Imagine that you are free on a Friday afternoon and decide to go shopping for a lil’ something to wear to the seasonal get together next weekend or that wedding you were invited to. All the styles you’ve admired in the magazines and on TV are in the stores and you can’t wait to try them on and take them home. Familiar with your size, you pick out your number or letter and try on the garments, but nothing seems to work. What’s wrong with me? You think, the clothes maybe got smaller or that extra piece of cake you had last week caught up with you. You begin to doubt your appearance and don’t take anything home at all. Has this happened to you before?
Trying on clothes can be an emotional and mentally draining experience for women mostly. As we transition from summer to autumn, our bodies may have changed over the past few months. The challenge that many women face is the trying on clothes portion of the shopping experience, plus the possibility of having to get (gulp) a larger size.
In my experience in retail, it’s not the best feeling having to ask the associate to get a bigger size than the item you brought in the dressing room. Most store dressing rooms don’t help either with their exaggerated mirrors and low quality lighting. I want to be the one to put a virtual arm around your shoulder and ask “who cares about the size?”
Let me tell you something about sizes. They lie, all of them. You can be an 8 somewhere and an extra large somewhere else; it’s all about perspective. I’m 5’6” and to a taller person I’m short, to a shorter person I am tall, does that change my height at all? No! Same thing with your size, ladies! In terms of perspective, the only one who sees the size number/label is you, that’s why tags are inside the clothes. Even in 2012 we can’t let the clothes wear us, but we wear the clothes.
My advice to you instead of looking at the sizes in disappointment is to find garments that fit and flatter your particular figure. Skinny jeans are not for everyone, mid/calf-length is not for all heights, and don’t get me started on material quality. Here are a few things to help you disregard size and still look fabulous:
1) Invest in good tailoring. Need something hemmed, let out or altered? There is nothing wrong with that. Most of the clothes that are on the racks are not going to fit people perfectly. We have a little more here and a little less there, so it’s a balancing act that can be arranged by a good tailor. This is the most effective on business suits and jeans, please tailor the jeans!
2) Embrace shapewear and proper undergarments. Celebrities lie to us all the time about what they’ve got on under those expensive clothes. You’d look like a million dollars too if you looked smoothed out and in shape, which is where the shapewear comes in. It’s not to replace proper diet and exercise, but to make your look more put together like putting on natural makeup. Invest in quality underwear that supports your chest and does not show panty lines in your favorite skirts and dresses.
3) Layers! If you don’t like a certain part of your body or are still working on those problem areas, you can cover up now that it’s getting colder out. Don’t layer to take away the shape (always want to cinch the waist with an appropriate belt or accessory) and do wear patterns and colors that help your figure more than hurt it. Have fun with sweaters, cardigans, jackets/blazers, and scarves.
Don’t make yourself look like a hot mess just so you can claim a size smaller than you really are at this time. Get that larger size and look fit and flattered. Remember it’s not about what number you are but how you feel in these clothes, so feel like a “10” if you are a size 0, 24 or anywhere in between.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Tatianah Green is a fashion and lifestyle journalist living in Chicago. You can catch up with her on Twitter at @TforTrendsetta