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Sizing Strategy: Finding Your Size

Ahh sizes. I swear you were invented to make us all a little loony.

You determine whether or not we have good days ("skinny days") or bad days ("fat days"). You have some of us starving ourselves just to fit into a certain number that we have deemed "the right size" for whatever crazy reason. You have others of us cutting out tags or lying to friends/sales people because we feel we should be wearing a smaller size than what we are wearing. You make us feel happy when you run big and depressed when you run small. You trick us by adding smaller sizes so that we fit into a size smaller on paper, yet the cut is still considered 3 times bigger than the smallest size. Sizes - you suck.

But without sizes, how do we determine what items to buy??

I'll tell you a little secret that I learned after working in retail for over 8 years..are you ready for it??

The secret is...
It's as simple as that!

We should not be defined by a size - a little number that is marked on the inside of our clothes. We should be noticed for how great we look in our clothes; clothes that fit our bodies! We all have different shapes and sizes and to trying to fit into one specific number is pretty ridiculous.

Here are a few suggestions to keep in mind when figuring out what size to wear:

1. Try, Try Try! Always take in a couple different sizes for comparison. You might be surprised how a different sizes fits you much better!

2. Get Educated! Ask the sales people how the garment wears over time. Does it shrink or stretch? If it tends to stretch, maybe try a size smaller and see if it's doable. If it shrinks, definitely go a size up. If for any reason it still is too big after shrinkage, find a tailor to make adjustments.

3. Shake that Booty! Move around in the item while in the dressing room and see if it fits when you sit, stand, bend over, dance, etc. We tend to just look at ourselves face on when trying on clothes - this is obviously not how we exist in real life. See if the item pulls or sags during everyday movements.

4. Layer it Up! If you plan to wear the items with layers, find something to help you see how it fits layered. If you plan to wear something under it, give yourself some more room. Oh and try shoes on with pants and shorts to see how they fall lengthwise with the shoes you will most likely be wearing with them.

5. Think Convertible! Don't give up if that chevron patterned dress you love is a tad bit short for everyday wear, see if it can double as a shirt that can be bloused or tucked in. If pants fit you in the waist but are too short, roll them up and wear them as crops or hide the length in knee high boots!

I kept all of these things in mind during my recent H&M shopping trip which I mentioned yesterday and here's a sample of what I got:

  • Lace Dress - Size Small (doubles as a shirt - bonus!)
  • Leopard skirt - Size Small
  • Striped Skirt - Size 13-14 yrs - Little Girls (I always seem to find a treasure in the kids section!)
  • Yellow Shorts & Plaid Shorts - Size 10 (buying these a few sizes bigger allows me to wear them lower on my hips and adds a bit of length so they hit my legs at a more flattering point)
  • Sequin Sweater - Size Small
  • Belts - 2 medium, 1 small (mediums are braided belts so you can really wear them any size)
In summary, I bought a few things my regular size, two things 6 sizes LARGER than that what I normally wear and one item cut for a little kid. All I had to do was try things on and buy what fit my body. I am not ashamed that the shorts I bought were much bigger than the jeans I usually wear, I love them because they fit me right - and that is all that matters!

What are your thoughts on sizes & sizing strategies? If you could re-do the whole sizing system, how would you do it?


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xo, jill

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