The other day I decided to learn how to sew, so my (lesbian) BFF and I went to a fabric store and started flipping through their pattern catalogs looking for a cool steampunk-ish costume I could make for myself. All of the men's outfits were pretty meh, but I was quite taken with this one:
What the heck, I thought, I'll do it anyway. Because I'm comfortable in my masculinity, and I like to feel pretty sometimes. The BFF and I can go to Dickens Fair in drag. Can't be that hard to tweak the pattern to fit me, it's not like I'm Fabio or something.
Those of you who have ever sewn before, feel free to start snickering.
I started with the flouncy overskirt; the pattern allows you to choose from size 8 to size 14, determined by measuring yourself and then checking their sizing chart. I was getting numbers all over the place, so I picked size 10, which was somewhere in the middle, and went for it. I was quite a ways into the project before I could try it on and see if it fit, at which point -- spoiler alert -- I realized that it didn't even come close.
Sure, it fit my hips just fine -- but it would have split a seam at the waist if I'd tried to force it closed. Which was when I reread the sizing chart and realized that while my hips corresponded with size 7, my waist corresponded with size 18.
At this point you're probably thinking OMG, HIS WAIST IS OVER TWICE AS BIG AS HIS HIPS??? and envisioning a bulging, gargantuan stomach spilling over a pair of normal legs. For the record, my stomach looks like this:
What you are looking at is a 32" waist and 33" hips. However, when it comes to women's clothes, they're built with the expectation that someone with my hips has a 24" waist -- and that someone with my waist has 42" hips.
And when you try to put on men's clothes, you will be facing the exact same problem in reverse.