Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Does Size Matter?

After years of reading it, and even reciting it as a sales associate at a clothing store, a little part of me remains unconvinced that size doesn't matter.

Clothing size, of course.

The topic came to my mind over lunch this weekend. I was sitting in a casual restaurant across from a 30-something couple with two young children. The littlest was probably no older than 2 and still in a stroller. Dad looked fine, but mom was squeezed into clothes that looked like they were pre-maternity.

She wasn't heavy-set, just looked like a woman who'd recently had a baby and hadn't yet dropped all the weight. I probably wouldn't have noticed her if not for her outfit: a boxy-yet-clingy floral shirt and flimsy gray cargo flood pants (the kind that look good on almost no one) that were clinging to her hips within an inch of their life.

Well, I really noticed when she turned around to wrangle the kids and flashed a foot's worth of her back, love handles spilling over her pants in full-glory.

Clothes are understandably not the first thing on a mother-of-two's mind. And I don't know anything else about this woman's life or budget. But what I do know is that this is a look I've seen before -- women of all shapes and sizes squeezing themselves into clothes that are too small. (I know oversized is also an issue, but that's a blog for another day...)

Sometimes clothes shrink in the dryer. Sometimes you gain weight. Sometimes your body changes along with hormonal changes, like after having a baby or hitting puberty. Sometimes your size doesn't change at all, but one company's "small" is another company's "large."

Size doesn't matter, it's what looks good! Whatever the reason, when you're poking through your closet or out shopping, you really shouldn't fall victim to thinking a lower number is better. Frankly, no one knows what size you wear unless she looks inside the label! So if you want a number to be concerned with, focus on reaching a healthy Body Mass Index. And leave the clothing to what fits and what flatters your body.

Next time I have the little size voice pop up in my head, I'm just going to try remembering how foolish I could look in overly tight clothes and how uncomfortable they would be...and find something in whatever my size is that day from that particular brand. :)

1 comment:

imee said...

omg, i see this happening all the time! I see young girls, who are probably no bigger than... oh i dunno, say a size 2? and why are they trying to squeeze into even smaller clothes? i swear, everyone feels like no matter how small they are, they MUST be smaller! personally, after battling with my weight so much, i finally just thought to myself that the size on the tag is just to differentiate how much fabric is used. and if i'm gonna pay for sumthin, then i better get a LOT of fabric for my money! LOL