the cedeling is a monthly newsletter with personal perspectives on texts & textiles, style, slow fashion, art, writing, and conscious consumerism. read the original here and subscribe here. // Seven years before I turned seventeen, I was a devoted subscriber to Seventeen magazine. Every month, I cracked open the latest issue and spread it out on the kitchen table. I held it up to my nose on the couch, and read it before I fell asleep at night. Most of the publication’s advice was far too mature for my pre-teen brain, and absolutely inapplicable to a life set in the woods of New Hampshire. I wore a uniform to school and never learned how to properly apply makeup. But the magazine offered the same escape as a novel or a child’s picture book.
There’s nothing new about made-to-order clothing. Decades and even centuries ago, most of what people wore was made to order, and clients worked closely with tailors to ensure garments fit properly. Now, with consciousness around clothing and consumerism on the rise, more and more brands are adopting a “made-to-order” strategy. But what does that mean, and what’s the difference between made to order and made to measure?
Sizing is arbitrary. I’m considered a petite in some brands and a medium in others. I’ve worn dresses that are size 2 and others that are size 6. I’ve worn size 9 jeans and size 26. And frankly, in a society that equates smallness with beauty, I wasted too many days pairing my self-worth with the number inside of a garment. Over time, the sizing of brands has shifted and expectations of women become more and more unrealistic, providing us with a no-win, moving goalpost based on a broken definition of beauty. I never want other women to feel less than because of an arbitrary number that often changes.