HI, I'M CHRISTINA TOPACIO AND I'M A SIZE 8-14

How is that even possible you might ask? Yeah, same. 

I've always had the privilege of walking into any shop and gathering a haul of items to the fitting room and leaving with a good chuck of said haul. Well, all that has changed. 

For my 29th birthday, I was determined to find a birthday dress to celebrate my last year of my twenties. I went to ten shops or so and tried on ANYTHING available in a size 10 which is my "larger" size. The shops were a variety of department stores, boutiques and fast-fashion stores. After noticing that not only did 8 (my actual size) go over my thighs or over my shoulders, the size 10, size 12 and the size 14 did not either. Wait, what. A size 12/14 of which I've never worn in my life, doesn't fit me either? Yeah, you could imagine my surprise.

I'm all for embracing any label, as long as it fits. But, I know I'm not a size 12; my clothing at home (size 8 or 10) fits perfectly. So, what's the deal? After being defeated on my original shopping trip, I went out on a whim a few days later to some random shop near my home to give it one last try. And everything I tried on FIT. It was all size large and fit me just right, so much so that I left with a few new tops and dresses in addition to the "birthday" look. 

What's the conclusion? The industry sucks, man. Most of us watch that size label and swear to never exceed that size or to get lower in number. But, what I've noticed, after my breakdown in a fitting room at a well-known designer shop in front of a sales associate who happens to know my blog (HI!), are these designers and this industry are making size labels with all different measurements, despite that being the "correct" size you may be. Many of my old vintage items have size labels like size 22, size 4, size XXXL, and so on and each one fits like a glove. What's more, a friend's clothing line, produced here in LA, fits me perfect at MEDIUM or size 6/8. So, what's the deal? 

My original tears in said fitting room, came from a place of not feeling like I had a place, a home. I never understood my friends who've had/have issues finding wonderful items to wear to express their style; it was always a journey. I'm now in the same boat as now I no longer have the same destinations I normally did. I can't hit up the Grove when I'm searching for a fun, party dress or a new, white blouse. So, where is a girl to go? 

This post doesn't come with a solution unfortunately. I'm still figuring out "stock" destinations for myself to find great products. I may just have to go back to thrifting, which never disappointed. I'm sharing simply because I know I'm not alone in this in-between size quest. Would love to know if you have found some destinations you hit up when craving a shopping trip. 

photos by: Kaye McCoy

Christina Topacio

Los Angeles, CA

A life with style blog, dedicated to giving you direct sassness and satire, every week of the year.