Does size matter?

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It’s the age-old question, and I’m not talking about what you think. Clothing size is intimately linked to most women’s self esteem. Clothing manufacturers figured this out years ago with the invention of sizes 0-6, which didn’t exist in the 70s when I was in high school. What this did was allow sizes 8-12 to become larger without the number going along for the ride.

Consider this. A 1960s size 14 would be a size 8 today. Anyone today who tries to purchase a wedding dress or vintage clothing takes a huge hit to the ego, has to swallow her pride, and slide into a dress that is numerically several sizes larger than she’s used to.

Chico’s clothing store in the US has tried to combat the size-self esteem issue by creating its own sizing system: 0, 1, 2, 3. However, if you’re in store and don’t know what to do, the sales associates often have to relate Chico’s sizes to common sizes found in other clothing stores. I do have to give them props for their valiant attempt to save our delicate psyches.

In my life, I was a size 10 in high school (1970s), a size 0-2 in my mid thirties (1990s) and I have been as high as a size 12…. 14 in some designers like Burberry. I have been an XS, S, M, and L. And, these days, I’m often a combination of several sizes depending on the lines of clothing.

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This confusion – combined with our aversion to buying larger sizes – results in many women walking around in ill-fitting, too-tight clothing. And nothing looks worse. So here’s some advice: try everything on and only purchase clothes in the best size for your body. Find a tailor and have clothes adjusted to fit your figure.

Remember – you don’t wear the size number on the outside, so steel yourself to buy the right size…. then cut the tag off.

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