(Style Diary) On brutal honesty, body image and Vedette Shapewear

April 4, 2013


 
When Vedette Shapewear contacted me to be part of their I have nothing to hide campaign in support of positive body image, I was initially excited. Body image is a subject that I haven't ever broached on my blog, but it is a persistent issue in the fashion community. Discussion has yet to resolve the deep-rooted issues, but not talking about them is as good as pretending that they don't exist, so... remembering the mantra I have nothing to hide... here we go.

There was a time when accepting my body was a daily struggle. I am in a very good place now, both mentally and emotionally, but there are still small things that make my subconscious voices of self-doubt grow suddenly, distressingly loud. One of them is trying on my normal size in a piece of clothing, only to find that it doesn't remotely fit. I am utterly unable to accept the very likely possibilities of manufacturing error or simple skewed sizing; I always blame myself, as if having more of the virtues that really matter, like intelligence and kindness, might have helped to solve a zipper problem.

I would be lying if I said that this isn't difficult to write; to admit.

In an effort to avoid sizing problems and the ensuing emotional turmoil, when I order online, I always go for a larger size. When ordering my Lea bodysuit from Vedette, I added half an inch to each of my measurements I gave them, just to be safe. Based on those measurements, they sent me the size they felt would be the best fit. My challenge was to put together two looks that featured it; one for day and one for night. My order arrived quickly, even though it was coming from overseas, and I immediately set to work planning outfits.


Imagine my surprise when it took me fifteen minutes of strenuous effort to put the bodysuit on. I was baffled, and discouraged, by the fit, which cinched my waist to the point of bruising and made breathing difficult. I consulted the size chart; although it did say that sizing runs small, it asserted that the size I was wearing should fit someone whose waist measures 27 to 31 inches. My waist measures 25 inches.

Please know, I am not saying any of this because I want to read compliments and reassurances in the comments section. I am being totally honest - I believe in blogging with integrity, even if that means saying things that are negative.

When I managed to get the bodysuit off again - it was another fifteen minute process - I took a tape measure to the waist; it measured all of 21.25 inches. I am fully willing to admit that shapewear is not my area of expertise. Perhaps all shapewear is this small and this tight, but I have worn boned corsets that were more comfortable... and looked better, too!


 
To the credit of Vedette Shapewear, when I advised them of my sizing problem, they were willing to discuss it with me and do their best to resolve it. There could not have been any manufacturing errors, their products simply run extremely small. They assured me that the bodysuits would stretch, but also sent me a larger size so that I would have a more comfortable fit.

By this time, those voices of self-doubt were ringing loud in my head. I had to go two sizes beyond what the size chart indicated I should need just to get a bodysuit I could breathe in... and even in the largest size, the waist band still rolls and puckers, which is why it is hidden in both of my outfits. In other words, to make a terrible joke that likely won't go far enough to lighten the mood of this post, I have something to hide! {For the record, the waist band on the largest bodysuit measures just 22.5 inches.}

Based on the sizing difficulties I've experienced, I cannot recommend Vedette Shapewear - their products are very pretty and of high quality, but the size chart is not reliable. And having to go up two sizes doesn't make anyone feel good about their body...!

Mes chères lectrices françaises, j'espère que le fait que je n'ai pas traduit cet article ne vous gêne pas trop... mais franchement, l'idée de tout récrire un texte d’une telle longueur m'est accablante. Je suis désolée ! Je vous reviens demain avec un article bilangue, c'est promis.

42 comments :

  1. What dissapointing the problems with the size.

    By the way, precios outfits, nice job ;)

    Following you from Spain.

    Les Deux Rombos

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  2. I can relate to you, Cee. I have smaller upper part, thin waist and bigger bottom. So, choosing a one-piece outfit (like a dress, romber, bodysuit or a two-piece suit) is a big challende for me! I never wear something slinky...

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  3. That is true, but because of that in the states they do the opposite which can make buying clothes here in the states hard if you are a smaller size. First they do not carry that many small sizes and second the smallest size is two sizes to big and then there is nothing else. But that is the states.

    Ali of

    www.dressingken.com

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    1. I've actually experienced that as well, Ali! When I lived in Canada, I travelled across the border pretty frequently... and I remember on one trip, everything was suddenly way too big for me. Being petite is never not a challenge!
      xox,
      Cee

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  4. Oh, darling, I can just imagine what you had to go through and I can imagine all the emotions caused by it. :(
    Here's something to make you smile... You know, I once watched someone on QVC selling shapewear. She took out a body suit and said: "Well, ladies, when you receive this body suit, it may look quite small. Don't worry - simply take a chair and pull the garment over the back of it. Then leave it like that for a while. In a few miuntes it will fit you like a glove!" Needless to say by the time she finished her epic speech I was on the floor rolling with laughter. :D

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    1. Ohmygod, it's like the 1800s up in there, haha!

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  5. Every single time I try anything in my "size" on and it doesn't fit I am almost instantly plunged into self doubt and, very nearly, self-loathing. The worst is shopping in some stores, like Forever 21, where I find the sizing always tends to run a little small and I am forced to buy almost everything in a large and then feel crappy about myself. Which is, of course, silly...and I know it. But no matter how often I remind myself (and most of time genuine believe it) that my body is beautiful and perfect for me and something to appreciate and be proud of, clothing sizing issues are a sure fire way to make that sense of confidence utterly evaporate. Being a woman stinks sometimes. Anyways, I'm rambling, so I'll just say that it stinks a defective size chart brought up some anxieties for you but, trust me, you're not alone in experiencing that and it's in no way reflective of any deeper truth about your body and shape.

    Courtney ~ http://sartorialsidelines.com

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  6. I think also shapewear expects us to pull it all in so much that we can barely breathe. I think we've all seen those girls that look like they've painted their dresses on. I think there are a lot of us that just can't sacrifice that comfort...you know, the comfort of breathing oxygen. But to help you on the sizing front the other day I was wearing a mini skirt suit (ooo I feel all Clueless writing that) and a blouse under that. All from the same place (and you know how tiny I am). The skirt was a 2, the blouse was a 4 and the blazer was a 6!!...so stash that self-blame elsewhere. You're a total babe and no one knows how to make great clothing anymore (not in a small budget way at least). Even My Isabel Marant dresses are 2 different sizes...and made in China :(
    End rant.

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  7. Oh sizes, sizes... It can be so frustrating sometimes. Not only with shopping online, but even when you're in a huge department store and there is nothing for you.

    I've heard so many times those lines definitions like "size 0", "bones for dogs", etc. My problem - I'm a petite girl. I've always been skinny, now I finally got a feminine shape with a bit of curves, but I can't do anything about it and fill myself, because it's not normal to be like this. I don't starve myself, I eat as much as I like, trying to be healthy, trying to exercise and build some mussels, so eventually I grow a bit. It is working, but slowly.

    What I've noticed in UK though, is many people have very bad attitude to skinny girls. Plenty of brands have changed their sizing, so they completely skip a few of the sizes. I'm size 4 to 6, depends. Too many brands start making clothing from 8. Some have 6, but it's still too large. Other say XS to make their life easier, but XS is equal to 8-10.

    I'm not saying this to show off or anything. It's just my side of the story. I used to be so depressed that I can't wear clothes for grown-ups. Now, I have a list of brands that do garments even for me. Even if not perfect sizing.

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  8. It's good that you're being honest, about your body issues and Vedette shapewear. I still have body issues that I struggle with everyday, and I know that even when I hopefully lose the weight I want to my body issues still won't magically go away. But I find it funny that a shapewear's campaign tagline is "I have nothing to hide" when clearly most people who are wearing shapewear want to hide something! I hate when a company's sizing is so off! It's the worst thing! When something's too small I feel fat, but when it's too big I'm just annoyed that the sizing is wrong. So annoying.

    Thanks for the review of Vedette shapewear! Now we all know what to expect!
    ~Sara

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  9. Such a well written post Cee, I so appreciate your honesty and can certainly relate when it comes to sizing+online shopping...it can be such a headache!
    The photos you took are so cute, love you sitting in the window!
    xo Cara
    http://www.afashionloveaffair.com

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  10. Oh sweetie I know it can be so frustrating when something like this happens, but remember that the most important thing is how you feel about yourself. It doesn't matter if some clothes didn't fit or some was too big, is how you react to them that matters !
    You are your only judge, you can choose being happy about your body the way it is now, or if your not happy about it change it ! Everyday you spend sad is one day that you could be happy !
    I wasn't happy with my body and I know that I'm not "fat" for the normal standard, but I decided to change I want to healthy and be proud of my body, I started to do work out at home everyday and it has been 2 months now, I'm starting to see the difference in my body and I'm happy about it.

    I hope that I was helpful in some way. You're a sweet girl and I want you to be happy ! :)

    www.universeandyou.com.br

    Love from Japan

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  11. Oh gosh Cee! Thank you for being honest about this product. Their sizing sounds way off and it couldve proven to be really dangerous. I never shared this with anyone, but I once ordered a dress that had to go over my head. Well the sizing of the company was totally off. When I went to put it over my head, it was super tight in the chest area and I nearly suffocated. Luckily my mom was in the other room and cut it so I could breathe or else I would've died.

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  12. I really appreciate your honesty. I too find it both frustrating and demoralizing when something is incorrectly sized - I recently ordered a dress from jacob, and according to the size chart, an 8 should have been a snug fit. I was so disappointed (and upset), when the 8 came and was SUPER small (size chart had 8 with a waist of 29.5, and the dress measured 25" at the waist with no stretch). I was able to size up to a 12, but I find it so frustrating when a company HAS a size chart, but doesn't bother to follow it. Don't tell me your sizes run small....have a size chart and FOLLOW THE DARNED SIZE CHART.

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  13. Oh my gosh what an absolute bummer! Your honesty is appreciated!

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  14. I love your 2 styles :)
    Lovely ballerina :)

    New post - Kiss
    http://www.mademoisellemode.com/

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  15. Oh! Eagerly anticipating an new product and then it disappointing you is one of the worst feelings ever!!! :(

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  16. Grate looks! I followed you here in blog, hope you follow me back! Nice day!
    Keep in touch. Greetings from Moscow!
    http://afinaskaterblogspotcom.blogspot.ru/

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  17. Très bon article, je trouve que tu abordes superbement le sujet et cela de façon honnête =)

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  18. Amazing look! Its really amazing how you had the courage to write everything, lots of people wouldnt for sure :)
    x

    www.be-your-own-hero-now.blogspot.com

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  19. That brand really should be ashamed! The least they can do is to follow their size charts, especially if they're selling shapewear...

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  20. Love the flats!! Visit http://www.urbanfashionstylee.blogspot.mx and check my new post!!

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  21. Loved reading your thoughts on body image, Cee. You're such an eloquent writer and it's refreshing to know that everyone deals with these "voices." I certainly have my own, and photographing myself in outfits all the time doesn't necessarily help. ;) But I too have managed to come a long way. And... bravo, for being honest about your experience with Vedette Shapewear. Wonderful read all around!! xo

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  22. huh? *sigh* it's a pity you had to go through all that stress to purchase a bodysuit? ''eyes popping'' these days it 's so funny with sizes, it either it's so tight or too loose but glad you got a good response from them and they were ready to fix things. You look absolutely amazing in the two photos.
    KISSES!
    http://rock4less.blogspot.co.uk/

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  23. funny!!! i never knew i wasnt following your blog, now i am ''yay'' i hope you support me too.
    kisses..

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  24. J'adore lire ça. Aujourd'hui justement en prenant des photos ou plutot en les regardant je me disais que malgré que mon regime et le sport commencent à marcher ... j'ai encore des endroits très très moches et difficiles à accepter. Parfois on a juste pas très envie de se montrer. Les gens qui disent que s'afficher quotidiennement sur un blog est une question de prétention me font bien marrer.... ANYWAY pour la marque j'apprécie ton honneteté... franchement c'est cool qu'ils remplacent le vetement mais c'est clair que prendre 2 tailles au dessus ne nous aide pas à nous sentir bien. C'est peut-être juste psychologique mais c'est comme ça. Très jolies photos en tous cas <3

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  25. Thank you for your honesty. I have also struggled in this area and it is so disheartening when sizing is so irregular.

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  26. Love your honesty in this post. You're right, companies who make their product run extremely small just makes their client feel like crap about their bodies. It's common sense really! I know I've definitely put stuff back on the rack after not fitting into my "normal" size.

    Thanks for this inspiring and eye-opening post!

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  27. Worth knowing about the sizing, although I don't envy the frustrating situation it put you in!

    In unrelated news - I was delighted to see that you're also part of the Stylelist site! So exciting!

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  28. I love your transparency about your thoughts, body image feelings, and ultimate rebuttal of the product which is not one you recommend! Yes, body image is a tough one for us girls to conquer and not take seriously!!

    Love your blog!

    Love,
    (='.'=)
    Lauren at adorn la femme

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  29. Such a shame that you had such an experience. I have a few shapewear pieces but each and every one is quite uncomfortable so I've never been able to wear them.

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  30. That is really unfortunate Cee, but so glad that you shared your experience and also such an honest background about what you've gone through. My issues with brand sizing are generally in the arm lengths in jackets or blouses, or the rise in pants occasionally.

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  31. This is a great post hun. I addressed this topic of body image among women in one of my earlier posts on my blog and like you say it is something to discuss not to be ignored as it can affect so many of us. You have written this post so well and very honestly from the heart and I think it will be very inspirational and educational to many.

    I'm sorry to hear of your experiences, but I think you have turned this in to a positive by sharing it with us. Thank you.

    http://forcailini.blogspot.com

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  32. son unas fotos muy bonitas!!!
    BESOS :D

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  33. honest posts like this one are my favourites and you did the right thing. it's definitely important for other ladies to know and prevent those issues with sizes. gosh and I'm so sorry you had to go through all this trouble and feel sad about it. both of your outfits are beautiful though. I really like the classy vibe of them and the kind of mysterious attitude. nice job, dear Cee :)

    Maiken,
    Maikeni blogi - part of me

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  34. Ces photos sont vraiment superbes, surtout la dernière, ta veste a l'air vraiment belle et je suis folle de tes chaussures, tu t'habilles tellement bien <3

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  35. Dear Cee, I can only imagine how unpleasent this experience was for you...Sometimes I feel the same about the 'size issue': especially when it comes to jeans, I'm often astonished on the difference of fits and sizes, which vary so much depending on the labels. I firmly believe that we should be and feel comfortable in the clothes we decide to wear, no matter the size that it is indicated on the label...thanks so much for this honest review! Caterina

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  36. Cee, you know what impresses me here, as well as the no holds barred honesty about your body image, is that you've done an equally honest review. so many girls try their best to make excuses for things that don't seem to work right the 1st time. this goes for clothes and relationships, it spans our whole "understanding till it hurts us" mentality. like Teri Hatcher writes about the burnt toast scenerio, we (some of us) tend to take the scraps and dole out the goodness to others. that's fine sometimes but when things like this occur it's best not to make excuses and see the real deal as it stands there right in front of us.

    putting this piece together would have been a struggle for me, to be able to tell the truth but have it air on the bright side. you've done it with great style, sophistication and fairness. respect lades, a lot of respect. xo ♥

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  37. I won a bodysuit from them and have attempted to wear it just once. I understand that it's supposed to be like a corset, but honestly, it's just so small that you can't even wear it properly. It was impossible to get on an off and so uncomfortable that I wouldn't have the patience to wear it till it stretched out. Also, I don't understand how wearing a corset is "not hiding anything" lol. Just enjoying your naturally tiny waist makes more sense!

    Thank you for being honest in your review. I strive to be honest, even when I have a big problem with a product, and it's very reassuring to see other bloggers being equally honest.

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  38. Thank-you all for your kind, supportive comments and for sharing your own stories of body image struggles with me. I was really touched to read about the things you've all gone through which, although unique to you as individuals, all have such a similar thread running through them.
    xox,
    Cee

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Thank-you! Love you all <3
xox,
Cee

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