I think it’s about time we stopped getting so hung up over our dress sizes.
We all know that it’s entirely possible to be a different size from shop to shop. Someone who’s a 12 in one store could be a 14 or a 10 in another.
It sucks. And I understand why it upsets people – especially those who are insecure about their bodies.
For some people, sizing is everything. Being at one set size makes you feel more comfortable. You know this way whether you’re gaining or losing weight. And so, when you don’t fit into that size, you start to panic.
Even if you know that you haven’t gained weigh because you don’t look or feel any different, you can get tricked into thinking you have, all because of the number in the back of a garment.
The problem is, we trust this system too much. It’s time we stopped being so trusting.
No matter how much you protest, it’s likely we’ll never fit into the same size in every shop.
In some shops, different sizing is down to the materials used. In others, and more sadly, some shops decrease their sizes for their target audience.
Last year, in a video for Vox, a reporter tried on three different pairs of jeans in the same size in three different stores – and found that each size was different.
In the video, it was noted that sizing today is often used as a marketing tool.
Lynn Boorady, associate professor and chair of the fashion and textile technology department at SUNY Buffalo State said: ‘I think we’re more aiming for our own target markets.
‘So, when Abercrombie & Fitch does their sizing, they’re sizing to their targeting market, not to me. We kept tweaking that information until we sold more garments and could lower the return rate.’
She added: ‘They are just random numbers, they don’t mean anything.’
And so, with this in mind, I think it’s time we gave up getting angry at stores for not stocking our actual sizes, and let bygones be bygones.
Don’t get me wrong, I do think shops can do better. I don’t think the differed sizing is beneficial to a person’s self-esteem.
But time, time and time again they’ve missed out on the opportunity to do anything about it. Countless women have taken to social media to express their dismay after finding themselves fitting into something totally out of the ordinary for them – but they’ve been ignored, left to purchase clothes with labels they can’t bear to look at.
And so now, I think it’s time to accept that shops aren’t interested in fixing this problem – so we have to take matters in to our own hands and change the way that we think about sizing
I think it’s more beneficial to focus on our own body confidence, and teaching ourselves that the labels on our clothes really don’t matter. It’s all about what fits right.
Regardless of the size on your clothes, if a piece of clothing fits, it fits. And if you take that piece of clothing home and measure it up with your smaller sizes, you’ll see that it’s simply the size on the label that’s different – not you.
I get it, it’s hard to see your body for what it is when we’re so often being told certain sizes equal certain bodies. Where anything above a 16 is deemed ‘plus-size’ and anything below an 8 petite. It’s almost as if ‘average’ only has three sizes – despite the average dress size for a woman in the UK being a 16.
And so, it’s time we ignored our labels in order to escape the need to group ourselves off into sizes.
Imagine walking into a store, finding something you liked, ignoring the label, trying it on and feeling and looking good in it. No numbers, no insecurity, and no worry about how you’re going to fit back into a different size. Wouldn’t that be lovely?
It’s easier said than done, but the more we try to do this, the more we’ll start to realise that the numbers on our clothes really are meaningless.
Let’s make it happen. We’re the only ones who can.