One Size Fits No One
It was March of 2015 and I was feeling pumped about the direction of my business. My son was young but I was feeling motivated and ready to continue to spread the word about all I had to offer. I had heard from a fellow entrepreneur that she started to write for the Huffington Post. Well that was all I needed to hear!
“How?!” I said. I NEEDED to know. “Well, I just emailed Arianna Huffington and asked.” “Ummm excuse me?!?! You did WHAT?! You just asked her? Can you even do that?” “Yes” she said. “I did. What do you have to lose?!”
So I did it. I emailed Arianna Huffington and asked her if I could write about my experience as a personal stylist and a mom and share style tips with a body positive and self love message and to my surprise, she agreed. This was a very exciting step for me in my business at the time because it was validation and exposure that I hadn’t previously had. Also, it taught me that there is never any harm in asking. I’ve applied this idea several times in my business since then, and I firmly believe it’s not only why I was able to create and publish my book, but why I’ve been featured on so many guest blogs and podcasts, or have had events at stores such as J Crew. For me, it all comes down to not being afraid to ask.
One of the articles I wrote really resonated with people so much that still, 3 years later people mention it to me. One Size Fits No One is an article about how there is no standardized clothing rules in the United States so the store/designer can choose how they would like to size their clothes. That means that you could be a 6 in one store and a 12 in another. I also discuss how because of this arbitrary number, we as women can beat ourselves up and attach ourselves to the number on the tag that no one else is seeing. Because this article was so well received, and because we’ve been talking so much lately about how to change our mindset around what makes us feel great in our clothes, I wanted to dust off this article and share it again below. Hope you enjoy it!
As a personal stylist, mommy, and wife, I’m rarely in a clothing store by myself. Last Sunday, I treated myself to a trip to my favorite store, stoked about getting some new dresses for Spring. My eyes caught a fantastic little black dress that I LOVED, but when I browsed the sizes, I wasn’t sure what my size was.
Now, you might be thinking, “Why would a stylist, who is in stores all the time, not know her size?”
Here is the deal: It’s precisely because I’m always in stores and working with women in (countless) dressing rooms that I have realized it’s necessary to try on a lot of different sizes. Sizing is completely different depending on the store and the designer.
Let’s repeat that for a little more oomph: Sizing is completely different depending on the store and the designer.
I mean it! No one can ever just be a Size 8 everywhere they go. A Size 8 in one store is a Size 6 in another. High-end designers usually size down, so a woman with a 27’’ waist would be a Size 8, while that same tiny waist would be a 0 in a less high-end store.
There is also something called “vanity sizing” that adds to this ever-changing number on the tag. Clothing sizes are not standardized in the United States, therefore stores are free to choose the size that they want, based on what they think will make their client feel the best.
Why are we so attached to that little number? When I am shopping with a client, it’s always a goal of mine to make them see that going a size up (if that’s what the garment calls for) will not only make them look thinner and feel more comfortable, but also that it doesn’t necessarily mean their body has changed at all.
Whatever size you are in any particular piece of clothing, that’s the size you are in that one store ONLY. Let’s let this soak in and realize that if we are a bigger size in one store, that it does mean ANYTHING about us. Instead, it’s about reframing our outlook. If you go into a dressing room with the mentality that you might need to go a size up or down, instead of saying “I’m a size 6,” your shopping experience will be much more pleasurable.
Another reason we may have to change sizes is depending on the ‘wear’ of the item. For example, some jeans have a lot of stretch in them. If you’ve ever bought a pair of legging jeans, you’ll notice that after a few wears, they usually stretch. Since I know this fact, I tend to buy them a little snug, knowing they will conform and stretch pretty quickly.
I want you to know that even if your body has changed, that doesn’t mean anything negative about you. We are so used to bashing ourselves when we try on a piece of clothing that isn’t the size we’ve decided we are in our head. I want you to try to remember the next time you are in the dressing room that going a size up literally means nothing about your body, and everything about a decision the store made. You are beautiful and a number on a tag shouldn’t change how you feel about yourself. Try not to take it to heart and don’t read into it. Trust that you are where you need to be, and if an item of clothes doesn’t look good on you, or you need to change sizes that only good can come from it.
Oh, and just in case we’ve forgotten, here is a little reminder: No one sees that insignificant tag but you.