I believe I have already confessed that I typically take an oxymoronic Petite-Large or Petite X-L in RTW. And I'm OK with that. I ride my bicycle. I'm healthy. If I can find my size in a store I don't really care what it's called. Or I try not to anyway. But my recent decision to switch to skirts and dresses rather than jeans as my wardrobe basics has mired me in the real undisguised cruelty of RTW sizing.
Bare plus-sized legs in skirts mean thighs that chafe. Every woman over a size 14 knows this. There is an easy solution: just wear pettipants, cutotte slips, whatever you want to call them. (Unpadded bicycle shorts under skirts also work, I'm told, and there are powders and creams, of which I am highly sceptical.) All you need is a layer or two of thin fabric between the thighs and presto! No more chub rub.
But try to find pettipants in a store in the RL. Or save yourself the humiliation and don't. The mercantile logic seems to be that anyone who suffers from chafing thighs must (or should be required to) wish she was much thinner, so the only readily available intimate apparel with fabric between the legs is "shapewear," which you can find everywhere. Granted, sometimes I like a little help in smoothing the ripples of me as they cascade toward my feet, but on other occasions I just want to eat, or laugh, or breathe without being ensausaged in lycra.
Even if I do want to encase myself in shapewear, why am I not allowed to retain some dignity while I do so? Why am I a 16 or 18 in dresses and pants, while I can't cram my blobby bulk into a size XXL Miraclethis or Flexithat in the same store? Is body dysmorphia such a pandemic that profits can be made selling Size XS girdles to sylphs and sprites?