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Guest post by Alix from All Lady A.
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About the Author
Hi guys! Hope you’ve been enjoying the Fashion Self-Love Party so far!
I’m Alix, proud author of AllLadyA.com, and I’m here today guest posting about how the number on your label does not define you.
I’m quite excited as I am usually a beauty blogger, so this is my first dedicated ‘fashion’ post, and I chose my topic because it’s something I know we have all experienced and have found incredibly frustrating.
I hope you enjoy and don’t forget to subscribe so not to miss the rest of the Fashion Self-Love Party!
We are all too aware of the huge difference between the same sizes in varying stores.
All too often do we pick up one pair of jeans and venture to another store to find pretty much the same pair of jeans requires us to choose three sizes up so we can actually get the leg past our knees.
It’s not just in clothing either. Shoes vary in size and width from store to store, requiring two sizes up if you want high heels or having to opt for grossly mis-labeled “Wide Calf” boots because our legs aren’t three inches wide and the zip won’t pass our ankle.
I wish I could tell you why they do this. It seems to me that there must be some kind of universal size chart that we all could use, but I believe designers must randomly pick numbers for measurements out of a jar and only use materials that shrink after one wash.
It doesn’t help that size conversions are so drastically different either. You have European, UK, US and Asian sizes, all differing numbers and changing the way you feel about selecting an item of clothing.
For example, in the table above, a size 10 in the US is a size 14 in the UK but a size 48 in Russia.
But a size 28 in the UK is a size 28 in Russia, but a size 24 in the US.
And a size 50 in Italy is a size 14 in the US which is a size 19 in Japan.
Confused? Me too.
It doesn’t help that the conversions differ either. For example, in the table below, a US 4 is a UK 6 and a Japanese 7. But in the table above a US 4 is a UK 8 and a Japanese 9.
No wonder it’s so difficult to shop online.
To make matters worse, I also know of many people who have experienced the same drastic difference in sizes, in the same store, on the same item.
Primark is a good example where quality control is not paramount. I have a stock of string vest tops which I wear regularly under my clothes, all in the same size 14.
Not a single one of them is the same length or width, even those bought at exactly the same time.
I’ve also experienced this while purchasing jeans in Next, and it’s incredibly disheartening to find the perfect jeans you tried on and then swapped for the same in a slightly darker blue are actually an inch too short in the leg.
Whatever your size, all of this can take a huge toll on our self-esteem. While it’s important to remember is the number on the label is just that, it’s difficult to convince yourself it’s just there to help you find clothes that fit when they’re all so drastically different.
So what should you do when clothing sizes are getting you down?
For starters, do try to tell yourself that you are selecting a number on a label because it should be the right fit for you. While sizes do drastically differ across brands, there are still a few good eggs out there that stick to the general average measurements of a size.
If you regularly buy jeans from a particular store because they fit well, then keep buying them from that store. By all means, don’t limit yourself if you see another brand selling a pair you adore, but I find sticking to particular stores for the regular stuff really helps limit the size difference shock.
If you like to shop online (I mean, who doesn’t?) then look for reviews on items you like that will usually tell you if an item of clothing comes up too small or too large. Amazon has a brilliant little scoring system for their clothes sold online which allows you to pick a size based on how it comes up on others.
Look for stretch ANYTHING. My absolute favourite fabric at the moment is stretch denim. Not only does it mean I can usually get away with a size down and therefore less risk of differentiating sizes between brands, it’s so much more comfortable than regular denim to wear throughout the day.
And if you’re really struggling, just take a look at those charts again, or any others you can find online, and realise just how ridiculous the differences are.
Ultimately, remember that your size does not define you.
It has taken me a long time to come to terms with this and accept my body for what it is. After being a small UK 8 throughout my teens, I’m now averaging at a UK 14, and while I am not 100% comfortable in my body, I am getting used to selecting bigger sizes in shops instead of trying to squeeze myself into anything four sizes too small.
It would help people everywhere if brands came together to work to a more universal size guide (H&M, I’m looking at you) but we all know that’s very unlikely (still looking at you H&M..) and that some brands just don’t understand the impact their much-smaller-than-usual sizes can have on their customers self-esteem (literally glaring at you H&M..)
But, I’ve come to realise that it really is just a number on a bit of fabric that I think looks good on me, and it absolutely does not mean anything other than that.
The number on that label does not define you.
I hope you enjoy the rest of the Fashion Self Love Party! Huge thanks to Alissa for hosting and allowing me to guest blog.
You have been amazing and I have been Lady A.
Toodles for now!
Have you ever felt torn down by the number on a clothing label?
Is there anything you do to remind yourself that number doesn’t define you?
Tell us in the comments!