Clothes · Daily Life

Sizes and Sizing…

Today’s post is brought to you courtesy of eBay.  They didn’t ask me to write it, but having recently had a closet clear out in which most things I no longer wanted got listed on eBay, I thought I’d use the money I’d made to go towards some more sympathetic items for my wardrobe.  I had specific search terms, and of courses sizes; having started a new healthy eating and exercise regime in the last few months, I made sure to measure myself (I’ve lost the little bit of weight I wanted to lose, and I’ve started to tone up in ways I didn’t actually think possible) so where I was unsure of a brand, I made certain to double-check their size charts before watching or bidding on an item, otherwise I knew what I was looking for.

I was quickly astounded by the number of sellers with an item of clothing they were listing as “on the small side”, or “cut smaller than usual for this brand” – I even saw a pair of shoes listed as being “a small 5″(!).  While I can’t speak for every listing I saw with these comments, I can safely say the ones I won that had this type of comment were not “cut small”, or “smaller than normal”, especially not the shoes!!.

This has led me to believe that we gals maybe need to take a moment to talk about sizes, or – perhaps more appropriately – sizing.  Now, of course I’m not here to say that being a size whatever is bad, nor am I here to say that everyone should be a size something else, and I’m also not here to give diet and exercise tips (though I happily will try, privately or publicly, if there’s any interest).  I want to talk about the lack of appropriate education on clothes sizing for the modern woman.  Very few of us make even some of our own clothes, and certainly even fewer will make all of our own clothes…between the rigours of modern day life and the range & availability of clothes on the high street & online there just isn’t the need anymore; but I think this lends itself to a much more problematic issue…very few people understand how clothes really should fit (I count myself in that statement also, though I’m trying to learn).

As I mentioned above, recently I took it upon myself to loose the 11 or so pounds I’d gradually put on in the last year.  This proved to be easy enough, once I’d made the right decisions, and as I’ve lost the weight I’ve been glad to see that I’m fitting into some clothes I haven’t for a while, and that the way other clothes fit is changing too.  As part of my weight-loss travel, I recently decided to note a few of my measurements – in part because I had a rough idea of what I wanted certain areas to measure, but also because it would help me more accurately buy clothes online, plus it would be one more way to chart how I’m changing, alongside the steadily decreasing number on the scale.

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Look at me go…the magical shrinking Miss LPU 😉

You can see from the above, the two times I’ve taken my measurements there’s been quite a change.  Last time I was this sort of size (which was only a year or so ago, remember), I classed myself as a UK size ten.  Now, as I actually pay attention to size charts – because I’m buying new clothes, and also buying more clothes online – I’m beginning to realise that I more likely to be a UK size 8 (and probably was back then, too).  “Big deal, so what?”, I hear you say “there’s not much difference from one size to the next.”

Well, you’d be surprised…I recently bought a couple of Hell Bunny skirts, in size small/UK10, because I couldn’t believe I’d be an extra small/UK8…even with the measurements on the screen in front of me.  I had to send them back, as they were too big and sat somewhere between my waist & my hips, with the waistband clearly unsure of what it should be doing or where it was going…it was not a good look!  I exchanged them for the smaller size, and I was much happier to find they now fit like they were supposed to, and were also much more comfortable and flattering to boot.

In the past, I’ve not wanted to wear a size eight or ten, because people would instantly put themselves down simply due to the number on the label in my clothes – a friend once told me she wished she were my size, while we were in a changing room and she was trying on a skirt with the same number on the label as was in what I was wearing that day…

I know that society is obsessed with that little number in our dresses, trousers, skirts, and tops and I’ve seen the distress it can cause when it’s “wrong”; but more important than a couple of digits in your clothes, gals, is the way those clothes fit you and make you feel.  If we show the world that we don’t care what that number is, then I believe we can start to change the world – however long it may take.

The numbers in your clothes are there to help you to pick items that should closely fit you – they are not there for societal judgement, nor are they there to make us feel bad, or horrid, or anything else negative – and if that’s how you feel, you need to take a look at what you’re wearing, decide what you don’t like about it, and then work on getting clothes that make you feel good!

I always take at least two sizes of each item into a fitting room, and I recommend you all start doing that too, even if it’s just to verify that you’re wearing the right size, because remember the cut of an item can change the fit and potentially alter the size you should be wearing, whether it’s a wiggle dress or boyfriend jeans.

What do you think dolls, is clothes sizing (and fit) something that we need to talk about more?  And where does “vanity sizing” come into the equation?  Share your thoughts in the comments below!

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6 thoughts on “Sizes and Sizing…

  1. At 32″ hips you should actually be a 00 or a UK 2-4 in most pants, I’ve got 34″ hips and I need size 6-8 in skirts or they fall off of me and some 8’s still fall off so I mostly own 6’s and 8’s if they have stretch so they hang on better. Other than that you’re the exact same size as me!! I usually just don’t tell people the size I’m wearing unless they very specifically ask 😛 and even then i try to beat around it for the same reason you mentioned there. But if it fits, you have to wear it.

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  2. I’ve actually discovered over the years, that (when buying clothes in person anyway) I’m able to look at an item, and judge with pretty high accuracy it it will fit/how it will fit despite the number on the tag. I still try things on though! I agree, the look and fit of clothing on your body, DOES matter more than the numerical size. The cut, material, or even colorway can make a difference in what size I need. Had an experience recently with a PInup Couture skirt I ordered online. I currently have a PC floral pencil skirt in 2X that fits great, so I decide to order another 2x in black. After taking it out of the package, it looked like it would JUST fit. As in, I could just squeeze into it. I did just squeeze into it, but it wasn’t as comfortable as the floral skirt. SO it was returned. I may try for that same skirt again, only this time I’ll know to try a 3X. If the next size up is going to feel better and look better on me… then so be it! I’m a believer in taking multiple items into a dressing room when shopping in person, although when buying online this isn’t really possible for me. This is where reading reviews, especially those of my own size range comes in handy. Although everyone is different, so there is still a bit of chance taking involved.

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    1. The one thing that bugs me about online reviews is the people who say “I had to exchange it for a size smaller/larger than normal”, but say nothing more on the subject; I love the people that say ‘normally I order a size *whatever* but had to go for a *whatever else* this time because of *blah*’; I always try to fall into the second category if I need to

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