My wedding dress fit like a glove, just like that, off the rack. I took it to the tailor anyway, and on first look, she exclaimed, "Why do you need me? It fits beautifully!"
But of course on closer inspection, we found an area that needed just a little tweaking. She tugged the dress up about a half inch at the shoulders and suddenly the dress that fit just fine a moment ago fit perfectly. I was quite tickled that she'd found the one area I know will almost always need tailoring in my clothes thanks to my short waist. It was, in my mind, a testament to her expertise, almost like a test to see if she knew what she was doing—and she passed.
For as long as I can remember, I've been "blessed" with long long legs and a short short waist. This translates to almost always needing to take up the shoulders in tops and dresses so they aren't constantly flopping off my shoulders, while simultaneously struggling to find a rise high enough to actually fit over my hips. My natural waist is about a 12" rise, but I've only got about an inch or so before the rib cage kicks in above the hip bone. So when a designer says something is "super high rise!" but it's only 10", I have to roll my eyes a little!
Thankfully, my mom was en excellent seamstress and taught me to sew at a young age. I often forget this isn't a universal skill anymore, but boy has it come in handy. I remember shopping with my mom, when things never fit, she would pull the fabric of a shirt or pair of pants taut while I looked on into the mirror—"Oh we'll just take it in a bit here, take it up in the shoulders like this."
Simple tailoring at home is an invaluable skill! Jumpsuits in particular rarely fit me off the rack. Either too short and wedgie inducing, or way long-waisted, to the point that the waist fits around my butt and the crotch toward mid-thigh. Ugh. With the too-long jumpsuit, I was able to basically take the whole thing apart, hack off three or four inches in the waist area, and sew the top and bottom back together. Voila, perfectly fit for my freakishly short waist.
Up top I'm quite small chested. If it were more socially acceptable to go bra-less, I'd be all over it. But until nip-city becomes less taboo, I'm rocking lightly padded bralettes all day long. Unfortunately, I just don't think the office can handle that kind of boundary pushing at this time. My indignation at this is enough for an entire other post. Suffice to say, it's very difficult to find a mass-produced bra that fits my small ribcage without sliding up. Finding out bras came in size 30 bands was a revelation. But I almost always stick with a stretchy pull-over-the-head bralette. The comfort factor is IN. CRED. IB. LE.
My biggest size weirdness is that I'm almost always a full size bigger on bottom than on top. Does that make me pear shaped? I don't think I have an unusually big butt or hips, but I certainly have much wider ones relative to my waist. Snug hips and big waistband gaps are all too common for me. Depending on the fit, I can sometimes comfortably go down to XS in a top, but I will always err on the side of a larger size in pants and shorts. Some of my favorite bottoms are a 6 or M!
Weight | 130 lbs
Height | 5'7"
Hip/Butt | 39"
Waist | 28"
Underbust | 29"
Bust | 32"
Rise | 12"
Inseam to ankle | 30"–32"
Typical Top Sizes | XS–S, 2–4, 30D
Typical Bottom Sizes | S–M, 27, 2–4, sometimes 6
Typical Shoe Size | 9–9.5, 39–40
Perhaps because I do my shopping almost exclusively online, there is nothing better than finding a reviewer with a similar body shape as me so that I can get the best idea of how things fit in real life. Even when a reviewer has different measurements than you, it can be helpful to know their measurements in order to get a perspective on the fit of a piece of clothing. What good is a review if you don't know how someone's body shape compares to yours?
In the spirit of providing a review experience that is actually helpful, here are my own measurements. Now when I talk about the way certain items fit, you have frame of reference on what that actually means.
It really drives home for me that, with the rise of online shopping, clothing manufacturers really need to just list all the measurements of their clothes so we know what we're dealing with. Elizabeth Suzann did just this with the recent launch of their signature collection—rejoice! In an effort to make choosing something online a little easier, I'll be doing the same when I review an item.