brands without the right fit

You can find me muttering aloud to myself some not so nice things about clothes shopping every now and then. Some of you might have seen some of those rants on twitter, or heard them in real life, so they don’t really bare repeating. Basically, my stature/body makes shopping in stores quite a sad affair. (full disclosure: 6’1, 143 lbs, 36” bust, 35” inseem = normally a size 8) And shopping online and sending things home is equally depressing, because that box of magic that you eagerly awaited turns out to be a complete and total dud. I’m in that rut right now. I normally only order tall sizes anyhow, but I was silly the other day and didn’t. I was somehow swayed into trying Lands’ End Canvas clothing once again, after my awesome swimsuit experience last year. Well… needless to say, their fit model is obviously the exact opposite of me. And I’m the exact opposite of the masses that leave reviews for their products, because all of these ill-fitting choices I made had 4.5 star or 5 star reviews!

And this isn’t just a problem with this particular brand (LE-C) … it’s with any brands where the fit model and I are polar opposites. The problem here is just that there are no tailoring options for me to address this problem. Short & small can’t be fixed by bigger sizing sadly… because things only get exponentially wider instead of fitting someone who is bigger but has the same proportions.

Here’s what I mean:



Women’s Sleeveless Striped Dress – Lands’ End Canvas – $60


Completely the wrong proportions in every single way. Empire waisted top but not enough length. Bad pleating location = pregnancy tummy. Shoulders/back are way too tight as well. Overall length = hideous placement on the biggest part of the thighs, and… well… I’d definitely never been leaning over anything in any way in this dress.

(p.s. Mr. M was looking over my shoulder while I was writing this and calmly told me that I shouldn’t put this photo up because people would think I looked pregnant – even if it as all for a purpose of pointing out the ill fit – so full disclaimer – it’s the dress not me that is pregnant)




Women’s Heritage Striped Oxford Shirt – Lands’ End Canvas – $50


When I put my arms through these sleeves, you could hear my sigh across the street. Basically, this shirt is one of those that I’ve “tried to make fit” my entire life. The basic drill: arch shoulders forward, keep arms in towards your body, do not reach up nor down and wear a high waisted skirt. The shirt itself is just way too short. A slight lift of my arm exposed the side of my rib cage, and the front of the shirt had barely anything to tuck into even the highest waistbands in my closet. The sleeves were about 3-4” too short as well. And the tailoring was for someone with a much larger bust as well.



Women’s Silk Polka-Dot Dress – Lands’ End Cavas – $130


I almost had myself convinced to keep this dress in my closet. I only paid $22 for it… and I really told myself that I could wear it every now and then. If I sat down for most of the day. And didn’t have to move my arms too much. And I took a muscle relaxer so that my FMS wouldn’t kick up. Crazy talk for a dress that isn’t that flattering, huh? That’s what happens when you’re at the bottom of the box and you just want to feel somewhat normal and make something work.

But again… it didn’t fit. The shoulders were so tight that I really thought I’d rip the dress when trying to take it off. And it was loose under the bust, but not really flowy at the bottom. And it was borderline long, but not really comfortably long at all.

So I’ve packed up this order back in its box and put it in the car for a trip to the mall and Sear’s for a return. Every single item I ordered is headed back. And, sadly, I will unsubscribe from all of the emails and flyers and put Canvas in the category of “shops that don’t work for Kim.” (p.s. other shops include: Forever 21, Old Navy B&M, H&M, Ann Taylor LOFT, Limited, Express, Bebe…. maybe I should just list the only stores I can shop in?)

If I were 6’4, I think my issues with clothing wouldn’t be as heart-wrenching. It’s really just because so many things “almost fit” and that I buy them with the hopes of making it work… but in the end I should have just stayed far far away from them in the first place.


  • Brooke

    Let me just start by saying that YOU look beautiful. Those clothes? pretty bad :( Have you considered finding some pieces that could be tailored? Basic tailoring isn’t horribly difficult. As a petite, small-chested lady there aren’t too many stores that cater to my body type either. About 70% of my closet needed some tweaking, mostly taking in the waist and bust. I know it gets depressing to constantly search for clothes that fit properly. When you alter specifically for your body it’s incredibly flattering, and those pieces are the ones I reach for over and over.

    • Kim

      The irony is that very few items can be tailored for tall sizes, because I need more and not less. If it were just letting out a hem, that’d be easy. But it’s adjusting waistlines up and shoulders out and making sleeves longer ;) Which is why tall sizing is a godsend – I just wish there were more brands I could chose from. Gap/BR’s tall sizing includes: lower armholes, longer sleeves, longer length, lower waistlines, lower knee positions & longer inseems. :)

  • HamiHarri

    That’s brutal Kim! Geesh! At least the Gap/BR tall sizes seem to work – they are pretty stylish clothing :)

    While I’m pretty average (5 feet 6 inches), I have an oddly long torso, so it makes shopping online a challenge as well.

    PS You do look fantastic!

  • Heidi

    I completely understand! Playing soccer has left me with a big ol’ round butt that is not proportional at all to my top half. I’m usually stuck to A-line and wrap dresses because sheaths just don’t fit my butt! If they do, then they’re huge on top and that just isn’t a good look on anyone.

    Good luck with your clothes shopping endeavor.

  • Estelle

    Hi! I think this is a great post and I wish I saw more of this on fashion blogs every now and then. First of all, you are so pretty. I love your facial expressions in these and your hair and everything about you look fantastic. I’m sorry you are having such trouble with sizes. Sometimes I have weird issues because of my hips so I kind of stick to the same stores that I know my size and I can order online. I had some fun buying bathing suits this year because of it too. I’m usually a six/eight but since I lost weight I can wear a small in shirts/dresses and this year, I’m buying XL bathing suits. Explain that to me. Do them make them super small now?? I was so depressed and I’m thinking… why am I wearing a small dress and an XL bathing suit? Clothing shopping can be so… difficult.

    Anyway… thanks for listening to me vent. I wish you luck in your fashion endeavors… and maybe agree with the commenter who mentioned tailoring. Aren’t there some stores that offer free tailoring if you have their credit card or something? I believe Banana is one of them.

    :) P.S. Have you been to the new Cars Land yet?!

  • tracey

    kim .. as a fellow member of the 6ft club … have you thought about llbean or eddiebauer talls ? i’ve had great luck through the years w/ eb – jeans, skirts, dresses, sweaters, shirts .. you name it. another option .. jjill – found some great stuff there too. sadly of course its all online ONLY :( (for the tall stuff)

    • Kim

      of course :) I have a “tall shopping” tab on my computer for my tall size options — it’s just oh-so-boring most of the time. I’m grateful to have the option … it’s just learning to live with my limited options that seems to be the troubling part of this ;)

      • tracey

        ah yes .. definitely limited options is frustrating. this might explain why my closet is NOT bursting at the seams LOL

  • Rachel

    Booo…this is why I can’t online shop! I always end up disappointed. You just have to know your shops and stick with them…I can’t make anything at J Crew work for me so I’ve just stopped trying!

  • Kate

    I think we all have our cross to bear when it comes to clothing. I have an issue with having shoulders too short for my giant boobs so everything is either falling off my top or too tight around my chest.