Tuesday, September 04, 2007

What Girls Wear

I went back-to-school shopping with Daughter13 and my wife a couple of weeks ago. I know, the first thing that pops into your head is "am I insane?" Nope. I actually thought it would be a supportive and helpful thing to do. So we headed to the mall for school clothing.

As we entered the first store, I made my move. I asked what sizes my daughter wore so I could assist in the search. Again you wonder, have I lost my mind? Nope. But I knew if I didn't stake my claim as a "helper" right up front, I would end up sitting in the corner holding the purses. Or worse yet, sent to the food court till the entire event was complete.

As it turns out, Daughter13 was not 100% humiliated to have me helping, so she actually responded to my question. She shrugged. Not being entirely sure what size the shrug indicated, I turned to my wife. She ventured that she wasn't certain, this being our daughter's first time moving up from the girl's department to full-blown adult wear, but she thought we should look for a size 1 in jeans.

One? How can someone who is thirteen years old wear a one?!?! I thought those were for babies. Remember the 1T size? How did we get back to a '1' all over again?

Not wanting to rock the boat, I kept my mouth shut and went to look for jeans in size one. Once a few different pairs of jeans had been located, Daughter13 went to try things on. And guess what? They were too big.

So now what? Turns out there is a size zero. Zero. As in nothing. How freaking small must a pair of jeans be to be a zero?!? But as we scanned the zero pile, the kindly salesperson suggested that those might not fit, either. Nope, she suggested double zero.

Who ever heard of double zero???? And just what the hell are they? Is this like a bra...a double-A cup is bigger than an A cup? Turns out...nothing like a bra. A double zero is smaller than a zero.

Roll that phrase around in your head for a minute. Smaller than a zero. How can that be? How can clothing come in sizes smaller than zero???

So off we went in search of double zero sized jeans. Insane. And as I flipped through racks of size 2 and 3, I couldn't help but wonder....are the teens who wear those sizes giants?!?! Suddenly a 2 seemed gargantuan compared to double zero. Clearly, all reason has been set aside. Numbers on girls' clothing are meaningless.

Fortunately, we did find double zero jeans. Plenty of them. And Daughter13 now has pants to wear.

Then we had to find shirts. To cut a long story short, I'll just say that the lack of logic was consistent. She does not wear double zero shirts. Not even close.

Who made up this system? And on what basis did they choose these numbers? When I need pants, I measure my waist. Thirty-six. So I go to the store and buy size 34 cause I know I'm gonna drop a few pounds soon...right? And then I go home. The numbers and the size actually relate to MY size. Not for girls. Not for women.

Next time I'm waiting in the food court.


MaryB said...

Hon, I've never figured it out, even after a lifetime of girl/teen/woman shopping. It is extremely frustrating. And I agree - how can you have size zero anything? And double zero - what? You earned some stars in your heavenly crown for actively participating in that shopping trip, em!

Kati said...

ROFL I actually hate clothes shopping and send my hubby in my place. I'd go crazy, looking through shelf after shelf, rack after rack of just 2 pair of jeans to fit my DD. (Who will never, ever fit a size 0, instead wears size 10 boys husky.) As a woman, I WISH it was as simple as finding the length & waist-measurement. But, even if one has a good idea that they're a size 10 or 12, it even depends on the CUT and the manufacturer of the jeans. Sometimes you'll be SURE you're wearing perfectly comfortable size 12s, go and try on a new pair, but they're cut huge. So you go to the next size down, which look perfect, and suddenly they're so small you'd need toothpick legs to fit into them. *shaking head* Don't ask me. Even as a woman I haven't a clue why the clothing manufacturers do this to us.

charlotta-love said...

Ulg. women shopping. I typically wear a size 9 in pants. (compared to your daughter, I'm a sumo wrestler). Anyway, the other day I went and tried on some pants: size 10. Didn't fit. Size 12. Still too small. I started feeling like a hippo walking through the store. Obviously I had gained MASSIVE amounts of weight since I jumped from a 9 to a 12 in mere days. Then I went and tried on shirts. Feeling bloated I started with a large. Too big. Medium: still too big. Small: fit perfect. So I'm obviously NOT top heavy. I guess I just look like a big pear walking around: skinny on top and large on the bottom.

you ever wonder why girls have issues with weight. Goodness!

Melody said...

We don't have those silly sizes over here. *phew* Size 0? Double 0? Those sizes are for babies over in this next of the woods. But for teens/adults? What a crazy world we live in hey??

Yeah, stick to the food court next time. It's not so confusing.

Em said...

I'm glad it's not just me who can't figure it out! I'm glad I earned stars though, that is always a good thing.

Charlotta, I do understand why this contributes to size and self esteem issues. Being too big for such a tiny number is insane. And I'm certain you are not a pear just waddling around town!

Mama P said...

Three things:

1. You are the cutest man in the world to go shopping with your daughter as a suggestion of support.

2. I wasn't even a size 00 when I was in-utero.

3. "Remember the 1T size?" This quote proves that despite you being the sweetest man ever, you are not gay. Because any non-straight dude would know that there's no such thing as size 1T. For future shopping, the t's start at size 2T. As in two years old, toddler. Let's hope your size 00 little one has looooots of time before you need to go shopping for her for those!

Em said...

Mama P...the utero comment is just too funny.

And you are right, I am not gay. But I do remember all those sizes from our three kids being born...first it was months...newborn, 3 month, 6 month. And then I knew there were "T" sizes. But who knew they skipped the "1T" and went right to "2T"? Maybe that is where the numbering fiasco begins! LOL

Ruth Dynamite said...

You're a good man, Em. A good dad, too.

Women's sizes are completely nuts: no consistency; no nothing. A "double zero" - if you will.

Darren said...

I never realized women's sizes were that messed up either.

And I see you buy pants like I do. My father was the other way around. He used to tell people that he was a size 32 but a 36 felt better.

Dan said...

It's my firm belief that guys should not be allowed in the women's section of clothing stores. Ever.

And that's a good thing!

Thanks for visiting my blog! That was, like, very cool. Or something.

whimsicalnbrainpan said...

I had no idea that there was such a thing as a double zero! She must be tiny!

Unfortunately for us women there is no set standard for clothing sizes. A size one in one brand of clothing may equal a size two in another. It makes it a real pain to shop for clothes.

Jocelyn said...

You keep us posted on how well those size 34's are fitting, okay?!

So your daughter is basically the same size as 60-year-old freakishly-small soap diva Susan Lucci.


That I know that.

SzélsőFa said...

I laughed all the way - sizes of women's clothing is something a reasonable mind can hardly accept. You had a lot to learn, but you learned it the funny way.

(and let me silently whisper that when it comes to different manufactures, sizes might differ, too: the very same person might wear a size 8 from Brand1, and size 10 from Brand2.
But behold!!!

Have you ever brought clothing that was made ABROAD???

I don't think you can handle that, heeheee :)))

I'm not sure, but I always thought an AA sized bra is SMALLER than a simple A.

Anyone on that?

EsLocura said...

I can't even imagine being a size 0, and a double 0, wow. women sizes just get more freaky every day, and lets not even get into bra sizes. what a sweet dad you are, my dad always waited in the car.

Mom not Mum said...

LOL Take all that you know and then just throw it out the window. When we moved to England I found that there sizes were at least 2 sizes different. Meaning if you wear a size 8 in the states you wear a 12 in England. For safety sake - in case anybody ever checks the size of my jeans and thinks I'm larger than I am I order them online. LOL

Rebecca said...

Come shopping with me Em!! I think thats just about the cutest thing ever. You went where few men dare to tred...Haha! Women's sizes are totally meaningless. I think "they" want us to have to try everything on. Maybe they think we will buy more stuff that way. Like buying more stuff is something women need help with.

Jazz said...

Is this like a bra...a double-A cup is bigger than an A cup? Turns out...nothing like a bra. A double zero is smaller than a zero.

Actually an AA bra is smaller than an A, while a DD cup is bigger than a D. I kid you not. I even looked it up to be sure.

At 46 I still have no idea how women's clothes are sized. I have two skirts, same brand, one of which is a size 12, the other a size 16 (!!!). It's frustrating and annoying and it has gotten to the point where I buy my clothes almost exclusively from one store which carries its own line. At least they're sort of consistent. Rant over.

D13 wears 00, now have a think on the fact that lots of adult women in Hollywood wear the same size.

It's a bit scary actually.

The Artist formerly Known as Purpleworms (!) said...

You are a wonderful father for being so supportive (and on that note I was going to raise the point already raised by Jazz - just wait until your daughter gets to the bras there are double Ds that are larger than Ds and even triple Ds and then there are Es - I can't keep any of this straight!) Great post!

Gretchen said...

Yeah, it pretty much sucks, which is why we're all neurotic about our sizes. And...guess what? We can be a different size based on manufacturer. e.g. I'm much skinnier the more $$ I choose to spend. If I were still a swearing woman, I'd call it a mind f***, but I'm not, ;), so I'll just say it's maddening and frustrating. AND...hard to facilitate a healthy body image in one's daughter (and oneself) with all the conflicting messages. I wish us all luck.

And...I agree with Maryb--stars in your crown for going along. You and she might not realize it yet, but your support, on even the most mundane things, will really cement your relationship both now and in the future. I wish I had had a dad like you.

Above Average Joe said...

Congrats on braving that voyage. Better yet, congrats on having a 13 year old daughter who still doesnt mind her dad going to the mall with her.

Nevermind helping to shop as well.

Chicky Pea said...

I have never heard of a double zero either, so you aren't alone.

I am a woman and I have yet to figure out how the hell they size things. I have size 2 jeans that fit very nicely and also a pair of size 7. If you ever figure it out, let me know.

Em said...

Oooo...my daughter and Susan Lucci? I don't need that kind of comparison!

Jazz, thanks for clearing up the bra thing. Those are the kinds of things a man ought to know, right?

Rebecca, just call me. I'll be happy to help you shop. You can tell just how good I am with all this! LOL

Mustang said...

ROFLMAO .... im sure you would have definitely thought that the sizing "experts" must have lost it when they designed clothes for women...

the women species always tends to suprise men.


A said...

I recently went to a larger women's store (because they like me there!) and they've started their own sizing! I'm a 3 or 4 Curvy. Finally, someone who understands that curves throws the whole darn numbering system off even more!

My pet peeve is when they throw a W behind my size. You don't need to tell me I'm wide, I look in my mirror! I'm not sure if thats what the W stands for, but it obviously fits, so I've just guessed! :)

That is really cool. So special that you went. I remember my dad just being crabby about stuff like that. Well, that hasn't changed, he just no longer has to go with me anywhere!


CS said...

You see why being female is so difficult? And personally, I think calling a jeans size Zero is demeaning. That's my size and it suggests that I don't exist.

by the way, consider yourself tagged!

tulipmom said...

Thanks em for such a good laugh!

The world needs more dads like you.

Dorky Dad said...

I don't think there should be a size 0 at all. If someone is a 0, then they should be non-existent. It's that simple.

Bunny said...

Welcome to our world. And actually the AA bra is SMALLER than the A, but the DD is LARGER than the D. Explain that one.

velvet said...

Sigh, the horror that is "vanity sizing". I have no idea what size I wear anymore. I'm the same weight as I was in high school and for year after when I was a size 8 or medium and these days I wear a 6 or small (except when it has to fit my shoulders; there I size up to fit the width). I bought some vintage patterns once and the sizing was very different. Marilyn Monroe was said to be a size 14, but size 14 back then corresponds to the measurements for a 6 or 8 these days.

I also did a little experiment to see if The Mister's clothes were vanity sized, too, and his 32 waistband measured at 33 1/2 inches with a tape measure. Very interesting... hmmmm. Have you measured your 34's?