I’m ‘Not X Enough to Wear X’

I'm 'Not X Enough to Wear X'

I actually wrote this post a few months ago and it has gone back and forth between my bin and draft folder ever since.

So today I’m going to talk about something that has been bothering me a lot lately. As usual, any comments and opinions are fully encouraged, but this post is also incredibly personal and I urge you to be kind to me. My feelings about myself are perfectly valid and I am perfectly valid for feeling them.

If I could sum up my thoughts in one line, it would be:

I am not small enough to wear highstreet brands comfortably, but am not big enough to qualify as plus-sized, and I feel guilty because I don’t know if I’m allowed to feel bad about that.

(Please assume any ‘big enough’ and ‘small enough’ to be said with the sincerest of intentions and the most inverted of commas.)

So, before you call me out for any kind of shaming of anyone, let me explain.

I am a size *holds breath* 10-14. ‘Omg that’s small, why are you complaining?’ I hear you gasp. Well, let me tell you the truth, I am not a conventional 10, or 12, or 14. My 10 is a large 10 and is only above the waist. My 12 is rare but sometimes necessary for jackets or tops, and I am 14 around my thighs and legs. I can’t buy dresses or skirts because of my differing sizes from top to bottom. I can’t wear dainty tops because I look off balance. High waisted clothes are a no unless I want to belt them tightly. I’m too short to opt for the maxi-dress. I HAVE to buy my bikinis and underwear separately because sets just don’t work out. I can only wear certain types of shoes so as to stop my legs looking like downward pointing triangles. I am possibly the most awkward pear shaped body in the world – don’t take me to court on that…

I am in, what I like to call, ‘jeans and jumper limbo.’ This means, for me, that I only feel comfortable wearing clothes that mask my figure completely because I am just so damn in the middle. Clothes are not designed for people like me.

Recent shopping trips (and of course, summer) have made me hugely aware of this insecurity. I walk around highstreet shops in complete silence and almost refuse to look at anything but accessories because I KNOW none of it is designed to fit me. I am not the 8 that is covering every mannequin and model, nor am I the size range promoted by the plus size shops. I am a defined as a sad afternoon in Primark.

Now this is all well and good. I still hear you tut about being happy with what I have and thankful for my size or whatever. That is the bit that gets me the most.

Am I allowed to be upset at my size?

This is the bit that haunts me. I am so constantly aware of being moral and socially upstanding and it pains me to admit that I am unhappy with my size when so much out there is about body acceptance and loving your curves/lack of.

Am I allowed to be upset that I am stuck in jeans and jumper limbo, when there is so much shaming of smaller/larger bodies?

I don’t actually know the answer to this. I wish I did because it would make my life so much easier.

The one thing that upsets me more than my body/clothing situation is feeling like I can’t say anything about it because I am in the middle. Recent twitter events have only seemed to make this worse for me – this raging inner guilt that forces me to keep my problems deeply buried for fear of upsetting anyone. Even writing this I’m having to physically force it out of my head and onto my screen. Maybe I’m just tired…

Does the guy/gal in the middle need a champion in the self love movement too, or are we just meant to pick a side? What if those sides don’t want me?

I’ll be honest, I don’t know where I’m going with this… I think this post is more about asking for answers than it is a groundbreaking piece of social journalism. I genuinely do not know how I am meant to feel about myself and need your help to become enlightened.

I guess until this question is answered, I’ll continue to avoid Topshop and spend the rest of my free time looking at stationery online. (Seriously, I can’t wear ANYTHING in Topshop. ANYTHING.)

I really hope my intentions with this post were clear. I am not about shaming or detracting from the struggles of others in the face of my own and if I have done so please let me know.

I just want to fit in, just like everyone else.




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  • Patti Blue says:

    I totally understand you and I personally think you have every right to be upset with your size! It is such a weird thing to expect that suddenly everybody is just happy within his or her body just because society tells us so! I have a completely different body shape than yours, I guess. I am hourglass shaped – though my middle isn’t as slim as I’d wish 😉 – and I often have problems in finding clothes on the highstreet as well, especially dresses and skirts. Because they are not designed for women with a female shape! So I am often upset about my size/shape as well and it is not that easy to accept it! That’s why I think we shouldn’t feel ashamed to feel unhappy or upset. Those people who tell us to feel ashamed, however, they should feel ashamed themselves for making us feel even worse!
    Patti http://www.shiftingtales.blogspot.com

    • Imii Mace says:

      Thank you – I was so scared of posting this in case the body-confidence police arrested me but you’ve put me at ease!
      Amen about mean people being ashamed instead of us! We have bodies and we deserve to feel however we want about them! xx

  • Miu says:

    As far as I’m concerned, you are allowed to be upset with your size. But I would suggest to you to be a lot more upset about clothing brands that create these impossible clothing sizes. I have reached the point in shopping were I take about three sizes of the same item to try on, because you can never know what they did with it this time.

    • Imii Mace says:

      Oh trust me, the changing sizes is an absolute terror and is the worst! My problem, however, is more with finding clothes, in any size, that fit. Things like trousers and skirts are a nightmare because while my thighs may be a 12/14, my hips and waist are a 10. So finding clothes to fit that is just the hardest thing without sacrificing comfort/style etc!

  • I get how you feel. I’m a 10/12 up top, depending on the highstreet store of course and the sizes never seem to be the same from shop to shop. And a 12/14 down bottom. I even get cashiers staring at me sometimes at they scan my stuff like “does she know they’re not all the same size”. Sigh. D:


    • Imii Mace says:

      Yes I get that too! Especially when it comes to buying bikins etc! I’m like ‘I knowwww that these two items are a million sizes apart!!!!’ Its the worst 🙁 xx

  • Emma | LBD says:

    I totally understand you Hun- feel the same 🙂 can’t wait to see you next week 🙂 x

  • Martha Jane says:

    Unfortunately in promoting body acceptance, most people unintentionally manage to shame a whole lot of people. I’m sick of this idea that female bodies all fit into certain brackets because it’s simply not true. There’s a picture of me and my best friends from my old acapella group all lined up on stage together to take a bow, and I kid you not, every single waist, chest, hip and leg length is completely different. We’re not just ‘fat’ or ‘thin’, so if the diversity in women’s bodies is obvious in just 12 girls, why is this not reflected in the fashion industry? I also hate that the internet pretends to promote free speech and acceptance and equality for all, but actually silences and censors anybody who ‘threatens’ what are sometimes actually very warped opinions. It makes for an extremely negative place that leaves a lot of people feeling very bad about themselves. I don’t know how to fix it, apart from to suggest that people like you and I keep being honest with ourselves and others without fear of criticism. And please don’t feel guilty for writing this at all, Imii, it was such a brave post x

    Martha Jane | http://www.marthajanemusic.com

    • Imii Mace says:

      Thank you so much, Martha! Your comment made me sad and smile and cry a little bit all in one go so that’s pretty cool!
      I’m sick of it too. I’m really fed up of female bodies being an ‘either/or’ thing, rather than everything ever!
      You’re right – we need to keep being ourselves in the face of all the shame! Even if we don’t fit into the ‘either/or’ categories that they’d like – it doesn’t make us any less beautiful/human.
      Thank you so much xx

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