Before I started buying clothes for the husbeast I thought that sizes progressed from XS to XXXL (fill in as many X's as needed to reach the right size). If you were going by those generic clothing sizes you were a S, M, L, or some number of X's preceding your L or S. It was the way of the world.
In my world the only solution to a shirt not fitting was to go up an X. For me this has always been a rather unfortunate truth. I have an incredibly large bust, so I always have to go up in size to compensate. In the end my shirts always sort of hang around my mid section like a potato sack.
It also always meant that my shirts were too short in the front. If I raise my arms or stretch the world will see my belly. Even when I was younger and belly shirts were cool (I have no idea if they are currently a thing or not) I was uncomfortable with the idea of showing my pasty stomach off to the world. Again the solution was to go up an X and enjoy the extra material that covered my stomach but made me look like I was a small child playing dress up in their parents clothing.
Then I started buying shirts for the husbeast. He is an incredibly tall man at 6'6. He is also mostly torso. I am 5'10 and he and I have the exact same length of legs. The 8 inches he has on me are all in his torso. This is apparently very common in men. It is in fact common enough that they have an entire additional letter option in clothing; T.
So if you have never shopped for a long torsoed man you will probably have no idea what the T is all about. The T is simply for Tall. So we can have XL for extra large, which encompass a broader chest and shoulders or more of a gut, but it won't be long enough to cover all of their torso. The T on the tag means that they have added an extra 6 or so inches to the bottom of the shirts so it will cover there stomachs and actually tuck into their pants.
This is brilliant. Why the hell isn't this an option in women's clothing?
So maybe there aren't as many women with long torsos, but somehow I doubt that is true. Even excluding that thought, there are a ton of women with big boobs who would like to cover up their stomachs. We are not all 16 or spend enough time in a tanning bed and doing ab workouts to make our bellies socially acceptable.
For a very short time I could find shirts at Lane Bryant that were labeled Long. The idea was the same as the Tall for men. The shirts were long enough to cover my stomach while being the right size for my chest. It was glorious and perfect so it, much like a Joss Whedon show, didn't last long.
Apparently the only place in women's clothing that it is acceptable to have shirts that are long is in the world of maternity clothes. The maternity shirts are made to compensate for growing bellies and busts and keep everything covered. Obviously this means I shop in the maternity section a lot.
Can I tell you how annoying it is to be shopping maternity as a fat girl who isn't pregnant? The number of times I get asked when I am due is annoying. I get that I am shopping in the maternity department, and I am fat, but I am not pregnant. You should never ask a woman if she is pregnant unless you pretty much already know she is.
Alas this is an annoyance I have to get used to. I doubt that the women's clothing manufacturers will ever mass produce clothing for women shaped like me. I am honestly just thankful that I have a work around that will work for me, even if it does mean having to repeatedly tell strangers that I am no pregnant, just fat.