9 Things That We Really, Really Want (When It Comes to Our Clothes)

feature image from fashion magazine

from here

image from the frisky

Fashion world, you’ve done us wrong. Here are our demands.

Consistent sizing.

Is it too much to ask for a little consistency in the dressing room?! Deciding what size to try on in a store is basically trying to wrongly guess a number between 2-25 and being partially naked while doing so.

image from the gloss

image from the gloss

So we grab 3 or 4 different sizes and sometimes none of those even work it’s like…

Pants that do not disintegrate as you wear them.

Whether the chub rub takes down another pair of your favorite jeans or the soft textiles pill to a point of transparency, our pants are actually disappearing before our eyes. Give us a reason to believe in pants after pill.

image from sophieologie

image from sophieologie

Real pockets.

image from xclusivetouch

image from xclusivetouch

because right now all we have room for is

image from bravo tv

image from bravo tv

“Feminine” and “masculine” clothing for all.

image from stylevitae

image from stylevitae

Give us some variety, fashion world. We’re ladies on the streets, and lumberjacks with hot beats.

Plus sizes in the store.

Many stores today do not offer in-store plus sizes; instead, they’ll refer you to their online catalog where we revisit the sizing issue but add the convenience of snail mail. If you can find the plus sizes in an a store, however, it’s like…

image from tumblr

image from tumblr

and I do mean “find,” more often than not the plus sizes are in their own section, god knows where in the store. A simple shopping trip becomes a scavenger hunt.

Fair pricing.

In just about any store you can find a sheer crop top and a long-sleeved, knit sweater for the same price (overpriced).

image from tumblr

image from tumblr

As if that didn’t make little enough sense, larger sizes often cost extra due to the “additional material needed.”

image from on sugar

image from on sugar

With the wage gap, women can’t catch a break when it comes to money. I mean…

image from a href=http://media.tumblr.com/tumblr_m3osmfjBDZ1r4851g.gif>tumblr

image from tumblr

Dyed pants, not hands.

image from tumblr

image from tumblr

Nuff said.

Buttons to do their jobs.

Button up. Button down. Button, just do your dumb job. If you combine our lovely lady lumps and a row of buttons, you will get what I call the “peek-a-boob” or its unfortunate cousin the “the buttoning stops here.” You know what I’m talking about. It’s all horrible and threatens to betray us at our most vulnerable moments.

image from tumblr

image from tumblr

Realistic lighting in dressing rooms.

Cubicles of shame, “dressing rooms” as they are more often called, are notorious for either having the worst or the best lighting. In one store you can look like an airbrushed model from a centerfold and the next you’re asking…

image from buzzfeed

image from buzzfeed

Meet our reasonable demands and we will gladly be back in your stores saying…

image from popsugar

image from popsugar

Give us back our retail therapy, we need it.

image from giphy

image from giphy

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I sprung forth, fully formed, from the brain of awesome.

Ashleigh has written 3 articles for us.


  1. What I would like is tall clothes for not tiny people. Stores are like yes we offer tall sizes! (Fine print- In size 000-10) Because having cute, plus size, and tall clothing that are all of those things at once is seemingly too much to ask for.

    • Agreed but short people versions of same as opposed to “petite” versions. Short leg comes up to a UK 14/US10 only in a lot of stores which is actually pretty small these days. Because what does that even measure!




    Plus more. But I’ll stop being ranty.

    C’mon fashion world.

  3. Iiii would like for jeans that claim to be “short” to actually be made for girls under 5’5″. As far as I’m concerned, that ain’t short! So tired of spending extra money to get my pants hemmed.

    • YES!!! I bought short leg jeans the other day and I’m rolling them up to save myself £35 in hemming to keep a “Jean” hem.

      • I had to get over my shock here. It costs 35 pounds to get jeans hemmed over in Britain?? Here on the good old continent it’s like €8. But after about 12 years of complaining and exhortations from my mother, I finally rose to the occasion and learned how to do it myself. It’s not as hard as you think it is! You can use jean colored thread and it looks good. It looks better/is easier if you have access to a sewing machine. I’ve never invested in one personally, but have always been able to borrow one from friends or family when the sporadic need arose.

        And as a fellow short person, I can tell you it’s totally worth it, and you save a lot of money in the long run :-)

  4. How about clothes that fit big boobs and big butts? I have DDs, but I am 5’1. I’m sick of having to search for plus size tops, only to have to take them in to fit my medium sized waist, and I’m tired of jeans looking ridiculous because I have to buy a size to fit my ass, then they are baggy through the legs.

    It’s a good thing I know how to sew, but I really shouldn’t have to alter my T-shirts to be able to wear them…

    • Yes! I’m a 32E–tiny human with enormous boobs. I’m already spending huge amounts on bras and finding tops is IMPOSSIBLE.

  5. Basics that are opaque! Heck, regular clothes that are opaque. I love layers and texture, but I would also love a blouse I don’t have to wear a camisole under.

    • OH MY GOD YESSSS. why does everything have to be thin and gauzy now, like even a t-shirt WHYYYYYY.

    • YES, I was about to say the same! I hate see-through shirts, or anything that’s not made of sturdy durable fabric. I’m not gonna pay to buy two shirts that must be worn together when I can just buy one sturdy shirt. I’m a practical dresser, so I’ll always put comfort and practically I first. Also, I live in Arizona. It’s too damn hot to do layering here.

  6. The buttons!! I just bought a hella cute blouse with lace and tiny tiny birds with hats (it’s classy, trust me) and IT WON’T STOP UNBUTTONING!

    I’m finally trying to dress like a frickin’ adult and the world said, “no”.

  7. I’d like the fashion world to come to a consensus and agree on universal sizing! Across the board.

    We travel overseas so much and order fashion online.. the sizing issue that we have today is ridiculous. I don’t want to get out a tape measure every time I order a top.

    Some designer brands have more “give”, others are child-like tiny.

    At the risk of sounding like I’m fat-shaming (I’m not, btw) … In the old days, you could tell you were gaining a few by your clothes. The sizing used to be simple, mostly due to the manufacturing origins and shipping restrictions in certain countries. But now all fashion is being shipped around the globe.

    It’s my belief that a lot of people don’t know their “true” size anymore, because a medium is no longer a medium. There’s a lot of denial because you can always find a brand that claims to be smaller on the tag, than the actual cut…. Vice versa.

  8. As someone who works in the garment industry, I am sad to say that this post lacks any real understanding of the factors at play. I know this is ‘kind of’ a joke, but it just reinforces a lack of consumer knowledge around these issues. I hate being a buzzkill, but I have actual responses to why or how these ‘problems’ exist and why some of them are not problems:

    1. Consistent sizing. This is a perpetual complaint of the consumer, but the lack of consistent sizing is actually something you should be happy about. I know this is not news, but human bodies come in many, many different shapes. To have a consistent fit across all different brands would mean that it would consistently fit you… but likely no one else. There are definitely ways in which certain body types have more clothing available to them (in general, today’s fit is less hourglass, for example, than it was in the fifties) but a consistent fit in general would be worse for us all, I promise. And there are certainly brands who have terribly inconsistent sizing within themselves, which is frustrating, but I can promise you, they’re trying to figure that shit out because it is making them crazy as well.

    The secondary issue here is the stigma attached to larger size numbers. Although clothing labels do choose what size they will put on their brand, they are conscious of the way the consumer will react to the size label. As Americans get larger on average, it only makes sense for wide distribution brands to cater to their average customer, which sometimes includes increasing the size of their ‘Medium’ T-shirt because their ‘Medium’ customer is larger on average than they were 10 years ago. It’s the opposite when it comes to designer brands, especially small ones, because they may only have the resources to create a model-size sample (size 2-4), meaning that each size jump upwards increases the likelihood of a warped fit. Without rigorous fit testing (which is expensive) the size 14 created from a size 2 sample might not be as good a fit proportionally, so that they will focus on the small sizes that do well with their particular consumers.

    There is a lot more radical work to do on body acceptance to affect how consumers respond to clothing size numbers & I’m not sure the garment industry can do it alone.

    2. Pants that do not disintegrate as you wear them. Clothing that disintegrates is due to a lack of quality control, something that comes from the consumer’s increasing need for new, trendy clothes. If you are buying from a fast fashion store (H&M, Zara, Urban Outfitters, etc.), you are paying for this quality. The less expensive a product, the less likely it will have high-quality durable fabrics and that they will not have have good QC. Somewhere like Levi’s, whose reputation is built on workwear, is much more likely to have a strong, durable product that will last.

    3. Real pockets. I feel you here. There is an assumption that women do not want/need pocket in their clothing. It’s also a cost saving measure, so unless you actively clamor for them and would buy them even if they were more expensive than they are now, there is unlikely to be a change. But contact them and tell them you want pockets!

    4. “Feminine” and “masculine” clothing for all. As a design issue, this sounds great! I’d love to see more design diversity. Champion those awesome designers who are making this happen.

    5. Plus sizes in stores. This is a complex issue that definitely needs to be addressed. I have to say that I think that plus size speciality stores are a better solution than merely including more plus size options in straight size stores because of the annoyance involved in having to go to the store and ask ‘do you have my size.’ It may be that online might be a better solution because they can store a lot more skews than their limited room on the shop floor. I am not an expert on retail, but I definitely think this is an evolving issue.

    6. Fair pricing. This is a huge bugbear to me, as I’m a little confused what you think is ‘fair.’ Is the fact that a crop top is shorter than a sweater the reason you think it should be priced less? Because even though fabric DOES make a big difference in pricing (on aggregate) different fabrics cost different amounts. And a knit sweater is made entirely differently than a women crop top. And it might also be a price based on the fact that the crop top is a short term offering, which means it has a higher price for smaller numbers made and the sweater is a perennial. ‘Fair’ seems to you to mean the smallest possible cost to the consumer. But fairness has to do with the production, also, and as the prices for clothing go lower and lower, that comes straight out of the pockets of the individuals (often overseas) who make these items. If you don’t want to pay for something at a certain price, that is your right– that’s how the market works. But the idea that clothing should cost less is something I take issue with, especially given the ways that low cost clothing contributes to terrible labor practices. Now, this is not to put the onus for reform on consumers! The garment industry has a lot to answer for when it comes to treating their labor fairly and making sure there is proper oversight. But it certainly doesn’t help if all the consumer cares about is the end price, rather than how the sausage is made.

    Your commentary about surcharges for plus sizes is also problematic. While it is true that the amount of fabric change from a 14 to a 16 is relatively minimal, the way that sizing works is in aggregate, so if there is a surcharge it means that usually there is a size break between ‘straight’ sizes and ‘plus’ sizes and they have put a price for the ‘straight’ sizes for the average amount of fabric and a price on the ‘plus’ sizes for the average amount of fabric. It is also definitely possible for the company to spread the additional cost of plus sizes over the entire size range, but that will raise the price of the smaller sizes. This might very well be a good thing, but it might also make the price of the smaller sizes less competitive with the smaller sizes at another company that only focuses on core sizes, which would hurt the company that DID decided to include plus sizes in their range. Additionally, to make GOOD plus size clothes, it require more work than simply just making smaller clothes larger, which is an additional cost in development. This again could be spread out over the entire range, but that has pros and cons.

    7. Dyed pants, not hands. Again, a QC issue. See #2. I will say that if you have very dark jeans, you might want to wash them once before wearing because that is a lot of dye and some might not be fully absorbed.

    8. Buttons to do their jobs. Honestly, I think this is more of a fit issue than a button issue? Some shirts just have dumb button placement though. Don’t buy those shirts. Another situation where different button arrangements work for different bodies.

    6. Agreed, dressing rooms are always weird.

    • On 6 – the other thing to consider is that a lot of shops buy smaller quantities of plus-sized clothing, which means the manufacturing costs are a bit higher.

  9. If I have ONE thing to ask it is this : Stop calling “gender neutral” somethin that is green or grey. It’s green or grey. We’re not in 1953 anymore, maybe we can stop thinking that pink is for girl and blue for boy ? last time I was buying something for a kid, I asked “have you a yellow dress ?” “We have not, you’re looking for something gender neutral ?” No. I’m looking for a yellow dress.

    Well, I also want pockets, lot of pockets.

    • SERIOUSLY, I just want shirts that button all the way up but 90% of the time they fit great except the whole gaping hole and being able to see my boobs! So it’s a choice between baggy shirts or wear a binder CURSE YOU MAMMARYS

  10. ugghhh – I would like ‘women’s’ shirts to actually fit a woman who moves during her work day. I lift things above my head, I need the tail of my shirt to still be tucked in when I do this. Moreover, I would like the arm length of a shirt to match my actual arm length – I’m not really that strange – I’m 5’8″, my arms are a normal length for that height.

    And for the love of all that’s redeeming in the world – STOP PUTTING THOSE SCRITCHY LABELS in your clothing!!! It’s the first thing I have to unpick and remove – so the point is rather lost – unless it’s merely a ploy to have people less anal than I am about unpicking each dang stitch, rip the things out and therefore create a tear, which in turn shortens the life of the garment… creating more demand.

  11. O Mother of All That Is Holy,

    pls stop those Hanes women’s boyshorts from going out of stock AGAIN. They’re cute and they cover my gay ass and they’re NOT AT THE WALMART ANYMORE.

    To thee we pray.

  12. …larger sizes often cost extra due to the “additional material needed.”

    This would make a lot of sense for the fashion/clothing industry if you didn’t have children’s clothes with those prices. I think a pair of jeans for my size would, for sure, use a lot more fabric than a pair jeans for a child.

    • I actually think inconsistent sizing is more due to size-flation, which is consumer driven rather than industry driven. No one wants to be their size, so brands that cater to women 30+, looking at you Ann Taylor, tend to be the worst offenders. In some brands I’m a size 0. I haven’t been a 0 since middle school. I’m a 4-6, so that’s a fairly big size jump. My friends who are actually extra smalls can’t shop in a lot of the dept stores and they can only shop in the higher end brands or the stores like Forever 21 and H&M that are geared to a younger audience.

  13. AGREED. But on the topic of the prices of clothes, I disagree. Fast fashion has taken over the industry, where we buy clothes so often and they wear down or we get rid of them super quick. I wish we had access to high quality, long-lasting clothes made by non-exploited workers, and where we do, it costs an arm and TWO legs. I wish there was a middle ground: high quality clothes for more than we usually pay but that will last long enough for us not to need to buy the disintegrating clothes.

    • I agree. I spend a lot of money on clothes but I wear them forever. I also hang dry everything except for underclothes, which means they look nicer longer. I think this fast fashion trend is a little frustrating-why not just take car of the stuff you already have?

  14. I second the watch your source if you want clothes that don’t disintegrate (although I have had experiences with clothing brands I expected to last disintegrating recently that, frankly, made the price per wear over my pay grade). Even mid-range brands like Eddie Bauer, LL Bean and Ann Taylor often (but not always) have higher quality sturdy professional-ish office-type wear that is somewhat affordable if you buy overstocks or boring stuff off season instead of full price H & M-type items.

    And yes, I want the damn pockets. All the damn pockets, in their full-sized glory.

  15. Pockets for coins only…and then you go to the loo at work/in a public bathroom, drop trou and the coins drop all over the floor…

    Give me proper pockets dammit!

  16. re: Fair pricing

    I’m surprised fair pricing wasn’t actually about the gap between how much your clothes cost to make v how much they cost on the rack. ie…pay attention to slave labour

  17. Dyed pants, not hands. Or legs or knees or ankles. The other day, I came home from work and started mildly freaking out. “Why are my knees all black and blue?” And then I remembered I had just bought new pants.

    Also, I feel naked without pockets.

  18. Shopping tip for some short people: ASIA!

    I am extremely short (4’11”), a major problem for me has been finding grown up clothing that doesn’t make me look like a child playing dress up in her mommy’s closet. I’m too effing short for even petites. Even if it’s the right size volume-wise, for lack of a better word, it’s still intended for a taller person, so the seams and hems fall way too low and the sleeves hang way down.

    Last year I randomly found some cute dresses on YesStyle and ordered them and all of the seams, hems, sleeves, and neck lines hit me right where they hit the models in the pictures. Just about everything I wear now comes from China or Korea and it’s such a relief to look like an actual grown up.

    Caveat: It is really effing hard to find plus sizes. Like, half the stuff on the websites I use are only available in one very small size and I’m just goddamn lucky it happens to be mine.


    Pants shopping is pain in my very ass because most clothing manufacturers seem to think that all fat people are fat uniformly and it is the worst because if you’re not then you have to choose your own adventure of pants that either lose your ass to excess fabric or bisect you at the waist.


    Why do so many pants have weird crotches? I run into a lot of things that either awkwardly baggy or camel-toe city. Why this.

  20. Hey Autostraddle, I have a question/request for ya. I bet ethically and ecologically produced is something a number of readers care about here – and this lady on a budget is including getting clothing second-hand & other forms of clothing recycling/repurposing. I always appreciate that in your fashion stuff you do make a point of including stuff like that. Personally what I would love at some point would be learning what resources readers are using to locate better clothing. Searching the web for lists of ethical clothing lines often being a bit of a challenge – a lot of that kind of info gets out of date very quickly. Any chance of an open thread at some point in the future for readers to share tips/sources/links to people who keep tabs on ethical & eco production/etc? Thanks folks!

  21. Regarding the pockets, I want to put out a call to the garment-gods specifically for BLAZER POCKETS. Like breast/chest pockets. I want to be able to stick my sunglasses in there when I take them off. I want to be able to wear a pocket square if I’m feeling fancy. I’m so over the fake pockets that are just for show, or the pockets so shallow you can’t put anything in the actual pocket. Men’s jackets have real pockets there. Who decided women wouldn’t find one useful?

  22. Nobody thinks that the pockets problem is just related with the idea and presumption that all women use handbags or purses?

    I need places to put my wallet, keys, cell, smokes and lighter. Nothing more, it’s not fucking rocket science.

    • Exactly! I don’t do purses. Backpacks, yes; purses, no. But sometimes, I don’t want to carry my backpack. I just want someplace to safely put my keys and phone (and stick my hands in if they get cold).

      • Yeah, no purse, that’s a law for me.

        You also right about the backpack, why do I need a backpack if I only need to carry just 5 small things?

  23. I actually think inconsistent sizing is more due to size-flation, which is consumer driven rather than industry driven. No one wants to be their size, so brands that cater to women 30+, looking at you Ann Taylor, tend to be the worst offenders. In some brands I’m a size 0. I haven’t been a 0 since middle school. I’m a 4-6, so that’s a fairly big size jump. My friends who are actually extra smalls can’t shop in a lot of the dept stores and they can only shop in the higher end brands or the stores like Forever 21 and H&M that are geared to a younger audience.

  24. Clothes for hourglass shaped size 14.
    Room for boobs!
    Skinny pants with high and small waist.

  25. For ladies’ jeans (and lots of other things) with functional pockets, you can cut the bottom off the existing pocket and sew on more fabric. If you have a tailor do it, it costs slightly more than hemming.

    I realized this a couple years ago and now my jeans’ pockets can hold ALL THE THINGS.

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