1 Curvy Woman Proves That the Size of Your Jeans Just Doesn't Matter
Thanks to major sizing discrepancies across brands, finding your real size can seem totally impossible. To illustrate the struggle we all have, associate fashion editor at Bustle.com and BuzzFeed contributor Marie Southard Ospina put 10 different brands to the test in the exact same size. The outcome? Like we suspected, size really is just a number — don't let it define you. Read on for Marie's full story, straight from the dressing room.
Between vanity sizing, inaccurate measuring charts at e-retail destinations, and the fact that no two bodies are the same, figuring out what size you are isn't an easy feat.
When you're plus-size, things get even trickier. Let's forget, for a moment, that most brands and stores simply stop producing apparel after a size 12. The reality is that a curvier body has, well, more curves. And those curves aren't something you can easily measure — let alone put into jeans.
I will admit that I am simply not a big denim lover. Whether this is due to my affinity for vintage dresses, or whether it's a distaste cultivated by the sheer unavailability of comfortable plus-size jeans that fit a 50-inch bum and a 39-inch waist, I do not know. What I do know is that sitting in my closet are clothes — including jeans — ranging from sizes 14 to 20. Just like no two bodies are ever the same, it would seem no two pairs of jeans are ever the same, either.
So because I'm into fashion/beauty experiments (like finding out how photo editors around the world manipulate my features or gauging reactions to my low-rise bikini), I decided to use my median size of a "16" — which is what I find myself purchasing most often — to investigate what different brands and designers think that number actually means.
Ahh. The sweet feel of perfectly fitting denim. Such a rarity. Soft, sufficiently stretchy — I might change my mind about jeans, after all.
*GOLD STAR RECOMMENDED
<a href="http://www.lordandtaylor.com/webapp/wcs/stores/servlet/en/lord-and-taylor/brands/wa-specialsizes-p">Jessica Simpson</a>
Just a few more inches . . . Not even worth the squeeze. Ankles too tight; derriere too loose. Fail.
<a href="http://oldnavy.gap.com/browse/product.do?cid=1025825&vid=8&pid=191540002">Old Navy</a>
Digging the relaxed boyfriend style. Not digging the "digging" at the hips and the dreaded camel toe.
Forget the fact that these don't even button. What's going on with the super short length?
Hmm. This isn't so bad. I would prefer you in high-waist, BUT you're relatively comfy and soft, and you don't seem to hate contouring to fit my wide hips.
*GOLD STAR RECOMMENDED
<a href="http://www.lordandtaylor.com/webapp/wcs/stores/servlet/en/lord-and-taylor/brands/wa-specialsizes-pl">Jones New York</a>
I'm all for size experimentation, but unless I lie flat on my back and suck it in more than I've ever sucked it in before, this just isn't happening.
<a href="http://www1.macys.com/shop/product/calvin-klein-jeans-skinny-jeans-green-tomatoes-wash?ID=1284478&Cat">Calvin Klein</a>
What's with you, jeans? How is it that you fit my big bottom and thunderous thighs, but you refuse to budge when it really counts?!
<a href="http://www.forever21.com/Product/Product.aspx?BR=plus&Category=plus_size-bottom-denim&ProductID=200">Forever21 Plus</a>
Ignore the horrendous lighting that is a Forever 21 dressing room. These aren't so bad actually. They fit everywhere they're supposed to. And yet my figure seems to have become far more pear-shaped than usual. Peculiar, indeed.
You're too big, Decree! When stretched at the front, we're looking at three unnecessary inches of space. But you're not baggy anywhere else! The confusion never stops.
<a href="http://www.jcpenney.com/women/liz-claiborne/clearance/liz-claiborne-city-fit-skinny-jeans-plus/prod.">Liz Claiborne</a>
All right, Liz. I'm a little bit impressed. You don't create lumps where there aren't any, and you're long enough to accommodate a 5-foot-10-inch gal's legs. But camel toe will forever be my personal fashion faux-pas. Some things I like to keep private.
*GOLD STAR RECOMMENDED
Our obsession with being the "right" size is nonsensical. To try to define a "size" is equatable to trying to define a "color." Much more energy than it's worth. Sure, I had fun trying to squeeze into pants that were far too small. Because once you get into it, it is actually fun. But there are other things that require far more better use of head space.