What size are you? That’s a loaded question. I can tell you that I’m not a size. It’s not how I define myself and defining your self worth on a size is a very negative thing to do for your psychological health. I wear clothing that has size labels inside, and I van tell you that they vary, from an 8 (US4) through to a 14 and I take little regard of that size when I’m purchasing clothes, because to me it’s about what fits, not the number on the label.
I can tell you that pre-breast reduction that size range went up to an 18, just to fit my boobs in. Our bodies are unique and it’s impossible for mass market clothing manufacturers to make garments that fit all of us. If you have an expectation that when you walk into a store that everything will fit your amazing body perfectly, well that’s just crazy. Women have such varied bodies that there is no way it’s ever going to happen. Different stores will have their own pattern blocks which are based on a set of arbitrary measurements, which are then grads up and down for different sizes, and we all know that when we put on or lose weight it doesn’t come off in a totally even manner. So that to begin with creates one of the fit issues.
Plus there are no standards, across countries, let alone across the world. So don’t get upset when you have to try a different size from the size you think you should be. Think of a size label as a very vague guide to a kind of approximation of how large or small a garment is. That’s it. It has no value, particularly nothing to do with what kind of person you are, and I know that you are fabulous. Whatever you do, don’t put your life, or finding and creating your personal style, on hold until you are a certain size!
So often women tell me that they’d like to see me for a consultation, but feel that they are not worthy of spending the money on themselves right now as they are the wrong size in their own eyes, so deny themselves the pleasure and also the valuable information they would gain, which is size irrelevant!
Please, I beg you to believe, as I do, that you can be stylish no matter what that label says. Remember if you don’t like the number on the label, cut it out! You are beautiful and can be stylish no matter your size, shape or age.
Thank you Imogen! Since learning how to dress my body type (petite, figure 8, very short waisted), and taking the time to alter my clothing, my self image has shifted from “portly” to “svelte”. Yes I have to add darts to the waist area of trousers and I have to lift every top up at the shoulder, but whatever size the garment begins, it fits and flatters or I give it away.
Thanks Laura – I’m glad that you have adjusted how you see yourself.
I average UK size 12 (US size 8) but as you say sizes vary in different countries and with different manufacturers. On a recent trip to London I was amazed to fit into a pair of trousers that were UK size 10, though the assistant suggested I try them on, presumably because she knew the sizing was generous!
Over 10 years ago, when I was running regularly so slimmer than I am nowadays, I was looking at some trousers in a Brisbane market when the stall holder suggested I try a 14. I replied indignantly that I was a size 10, maybe 12 at most! He laughed and told me they were children’s trousers (which is why the length looked ok) and therefore he meant age 14. Obviously I then bought them!
Yes a kids 14! Australian sizes in general are “bigger” than UK sizes I found when I lived in the UK I had to go up a size. USA is smaller, so there I go down one or two sizes, in general, but of course, sizing is so completely arbitrary!
Exactly! I bought a winter coat here in Spain a couple of years ago. I was talked into it by the charming assistant who said “Small?” when she looked at me. I said “No, medium”, then decided, after trying on the medium, that I really needed a large size to allow for layers. I also bought a cardigan from another shop that is XXL!!!
So true! I love this post. Being chic and stylish doesn’t have a size or an expiration date!