Sizing Things Up

The Lazer Speaks

Have you tried buying a piece of clothing lately? I thought I had lost my mind or fallen into the far end of the size spectrum. When I was younger and on sports teams, no matter the sport, I was always one of the smallest guys on the team. Whether it was basketball, baseball, football or even track, team photos always had me in the front and never in the back, where the tall guys were.

I have been lucky enough to visit Europe a few times and understand that European sizes are different. The guys tend to be long and skinny, almost as if they never have run into a quarter-pounder before. The sizes for clothes reflect that fact, as much of the Euro-styled clothes resemble something out of a bad disco movie from the 70’s. But here in the USA we are used to some big boys, in fact the government and health officials have been telling us that we are all obese and we better stop drinking those Cokes! Much of that is fake news, especially the Coke stuff, regardless of what my mermaid keeps telling me. But something is happening in America’s clothing stores, and it’s starting to get to me. Sizes are shrinking!

I find myself at the GAP or Banana Republic these days from time to time, and have noticed that there are no sizes over 38 and sometimes there are no size 36’s. How can that be? Where do all the guys in the back row of the photos go to shop? When I inquired about this, I was told that more sizes are online. In the words of Steve Martin, “well excuseee me!” If you are larger than the small guys in the front row, you have to go online to get your clothes? I am not sure what type of discrimination that is, but it definitely isn’t fair.

And by the way, have you noticed that the lengths seem to vary too? A size 30 length at the GAP is not the same as a size 30 length at Banana Republic. Aren’t they the same company? Don’t they have the same universal tape measure? Can they be measuring from somewhere higher up the leg? That seems intrusive! I know, I know, you say that there are different styles and cuts, and that accounts for the difference. Well maybe there is a different reason. Perhaps the politically correct are trying to make us all skinny and healthy and, even European like! My God, help us.

In America you should have the right to eat a quarter pounder at 11 p.m. to quench that grumbling feeling without worrying that the GAP will pre-judge our hip size or the length of our pant leg. I mean why did we vote for Trump if not for these basic American rights and values. The President is looking to put tariffs on all goods made outside the US. Maybe if that happens, I can rely on the size chart to reflect American sizes and be the same everywhere I shop.

The alternative is somewhat sobering however. Could it be that the mermaid, in concert with health officials, is actually right and that the fourth Coke of the day is a bit too much? Maybe the guy in the picture from 40 years ago takes up two spaces in the front row today, and I hadn’t noticed? Perhaps GAP has it right and they are gently nudging us all toward the way the people in their advertising pictures look – young, happy and damn thin. Naw, none of that can be true, pass that Coke over here, I need to wash down these Oreos!!

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