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Fuck Politeness

This is a revolution, not a public relations movement

I whinged at my boyfriend the other day that it’d be nice to be a man, to get up, put on pants and a shirt and go to work.

He responded “Women can do that too. And it’s damned sexy.”

Granted, many women can carry that look off and it’s hot. Those of us with those *nasty curvy bits* though don’t tend to look ‘sexy’ at all if we whack on an off the rack shirt and pants. And here’s why:

Men’s clothes are measured: you can buy a shirt to *fit your neck*, a shirt with sleeves the *right length*. Now that’s great. Obviously some men have bigger necks than others, and we wouldn’t want their necks to be uncomfortable, so we give them some options.

Women? Apparently we’re all of the same body shape, just larger or smaller, like human stacking doll sets. While the shape expands, there is no space for, say, being a generously proportioned, yet short woman, or a thin but very tall woman. There’s no space for flesh in general and there is certainly no space for breasts, which leads me to think that “If you’ve got it flaunt it” actually means, if you’ve got big tits, walk around naked cos you won’t get a shirt to close over them. I also remember an aunt of mine saying when you get up into the upper clothes sizes they seem to think you have arms like tree trunks, and said that often the under arm of the garment would be on the side of her lower ribs. (On a side note she also said it was like they were dressing circus clowns, you couldn’t, for many years, get something in a “plus size” range in neutrals or plains, it was all loud patterns, as if they were forcing the *jolly fat person* role on you).

And where men can have allowances made for neck size, women don’t get the same allowance for breast size…with the result that I’ve never, ever been able to find a button up shirt that looks good on me. They don’t close over my breasts. I’m a size twelve to fourteen through the abdomen, but I cannot get business shirts, or for that matter many dresses, to do up over my tits! Grr!! If I go up in size they swim. They rarely meet my wrists anyway, any more than jackets, and if they do, the only *just* do with the result that I can’t move my arms freely, which just doesn’t work for work clothes!!

And pants?

Length: I suppose shorter women can go to the tailor to get pants taken up…but what about women like me, where most of my height is in my legs, and I’ll try on pairs of pants that fit…til I look down and see my ankles poking out like Steve friggin Erkle.

Width: Again, we’ve got the standard 8, 10, 12, 14, 16, 18, 20, 22 etc. But let’s be real. What is usually stocked is 8-14…small makes to save on fabric, so *actually* 6-12. With the result that most women can’t get their thighs/arse into a pair of pants in a majority of stores making them blame the one Krispy Kreme they ate in 2002 rather than the fashion industry’s bizarre attitudes to women’s bodies. If I could go into a store and find pants upon pants upon pants which were made to specific measurements, ie said, if your waist is x cm, and your arse is x cm and your leg length is x cm, these will totally fucking fit you (as they are for men) I would be a happy (and well dressed) woman. As it is I can buy jeans off the rack, and occasionally a pair of business pants, but usually, to get them to fit me well enough that my body looks good (and my ankles aren’t poking out nerd-style) I am looking at boutique shops for $400!!! $400!!! When’s the last time a man had to pay that much for a pair of pants just to find a pair that look good?

Why am I crapping on about this? I have to go shopping for clothes again soon. I’m scraping the bottom of the barrel, and I have nothing appropriate for work which is summery. And I’m dreading it already. I have a great body. It’s just not catered to in women’s fashion – or in men’s, as the problem is really not a neck-size thing. So I’m gonna be standing there trying on overpriced garment after overpriced garment, only to feel like a total fatty all because I have big boobs and long legs so nothing fits me. Grr! I mean surely, surely, if we can measure for a man’s neck, we can measure clothes to fit women’s bodies without them having to hock their belongings to pay for it?

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