Does Size Matter? The Answer Is Yes When It’s Small!


By Promod Puri

In all my adult life and now in the entry-level of my senior years I have been habitually putting on only boys’ size sox because the regular ones, especially of 100 percent cotton, always give me a little flabby nuisance at the ankles. It is not that I am of diminutive framework, but my feet somehow did not mature beyond size 8.

I accepted long time ago this abnormality, if one can tag me with that, but it was a done deal conforming to my feet’s karma. However, in my early ordeal years the consoling factor was that there used to be no tax on children’s clothing, and my shopping for sox was always tax free. Not anymore. Still, it is a cheaper buy compare to the price of men’s socks especially the name brand “gold” toes ones.

I am unquestionably aware that I’m not alone in the small foot grade. There is a whole flock of  men looking to cozily snug their feet in size small as they shop discreetly in the boys’ section or even ladies section like I did many times.

Most of the sox available in the men’s section are deceitfully labeled as “size 7 to 11” or more vaguely as “size 7 to 13”. How that is possible! The feet don’t magically shrink or expand to wriggle or drop into a sox, nor the latter is elastic enough to fit one size for all. But people of all adult ages do buy those seven-elevens or seven-thirteens.

My discriminating aversion create that bumpy layer in the hind foot or droopy folds at the toes when wearing extra size sox. It seems to be ok for those adults who don’t care much about that soft bump, or perhaps they like the extra little cushioning. Anyway, that is a personal choice.

But my story does not end at the foot level.

Accepting that the age factor has taken off some layers of fat in the upper body, a natural physiological phenomenon including some muscle loss if I ever accumulated  one, that lately I have downgraded myself from size “m” to size “s” shirts. Perhaps, it was overdue, but I knowingly ignored the fact, with some reticent feeling, that size small was the perfect fit to represent me physically speaking.

However, unlike sox buying for which I have to go to somewhat reluctant area of boys’ section ( ladies’ too ), the small size shirt shopping in the men’s territory is a commonplace area for everybody from medium, large, extra large to 2extra large sizes folks.

As a matter of fact it is true for many men who just need the small size but they keep on wearing shirts and other outfits beyond their size. It is a puzzling commitment not to accept that their real fitting size is small.

And for many others small is ok in the neck area but arms and shoulders are too short or still too long. Still the main problem arises for those with Bartlett pear belly where the shirt buttons refuse to close, especially when one tries to sit down. This is a real personal dilemma which the readymade shirt makers have not addressed at all.

Not only that, both the designers and manufacturers have not realized the changing demographics that the population is now of mixed races with different sizes. And that we need further subdivisions within a size, like extra small, medium or large small; or small medium, medium-medium or large medium. After all one size does not fit all.

In short my message to the shirt designers, manufacturers and retailers is simple and clear: the body needs a shirt to fit into, nor the shirt needs a body for the right fit.