December, 1993. I was in Bangkok, Thailand, for a ministry trip and decided to have a suit made. Bobby, the favorite tailor of Americans in Bangkok, had crafted many fine suits for US diplomats and military personnel. Those of you who know me know I will do about anything to avoid wearing a suit! If I could, I’d wear camo, sweatshirts and jeans 365 days a year! So what was my reason for a new suit? I had been invited to attend the National Prayer Breakfast in Washington, D. C.! I was excited to attend but knew I needed to dress appropriately.
Bobby came through for me! After one week and two fittings I had a very nice black suit along with 5 ties, 2 dress shirts and two pairs of dress pants for under $200! (Remember, it was 1993)
For someone my size, no suit fits like one that is tailor made. Only in Thailand could I afford tailor made clothing. At the prayer breakfast I felt good in that suit as I rubbed shoulders with various dignitaries from around the world.
Fast forward twenty years. I was overseas when I heard the news of my dad’s passing. My family asked me to speak at his memorial service. Delta gave me a bereavement pass to fly home early, and during that long flight I began to prepare what I would say. Many thoughts went through my head as I began searching for the right words. But then another thought hit me…what to wear? I wanted to wear a suit to honor my father. He always liked dressing up in a suit.
Carin usually helps pick out my clothing when I have to dress up, but she wasn’t with me. What should I do? In a rush, I reached in my closet and pulled out the black suit made for me in 1993. I grabbed a couple of white shirts, a couple of ties, dress shoes, socks, belt. About half way to Milwaukee I thought, Oh no, what if those clothes no longer fit?
Plenty of brats, potatoes and various other things have gone down my gullet in the past 20 years. And let’s face it, I am not as active as I was back then! Oh well, I thought, I may have to buy something when I get to Milwaukee.
To my surprise it all fit! The shirt buttoned, the jacket buttoned, the back felt good. What was the deal? Over the years I had graduated from an XL to a 2XL as my chest had migrated south into my belly, so how did a suit from 20 years earlier still fit?
There were a couple of possible explanations:
1. I was larger 20 years ago than I had thought
2. My suit had expanded
3. Or…clothing manufacturers have been gradually changing the sizing to make men feel they are bigger and more muscle bound than they are!
I am confused. Has anyone else experienced this? How about you ladies? I’d love to hear from you!
Yes, I was excited the suit fit, partly because I am too cheap to purchase another suit that would be rarely worn! And I have to admit, it made me feel good I could still wear it after 20 years. But I’m confused. How can that suit still fit if I am really a 2XL?
So what do you think? Is there a conspiracy in the clothing industry?
Not a very deep blog topic today…but good to change it up sometimes!