Fuck the dress size, it doesn’t define you.
Through my years of working in the fashion industry as both a designer, stylist and creative director one thing has become clear…. We as a consumer are obsessed with size.
At some point we have forgotten to worry about how things fit or how comfortable we are in our clothes and more caught up on what size we are wearing.
The truth is we could buy 10 different pairs of jeans in a size 12 from 10 different stores that could all be completely different sizes. Which leads to….. You guessed it us feeling like shit for not fitting into the size 12 (then refusing to buy the 14 even though it looks better) OR us feeling like we have won the lottery because we have bought a size 10.
Both of these outcomes are unhealthy.
The same can be said for weight. We could have someone who has never been to a gym before and weighs themselves. Then starts going to the gym and gets in the best shape/health of their life and weighs herself only to find she is heavier (insert emotional meltdown). This happens because muscle weighs more than fat. You may be heavier but your clothes fit better, you are stronger and healthier….. who gives a fuck if you weigh a bit more. No one cares… YOU are putting undue pressure on yourself and sizing works the same.
Use your clothes to show if you are losing or gaining weight if that’s important to you…. Sure.
Get rid of that toxic dress in your wardrobe that is a size 8 that you wore to Abbie’s wedding 4 years ago before you had kids that every time you open your wardrobe send you in a tail spin. Sell it, re-purpose it or stick it in the loft to pass on to your kids but don’t use it as an emotional dagger every time you are already feeling a bit shit.
When shopping use sizing for what it’s meant to be…. As a parameter to gauge what size you should try on. In a shop if you are usually a size 12 take in a 10, 12 and a 14. Try them on and try not to look at the sizing and buy what actually looks good. No one is looking at that number in your pants other than you.
Standardised body types for women do not work…. there are no two women bodies that are the same.
The last standardised body survey was conducted in 1958 and called the "Body Measurements for the Sizing of Women's Patterns and Apparel" The purpose of this was to "To provide the consumer with a means of identifying her body type and size from the wide range of body types covered, and enable her to be fitted properly by the same size regardless of price, type of apparel, or manufacturer of the garment.’
The standard was based on the 15,000 women interviewed previously, with the addition of a group of women who had been in the Army during World War II. A size 8 dress today is the equivalent of a UK 16 back in the 1950’s.
These guidelines were scrapped in the early 80’s leaving clothing companies to create their own sizing charts which in turn means…. Well…. Sizing is bullshit.
So use it as a guide to TRY ON, or go by the measurements and buy what fits and forget the rest of it!