For Christmas and my birthday I was given gift certificates to the swanky mall near my in-law's house and to the Abercrombie & Fitch where my brother works. I hadn't been shopping in a few months and so I was very excited to pick up some new things. The U.S. has been hit harder by the recession than Europe and the sales post-Christmas were pretty jaw-dropping. But an even bigger surprise awaited me: I had magically shrunken!
All the tops I tried on were size Small. And I bought a pair of jeans at A&F that were a size 6. When I left the U.S. I was a size 10 or Large. "I have lost so much weight!" I thought. I rushed home and weighed myself. The change was not as drastic as I'd thought.
Reality struck when I got back to Frankfurt. We are going to a swanky dinner next week for the British Chamber of Commerce in Germany, and I needed something to wear. So I went with two of my classmates on Wednesday to hit some sales. I started with a size medium and couldn't get the zipper to the top! I checked the tag. I noticed it was printed for distribution in several countries, like this:
E/F: L D: M US: S
Yes, that means it is a large in Spain and France, a medium in Germany, and a small in America. Except by current standards it would probably be an extra small.
After this epiphany I started grabbing large and extra large, and eventually found a workable dress. My classmates, Angie and Bea, just came to browse, but Angie ended up getting three dresses. She has this problem: she is a semi-retired model. Every item looks perfect on her because it was designed exactly for someone tall and very thin. If everything I tried on made me look gorgeous, I probably would buy too much as well. It can be frustrating to go shopping with such a person; in fact at one point Bea and I did tell Angie we hated her ;) but I'm happy with how I look in my new dress, even if it is a size large.