Wednesday, May 30, 2007

What Size Is that Number?

(from little m. . . or "big m," as I like to call her and now feel incredibly righteous in doing so after reading this post) ; )

Irene is a family friend, surrogate mom crossed with fairy godmom.

When I was 10 or 11, with what I felt was a cereal box for a figure, no one in my family wanted to take me shopping for school clothes because they could gamble and win on the odds I would come home howling, in tears, with nothing to wear.

Somehow Irene could take me out and we would find something that not only would my family not die of shame to see me in, but that I actually liked! and could wear to school without fear of violating a public decency law.

Irene is like Donna Karan or Elena Miro, or Chanel (I don’t mean the designs, awesome though they are. I mean the people themselves)--she will be hip to death forever.

She recently ordered this amazing leather coat in a size she no longer wears (her closets are full of suits in that size, and they haven’t fit in years).

So she had to go to all the trouble of dragging it to the post office, sending it back, and ordering it in the size she is now – which of course both fit and looked SMASHING.

I’ve done it. You know you’ve done it.

In the age of the vanity size--and as savvy and sharp as we are about other things in our lives--WHY do we still cling to the number? Why don’t we just cut the size tag number out and get on with the business of looking--and being--fabulous?

12 comments:

Anonymous said...

"Why don’t we just cut the size tag number out and get on with the business of looking--and being--fabulous?"
Beats me. I have sizes 6 through 12 in my closet, so I have no idea, nor do I care, what is my "real" size. I don't think there is one.

newbie said...

Why would we need to cut out the size tag?

(I do cut most of my tags out, but that's because they scratch my neck.)

And actually, I do tend to avoid trying on my correct size -- but that's because things that fit in the torso usually have shoulders that are cut too large, which makes for a dumpy look, so I look for things in my old size that are cut fuller in the bust and torso. (This is a pain, though. When I can find time, I sew my own clothes, to get the fit I like.)

newbie said...

P.S. I didn't mean to sound critical of your excellent point -- I fully agree that what matters is how our clothes serve us, instead of our being servants to our clothes. I just would like to go so far down that path that I also genuinely don't care what the tag says.

Icie said...

I am the same in not knowing what my real size is. I'm about 5'3 and 118 pounds, and I've been anywhere from a 0-6 in pants, 2-10 in dresses, small-large in shirts. Clothing sizes barely mean anything to me anymore... I worry more about what I look like to me, not about how my clothing size determines me.

XXLA said...

I have anywhere from size 20 to 24 that fit wonderfully and I've realized to just forget about that number and focus on my measurements... When looking at a size chart, I always just look at the measurements first and then find what size I am. If I'm not on there, I look at the biggest size and see if it looks reasonable, but I won't be miserable to just go a size smaller. It's pointless, and I'm glad I've realized this at 18 ^_^

Charlynn said...

It's a pride/achievement thing, I think. We cling to that small size as if we always wore it, always will, and always should. Nevermind that bodies change over time.

Anonymous said...

The funny thing about "clinging" to an old size is that it is, in fact, meaningless. What is now a size 8 was a 12 twenty years ago. So if you wear an 8 today and wore one 20 years ago, guess what? You've gone up two sizes. If you wear an 8 in the U.S., you wear a 10 or 12 in the UK, and a 38 to 42 in Europe. But anyway, who cares what the number is, it's how well the clothes fit. That's what people see, if you care what people see- not the size tag inside the garment.

Sarah said...

I'm not so much about the sizes as about the scale. It seems like sizes can really vary from brand to brand, but my scale -- with whom I have a love hate relationship -- is really my guide.

Heidi said...

Do you remember when Levis Jeans had the size # on the patch in back..I always wanted a pair but to embarrased to have everyone see my size when I was younger.

Lolita said...

Not every woman has an eating disorder - check out my website to see why you need to put down those forks and get on the treadmill.

Morgan said...

Lolita, you certainly don't need a treadmill, that's true. A lobotomy might serve you better. Good luck with that.

Emi said...

Okay, I don't want to upset anyone, but this size game is frustrating to me for the opposite reason. It's real hard for me to find anything at all in my size (I'm short and recovering from anorexia), and a lot of times the clerks just point me to the kids department. I'm 27! So I agree. No more numbers or code letters or anything else. Or maybe just some numbers for bust, waist, and hips (or whatever else). That seems to work for men.