I’m going to call myself out as having sizing privilege. I hadn’t ever thought of my size perspective that way, but I am height/weight proportionate (5’8″/140 pounds). I always wished I could be taller and thinner. Until this week I have never seen it as a position of privilege, but if I put it into the perspective of other privilege, I believe I have sizing privilege due to things I do not control, and things I do control.
A little background. My size perspective is a fashion perspective. It has always been important to me to look well in my clothes. As a result, I have worked at keeping my weight where I am comfortable with it in relationship to my height and bone structure.
Over the years I have experienced anorexia (related to feeling disconnected from my body after being raped), bulimia (related to coming out of anorexia and having a dysmorphic body image), and I have passed up so many desserts, yummy treats, and pieces of bread that it is a way of life for me. At the same time, I have always been able to buy fresh fruits and vegetables, and have consumed little processed food, and been able to cook real food for myself.
So although I have experienced weighing more than I wanted, I have only once been overweight. That was following a divorce at 22 and I tipped the scales at 175 for a while. I have had other periods where I weighed more than I liked. Each of those periods has always had a stretch of wishful thinking and eating, followed by returning to a sensible eating regimen and bringing my weight down to where I am comfortable. Always clothes play a part in my own size perspective. As a result, I have clothes that are 10, 15, and 20 or more years old that I still wear.
I’ve tried to love myself at higher weights, but I don’t. I don’t like how I look, and I don’t like how I look in my clothes. So I return myself to this weight-range.
I have come to a place in my life where I view people of any kind as what they present. If you are good with it, then I’m good too. Please tell me if I need to know, but otherwise, I’ll take what I see and embrace it.
I know I have always been size-ist. It isn’t right and I have a way to go on that front. Transformative clothing is what I focus on. Clothing that puts your best self out to the world and to yourself. I don’t care if it meets my taste. My size perspective is more that you should do the best for yourself, as it will reflect back to you. This is a popular post I wrote.
I grew up in, and have always lived in, an environment where food choices were clear: we didn’t eat store-bought bread, junk food, or overeat as I was growing up. The things I learned then are things I still practice. I do also equate food with love, so I enjoy feeding others and myself. It’s complicated!
Fashion & Grading
My fashion perspective has always made me feel fine about offering a narrow range of sizes (generally XS to XL). Most well-fitted garments exist within a fairly narrow size range or when companies have the resources that allow the time and energy to create an effective larger range. I have long wanted to do a complimentary line of plus sizing. However, I have never been able to afford the time or energy to do it.
I do teach grading classes, and I structure them to have an inclusive size perspective. Choices should be made when grading so that the products across the size are the same and equally well done. Understanding the body shapes that go into clothing is a huge part of making good decisions when grading. I am constantly observing people to understand better how bodies differ in how they pad themselves. It is impossible for anyone to create a product that fits all bodies or is appropriate for them. I have always had my sizing charts on my website, although I haven’t uploaded recent changes and expansions I am working from.
Current Size Ranges
I haven’t released garment patterns in two or three years, so when talking about size perspective we are actually talking about my back catalog. In the garment designs I am working on now I was already expanding my sizing perspective (nothing has been released). It is very time consuming and takes a lot of thinking to make things work across seven or ten sizes. I have tried different ways of presenting the information, but none are quick and easy.
In focusing on accessories, I have almost always offered more than one size because all bodies are not the same size. Most of my accessories have three or five sizes. Here’s one I offer in 11 sizes! I haven’t been good about specifically calling out ways to modify or adjust patterns, even though I’m always thinking about that. It is more likely that other versions are offered, or another pattern is written.