“What size are you?” might be one of the most difficult questions asked of a woman. Clothing sizes are almost completely meaningless.
I know some people get really sensitive about getting asked this question. Personally, I don’t mind if someone asks me what size I am, unless they are trying to be malicious. You know that girl I’m talking about – the one that needs to be reassured she’s still thinner than you. I usually I get asked my size by friends and family for the purpose of sharing clothes or gift buying, which to me, is no big deal.
But like most women, I don’t know what “size” I am. This is because sizes vary so greatly by retailer.
Men’s pants have two specific measurements. One is for the waist measurement, the other for the length of his inseam. Both are in inches because this is America and we laugh at the metric system. A typical men’s pant size would look something like “32×34.” Makes sense right? It’s a simple, logical way to size clothing.
Then we have pant sizes for women…. *insert ominous music here*
I have size 7 shorts, and jeans that range from 8 to 11. What is a 7 or an 11? Who the frick knows?
There’s no unified measurement that every store and brand is following. Men usually know what they’re getting even if it’s a brand they’ve never tried before because their measurements are built into their sizes. Even when I try on a familiar brand, I grab what looks like will fit and a size lower and higher.
Online shopping is completely out of the question. I’m missing out on quality deals with some excellent websites just because my trust issues with those size charts are pretty unreal.
Tops are even more ridiculous. I have items that range from small to x-large. I swear I’m not some shape shifting creature that can shrink and expand at will. Right now I’m wearing a size small blouse over a large camisole. I don’t know why exactly. I just know what fits comfortably and that’s what I buy.
The blouse I’m wearing is from Rock and Republic, a brand I’m consistently a size small in.
Unfortunately, I think there are a lot of women that continue to buy the lowest “size” they can fit into, regardless of fit.
It’s horrifying to think that many of us worry so much about what is quite clearly a meaningless number. That’s basically what we’ve proven here, right? Those little numbers on your labels don’t mean a thing. They’re just going to vary from dress to dress and top to top.
I would like to point out that stressing over our clothing sizes is not just some internal thing we’re doing to ourselves.
I’m sure you’re familiar with these ads, the ones that tell us that our jean size is directly correlated with our weight and health. They’re ridiculous for women. I could drop or go up two jean sizes between Monday and Tuesday just because I choose to wear a different brand. A woman would be devastated if she had to eat all of that Special K instead of real food for two weeks and saw no results when she went shopping.
[Read more about how to love your body.]
If you want to see how your weight loss or even weight gain progress, do not rely on your clothing. Use scales or learn to take your own measurements. Most people have weight goals, which are great as long as they are within reason. However, I think the great thing about fashion and clothing is that you can look amazing no matter your size.
Please don’t ever force yourself into a size 3 just because that’s what you usually wear. Always, buy what you feel comfortable and beautiful in. That’s the whole point of clothing anyway (besides warmth and modesty): feeling fabulous!