Maria 3.0: Shopping for Clothes

Still very weird.

Okay, I’ll try to make this my last post — at least for a while — about all the weight I lost: about 40 pounds. Some of you must be getting tired of it. I’m still in disbelief.

Yesterday, I went to the mall to pick up some clothes. My wardrobe is extremely limited these days and I needed a few things to fill in the gaps. Mostly stuff that was a little dressy, or at least things that could be easily dressed up. I wanted something new to wear to court — and I really wish I didn’t have to think about things like that.

Maria 3.0
Maria 3.0 — AKA, Maria Rebooted. This is one of my Glamour Shots photos. I’m wearing old clothes in this one, folks — clothes I wore when I was in my 30s. (I saved a ton of money on clothes by keeping that old stuff. I remember wearing those shoes at my first job out of college!) I feel like I’m in my 30s, too.

What’s blowing my mind is the size thing. Before the diet, I was a size 14 or XL and really pushing the seams. Apparently, I’m now a size 8 or S.

But I’m in denial. So when I try on clothes, I keep bringing size 10 and M into the fitting room. And they’re just too darn big.

I do want to say that I don’t think today’s sizes are in the same scale as the sizes back in the 1980s when I was a size 8. (I was also a size 6 for a short while, when my activity level and metabolism brought my weight down to a sickly 105 pounds.) In my size 8 days, I weighed 130-140 pounds. Today, I weigh around 155. (No, I’m not ashamed of my weight. Indeed, I’m rather proud of it. Remember, I’m 5’8″ tall; according to this chart, I’m right about where I should be.)

My closet was full of old clothes and I tried on every single item in there. What I found is that I’m fitting into size 10 and 12 from the “old days.” Not size 8. It’s the new size 8, which seems to be equivalent to the old size 10, that I’m fitting into.

Why are clothes sizes different? I suspect it has to do with the fattening of America. As I walk around the mall — and elsewhere — I can’t help but notice all the fatties around me. I used to be one of them. Now I’m not. And I really feel sorry for them.

Yesterday, I was in Clearwater Creek, trying on some of the clearance clothes. A skirt in size 10 actually fit better in size 8. (I didn’t buy it because I didn’t like the cut. I look much better in slim-line skirts than ones that flare out.) A sleeveless knit shirt in size M actually fit better in size S. Small! Can you believe that? I can’t! I was busting the seams on XL in women’s sizes just four months ago!

I caught on by the time I got to JC Penney. I brought both size 10 and size 8 into the fitting room with me. The size 8 fit. I bought a funky tweed-like skirt and a red skirt — if you can imagine that. I would have bought a black faux leather skirt if they’d had it in my size.

Today, I tried to find a pair of plain black Levi’s jeans. What I discovered is that it’s nearly impossible to find ladies’ jeans that aren’t made out of stretch fabric. I used to like stretch denim. I used to need stretch denim. But now I just want regular old denim. Like the kind they sell to guys. I almost bought a pair of men’s 505 jeans in black denim, but I wanted them in 34 length instead of 32. Apparently, Levi’s doesn’t make them. I like the 550s, but really think that with my new, slim figure the 505s would be more flattering. I’ll have to hit the Levi’s store at the outlet mall and try again.

Shoes are easy. I’m still a size 8 or 8-1/2. In the old days, I wore a size 6-1/2. I guess my feet got fatter and stayed that way. Picked up a new pair of plain black pumps today. Can’t wait to throw out the old patent leather pumps I used to wear when I had a “real job.”

I’m really enjoying all of this. What I’m not enjoying is having clothes that I thought would fit but are now too large. I like my clothes to fit properly. And I don’t have an unlimited budget for buying clothes.

But hell — at least I like shopping now. I haven’t enjoyed it so much since my college days, when I worked in a retail clothing store.

It’s all part of Maria 3.0 — AKA, Maria Rebooted. And it sure makes me happy.

2 thoughts on “Maria 3.0: Shopping for Clothes

  1. They call it “vanity sizing”. They think women are more likely to buy something if it’s got a smaller number than they are used to. To me, it just means that it’s now impossible to just walk into a store and know what size I need.

    • Agreed. It’s a pain in the butt. I hate trying on clothes in a store, but now I have to do it if I want to avoid a trip back to return the things that don’t fit.

What do you think?