Tuesday, 15 January 2008

Sizing Up The Numbers

At the moment, my life seems to be controlled by numbers - the ones showing on my bank statement, the ones I'm trying to balance for work, the ones that appear on the label of my clothes.

Obviously, they're the most difficult ones to deal with.

Clothes sizing is one of the great unsolved mysteries of our times. Random numbers that hold such power over women that they can cause seemingly rational types to burst into tears and embark on such crazy antics as crash diets and squeezing themselves into clothes that are far too small for them. Surely we are sensible enough to know that clothes sizes mean nothing? No, apparently we're not.

The sizings used for clothes are based on measurements first drawn up in the 1950s. Just looking at clothes from that era, never mind the plethora of research, shows that the average body shape and size has changed. Women are taller, have bigger breasts and bigger waists.

Add to that the fact that although the British Standards Institution has set measurements, there are allowances so one retailer could measure at the generous end of a size while another chooses to measure at the smallest end. Hence the never ending fun that is being a comfortable 8 at M&S but a tight 12 at Topshop. Most women know this so why is it still so painful to buy a pair of trousers that fit perfectly but have a number larger than your desired ideal?

Women, we should cast aside the shackles of random numbers. Sizing is in effect nothing but a number. So what if the digits on the label are higher than you'd like? Do the clothes fit? Then that should be all that matters. If it bothers you that much, cut the label out when you get home. There is no look of contempt from anyone if your clothes fit. The contempt comes when you persist in squeezing yourself into a size 10 because that's what you think is a good size. Even if you are blind to the muffin top, the back tits, the rolls of flesh straining against the fabric, we are not and do you know what? It sure ain't pretty to look at.

Take time out to try things on. Even in the same shop, sizes are different on different garments. If we all took a little more care in choosing clothes that actually fit and flatter our shapes then the world would be a much more aesthetically happier place. Not to mention the self-confidence that comes from knowing that today, you look damn hot!


Windy City Native said...

Great point! I remember seeing a post on tibu about it too. Something about how women's sizes have nothing to do with reality. Men's sizes measure circumference of the neck, or inseam, or something tangible, but women's clothes have no real world equivalent.