Because Some Things Bear Repeating:

Every time I witness someone struggling with size acceptance, it hurts my heart a little.  It’s especially painful to see a young person living with self hate.  So let’s keep this in mind and pass it along:

Your size really IS just a number.

I’ve never taken issue with which size I buy.  If it covers my hiney and looks good, I’m in.

There are currently four different sizes hanging from the rack of “the little closet that could.”  Though they range from “missy” sizing to women’s “plus” (with an occasional side trip into specialty “Tall” ), they all fit beautifully.  As such, I knew the multiple sizing issue wasn’t mine.  I simply assumed that the folks making the clothing were either confused or having too many three-martini lunches.

But I know there are women out there who worry about the number.  A friend of mine actually removes her tags to ensure nobody knows what that number is.  A friend of a friend won’t buy anything larger than an “8” because she can’t bear the thought of wearing “double digits” (incidentally, she will be celebrating her 29th birthday for the third time next month).

The other day I came across a book called 101 Things I Learned in Fashion School — a wonderful inside-the-industry guide written by Alfredo Cabrera with Matthew Frederick.  It was eye-opening, that peek into the how’s and why’s of fashion design and production.  I learned a lot about the business of creating garments.  And I now understand the reason for multiple sizes in my closet — and yours.

Most clothing manufacturers work with a standard size 8 production pattern.  As the pattern is tweaked not just for best fit but to accommodate design patterns woven into or printed onto the fabric, bias runs and sometimes just to save money, that number can shift as much as a full size in either direction.

Because designer houses use more expensive fabrics, that number will usually scale to the smaller size, while mass market items generally tend to run larger.  So when you pull an 8 off the rack and head to the dressing room, you may very well be trying to fit for a size 6 or a size 10.  Yep.

It’s not exactly a controlled process.  And while garments off to market are tagged with sizing information, the numbers don’t always add up.

All sizing is up for debate.  So don’t get hung up on it.  Find something you like and grab a range of sizes to test for fit.  Let the mirror be your guide.  If it looks and feels great on, consider it a “Size Fabulous” and buy it, baby, buy it!


  1. Cat says

    This definitely bears repeating.

    I think I may have posted this previously in the comments here, but it also bears repeating:

    I once bought three pairs of jeans from the same store at the same time. All three were the same brand, the same style, and the same size. I didn’t bother to try them on in the store because I always wear the same size jeans. When I got them home, I found that one pair fit me perfectly, one pair was way too large, and the third pair was a wee bit too snug. They were all the same size! Same brand! Same style! Same cut! Purchased at the same time from the same store! And the sizing varied WILDLY.

    So, yep. It really is just a number.

a peep out of you