The struggles of an inbetweener

Inbetween clothing sizes

You know that moment of realisation when you discover that problem which you thought was only something in your head was actually a ‘thing’? A ‘thing’ that other people also have going on and also see as a real issue? Hi, hello, that was me today.

I’m calling it being an ‘inbetweener’. It’s being a size or shape which is at the top end of your ‘normal’ (*shudder* at the use of that word there), sizing range but not quite on the plus size ladder. I hate using the term ‘curvy’ as much as I do ‘normal’, since curvy is a silhouette which applies to all sizes, but you know what I mean? That kind of size where you wouldn’t describe yourself as ‘slim’ but you also wouldn’t fit into the BBW category on Pornhub if you were so inclined.

I’m talking about women who are anywhere between a 14 – 18. It’s the women who give Topshop a miss and don’t even consider trying anything for their bottom half in H&M. It’s the kind of size where you’re at the top end of the ‘normal’ scale and you’re aware that some shops are a definite risk of leaving you in tears in the changing rooms when their biggest size doesn’t fit (this is why Zara just isn’t on my radar), but you’re only just big enough to fill out a dress in a plus size range.

And you know what? It’s a bit of a bloody struggle.

Let’s face it, your average highstreet range isn’t designed for their top end of sizes. Whilst everyone can wear whatever the hell they like, you’re not telling me that you’d get equal sales in a size 8 as you would a size 18 on half the garments on a highstreet. Let’s not kid ourselves and say that we expect the larger end of the sizing scale to be wearing short shorts with a crotch smaller than your average pair of M&S pants as frequently as more petite customers do. Just because we can, doesn’t mean we do.

But let’s take it to the plus size market. The idea of a plus size market is to make stylish clothes in styles which work for the plus size shape. Which is great if you have the whole boobs and booty thing going on, and a tummy hidden by an empire line, but for that’s not always the case for your average size 14-16 which is where the ranges start at. As a size 16 with small boobs and a waist, it can become a bit of a minefield.

AND I AM NOT ALONE. It’s not just me who’s feeling the struggle of being the top end of the highstreet and the bottom end of the plus size market. Whether it’s women with slightly broader shoulders, wider hips, fuller busts or the kind of arse I’m aiming for when I’m squatting (#goals), being that inbetween size is a nightmare as nothing seems to be designed with our shape in mind. So many shops aren’t an option for me (Topshop, H&M, Zara, Miss Selfridge... the list goes on), and yet New Look becomes my saviour and allows me to squeeze into their size 14 super skinnies.

So whilst I don’t have a solution for you inbetween ladies, I hear ya on this. I feel the struggle of limited choices when it comes to where you can shop on the highstreet and once you find those shops, finding stuff you actually want to wear. If any of you have any tips, I’d be grateful to hear them as I think my colleagues are getting sick of the sight of my stripy tops.

1 comment

  1. This is so me Lizi! I have had such a hard time finding a pair of denim shorts this summer - places like Topshop sold ones that had no bum in them, I couldn't get H&M sizes over my knees never mind my thighs, but the ones in M&S looked a bit frumpy on. There is definitely a market in this! x
    Sophie Cliff