Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Size Matters

As a little kid, having taught myself to read at a very early age, I would spend hours and hours after my official bedtime, hiding under the covers with a flashlight, reading fairytales, cartoons and any other children's lit I could get my hands on. One of my favorite reads was Cinderella - let alone the part of the story where her ugly sisters had their heels and toes cut off to fit in that little tiny glass shoe always left me shivering. It was simply beyond the five-year-old me how one could undergo something so torturous, to gain something of such dubious value: fitting into a piece of uncomfortable footwear, marrying a rich prince and whatnot!

Fast forward a couple of decades and you will find the grown up Cookie, whole-heartedly sympathizing with those who nip, tuck and Restylane themselves to appear more attractive to the "princes" of the 2000s. Not to mention those who squeeze their poor tootsies into strappy stilettos or patent peep-toed cone heels - the modern version of the everything but comfy glass shoe! While I personally have no interest in any kind of surgical touch-up (but ask me again when I'm older!), I am often swearing over my long toes or that extra inch on my hip whenever the shoes or clothes I want are sold out in my size.... yet perfectly available and delicious-looking on the boutique shelf or the rack, were my measurements only a tad tinier.

But do not for a moment think that such insignificant little details will stop me once I have my eyes set on the perfect ruffle dress or a pair of must-have snakeskin stilettos. Our local shoemaker has received a lot of business thanks to this size-defying shopping habit of mine, having had to stretch out plenty of size 8 leather boots and booties, so as to make them fit my size 8.5 feet. However, when it comes to clothing rather than shoes, for some reason I am much more wary of taking my beloved (but nevertheless a tad too small) size 0 garments to a tailor. Having heard horror stories about how illegal immigrant needle-and-thread phonies, operating from holes in the wall and barely being able to communicate in English, destroyed a friend's Prada coat as well as another acquaintance's favorite Betsey dress - mistakenly turning it into a tunic that barely covered her derrière - I have simply decided that I'd rather make myself drop one size than run the risk of having any alterations turn a slight fitting problem into complete sartorial disaster.

Yes, I know there are reputable tailors out there. Whatever. Why rid yourself of a great incentive to put down that sandwich and hit the treadmill instead? Not only will you save money by doing so (food is expensive; so are good tailors), but you will fit into your once-too-small designer garment before you know it!

While I hope everyone understands I am not 100 % serious, this brilliant strategy has somewhat surprisingly worked for me a considerable number of times. That said, I have yet to fit into the 24" pair of 7 For All Mankind jeans, that I purchased on sale last year during a blurry moment when I ambitiously vowed to quit sugary cereals and the occasional bowl of pasta... and figured I would actually be able to stick with it. Too bad... I am sure they would look fabulous with equestrian boots and a flowy Anna Sui top.

My next "weight loss challenge" is a teal bouclé Calypso skirt with satin bow decorations at the hip, size XS, that I picked up at a local consignment shop last Saturday (picture to the right). Since I can actually zip it up already without too much extra effort, I am figuring this will be an easy one. It's just about making it a little more roomy so I will actually able to actually move around and breathe at the same time, and I think I will have to lose no more than about half an inch all over.... stop laughing!

Please tell me I am not the only one who shops like this! I am constantly trying to tell myself I am far from the only one being guilty of buying my desired, rather than actual size, at least in those cases where a size 2/4 (my actual) is unavailable!

Most recent case in point: I could not help notice the original price tag was still attached at the back of my new Calypso skirt, and that the garment was seemingly never worn. Needless to say, I was thrilled to realize that I had just acquired a brand new piece that used to retail for $145 - at the mere price of $25! But also, and more importantly, this made me wonder if the fellow fashionista, in whose closet this skirt had been sitting unworn, was of the same ambitious, size-defying and hopelessly unrealistic breed as myself: having tried and tried in vain to squeeze her hips into that narrow opening of teal bouclé, until she faced the facts and figured she might as well cut her losses, trade her XS piece in for some cash at Matiell's, and revert to having granola and toast for breakfast?

As I handed over my MasterCard, the store owner assured me that I could certainly return the piece on consignment, should my shrinkage plans fall through. We'll see... hopefully that will not be necessary. I have promised to model it for him next time I swing by, so I'd better start cutting that Raisin Bran, sooner rather than later!

Got any fashion finds in your closet that you've been planning to lose inches for, ever since you purchased them.... so that you can actually start wearing them? Or are you a responsible realist, who would never bother with such silly antics?

Pictures in this post: Cinderella shoe at my local shoemaker's; cute black and red patent/suede kitten heel Oxfords at Metropolis, that I would buy and have stretched, were they only a little bigger than a size 6....
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65 comments:

  1. Gorgeous and well-written post, darling! I have a pair or two of "aspirational jeans" in my closet too!

    xoxox,
    CC

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  2. WOW! What a fantastic post!

    X♥X♥

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  3. love this-such a creative take xo

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  4. great post dear!I never find shoes in my size,I'm a 38.5 and it's very hard to find:(

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  5. nice post !!
    really nice*°*°*°*°*°*°*°*°*°*

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  6. ahah i too am an aspirational shopper!! im the first when it comes to buying summer clothes or bikinis "i can buy a size smaller becuase il obviously lose loads of weight in time for beach season!" but gosh darn it, carrots could never taste as good as a huge greasy slice of pizza ;)

    but this post is making me get off my backside and start getting in shape, because no one wants cellulite on their knees ;)

    sugar
    xoxo

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  7. Well, well well. Story of my life CC. I used to do this ALL THE TIME. It never worked for me. I can't tell you how much money I wasted buying things that didn't fit that ended up sitting in my closet for months until I finally got rid of them. And that goes for both small and larger sizes.

    So, this is happened. I finally decided to lose weight last year- and I did- a pretty big chunk. I lost 35 pounds and was back to my high school weight, I got rid of ALL of my old sizes, even the ones that were just one size too big. That way, if I ever put on the weight, I would be forced to lose it again and have nothing to wear.

    And that's exactly what happened, I gained a couple pounds since the weight loss, and now all of my pants for work are a little snug. They fit, but not how I want them to. Instead of spending more money on an entire new work wardrobe, I hit the gym again.

    I won't shop if I can't find the right size anymore!

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  8. great post! as usual! I am always buying things that slightly don't fit...and I'm like "yeah I can lose weight and fit into that!"

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  9. I"ve never had to do anything that dramatic... I"ve bought dresses in XS which ended up stretching over time anyway, but in Paris, the stuff I tend to find on sale, in outlets or in vintage stores, tend to be too large, rather than too small. Parisians are quite slim, so these things always get sold out first... I actually have better luck shopping in the UK for my size (both on sale or during the season). I have bought stuff slightly bigger than my size, because the slouch factor can be cool, but only when it comes to tops (never coats or jeans).

    With shoes on the other hand, it does seem that the tiniest sizes of the most coveted styles are the only ones available. My friend, who's a size 5.5 always lucks out. I did once purchase a pair of Lanvins half a size smaller and strangely these are the most comfortable pair I have now.

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  10. i finally gave up on fitting into my 23 inch waist chanel bustier and altered it up to 24 inches.... xo

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  11. Oh Cookie, I love you. I truly do love you. Despite the fact that you, like me, are guilty of purchasing pieces that you "aspire" to someday squeeze into and don with wild abandon! Fabulous post, darling! :)

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  12. It happens to me all the time with the shoes. I am a 37.5 but I usually get either 37 or 38.
    And you loose weight challenge, I am sure it will be ok. I do the same, if I like the piece a lot. As long as it closes...

    xoxo
    B* a la Moda

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  13. I can very much relate to your story... Guilty as charged.

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  14. oh lordy I do this ALL the time. If I long for a skirt or top that is only available in a smaller size, I buy it, vowing to lose a few pounds in the next month. I never do.
    As a result, I have a lot of gorgeous clothes that I can't fit into, but I'm still not willing to part with. :(

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  15. Cinderella was definitely one of my favs growing up as well.
    I have, a number of times, bought something a bit too big/small just because. Its a awful habit of mine.

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  16. what a massive post, darling! I am always on a diet- so I feel you :))
    xoxo

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  17. I'm on a constant challenge to lose weight. Can't help it! I've been brainwashed.
    www.angiemuresan.com

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  18. I totally bought a size 2 dress to wear to a bach party this weekend a while back. I needed to lose those last few baby pounds. It worked. I'll be rocking that bad boy Sat. night! See, you aren't alone. : )

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  19. I think i do that with all my clothes! i'm currently trying to get into a size 8 (think thats a US 4)

    Missy
    For all things fashion:
    http://thefashionfusion.blogspot.com

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  20. I just bought a pair of pants the other day that I call my "motivation" pants - they were too cute too pass up, but I can't fit into them just yet! haha

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  21. Hi, thanks for the comment, sorry for the late response, hope you're doing great! Just to let you know, my blog Maison Chaplin and LuisaViaRoma luxury store of Florence have created a contest which may take you to the next Paris Fashion Week, as an assistant of its buying team! Check it out now on my blog, you may win! ;)

    @ MaisonChaplin.blogspot.com

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  22. If only wishing could make it so....sigh. Sniff. Sadly, the lack of such dreams coming true here at the Prepatorium prompted us to sell oodles of our vintage treasures at the church rummage sale two weeks ago. And that. was. very. difficult.

    We adore your Calypso skirt, those bows are simply killer Miss Couture, we are crossing all our fingers and our toes that you can be wearing it as hoped!

    Grins & Giggles,
    tp

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  23. I am always tryin to loose weight. It takes a lot of work, but it is doable!

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  24. I wear a 6.5 shoe, but I can fit into a 7. It depends on the shoe. I didn't realize shoes could be stretched to fit a bigger size!

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  25. I totally shop like this - this was a great post - so funny!

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  26. i'm not trying to lose weight, but i certainly have trouble shopping. not only am i short (5 feet tall!!), but i rarely know what i want to buy... consider it a double-edged sword :)
    xx
    neutraltuesday.blogspot.com

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  27. oh Cinderella...suh great story ^.^
    kisses

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  28. I rarely buy anything that I can't wear/fit into automatically, but I'll certainly keep older items in the hope that I'll lose a few pounds someday :)

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  29. those red shoes are so beautiful.....!!!

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  30. yup used to reaad unde rmy covers too :D
    Btw I gave you a blogger award come check it out
    olivias-pizzazz.blogspot.com
    xx

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  31. what a great post, very well written as always.

    xx
    -Niki

    http://ahautemess.blogspot.com

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  32. i am defs one of those who squeezes her poor feet into shoes which are too small....sigh. when will i learn??

    myglitteringcreation.blogspot.com

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  33. Spectacular post!!! Thank you so much!!!

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  34. that is so true. really cool written

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  35. i feel ya on that. although since i am petite (short as hell) i always hope that i would grow a few inches to fit into the clothes i buy. LOL cute skirt!

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  36. great post, your writing is very fun. I understand you, I guess. Only my problem is that my feet are too small... ;)
    xoxo

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  37. Oh those glass shoes are cute!

    I'm actually quite good nowadays with my shopping manners.. I usually think a bit before I buy but I'm still bad with bags, shoes and dresses; If I see something I really want and can afford I go for it immediately!

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  38. I feel your pain, I'm a 38.5 and always HAVE to buy Chanel shoes just to get some that actually fit. High street are either 38- too small or 39 too big (that is my excuse and i am sticking to it!)

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  39. Hahaha! I like food too much, but I've definitely bought shoes a half size too small and hoped they stretched (more than they did).

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  40. I'm all about tailoring. If I can alter it, I will! I would never be motivated to lose weight to fit in if there were a seam that could be let out. Funny you posted about this right now, I just did a post that mentioned my hunt for a pair of right-sized shoes. Great minds think alike!

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  41. I love this post. I definitely shop more when my size is more to my liking...hahaha!

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  42. I am bit more of a realist but I must try this!
    XOXOX
    Libby
    http://fashionconfectionairy.weebly.com

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  43. I only buy what fits but make sure I don't put weight on. i like my clothes to fit but be slightly loose so if they get tight I zap those inches.

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  44. This is a great post. It's always a delight to read your blog!
    xxx
    Have a lovely weekend!
    Giovanna
    www.bohomarket.blogspot.com

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  45. What a great post, I love reading your blog! Well, it is interesting...all of my true religion jeans are the very smallest size and yet some days they feel tighter than other days. Why does that happen? Does my weight really fluctuate slightly from day to day? Or maybe it's just after I eat a big dinner haha...

    Have a wonderful weekend...can't wait for more interesting and witty posts of your's next week!

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  46. This is a great post and about sizes, it is sad, but people are always pointing who is too tall, to short, to big, to thing...it sucks...

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  47. Love this post!
    And that first photo is amazing, I always loved the glass slippers in Cinderella.
    I always have problems fitting my huge "duck" feet into shoes so perhaps I can empathise with the Ugly Sisters haha
    xx

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  48. Ahem to fashion before function!

    However, I always find myself later thinking... why.. why did I do it? I am SO uncomfortable. Oh well, at least I look cute. :)

    I've seen the buy it smaller stragety on those weight loss shows on TVs.. I've never actually done it before though. And I don't think I will. Becuase I know I won't be able to achieve my goals!!! And hence, never be able to wear whatever it is I purchased!

    Let us know how your progress goes! :)

    xo

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  49. You are too funny. I love that skirt!!! xoxo

    SC

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  50. I think it is better to buy clothes that you don't need to lose pounds to fit into!

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  51. CUTE CUTE shoes! and i loved cinderella so much, want that glass slipper :)
    xoxo

    natalieoffduty.blogspot.com

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  52. i guess all of us who love shoes have a cinderella inside. i wonder if her shoes were loubutins... =)

    PL ♥

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  53. Hmm, maybe Cinderella is to blame for all girls' seemingly love for shoes! I know that I LOVED Cinderella too - she's the best princess in my books! Great post!

    Thanks so much for stopping by!
    girlwiththebowtie.blogspot.com

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  54. I love the glass slipper! Great post. ;)
    Xx

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  55. thankfully i got normal (big) size so its pretty easy to get mine :]

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  56. ooh wowow!
    those shoes are pretty amzing :)

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  57. You are quite the individual on how you shop girlie!
    Super cute you are!

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  58. I definitely shop like that sometimes too, though I'm not usually successful. Instead I tend to give up on the item :) Hopefully it will work better for you!

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  59. Great skirt and no worries, I shop like you ALL THE TIME, especially in consignment stores! I will always try to squeeze into something ridiculously two small but always trying to justify a reasoning to buy it even though it was too small! haha!!


    www.thestarvingstylist.com

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  60. HEY!
    I'm finally back!

    i love this post!
    the shoes look great!

    love annie xx

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  61. Wonderful post. About the shoe thing: I'm getting up there age-wise and my stiletto heels are constantly on my feet whether I'm in blue jeans or mini skirts. I guess I'm just an old broad who can't think of getting into a sensible pair of shoes like Birkenstocks.

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  62. i like my clothes to fit but be slightly loose so if they get tight I zap those inches.

    Work from home India

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