February 2021 Get Out of a Rut Project Day 2

Today was one of my days this month to be onsite at work, which meant getting up an hour earlier than usual, and thus required an outfit that I could put on fairly quickly with minimal effort. I really like the swooshiness and lines of this dress, and with knits underneath it’s a really comfortable and easy outfit.

Silk/cotton turtleneck: Chadwicks
Cotton poplin dress: eShakti (pockets!)
Leggings: Roamans (not really visible but they’re there)
Boots: Miz Mooz
Necklace and earrings: Fred Meyer
Most makeup: Aromaleigh
Foundation Dewdrop 2N (standard)
Concealer Pashmina 1C (standard)
Undereye Illuminata Eye Perfecting Powder
Contour Fatalis Heloderma suspectum
Inner half of eye area Proserpina Windflowers
Outer half of lid and brow bothdiscontinued
Feast of Lupercal Trivia (LE)
Rouge discontinued
Goddess of the Month Cerridwen
Finishing powder Orpheus and Eurydice Beloved
Mascara: CoverGirl LashBlast Waterproof black (standard)
Lipstick: NYX Cosmetics Diamonds & Ice, Please Icon Living (LE)

A note on makeup: I didn’t detail or link anything for the makeup in yesterday’s outfit because most of what I was wearing is no longer available. Today a lot of what I’m wearing is still available so I’m including details and links where possible. Going forward I’ll do that for items that can still be purchased, but after today I won’t list standards like my foundation and mascara unless I do something different.

There was some interesting synchronicity in today’s outfit when I riffed on a Twitter thread about the impossibility of RTW women’s clothing sizing. (Note: at the time I write this the original user’s account is locked, which it was not earlier today, but she was talking about how she has five different T-shirts ranging from L to 2XL that all fit her but are all cut slightly differently.) First I agreed with the originator about how clothing sizes and fit vary so much: In this outfit, the top is an XL in misses’ sizing, the leggings are L in plus sizing, and the dress is a 20 in eShakti’s standard sizing, which doesn’t differentiate and simply goes by a range of consistent measurements for each size. (eShakti fans, hold on, I’ll address that.) It’s simply absurd to have all these different standards and size markers with no consistency of fit.

I do appreciate the malleability of knit fabrics and I wear a lot of them because of that—I have knits I bought three sizes ago that still fit comfortably. And I certainly know what my usual size is from brands I shop frequently. At the same time, though, it’s frustrating to have to know that for so many different manufacturers, and to have to play roulette when I want to try a new brand. And if a brand changes their fit model and sizing scales, all bets are off. Back in the Aughts, items from J. Peterman fit me pretty much perfectly even across sizes, because their fit model worked with my build and their sizing was always consistent; even now, when I’m a larger size than I was then, I can buy certain items used a size or two down and know they’ll still fit. Last decade, though, they changed everything: the fit model is different, the sizing varies among items, and now I can’t ever tell with any certainty if an item that is listed as my current size will indeed fit me.

After the grousing about variability of size markers came the griping about cut. (This is where we get to the eShakti stuff.) One of the reasons I like eShakti is that their standard sizing is reliable. I know that a 20 from them will fit the way I expect…depending on the cut. One of the things eShakti does a lot of is dresses with seamed waists that are set at a specific length. As it happens, I’m long-waisted. And the waist seams on eShakti dresses never fall at my actual waist—they’re always high. I bought a lot of seamed-waist dresses from them before I figured this out. I got this dress second-hand (I don’t remember if it was eBay or thrift store), which I could do because I knew it was the right size, but it was before I figured out the waist seam thing. I think this dress was designed with a high seam based how the shoulders and neckline are designed, and it works okay because of that, but most seamed eShakti dresses put the waist seam squarely in the middle of my rib cage. That’s not a good silhouette, and it’s not comfortable.

“But,” you say, “eShakti offers custom sizing! You can have the waist cut where you want it!” That is true. It also requires getting properly measured in the first place, hoping the measurements don’t change, keeping the measurements handy and entering them when ordering, and being willing to pay the customizing fee every time. And honestly, that’s a lot of work for what is essentially RTW that you can make small changes to.

One of the reasons I like eShakti is that even without choosing the customizing option I can rely on their sizing, and they offer enough non-seamed-waist styles that I can find things that work for me much more often than I can with other manufacturers. And I still wear some of my dresses with seamed waists and just live with the waists riding high, because somebody decided that’s how dresses for fat girls should be cut. (Torrid, I’m looking at you.) I know it’s not realistic to expect a huge variety of cuts from manufacturers living on razor-thin margins and seasonal style changes. I know where not to shop and what styles don’t work on me. But sometimes it’s so frustrating to have to do that, and today’s combo of outfit choice and Twitter conversation gave me opportunity to gripe. So there.

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