Look at these outfits and then tell me what the hell an extra-large looks like
What do you mean an XL ‘runs small?’
by Ari Bines
Like almost any girl, I'm addicted to both shopping and looking like I just stepped off the runway. But in fashion, women are categorized by body type, and my type typically falls on the larger end of the spectrum.
According to Bellatory.com, an extra-large roughly translates to a women's 18-20, which is my exact size. Devastatingly, finding a basic pair of leggings or a simple top in said size will either fit like a glove or force me to suck in this gut.
So I did some investigating with different brands to find out exactly how small an extra-large could potentially run, and what I found was alarming.
I started with an XL top from SW New York
But these sleeves say otherwise
Looking at an article of clothing on the hangar vs. trying it on gave me a reality check.
This top was almost impossible to fit my arms through and when I did, they ended up looking like stuffed sausage links. When I first saw this shirt on the rack, it looked like a decent fit because its hem flowed out like a skirt. Unfortunately, the upper half of this top was suffocating my tig ol biddies. That's how extra larges roll, I guess. Right?
Then I tried on this Disney top with Eeyore gracing my belly
What grown-ass plus-size adult would purchase this per their own will? I don't know the criteria for accepting someone's used clothing, but this should have been burned a long time ago. Now on to the real point: This was seriously an XL. It could've passed as a XXL on me, and it was probably meant to be a nightgown instead of a shirt.
Yet as you can clearly see, it clung to me like an insecure boyfriend.
Next was an XL button-down from American Legend
Okay, so this flannel actually fit me, save for the fact that my FUPA is busting out at the bottom. Sometimes I think designers forget that thicker women have love handles and FUPAs, tbh. Had there been a last button on this farmer-chic look, there's no doubt that I couldn't have gotten it closed.
Sadly, after trying on a bunch off tops by nobody brands, this is the only one that was actually worth purchasing.
My arms were fighting the sleeves on this one jacket
For my plus-size chicks reading this, you know what it's like squeezing your flabby arms through a tight shirt with what I like to call "wings." The jacket was so tight that layering anything underneath this jacket would be impossible. My arms couldn't even rest at my sides. XL, huh?
And you can forget about me closing this bitch
You see where the zippers of this jacket meet? Of course not, because no humanoid could possibly wear it. The only way this jacket would close is if I turned into She-Hulk and ripped through every seam. I'm unsure if this was a children's XL and a lazy employee had just tossed it in the adult women's section of the thrift shop, or if the fashion industry is just that warped. Just kidding, I'm sure.
If this was what an XL looked like, I'd can't imagine how a small would fit.
I even tried what I thought would be a looser chambray from a brand called Leara Woman (?)
At first glance, I though this top was a shoo-in — but that little gap in the center of my boobs proves that my size-F melons were too large for this one to handle.
I was sure I'd finally found a keeper but the minute I sat down, the buttons popped open. Maybe if I were a guy with a shapeless figure, I could've gotten away with it.
This had to be my favorite because it didn't fit
This top was probably my favorite because I thought it made me look super thottie. While it's not big enough to cover my belly and I probably stretched out the sleeves, it looks intentionally unfit. I think the best thing about this shirt is that it revealed my belly in a flattering way (that's a thing). I even would've bought it if it didn't cost me $18. Sorry, but I'm a cheap hoe and this top is not $18 status. I mean it did come right off of somebody's sweaty back.
After conducting this research, I realized it's nearly impossible for any curvy woman understand letter sizing because the whole concept is contingent on whichever store you're purchasing products from. And now that shopping is primarily done online, we'll keep having spend hundreds on shipping shit to and fro, and that's money I don't have. I've asked it before and I'll say it again: if this is what an XL looks like, what is a small? How much worse can industry standards for sizing get before we're all completely dysmorphic? Unfortunately, I think we've still got a long way to fall before anything actually changes.