4

votes

(rant) Buying clothing is so difficult!

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created September 12, 2010 at 1:30 AM

I'm now a men's 30x30 pants and small shirt. That's down from 36x30 pants and large shirt. I'm 5'7"/170cm and 152lbs/69kg.

Unless I want to spend some serious money, and I don't, it's nigh impossible to find decent clothing that fits me. If I can even find smaller sizes -- and a "small" shirt can be too tight or way too large -- the styles are either grandpa or teenage boy. Even in the same style, different fabrics are different sizes, e.g. Levis 501s 30x30 in black-blue fabric fit great but the same size 501 in indigo blue do not, too tight. It's infuriating. I've even had to buy boys size 18 or 20 in shirts and the fashion isn't really my taste. I spent hours today at the outlet/remainder stores and only found two pairs of pants and one shirts, at least at prices I was willing to pay. The stuff at the Calvin Klein store fit well but it's so overpriced and even there a small in one style fit completely different from a small in another style. This one place I went had NO small size in anything, though I did find a great pair of winter-weight "K??hl" pants 30x30 that are, well, flattering :)

The goal was winter clothing e.g. coats and flannel shirts but I only found one shirt that wasn't a freaking tent and the coats are absurd. I have to replace all my winter gear because it's all way too big now. I guess I'll check out Costco next, or maybe LL Bean. Ugh.

There's no shortage of clothes for fatties. How about a "short, skinny, angry" shop? I know, I'll call it Kneebiters!

I know, not a question, but all my friends are like "STFU, I wish I had your problem" so I really have no other place to vent, thanks for listening! If anyone has suggestions for US stores that aren't Abercrombie or other peddlers to teens etc I'd be appreciative.

94480caec9fbbaacc386d86a45efa720

(1007)

on September 26, 2012
at 08:29 PM

I'm a little bit taller than you two but I am borderline on Petite clothes. One trick for things like Old Navy is I learned how to sew a little bit and get shirts that basically fit well, maybe they get a little low in the neckling but nothing risqué, and then I hem the frikkin` sleeves! Same for pants and jeans, get `em to fit everywhere else and then hem the damn things. I also alter bras all the time, usually just shortening the straps. Because apparently a 36DD only belongs on someone 5'9" or greater... ?

5e36f73c3f95eb4ea13a009f4936449f

(8280)

on February 09, 2012
at 03:50 PM

Yah, my thought too. More demand/money in making tents for fat people. Not so much in making the smaller sizes.

5e5ff249c9161b8cd96d7eff6043bc3a

(4713)

on February 09, 2012
at 03:09 PM

H&M is great for well cut clothes that aren't too expensive.

5e5ff249c9161b8cd96d7eff6043bc3a

(4713)

on February 09, 2012
at 03:08 PM

Express has some decent cut ultra slim fits, and Banana Republic slim fits are slimmer than most. I just buy shirts that fit in the neck and take them to the tailor and he takes them in.

1d952d225819b0229e93160a90bf9bf8

(1600)

on January 29, 2011
at 04:16 AM

Ann Taylor I LOVE, as well as BCBG/ Max Azria,but they can quickly blow my budget. Old Navy has a tendency to run a bit large sometimes,but the clothes look nice if you can find the right size, and their outlet stores are the bomb for basics.Target is great for undershirts(bras don't fit me,I gave them up a year ago). Clearance is a wonderful,wonderful word.Recently hit a Dillards clearance center, and found an entire rack of skinny black cotton pants with fitted belts for 1.99 each.All of them were size 3 or smaller.Cleaned them out.. probably never going to be that lucky again.

Medium avatar

(39831)

on January 28, 2011
at 10:50 PM

H&M is as close as I've found. It's all Euro-cuts.

902a7cd8f96bbc917a04e92b1f49dbd7

(787)

on January 28, 2011
at 07:32 PM

bwahahaha. youth XL for the win.

7e746be2f0e550a8cd7df881322ae705

(18701)

on January 28, 2011
at 05:58 PM

Hey there! I'm 5'2" and 34-27-37, so we could apparently share clothes! I LOVE clothes shopping and could do it all day. Trying stuff on is my favorite part! I do find myself wearing a lot more skirts and dresses because pants are harder to fit. I've got to have petite length or they just don't look good. I have great luck at Ann Taylor Loft (for pants) and Old Navy/Target for other stuff. I also ADORE consignment shops and places like Marshall's and TJ Maxx. I find that clearance items that doesn't fit "average" people are often PERFECT for me.

C53665c3f012fa1ede91033b08a8a6e7

(2269)

on September 19, 2010
at 01:29 PM

I tried on some 30x30 hipster pants for giggles and couldn't even get them past my butt. They need to come with a warning label: "these pants will make your butt look like a lump of bread dough and your legs like sticks." I guess you need to have that emaciated waif thing going to pull it off. Win?

8e75344356f4a455185ee52da0b90bf2

on September 15, 2010
at 02:18 PM

Yet another vote for thrift stores. I never buy retail. Ever. Every bit of outerwear I and my family wears was gleaned from thrift stores, yard sales, hand me downs, and even the dumpster! You CAN find hip and trendy clothes that fit but it takes some perserverance. Plan a day every week when you are not busy and have some cash and go to the thrift store. Be thorough (look through everything) be picky and try everything on. But you must go over and over! Don't expect to find the perfect wardrobe in one or two trips. :) Once u find the sizes/styles that fit you can hit the yard sales!

100fd85230060e754fc13394eee6d6f1

(18696)

on September 12, 2010
at 03:25 PM

It's easy to make this a question. Just ask if anyone else has this problem, or any advice.

E9214b7dfa3352f4e559555f87311287

(166)

on September 12, 2010
at 11:41 AM

Designer clothes are still small enough. Yesterday I wore my guess jeans - obtained for $7 at goodwill!

1f70da0b737e9c6e7679a248f4228a01

on September 12, 2010
at 09:42 AM

Haha, nothing if it's a Saturday night, everything if it's a Monday morning and I'm trying to teach a bunch of 15-18 year old boys English! I even had a couple of colleagues start taking time out of their day last year to come and chat with me whilst I was sitting at my desk... And they would stand beside me... As though I can't see from that angle that their eyes aren't quite meeting mine!

1c4ada15ca0635582c77dbd9b1317dbf

(2614)

on September 12, 2010
at 07:50 AM

But what's wrong with the showgirl look?

5740abb0fa033403978dd988b0609dfd

(2633)

on September 12, 2010
at 06:36 AM

Oh, and LLBean's upsized their stuff over the past 10-15 years as well. Be careful ordering from them, I've gone from a medium in college to a small today, and I've not gained any weight in the intervening years. If you can afford it (usually on off-season clearance), Patagonia has more appropriate sizes. I wear some small, but mostly medium from them. Pants are still tough though, they only go down to 30 or 31 I think.

5740abb0fa033403978dd988b0609dfd

(2633)

on September 12, 2010
at 06:31 AM

I hear ya! But you think 30x30's are hard to find, try 29x32's. My best luck is at Goodwill. You can usually get suit pants that were worn once then outgrown by some teen-ager. Of course being they were originally for some teenager they are too short, but Portland's a pretty dress-down town with lots of bikers so it works to wear suit-pant-knickers.

D31a2a2d43191b15ca4a1c7ec7d03038

(4134)

on September 12, 2010
at 04:39 AM

Another vote for thrift stores. The ones run by churches usually have lower prices than Goodwill, Salvation Army, etc.

1f70da0b737e9c6e7679a248f4228a01

on September 12, 2010
at 04:34 AM

Eva, I hit C-cup when I was 9. I know all there is to know about bras. :P When you're a 12F (34F US according to size converter), you can lock 'em down as much as you like - they're still going to garner attention! So downplaying = wearing loose jackets and scarves. Bleh. Not flattering if you also have curvy hips. And not possible in summer.

5841391284e7af8c495c54bd90d3a795

(2764)

on September 12, 2010
at 03:12 AM

I *always* try on clothes. Mail order (or internet order, today) has never worked well for me.

62ed65f3596aa2f62fa1d58a0c09f8c3

(20807)

on September 12, 2010
at 03:10 AM

YOu may already know this, but a really good proper fitting bra will also help lock down the puppies and keep them where they belong. PLus they will bounce less, which draws less attention and also feels more comfortable.

62ed65f3596aa2f62fa1d58a0c09f8c3

(20807)

on September 12, 2010
at 03:06 AM

THe sizing is erratic between companies. This is true across the board regardless of your size. YOu just need to learn to tell approx sizing by holding it up and looking at it with your eyeballs instead of reading the tag.

5841391284e7af8c495c54bd90d3a795

(2764)

on September 12, 2010
at 02:23 AM

I've had some luck at Kohl's and Marshall's. I mostly hit the clearance rack but bought a couple of nice pieces with the money I "saved".

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21 Answers

4
75f3b27d43b4f5a17e17205e3f27a42e

on September 12, 2010
at 03:46 AM

Had the same problem as you; lost over 100lbs and had to buy a completely new wardrobe. You might try a thrift store in your area. You likely won't find anything too trendy, but you'll probably be able to find some basic classics. Button up shirts, slacks, chinos, etc. All for pretty cheap. Then have what you can tailored. Eventually you can put together a wardrobe for pretty cheap that fits you like a glove.

As for jeans, I'm a big fan of 501 shrink-to-fit jeans. Hope that helps.

D31a2a2d43191b15ca4a1c7ec7d03038

(4134)

on September 12, 2010
at 04:39 AM

Another vote for thrift stores. The ones run by churches usually have lower prices than Goodwill, Salvation Army, etc.

8e75344356f4a455185ee52da0b90bf2

on September 15, 2010
at 02:18 PM

Yet another vote for thrift stores. I never buy retail. Ever. Every bit of outerwear I and my family wears was gleaned from thrift stores, yard sales, hand me downs, and even the dumpster! You CAN find hip and trendy clothes that fit but it takes some perserverance. Plan a day every week when you are not busy and have some cash and go to the thrift store. Be thorough (look through everything) be picky and try everything on. But you must go over and over! Don't expect to find the perfect wardrobe in one or two trips. :) Once u find the sizes/styles that fit you can hit the yard sales!

1
9ac8a7b68cf079b22de42b703e466e64

(787)

on February 09, 2012
at 05:26 PM

First world problems

1
5e5ff249c9161b8cd96d7eff6043bc3a

(4713)

on February 09, 2012
at 03:12 PM

I think the issue is that since most people are overweight clothing companies cut their clothes for those people and those of us who aren't overweight get left out. You have to look for ultra slim fits or similar things, which aren't that common. Clothing sizes have also changed to keep up with the increasing obesity of Americans. What used to be a medium is now a large or extra large, what used to be a large is extra large or extra extra large, etc. I think the only real solution is to but things that fit in the essential places (e.g. shoulders for a suit jacket) and find a good tailor.

5e36f73c3f95eb4ea13a009f4936449f

(8280)

on February 09, 2012
at 03:50 PM

Yah, my thought too. More demand/money in making tents for fat people. Not so much in making the smaller sizes.

1
6371f0ae0c075ded1b8cd30aafd4bf16

on February 09, 2012
at 02:39 PM

Try H & M. Their sizes tend to run small so you just need to buy your size or one size bigger. Costco sucks because they rarely carry anything smaller than medium and I feel their clothes runs big.

5e5ff249c9161b8cd96d7eff6043bc3a

(4713)

on February 09, 2012
at 03:09 PM

H&M is great for well cut clothes that aren't too expensive.

1
9140810eb28b318fb081c1f98c0989c8

(459)

on February 09, 2012
at 01:53 PM

"How about a "short, skinny, angry" shop? I know, I'll call it Kneebiters!"

Love it! Being tallish, for a girl, I couldn't shop there, but marketing FTW!

1
1d952d225819b0229e93160a90bf9bf8

on January 28, 2011
at 05:38 PM

I have grown to HATE clothes shopping.Being 5'3, 34-26-37 makes everything off the rack fit weird.Dresses bag on top,pants becomes low rise whether they mean to be or not, (slide right off the waist to the middle of the hip and bag in the crotch),legs drag on the ground.Not to mention that in women's fashion, you can only choose between"pre teen/teen" "skanky club clothes""soccer mom" or "grandma".Nice,but not office wear, clothes for late 20s/early 30s women like me are very hard to find without spending a fortune.

7e746be2f0e550a8cd7df881322ae705

(18701)

on January 28, 2011
at 05:58 PM

Hey there! I'm 5'2" and 34-27-37, so we could apparently share clothes! I LOVE clothes shopping and could do it all day. Trying stuff on is my favorite part! I do find myself wearing a lot more skirts and dresses because pants are harder to fit. I've got to have petite length or they just don't look good. I have great luck at Ann Taylor Loft (for pants) and Old Navy/Target for other stuff. I also ADORE consignment shops and places like Marshall's and TJ Maxx. I find that clearance items that doesn't fit "average" people are often PERFECT for me.

1d952d225819b0229e93160a90bf9bf8

(1600)

on January 29, 2011
at 04:16 AM

Ann Taylor I LOVE, as well as BCBG/ Max Azria,but they can quickly blow my budget. Old Navy has a tendency to run a bit large sometimes,but the clothes look nice if you can find the right size, and their outlet stores are the bomb for basics.Target is great for undershirts(bras don't fit me,I gave them up a year ago). Clearance is a wonderful,wonderful word.Recently hit a Dillards clearance center, and found an entire rack of skinny black cotton pants with fitted belts for 1.99 each.All of them were size 3 or smaller.Cleaned them out.. probably never going to be that lucky again.

94480caec9fbbaacc386d86a45efa720

(1007)

on September 26, 2012
at 08:29 PM

I'm a little bit taller than you two but I am borderline on Petite clothes. One trick for things like Old Navy is I learned how to sew a little bit and get shirts that basically fit well, maybe they get a little low in the neckling but nothing risqué, and then I hem the frikkin` sleeves! Same for pants and jeans, get `em to fit everywhere else and then hem the damn things. I also alter bras all the time, usually just shortening the straps. Because apparently a 36DD only belongs on someone 5'9" or greater... ?

1
691f120a3e7a1a036845d105d86c99a3

(3641)

on September 20, 2010
at 01:47 PM

My problem is neck size! I still have about a size 16 neck (not sure what weight lifting regime grew those muscles haha) and dress shirts for men with that size neck are for dudes with bellies much larger than mine. I go for athletic fit shirts or get smaller neck size and never button the top button. Might need to go to Europe to get clothes before their sizes adjust to the obesity eppdemic.

5e5ff249c9161b8cd96d7eff6043bc3a

(4713)

on February 09, 2012
at 03:08 PM

Express has some decent cut ultra slim fits, and Banana Republic slim fits are slimmer than most. I just buy shirts that fit in the neck and take them to the tailor and he takes them in.

1
55c57fad20d1b7ff54c146680b9173f7

on September 20, 2010
at 06:49 AM

I'd say that you have two viable options :

  1. Altering your clothes
  2. Altering your body

Option 1 is to buy clothes that you like, in a size closest to your desired size, and then have them altered by a local tailor or seamstress. If your budget is tight, focus on your everyday work-clothes for the most bang for your buck.

Of course this is a bad idea for those who are still losing(or gaining) weight og working certain places.(I don't think garbagemen tailor their jumpsuits and overalls).

Option 2 is not a suggestion to visit a plastic surgeon, but to visit the gym. 69 Kg on a 170 cm isn't very bulky and you may consider adding some muscle, to fill out those shirts and pants.

1
F8fa4b0809d3b74fcf0361c0d53b60c1

(911)

on September 14, 2010
at 03:35 AM

This is incredibly frustrating, and I'm glad I'm not the only one with this problem!

I'm down to approximately 30x32, and the only clothing I can find in that size is for hipsters. The problem is that hipsters are skinny with skin-tight pants, and my muscular thighs can't even fit into them! I'm starting to wonder if I will have to get pants custom-tailored for my muscular but lean paleo frame. Right now I am wearing everything in "relaxed fit" which is also extremely hard to find in these sizes.

(This, incidentally, is one reason I've been hesitant to engage in any kind of mass gain program. My thighs can't get any bigger. Really, they just can't.)

C53665c3f012fa1ede91033b08a8a6e7

(2269)

on September 19, 2010
at 01:29 PM

I tried on some 30x30 hipster pants for giggles and couldn't even get them past my butt. They need to come with a warning label: "these pants will make your butt look like a lump of bread dough and your legs like sticks." I guess you need to have that emaciated waif thing going to pull it off. Win?

1
9837a92b22321b0c29cd1d53eeb025ce

on September 14, 2010
at 12:51 AM

i have started wearing my 11 year old daughters clothes!

fit great and just doubled my wardrobe

also just bought some kids polo shirts from lands end on sale for me

cheaper!!!

902a7cd8f96bbc917a04e92b1f49dbd7

(787)

on January 28, 2011
at 07:32 PM

bwahahaha. youth XL for the win.

1
8347d512bca9b034d53da40dab8cd21c

on September 12, 2010
at 08:28 AM

Your rant reminded me instantly of an article that I just came across.

Why you shouldn't rely on clothing for actual waist measurements.

I was just shopping for a new pair of jeans yesterday at Eddie Bauer, and the ones that fit best were 30x30. (Pre-Paleo, I was a 36x30.) My wife stood there with this look on her face of happiness (for me) and disgust (for me) at the same time. "You need to eat some pizza."

I pointed at the jeans I had on. "These are 32-30's, hon. Every brand measures 'em different." And it's true. A 32 in one store is not a 32 in another store these days, especially with nineteen different "fits" of jeans/pants. Relaxed fit/classic fit/boot cut/carpenter jeans/builder jeans/worker pants...it just means trying on jeans is much more of an issue than it was back when we were younger, and Levis had four or five basic styles.

1
2e060a5edde44c1fe77abcf8d3997e01

on September 12, 2010
at 04:35 AM

There is definitely some vanity sizing going on with men's clothing these days. I'm six-foot/194lbs, and had to buy a "Men's Small" bathing suit this summer (and no, I wasn't going for that revealing Euro banana sling look). I second Stephen-Aegis on the "Athletic Fit," although I have yet to find that perfect T-shirt which fits in the shoulders and then comes all the way in at the waist (i.e., doesn't make me look like I still have a gut). And then there's the fact that most of my wardrobe is still left over from when I was a couch potato weighing 252...

1
1f70da0b737e9c6e7679a248f4228a01

on September 12, 2010
at 02:15 AM

I've always been a difficult frame to find clothes for - at first it was because I had a big bust for such a young age, then I shot up absurdly tall with big feet, then I had big arms when I was competing in shot put and swimming events year-round, and then I got fat! And even as a fat person, I held it in my thighs and love handles, which meant pants were painful, skirts sat weirdly on my waist, and tops would either be too tight at the bust or hip, and usually hang like a sack from my boobs and over my flat mid-section. Yuck!

But losing the weight wasn't always helpful - although losing the thighs and love handles meant I had better like finding well-fitting bottoms (if they were long enough), and my arms and shoulders aren't as butch as they once were, I'm always going to be busty. When I'm chubby in other areas, my rack isn't as prominent and dominant. Now, if I can find a brand that is made for curves, I have to work hard to find pieces that don't leave me looking like a showgirl! Downplaying the bust is a must if I want any chance of having my students pay attention to what I'm teaching, rather than focusing on other things...

62ed65f3596aa2f62fa1d58a0c09f8c3

(20807)

on September 12, 2010
at 03:10 AM

YOu may already know this, but a really good proper fitting bra will also help lock down the puppies and keep them where they belong. PLus they will bounce less, which draws less attention and also feels more comfortable.

1c4ada15ca0635582c77dbd9b1317dbf

(2614)

on September 12, 2010
at 07:50 AM

But what's wrong with the showgirl look?

1f70da0b737e9c6e7679a248f4228a01

on September 12, 2010
at 09:42 AM

Haha, nothing if it's a Saturday night, everything if it's a Monday morning and I'm trying to teach a bunch of 15-18 year old boys English! I even had a couple of colleagues start taking time out of their day last year to come and chat with me whilst I was sitting at my desk... And they would stand beside me... As though I can't see from that angle that their eyes aren't quite meeting mine!

1f70da0b737e9c6e7679a248f4228a01

on September 12, 2010
at 04:34 AM

Eva, I hit C-cup when I was 9. I know all there is to know about bras. :P When you're a 12F (34F US according to size converter), you can lock 'em down as much as you like - they're still going to garner attention! So downplaying = wearing loose jackets and scarves. Bleh. Not flattering if you also have curvy hips. And not possible in summer.

1
4b97e3bb2ee4a9588783f5d56d687da1

on September 12, 2010
at 01:37 AM

When I was fat I had the same problem.. Nothing fit right

Now I buy exclusively "athletic cut"... Works great!

Non tailored clothes just look baggy

0
Cc3ce03985eac5ebcbb95fc2329f13b0

on September 26, 2012
at 07:51 PM

The problem is even worse in thrift stores.

I write down my sizes and take a measuring tape in with me. I measure the clothes on the rack.

0
C0fcb48d7da4f76fac17318efd2cd6b8

on February 09, 2012
at 03:24 PM

I do a lot of shopping on eBay now. Paleo has given me a body that fits fifties and sixties clothing better than the tortured, convoluted clothing sizes of today. Some of the styles, etc are pretty neat, and I save money and recycle perfectly good clothing. I've even been buying retro shirts for my paleo husband- he gets lots of complements for the fit ( and cool retro look).

0
193b7fb0fec8913d5ebb3b99a04d21c6

(2918)

on February 09, 2012
at 02:14 PM

Clothing is made to be so cookie cutter. My husband has a problem with a large waist size (he's working on that) with long legs. Apparently all fat men are assumed to have short legs, so anything 32 inseam and lower is good, but he needs a 34 or 36 otherwise it looks like he's digging for clams. I have the issue of naturally wide hips and really skinny legs. If I find pants that fit in the waist, the legs are baggy. If I find nice slim fitting pants I can't get them over my hips. I wish I could sew to fix these problems, and no, I refuse to wear an elastic waist.

0
3b84c46c82d97d7257971bade4e06dce

on January 29, 2011
at 01:07 AM

Girl Gone Primal: I wear a 30G bra, so I know it can be hard to find clothes if you're busty. Carissa Rose carries tops and dresses made for women with large breasts, as does Bravissima. Neither are particularly cheap, but the cost may be worth it for a shirt that fits well. Hope that helps.

0
Af2ad65226384cedd4f5f08825a75b5d

(665)

on September 17, 2010
at 05:22 PM

Imagine trying to find 32x38 jeans - those barely exist. Especially now that i've leaned out even more. The best i've found that fit nicely are levis 514 32x36 (i used to do their 559 32x38, but those now too baggy). I have relatively large thigh muscles so i was lucky these jeans even let my thighs fit in. The other problem is many places don't do inseams beyond 32 once the waist is thinner than 32 and i'm still losing a decent amount of abdominal fat, this could be a real problem.

As you can imagine i'm quite tall. Big & tall really usually just means big. sometimes it means big AND tall, but there is very little tall (the stores carry like xlt as the smallest size). sleeves on any shirts outside of fitted dress shirts (or shirts a size too big) are never long enough.

Tall and lean tough as i'm sure is short and lean. Essentially it is leanness (and muscular leanness) that are the real challenges in our society.

0
35a9207254408c6907f7082640c7bfaa

(822)

on September 15, 2010
at 08:27 PM

Ha, I have exactly the same problem. I am 5'7" around 143.

Thrift stores are the same deal, most of the clothing is plus-sized and stuff is less organized so it's even harder to find smalls.

Sometimes you can find non-lame 30x30 or 28x30 stuff in the kids section of better stores but it's expensive and hit-or-miss.

Would be nice if someone sold button-down shirts pre-tailored for guys without wheat-belly, too...

Medium avatar

(39831)

on January 28, 2011
at 10:50 PM

H&M is as close as I've found. It's all Euro-cuts.

0
E14f0125b66eef4e61505dba0aebb0aa

on September 12, 2010
at 01:50 AM

I can relate. It hard for me to find clothes. I am 5'6" and maybe 105 lbs soaking wet. I can sometimes find things in the kids section. My husband has the same issue. He is 5'9" and 150 pounds. Clothes are not made for slender fit people because we are a minority these days.

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