MORE THAN MEETS THE SIZE

clothes

I need a top. What kind of top do I need? I need a top that says I am professional AF, make exceptionally good coffee, and will do all of your bitch work without complaint. Yes, friends, I need a top for my first entry-level job interview. I stroll into my local store that designs simple clothing that gives no hint of personality…”Perhaps the wrong choice for an interview,” I thought to myself after looking at the bland white button-ups, and khaki ankle length pants. “Hello, can I help you with something?” says the sales assistant ironically enough in that same outfit. “Yes, an outfit for a corporate interview.” She assisted me as best she could, pointing out other neutral well-tailored pieces that were pretty standard, I shrugged and accepted her advice. It was then in the dressing room, I became immediately angry by the sizes she had brought me. An eight? AN EIGHT? Do I look like an eight? My standard size is a four at other retailers!!!! How dare she bring me an eight, it’s an outrage, it’s a scand….oh shit, these fit perfectly. I walked out to model her choices, she exclaimed “Look at how these fit you! You never can tell with stores these days, sizes are different everywhere.”

Has this situation, or one similar happened to you? You see something you like, you grab your size and it turns out it’s too small? Or too large?

It’s important to remember to never take your sizing too seriously when shopping. Truthfully, there is no proper scale to these things and every retailer (AND I LITERALLY MEAN EVERY RETAILER) is very different.

Never take it personally – which is a lot easier said than done.

Let’s begin with a little history lesson in industrial manufacturing (I’m so happy the thousands of dollars put towards my fashion degree are finally paying off). In like…the early 1700’s there were these dudes named Lewis Paul, and John Wyatt – these men created a machine that spun cotton into thread – The Roller Spinning Machine. Then followed the Multi-spool Spinning Wheel (these men were obviously not too clever with names but they did make history so), this essentially just spun thread hella quick. The Power Loom was the real game changer, created by Edmund Cartwright – this machine wove threads into cloth, revolutionizing the textile industry. Though these machines are ancient to the clothing industry now, they were important inventions at the time, and the first steps towards mass manufacturing. Thanks to all of these dead guys for our modern savvy swag, I’m sure they would be so proud to see their hard work being put towards some of the ugliest trends since the 80s (mesh pencil skirts, I’m talking to you).

Then onto the late 1800’s when women wore extremely uncomfortable clothing, and for the first time were able to buy it in stores! Pantaloons, corsets, and bustles galore – oh happy day! It always makes me chuckle when girls complain about their mom jeans chaffing their belly buttons, would you prefer whale bone in a tightly laced corset instead? No? Shocking. Anyways, this was the first time in history that replication of royal clothing was possible (this was a big thing at the time as royalty were the same height of Kylie Jenner), and people were going crazy. Things still needed to be tailored but this cost was quite inexpensive when you compare it to having your entire closet bespoke. The only challenging part of all this was coming up with a standard sizing chart. This actually did not come into the existence until the late 1930’s, mostly to save money on alterations. This chart was taken from basically rounding up hundreds of American women, and measuring every one of them until they could equally divide what seemed to be most average of sizes…and this is where the problem began.

Though you are probably quite used to seeing vintage photographs of women with itty-bitty waists, and petite-looking frames, this was never the standard of bodies – even 100 years ago. The thing is, a body is a body, a waist is a waist, hips are hips, and there ain’t a damn thing you can do about it…actually I retract that comment purely based on the Kardashian clan. Still, MOST people cannot do much to alter their physical appearance beyond diet and exercise, you have the body you have and guess what…it ain’t standard. Please DO NOT terrorize yourself with body shame because you don’t fit into the jeans at H&M. DO NOT wish you had another girls abs on Instagram so your crop top would better flatter your figure. DO NOT be angry when you have to go up a size rather than down (or vice versa). Remember that you are spending money on an item, and you want it to fit despite the size on the tag. Honestly, if it bothers you that much, then just cut the f*#@ing tag off.

It is quite constant in the modern age to tell yourself you are not good enough. Clothing is just another way of saying it, with numbers instead of words. Always remember that every company uses a different chart, and a different ideal body shape to base its customer off of. They do not care about you, they care about your money. Almost every retailer has made a comment about how they design for “real people.” All they want at the end of the day is to make their sales goals, in any way possible. Remember that YOU are the “real person,” and your body is what makes you, well, you. Size charts make outsourcing for companies easy. It also makes it easy to judge yourself. In a world where we judge for everything, do not judge yourself for needing the size up or the size down.

Don’t even get me started on One Size Fits All stores (eyes roll to the back of the head).

Advertisements

NICE WHISKERS!

cat.jpg

It’s midday, humid. Despite the weather battling every strand of my hair, I feel pretty good. I’m wearing the new skirt I made, it’s floral print (for spring? groundbreaking) – overall, I’m pretty adorable today. The kind of look that gathers multiple heart emoji comments on my Instagram feed. All was well with the world except for one thing… Normally I put on my headphones in an effort to be as anti-social as possible, but today I forgot them and so I face the world and all its noise.

 “Hey miss! Hey girl – yeah you!”

 I don’t respond.

 “Why are you ignoring me? Am I ugly or something?”

 I glance but continue not to respond.

 “You’re so cute! Why won’t you talk to me?”

 If you’re anything like me, I don’t deal well with these situations. I politely smiled but continued to walk without response.

 “I like your skirt, you’re really pretty.”

 I haven’t worn the skirt since.

To some (I reiterate, SOME) men I have encountered, catcalling is either considered a compliment or hilarious. I recall a situation some years back where I was going out for dinner with a male interest. As we were on our way to the restaurant, a car slowed beside us and a group of men started shouting some pretty inappropriate things at me. I expected my date to at least give me some sign of sympathy or remorse, but instead he felt it appropriate to laugh. Laugh a lot actually. I guess it’s pretty comical for a girl to feel like hiding in her Louboutin for the rest of her life (actually that doesn’t sound too bad but I digress).

Let’s get down to it; why isn’t catcalling considered a serious issue?

“They’re just trying to give you a compliment!”

 Funny you should mention that word. A compliment is defined as “a polite expression of praise or admiration.” The Urban Dictionary of catcalling is defined as “making a whistle, shout, or comment of a sexual nature to a woman passing by.” If you can’t tell the difference between admiration and sexual harassment, you also probably can’t tell the difference between “your” and “you’re.” God help us all.

Catcalling is not a compliment. It is an insult. An excuse to belittle and freely objectify a woman, while you victimize yourself because your “compliment” wasn’t accepted. It makes women feel cheap, trashy, scared, and embarrassed. The worst part? Apparently, the only way to avoid this is to avoid physical grooming, because obviously makeup, a bomb outfit, and walking with confidence screams “GIANT WHORE!”

But it’s not that serious right?

“Just try to laugh it off!”

Okay, different scenario. Say like the previous situation I was in, your partner decides to laugh instead of apologizing for the obnoxious idiots shouting at you. Not only is this not okay, in some situations it’s actually worse. You’re implying is that sexual harassment is a joke. You could say I’m reading too far into this, but it’s true. Societal acceptance of sexual harassment, verbal or physical, is one of the many reasons Donald Trump is president.

“Men get sexually harassed too!”

 I don’t doubt that. It’s an issue that should be assessed alongside women’s sexual harassment. In any form, it’s vile.

You’re probably wondering how this relates to a fashion blog (596 words later). Usually, my opening scenarios are fabricated however, this one is true. Situations like these have literally ruined pieces of clothing for me. If there is one thing I know how to do in life, it’s dress myself. For someone to repress my personal style through harassment forces me to question why I even bother. It’s a depressing thought. I suppose I should feel lucky to have a pretty decent amount of self-confidence to say, “F*?! it”. Knowing that I should be able to wear things that embrace femininity without also bearing a chip on my shoulder. As my idol, Miss Von Teese firmly states, “It’s not about seducing men. It’s about embracing womanhood.”

So whether I choose to wear a head-to-toe latex outfit, a sundress, or a burlap sack, there is no invitation for commentary. It’s a women’s right to look how she pleases. It’s her right decide whether or not she wants to have children or to put her career ahead of her relationship. This issue boils down to more than what’s on the surface. Women lead the right to their own lives, and their own physical appearance.

Happy International Women’s Day (heart emoji)!

90% POLYESTER 10% BULLSHIT

tag

It’s time! It’s here! It read, “sale!” everywhere I looked, and suddenly all I could think of were the immortal words of Jermaine Dupri and Jay-Z – “money ain’t a thang.” I had a date that evening and even with a walk-in closet full to the brim, I needed a new outfit. It didn’t take long before I set my eyes on a dress. It was simple, but still managed to say, “not just a pretty face with an ass that won’t quit.” It was perfect…but no…it can’t be…PLEASE NO. It was not on sale. To make matters worse, it was three hundred dollars!!! Oh Jesus, it’s 96% polyester. I thought it was at least silk. Was I in a treat yo-self kind of mood for this well tailored but shitty dress, or should I just cancel this date and down a pizza by myself while crying over my Bachelors Degree…again?

Ever been in this situation? No? Just me? Okay – just without the Bachelor’s Degree, but soon.

Well listen up bitches; I’m about to drop some knowledge on the art of purchasing investment pieces. The fact is, the average consumer doesn’t know how to properly invest in their wardrobe. Or rather, what they’re investing in. Since the invention of outsourcing, you’ll often find the same dress in the same fabric from both a semi-luxury store and a fast-fashion retailer.

So going forward, consider these tips when purchasing pieces over $100.

Two words: Fabric Content. Often extremely overlooked. It’s confusing because the average person doesn’t know much about textiles or blends beyond popular fabrics. Let me just say this, why does polyester get to stomp around like a giant while the rest of us try not to get smushed under it’s big feet? Cotton is more breathable than polyester, right? Cotton is way older than polyester, people totally like cotton just as much as they like polyester, and when did it become okay for one fabric to be the #1 used textile because that’s not what fashion is about! We should totally just STAB POLYESTER!

If what you are buying is more than 50% polyester, you should not purchase it unless:

  • It’s print is unique.
  • The other half of the blend is a better quality fabric, such as silk, cashmere or cotton
  • It is well made in terms of the pattern, fit, and manufacturing.
  • Look for fabrics that are made of natural fibres, such as cotton, silk, wool, and cashmere. This means you won’t perspire as much throughout the day (always a plus) and the fabric will keep its shape and quality over time. Be prepared to have these items be Dry Clean Only. Yes, it sucks financially  – but a proper dry cleaner will keep your investments looking hella good.

Inspect the stitching. I know this one sounds straightforward but it’s not something I notice people looking at prior to a large purchase. Nobody wants to be the weirdo that spends an hour inspecting a garment (and sales people will hate you) so if the store has a generous return policy, be a weirdo in the privacy of your own home. According to typical manufacturing standards, all stitches must be evenly spaced. That means if you see any gaps, the seams on your garment will most likely unravel at some point. It’s also important to check for backstitching, which is basically a double row of stitches at the end of a seam. This means your garment was actually made properly, and won’t fall apart while you’re wearing it (my worst nightmare – it happened at the last wedding I attended).

Try it on. I know, I know. You just ate a burrito, and you have a food baby to prove it. But realistically, you’ll have be able to eat in it anyways and you know if you’re buying a cute dress for going out, your sexy ass is going to want a Jr. Chicken at 3AM. I’ll stop with the food talk now. My point is if you’re splurging on this item you need to make sure it’s worth the money. You may find right away that there’s something you didn’t notice on the rack. Retailers like to put weird yokes* in random places, and they’re not universally flattering. You also need to ensure that it looks like an expensive piece. Fit, colour, fabric, and length all play into these factors. Sorry to all ladies like myself who can’t do the 70s flare pant trend, God they’re cool.

Labels. What can I say? I’m a fashion student. I could say that labels aren’t an important part of a purchase, but at some point in your life you’ll want something because of the brand. Famous labels are usually famous for a reason, good or bad. For example, I hate Yeezy more than any brand on this planet. It’s recycled American Apparel neutral layering look that costs a minimum of  $2000 dollars per piece. DON’T INVEST IN YEEZY. BAD. Brands such as Yves Saint Laurent are specifically known for pieces like their classic women’s suit. Not only because of the quality and reputation of the brand, but because every woman needs to play with a little androgyny in her life. These pieces are worth investing in! Also, a little Chanel never hurt nobody.

Dammit. Now I want a burrito.

*Yoke: A yoke is a shaped pattern piece which forms part of a garment, usually fitting around the neck and shoulders, or around the hips.

X MARKS THE SPOT

It’s a beautiful day on Bay Street. The sun is shining. The birds (normally evil) are calm, and picking at an old sandwich on the sidewalk. My coffee is piping, and sharp. Most importantly, I got my hair to do the Natalie Wood flip. Yes, it is a beautiful day on Bay Street but….no…not today…he’s so young…it’s too soon…someone help him!!!!!!!

It’s too late.

You are probably wondering what the hell I am talking about. This young man mentioned above…failed to cut his suit jacket vent stitch (sometimes also known as a tack). What is a vent stitch you ask? Oh honey, oh sweetie. A vent stitch is the X mark that is sewn onto the flap of various clothing items, usually to protect the garment when it is being shipped. You will see the stitch when purchasing a blazer, coat, pencil skirt (etc) on the back flap (pictured below).

skirt

Now I know I can holla at my classmates (as I am a fashion student), and they can identify with this awful sorrow that my eyes must be subjected to on a daily basis. It has forever baffled me that so many people will wear their clothes with this pivotal detail unnoticed. My personal favourite is the pencil skirt wearing woman who thinks her skirt has been manufactured to make her walk like a duck. Feet inverted when walking, not knowing the freedom she (or he) could have if they would just grab a pair of scissors.

I have had thoughts of running around town with a pair of shears, and a pink bedazzled mask. Being the hero everyone needs, and secretly snipping all the vent stitches in my path. More than likely this story will end in jail time, rather than a giant E broadcasted in the sky whenever the city of Toronto is facing fashion villains. Damn, that would be cool.

My point is simply, cut the damn vent stitch. It’s not meant to be there. It’s not meant to do anything aesthetically pleasing. Honestly, it makes you appear lazy. God help you if you are the man on Bay street interviewing for a big job, and your interviewer cannot help but notice THE STUPID GIANT X ON YOUR BUTT. Like c’mon Bob, how are you supposed hold your own against a competing company when you can’t even remember to cut the tack on your new 6000 dollar D&G suit?