Wednesday, July 18, 2007

The Shortest Torso in the World

Apparently, my torso is freakishly short. I've always known that it was on the short side, but I just thought my legs were long for my body. I mean, that sounds better, right? I have really long legs v I have a really short torso... it just sounds better.

One time, a year or so ago, a friend of mine learned that the length of your arms from the tip of one middle finger, across your back, to the other middle finger, is supposed to be equal to your height. She was very excited about this information and insisted on measuring everyone. My wingspan is like 4'11" or something like that. I am 5'3" (and a half! I'm tall! ok, no). This, I thought, supported my theory that my legs are long for my body.

But, no. It seems my body is short for my legs.

I went to Ann Taylor Loft yesterday, on the advice of a friend who said that they have a great petites section with lots of stuff cut for our height (she is probably an inch shorter than me). While I did get a super cute, black, linen, trumpet skirt, I could not find any kind of top that fit me.

I recently applied for a job, and while I still don't have an interview, I am naturally shopping for my interview outfit (though I will not be wearing the skirt I bought. Linen on an interview is a bad idea. You want to look crisp and put-together, not all wrinkly).

ATL had these short-sleeve button-down shirts that seemed perfect. First, they were a shade of blue that really looked good with my eyes - kind of soft, gray-blue - and they had darts so it was fitted and was made of a material with a little give, but no so much Lycra that it never looks pressed. Plus, the first button was placed perfectly... You know what? I'm just going to find a link to it. Hold on... Here. The v-neck is perfect in that it opens up my face, and isn't too low where I'd be worried about being indecent.

So, I grabbed two - the size I was before I lost weight, and the size I usually am now. I've found that petites tend to be slightly smaller than regulars and I still have a bit of a tummy, so sometimes fitted shirts have to be a size up. I optimistically tried on the smaller size first. Too big. Not a lot, and I worried that the next size down would really show the tummy, but it was all weird in the boob area, so I tried the next size down. Now, it was definitely as small as I could go, but the boob part was all goofy. Then I realized, it wasn't that my boobs were to small. I picked it up at the shoulder seams and folded it about an inch. The darts raised up to the proper position, so that my chest was where it should be, the waist just skimmed along my tummy and the bottom on the shirt was perfectly placed so that you could wear it untucked and still look good because it was clearly meant to be untucked.

So, even in the petite sizes, my torso is too small. They seem to decrease/increase the shirt in every way every two sizes or so. Because women who wear a petite twelve are taller than a woman who wears a petite four. Because no one is just bigger. Right? It is so frustrating. When I was heavier, it was downright hilarious trying to find tailored women's shirts. By the time I got a size big enough to fit my width, I would generally have about six extra inches of height on a shirt that had no where to go. It is frustrating to find that, even now, at a pretty healthy weight, I'm still not the right proportion. Because I'm not 100 pounds, and I'm under 5'6", most clothes just don't fit. Of course, I could starve myself for the next six months, lose ten or twenty pounds until I fit into a small enough shirt that the proportions have shrunk, but I just don't think it is worth it.

Good thing I like my tailor. I wonder how hard it is to adjust a blouse?


Mavis said...

It's not hard. Stacy and Clinton have people do it all the time on What Not To Wear. They swear by a good tailor so people will have clothes that fit them properly no matter what their size. And I agree. I love them. Though watching the show always makes me want to go shopping, which is really something I don't need to be doing right now.

niobe said...

I know it's far from life's biggest tragedy, but I always hate it so much when I finally find an article of clothing I really like, only to discover that it just doesn't look good on me at all. I hope you can get the blue shirt tailored to fit.

manogirl said...

The sizing of clothing is one of life's biggest mysteries to me. Nobody over a size 14 is petite, according to most stores; if you wear a 16 or above you're of normal height. Full stop. And then, I always wonder what Amazons they're designing and making these clothes for, because when a pair of capris come down to my ankles--even if they are a size 16, that's scary, right?

It's baffling. I share your frustrations, but for almost the opposite reason--I have freakishly short legs, and a very long torso. Big boobs don't help. I've now started buying muliples. It fits? I'll take ten.

Rita said...

I think that's a good philosophy. After working in a shoe store, I do that with shoes. There's one pair of black strappy sandals that is totally over the hill, but I can't bear to get rid of them. Why didn't I buy three more pair?

The whole petites thing really upsets me. Mostly because it has been a problem for a LONG time. My mom is definitely petite - I'm regular in pants (though I have to always have them hemmed, petites are floods on me), but petite on top. My mom is just petite, but she isn't as thin as she used to be (as most women over 50 who have had children tend not to be). I don't understand how the diet industry can regularly pull in billions of dollars a year but if you are shopping for clothes, there is no such thing as a petite 16 (or whatever, honestly, it starts getting crazy around 10-12, I think). I mean, it has the "P" right there. Which generally means 5'3" and under. So, why would we get taller as we get larger? I mean, if I was taller, I'd be shopping in the REGULAR section.

I think my brain just exploded.

And, I'm totally going back to Ann Taylor Loft and buying that shirt and having it altered. If it works, I'll post pictures.

Rita said...

I started to talk about my mom and I got distracted by my own rant. The point was that for as long as I can remember, my mom has had this complaint. When she was an 8, petites generally fit but as she moved to a 10, a 12 and for her sake, I'll stop there, suddenly petites were too long for her. I can't even count the number of times I've gone shopping with her and seen this happen.

Mamie said...

Me too!! The closest I have found for my torso is Ann Taylor and they are still a little long in the torso, but the closest I have found. My waistline sits at the top of my hip bone, and I have an inch to inch-half until the bottom of my ribs. I'm in the process of starting a clothing line so I can have RTW!