I'm not fat, these clothes are too small!
Clothes sizing isn't something The Bargain Queen normally thinks about. She mostly doesn't care what the numbers say; every brand cuts their stuff differently so of course the numbers vary. She's an L at stores aimed at teens and an XS at stores for the middle-aged but she doesn't care. If it fits, no worries. But she just had one of those sad, tragic changing room experiences that made her feel like an overweight hippopotamus and it got her thinking.
The Bargain Queen was checking out the winter sales that just started in Sydney and tried on a label she doesn't normally wear. The garments were beautiful, well priced even before the mark down and there were racks of different styles to choose from. It looked like a great buy, but gorgeous clothes end up on sale racks for a reason. Sometimes they were priced too high; sometimes unseasonal weather makes them unnecessary that year; sometimes the store's buyers miscalculate their customers' tastes. But sometimes, noone buys the clothes because noone fits in the clothes.
So The Bargain Queen went into the changeroom... and nothing from this label fit. At all. She tried the medium, she tried the large. She had acres of flesh hanging out all over the place in both of them. Ugh! Really not something anyone wants to see.
Now this would be fair and reasonable if The Bargain Queen was bigger than the general population. OK, she does have a little bit of winter padding right now... but she's currently an Australian size 12 (equivalent to a US 8 or a UK 10) which on a 5'7" frame is not enormous. To put it into perspective, the most recent research on Australian body sizes found that the average 16- to 24-year-old woman fits a size 16! So why is she way too big for the large size garments?
There are a whole lot of possible explanations. Perhaps the designer thought the fabric had more stretch than it does. Maybe they made a terrible mistake while they were grading the patterns and the small size became the large. Maybe they expected shorter people, who also tend to be smaller, to buy their clothes. Or maybe they actually do want to keep 'fat chicks' out of their clothes.
The lesson The Bargain Queen should have taken from all this is that she gets convinced that she's fat a little too easily. So one manufacturer makes clothes for the super-slim... so what? She also tried things from a brand she buys regularly and was roughly the same size as usual, which should be evidence enough that she's not enormous. And even if she was overweight, there are much worse things you can be. (Unhealthy. Mean. Pedantic. Sociopathic...)
As for the manufacturer, it's unlikely the department store was pleased to have racks of their clothes left at the end of the season to mark down. If their super-small sizing is working for them, it's not happening at that store.