I have been wanting to write an article about women’s clothing size for a while and Suzanne kicked me right into action. (yes this lady continues to inspire me; if you’re not yet reading her blog, you should do so right now!).
In her latest article she talks about how she got seduced by a smaller size. She knew it was was a size too small, but she tried it anyway and was able to able to squeeze herself into the skirt and promptly bought it. She actually felt pretty good about herself, knowing that she was now slim enough to fit into this smaller size.
Of course when she came home she realised that that was a lie. She may have been able to close the zipper and squeeze herself into the skirt, it did not actually FIT.
I know her story is not unique. I have known quite a few women that obsess over sizing and would check other women’s sizes when no one was looking.
Today I’m here to tell you that the size on the label is really but a number and in most cases it’s a big fat lie!
I’ve been lucky enough to have had pretty much the same weight since I was 20. My body has changed of course as it’s not as tight and toned as it once was, but overall the shape and weight has not changed.
Funnily enough my size has. I often used to be a size 40 (8) in my 20s. That gradually changed to 38 (6) which has basically been my go-to size. Lately I have found that I often need a 36 (4). Clearly this is NOT because I have lost weight or got slimmer, because I definitely have not.
Overall sizes for my particular weight and shape have just gone down.
And brands do this all the time! They know that from a psychological point of view you will buy more clothes if the size is smaller since you will feel better about yourself. They are basically playing a psychological mind game.
I believe this is especially true in the US where I’m now often a size 4, XS or even a size 0 in some brands. If I’m a size 0, where does that leave all the ladies that are smaller than me? Here in Singapore almost every lady would have a smaller size than me. What would their size be? -4? How is that even possible? How is it even possible to have a size 0? I think that sizing has become rather ridiculous. Every body has a size.
So why should it even matter what size is on the label?
Style is definitely not a clothing size!
The only way you will look good in your clothes is when you let yourself be guided by FIT. Sizes provide the guidelines for that. But since every country and brand seems to have their own standards, you will just need to grab 3 sizes (1 bigger and 1 smaller than your usual size) before you step into the fitting room. On every online site you purchase you should study their sizing charts. Know your measurements and write them down so you will always have them handy and check your actual size.
Once you have picked your 3 sizes, completely ignore the size on the label but trust the mirror and determine which of the 3 has the better fit. Often it is even better to go for a bigger size for a more fluid fit that is so popular now.
Don’t let a size have any influence on how you feel about yourself. All said and done, you can only really trust the mirror for that or a measuring tape.
If you like to get more insight into sizing, Sally posted a really good in-depth article on this topic this week where she discusses the pros and cons of standardized sizing.
How much do you let yourself be guided by sizes? Have you ever downsized for vanity reasons?