Friday, June 01, 2007

When Thin is Sin

We have figures that make Rubenesque women envious. Waists that can be spanned by a man’s hand, pixie-like bone structure, boobs too insignificant to require support and straight lines where regular people have bulging curves. It’s a body type that forgives the extra cheese on our pizza, and makes us scoff at the boiled veggie options when we are eating out. It’s really fun being petite, except when we go shopping.

That’s when the entire preening and subtle showing off catches up with us in the trial room mirror. When size S is too small and that flowing kurti fits you like a tent, suddenly being petite is not so desirable.

Most of us have had buy Tees and tops from the kid’s section so that it fits right. Few stores that do have XS size available unfortunately have a very small collection which is extremely frustrating.

This is not a ‘poor little thin girl’s call for attention. With most mass manufacturers catering to what they call the Indian woman silhouette (big-hipped and curvy) another kind of Indian woman is left behind. The one with the 24-inch waistline who has as much right and interest in trying on a pair of low-rise flares at Pepe without them falling off.

Many women who are of a petite size shop in the junior section in order to find clothing items that best fit their dimension. This is often frustrating as junior clothing is of a designer typically too young for more mature women who wish to be taken seriously. Usually, petite women end up purchasing clothing that is too large or too long, and then work to have the items specially tailored so it best fits their body. This practice can be costly and time consuming, in addition to having an end product that still does not quite fit right.

While formal clothes are the most problematic for petite people, Indian wear, surprisingly poses problems too. One size-fits-all kurtas look like one-size-fits-two on a petite frame. And salwars get embarrassingly bunched up around the hips when drawn into a too-tiny frame.

I being an adventure sports enthusiast often have had trouble with the right size in shorts and bulkier jackets. I still am kitted out with a kid’s harness when go waterfall rappelling or rock climbing. As my friend Jayesh who conducts these adventure sports activities always jokingly makes it a point to say this harness was specially bought for you. It’s sad that there really is no provision for the petite woman who wants to wear something other than girlish florals and frills.

And while women at the other extreme (the XL sizes) now have specialty stores and product lines that cater to their figures and makes them look slimmer, there is still no special line of clothes to help the petite woman fill out fashionably.

So the next time you pass a petite woman by and envy her concave belly and skinny legs, remember, she has problems too. And most of them start in the trial room.



Anita said...

Actually Indian clothes don't fit anybody. Neither am I XL nor am I XS. But finding clothes that make me look good is a nightmare. I thought I was the wrong body shape till I went to the U.S. and realised that Indian clothes are merely cut badly. I am now interested in finding the mythical perfect Indian woman on whose dimensions the clothes are cut. This woman obviously has narrow shoulders, thin arms and a moderate bust. Her hip to waist ratio is assumed to be barrel like (eg 32: 36) and she has thin thighs for someone with such a broad waist.

Life's Like That said...


i do agree with you on the fact that Indian clothes are cut badly.

Anonymous said...

Apparently thin people who travel by mumbai trains are in emminent danger of getting their ribs cracked by the crush. The Dr. at the painclinic told me he gets many such cases......