Monday, September 12, 2011

Why I Don't Let Sizes Bother Me Anymore

I'll be the first to admit that when you are overweight and then start losing weight, being able to fit into smaller sizes is a HUGE deal.  And very exciting.  Absolutely nothing wrong with that.  I wrote many times about my shopping trips and the thrill in the dressing room when I realized I was fitting into the next smaller sizes.  And then, to go from the plus-sizes to the regular sizes?  Woohoo!  Being able to shop at regular stores?  Not enough superlatives to describe that feeling!  I carried that excitement with me for a long time.

I am a size medium in tops, pretty consistently.  Except when I'm not.  Sometimes I'm a small (whee!).  Sometimes I'm a large (ack!).  Sometimes I was an extra large (oh hell no!) and I refused to buy the top, on the grounds that I AM NOT A SIZE EXTRA LARGE.  I know, real mature of me.  But hey - you try escaping nearly two decades of living in the world of Lane Bryant and then be told by some stupid piece of clothing that you are a size XL?  No.  Paraphrasing the words of King Henry VIII, "I like it NOT!"

Here's some examples of my tops, all different sizes, and all fit me:
I know I said I'd never buy an XL now, but guess what?  The shirt fit and I didn't care what letters were sewn onto the tag!

Seriously, there is something wrong with clothing manufacturers.  These are all from the women's department, and except for the maroon (Aggie) t-shirt, which could be made more for the skinny college girls, the cuts should all be the same.

Except for either having to bring a couple of different sizes with me into the dressing room, this is not a big deal anymore.  As I'm getting more time with being "normal-sized" under my belt, I'm finally able to let go of being any specific size.  Because finally, the sizes don't define me.  And I know that they never did, but in my reality, that was a big thing...both the size 24 and the size 6.
Wearing all four sizes.  Also?  You think maybe I could come up with a different pose?

I am not a size.  I am a person who is trying to make peace with her body...and I'm getting there.


  1. If you don't like the size on the label, do something about it!
    Rip it out!

  2. I've never bothered about sizes in my clothes. What's important is that it fits although I have a parcitular number in my mind that I don't want to wear. As soon as I need to buy that (which is XL European sizes) I know I have to do something.

    The clothes from H&M never fit me, I have to go to the large women department for something that fits but the clothes there aren't as nice and cheap as the regular clothes so I never buy there unless there's the rare exception a L size fits me from the regular clothing.

    You're right: we are not about sizes, we are women of all forms of shape.

  3. You GO, Shelley!

    I have tops in every size too, even when I am the same size. The sizing is so uneven I can't get upset about it.

  4. Thank you for being you and inspiring me in my low low moments (and the highs too)

  5. It would be nice if we could pick up a size and know that it would fit but I always carry two sizes into the dressing room and sometimes three. I also know I could be a teeny weeny size if I went for the expensive stuff. Nah.

  6. The only gripe I have left is this: how come men - most of whom don't even CARE - get to have consistent sizing and we can't?! Mr. Helen wears size 33 slacks. I can buy him a 33 and they will fit every single time. How come we can't get that same consistency?

  7. It would be great if we had consistent sizing but I usually buy my clothes from the same companies and know what ones to avoid. My dream is to fly to Thailand and have a whole wardrobe custom made for me to my exact body measurements. That would be AWESOME! Maybe for my birthday :-)

  8. You look beautiful Shelley! And I agree - size doesn't matter. Right now I have 3 different pairs of khaki (sp?) pants - one is an 8, one is a 10 and one is a 12, and they all fit the same.

    Although I'd like to say that everything I wear is an 8 - hee hee!

    Have a great day!

  9. "I am not a size" - LOVE.

    I do get annoyed that I have to try everything on though, until I figure out what size I am in all my favorite brands.

  10. GOO-OOOOD! One of my pet peeves is when I see/hear someone say "I will be happy when I fit into size __ jeans. Really? Your happiness is dependent on an arbitrary number decided on by a group of strangers?

    That said, I sure could relate to the thrill that you described in the first few paragraphs.

    Sometimes I wonder when a size small fits me, if the manufacturers intended it to be 'oversized' on someone. No matter though. If I think it looks good on me, that's all that matters.

  11. "I am not a size!" A sentence I will be repeating over and over to myself in the next few months :) Thanks for the awesome inspiring post!

  12. I love this post Shelley! I am right where you were now. I am obsessed by the smaller sizes. I love that I can wear a size Large shirt now. I have been in the plus size section or stores for so long that I am overjoyed by the selection of stores that I can now shop in. There is something so wrong about being "extra large" or even "extra, extra large". Seriously? That being said, sometimes the XL shirts fit me better than the larges so if the shirt fits and you love gotta buy it! I really like your last statement too. You rock!

  13. Again you write, and I relate! Just last week I refused to buy a top because it was an XL and I am wearing larges and mediums ;-) (Never mind that I am having my final boobs installed in 2 weeks and heaven knows what size top I will be afterward.)

    It isn't about the scale or the size. It is about health. But oh my! How I rejoiced when Lane Bryant and Catherines and Junonia and CJ Banks and Macy's "women's" section got left behind!

  14. I say that about numbers on the scale...
    Size, too! That about sizes it up!

    Sorry - first grade humor- couldn't hardly resist!
    Autumn is coming and I'm getting all happy and giddy inside!

    PS - you look great!

  15. Lately, the "Plus-size" stores have started carrying a new size: 0X.

    In a previous existence, this was a size 16, but apparently the stores think this will sound more appealing to people. Who're they kidding?

  16. Actually you are a size. Size Shelley!

    I have 8,10,and 12s and can get into all of them, but the 12s seems the tightest. WTF is up with that??

  17. You are right on. I was hung up on both size & weight but trying hard to let it go. I'm not a number.

  18. Love love love!

    I, too, have several sizes in my closet and they ALL fit. I remember when I was so ashamed of my size that I'd cut the tags out. And I can also very much relate to being elated as I started getting smaller and didn't have to shop in the plus-size stores/departments. In fact, I have a vivid memory that will stay will me: I went to Lord & Taylor and realized that I was no longer a plus size...and I rode that escalator up to the "regular" department. I felt both exhilarated and like a fraud...I thought people would turn and stare and point and say, "you don't belong here." Of course that didn't happen...

    Anyway, great post!

  19. I love this post - both the sentiment behind it and getting to see the photo examples.

  20. I'm still hung up on sizes. I think I should be wearing an xxxxxxxllllll but then I fit into something a bit smaller. It's good not to be so hung up on any one thing. (food, booze, weight, money, boys, life)

  21. I try not to let the number on the tag dictate how I feel but I can't help feeling giddy at the thought of my butt insingle digit sizes.

    It would be so much easier if there were some standards for sizing. I'm a small, medium, large, extra large, 4, 6, 8 and 10 depending on style and design. That's quite a big range.

    Love your pose ;)

  22. Aren't you done with that cute top with the Bleu label yet? haha I want that one when you are done with it. :)jk

    Oh yes, given where I am in my journey if a size label offends me, I just might not buy it. But perhaps if I was maintaining like YOU, I could handle it better. I'm looking fwd to not being able to buy ANYthing in the women's dept. Some parts of me have moved on... Bhahha.
    Be well.

  23. Great post, Shelley. :)

    By the way, youlook terrific in maroon!

    I love that I can't shop at Lane Bryant anymore. Well, I'm sure I could find something I could wear but I prefer to say I can't. LOL

  24. a number is just a number you are so right! This is a great post Shelley. I use to always be stuck on numbers until I realized that I may be able to "squeeze" into a certain number but it's all the "falling out" that made me feel worse about myself.
    I am not longer caught up with a number or size either, I buy things that flatter my body type.
    Loved all your pictures you look great!

  25. That is such a wonderful thought, "I am not a size, I am a person."

    Thank you.

  26. Isn't that Biz a great gal? I am happy to meet you! I love this post - size can be such an issue. I have been trying to get over it too - trying not to attach my worth to what size my pants are. My tops can range in size like yours, but that doesn't bother me as much as what size my butt is wearing! I love those tops, by the way. And the pose in the top right picture is clearly more sassy - so not the same pose at all!

  27. Hi Shelley...omg, you are soooo right. Sizes are so wonky!!! I like your sassy pose!!! I remember when I shopped for my wedding dress a few years ago, I was HORRIFIED that the sizes for those are 2 higher than normal. Doesn't make one feel good at all. However, now I know it's just a number!!! Love this post, have a wonderful Wed.

  28. Shelly I LOVED this post. Thanks for the reminder. I have never been a medium yet. It's ok, too.

    My lady that I work for is a size 18. She is 78. She refuses to get rid of her size 12s. I told her to kiss them good bye. She will probably never see that size again. And who cares?! She is 78 for heavens sake. Who cares what size you wear. She's alive!

    I should take my advice, and yours.

    Cute pose :)

  29. I keep trying to get to the point that I feel that way. I'm working on it. Great post!

  30. Exactly, why should you hold yourself responsible for the fact that clothing manufacturers can't get sizing right and don't care to try?


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