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By Allayna Ford
In the average mall, there is an array of clothing stores to get lost in. Stores can rage from the upscale to the more affordable, from office wear to urban grunge, with such a variety, it would be easy to assume there is something for everyone. However, this is not the case.
As an teenaged girl, I usually gravitate to more urban but yet affordable stores such as Forever 21, Earthbound, etc. and for a long time I have had no large issue with these typical stores, yet in the more recent months I have created a long list of grievances with them for various reasons; the most pressing one for me is sizing.
I am about 5'7" and an american size 12, which in itself is a completely ridiculous number. What is this 12 and where in the world did it come from, and why does a size 12 at one store fit perfectly whereas a size 12 in another store is completely different, well I can tell you why. Around the 1920's American stores started heavily targeting women buyers for their clothing and in order to produce large volumes of clothes for women they generalized body size and height with a number, in order to not be responsible for offering clothes by an actual measurement size. Therefore, they were able to just produce a size 12 that could universally fit women in the place of creating a specific waist and length size, because it would be a hassle and a waste of capital to create more clothing sizes for the companies and the department stores would have to put more clothes on display for women. The only problem is that while a size 12 is fine for me, another women who wears my same size may look absolutely nothing like my figure and would probably struggle for a true fit.
My main rage is pointed toward Forever 21 because as of late, I have felt shove out from its grasp all together. Ever since I was in the eighth grade and I began to hang out at the mall with my friends, I fell head over heels in love with Forever 21 because I felt as though they had the most fashion forward clothes for a reasonable price. But, in the last year I have noticed a sharp change of the clothes at this store: the sizes that I used find fit me perfectly no longer fit.
Now before you say that I have gained weight or I have gotten taller, I must admit that I have grown taller, but I have actually lost weight over the years, so logically one would think that they would fit me fine, yet they do not.
Yesterday I was at the mall with my friends looking for clothes that I can take with me to college and I was very prepared to spend $100 or more at Forever 21 on clothes, yet I tried large after large, and absolutely nothing fit. It could not fit over my shoulders or even over my thighs, one can imagine my disappointment when I walked out of the store empty handed.
Now this is just a theory, however, I believe that I have witness the ever shrinking sizes of the clothes, a large is no longer a true large, I have no reason why Forever 21 would alienate women who are not small, even on the racks there are countless extra smalls and smalls, yet there are usually one medium and maybe one large if on can even find that.
I must admit that maybe they had large sizes in the back, but first of all why should I have to get a larger size in the first place when I should be able to fit a true large. But I did try to hunt down a larger size in the clothes that I wanted to buy so desperately, however the customer service is absolutely atrocious. I approached a manager about a larger size in the dresses and she basically waived me off.
"Go ask someone else to help you," She replied to me and then continued talking to her associates.
Finding someone else to help was impossible because the rest of the sales associates there were either too busy to help me or too unbothered to even look my way.
That was the nail in the coffin for me, I cannot even look at a Forever 21 the same way.
Luckily, I was able to buy a couple of pieces from Charlotte Russe, a store that in my opinion does not get enough credit for how quality the items actually are.
I usually stray away from trying any pants on anywhere, including higher end stores, due to the fact that I have muscular thighs from volleyball, yet this is the one store where the pants truly are long enough and wide enough to fit women who have larger legs.
It is ridiculous that I had to scour the mall and the internet for years, just to find pants that fit. Women should be given true sizes and no longer generalized, we shell out enough money to the fashion industry, its time that companies give us real clothes.