and being big is ok says the slim white male with arms that bulge like cannons.

(Yes, Lachlan, I will do this everytime you try to enter any debate about discrimination.)

Hey fuck you, there is nothing wrong with being big at all, and besides like, half the people who wear L’s and XL’s are TANKED, so the letter is not necessarily an implication of what causes your size, which was the original point i was trying to make.

Lachie, for me the major annoyance is in the fact that stocks of Smalls and Mediums tends to be about equal to stocks of Large, XL and beyond – making it occasionally bloody hard to find one to fit in the style i like; now if more people are buying larger, that means i get squeezed towards an even skinnier end of the market, pun unintended. Nothing else is serious :P

As long as you’re fit, doesn’t matter if you’re “big” (says the slim female with perfect abs and butt who is developing intercostals). If you get puffed out from walking down the street/corridor, then you have issues.

And you guys have it easy trying to find clothes that fit. We also have to find bras that fit. >

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