Size Doesn’t Matter

Yes, a cheeky title!  But no, I’m not talking about man parts.

I am talking about clothing size!

So
much emphasis is put on the number or letter inside a clothing label,
but I’m here to tell you today that SIZE DOESN’T MATTER!!

Case in point?

Sweater:  New York & Company (May be available in stores)

The sweater I’m wearing today is a recent purchase from New  York & Company.  It is made to have a big, oversized fit.  The one I’m wearing has the intended loose fit. 

You know what size is on the label?  It’s an XS/S!!

Tank:  The Limited (Available here)

Now, I haven’t been either of those sizes in a long time, and yet, this sweater fits, and I was drowning in the larger sizes.

Women’s clothing often has no sizing consistency, even within the same retailer.  For example, I have had to purchase jackets in an 18 Petite from this same store, though that is bigger than my typical jacket size at other retailers.

Pants:  The Limited

The number or letter you see on the tag has very little meaning in even accurately depicting our size, so why do we so often use this arbitrary figure to determine our self-worth?

The fact is – WE SHOULDN’T!!!  We are no less valuable if we are an XS or a XXXL, a size 2 or 22.  I’m the same person wearing an XS sweater as I am wearing my normal size XL.

Shoes:  Target (old)

Another aspect in which size doesn’t matter?

The issue of fit and flattery.

Being petite and being curvy, we’re often told by the “experts” to belt everything and to keep clothing close-fitting but not tight.  Oversized clothing like this sweater are heavily discouraged.  On the flip side, there seems to be a trend towards wearing tight, body-conscious clothing among fatshionistas who have rightfully rejected the message that they must hide their bodies in shame.

I’m not a fan of overly body-conscious clothing for myself – I’m not hiding, it’s just not my personal taste.  I also don’t feel the need to define my waist in everything I wear.

Cuff:  The Limited
Rings:  Torrid (Available here and here)

And, if following that advice of “experts” all the time means missing out on drapey tops and oversized sweaters like this one, then I am happily a RULE-BREAKER!!

Personal style is all about wearing what we want, participating in trends or fashion for personal enjoyment.  I’m not about to let someone else tell me how to do this!

Necklace:  Target
Clutch:  The Limited

When it comes to fashion, size doesn’t matter.  Wear what YOU want when you want, and don’t let the label or someone else’s rules decide what you like.  Make your own rules, or better yet, enjoy a little fashion anarchy!  😉

For more on the arbitrariness of sizing, check out this piece on vanity sizing by J.Crew.

For the tank in another look, see here.
For the pants in other looks, see here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, and here.

P.S.  I realize my perspective has changed a bit in the last two years!  I wrote on the topic of wearing oversized clothing back in 2012, and my focus was much more on figure flattery.  I still love the pants and shoes though!  😉

Author: Cassie

I’m the owner/publisher of Style Cassentials, a curvy and petite gal OBSESSED with fashion and strong believer in making clothes work for YOU! I love sharing advice on all things fashion, especially shopping and fit tips!

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18 Comments

  1. Lookin' good, m'dear! And I agree with everything you say. Took me too many years to learn this. Everyone should wear what you're comfortable in. What started turning me around was something I heard a very wise woman say. She was lecturing on image and said something like, "They say don't wear horizontal stripes if you're large. Well. . . horizontal stripes add 5 pounds to your appearance. If you weigh 300 pounds, do you think anyone is going to notice that you LOOK 305? If you like them wear them!!!" And I do. 😉

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  2. So much this! I wear anywhere from a 14 (some Target capri's), to a 20 in some jeans (from a plus-size site, no less). I was always pretty average until 10 years ago when I put on a lot of weight. So I've never taken the size on the label too seriously. It mainly makes me angry because it's so hard to try on all the sizes to figure out what fits! It's a waste of my time.
    As for vanity sizing, the following is pretty funny. A close friend of 20 years is very small…. she's my height (5' 2"), and tiny. In the past 10 years due to vanity sizing, she can no longer wear any straight sizes in most brands…. what used to be a 4 is now a zero, and what used to be a 2 (her former size) is now non-existent (she has to get her suits custom made). I don't fit into straight sizes anymore, mostly. So we always say "WHO IS WEARING ALL THESE CLOTHES IF NEITHER OF US CAN WEAR THEM?". If she's too small, and I'm too big, and honestly we are just normal women, who are clothing mfgr's making clothes for?!

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  3. Someone finally said it! You hit the nail on the head with this post. I think a lot of it has to do with self worth and self confidence. I used to worry about the number in a dress or that letter in a blouse and honestly sometimes I still do. At times it has a lot to do with my self worth because I tend to think that I'm so fat or my shape is so hideous (in something that doesn't even flatter my body type to begin with) that I need to lose a gazillion pounds to look better in a particular style dress or that because I know I wasn't always this size, I'm ashamed of how I let myself go. But most times I could give a rat's arse because honey, I'm fabulous and some days I fit other sizes because of the cut and make and bam, sexy's back…although it never went away.

    Thanks for sharing this post. It was a real insight and definitely reminded me to stop worrying so much about the number in the clothing and dress fabulously… And for me.

    xo
    Eesh | The Other Side of Paradise

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    • Thanks for your comments Eesh. Confidence can be hard to come by, but certainly the sizes of clothes shouldn't play a role. They are so inconsistent that they are almost meaningless!

      And yes, you are fabulous! 🙂

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  4. I agree with the whole post and everything that you said. I've recently been starting to go into stores and trying clothes that aren't my size because I myself realized that I shouldn't confine myself to a certain numbers because yes size doesn't matter. I know it did used to get to me but sizing is so inconsistent that I know I shouldn't care about the size or number on the label. I have recently stop caring about the flattering part of clothes because I think if you like it just wear it and don't really care. But yeah on another note your outfit is super cute. 🙂

    Nina

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  5. Thanks Carla, and definitely agree about the five extra pounds thing! LOL No one is going to every mistake me for being tall or being skinny. Why not wear what I want?

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  6. The funny thing, many women have made comments to me like "it always feels good to go down a size at a store" or been told by people that they won't shop at certain stores because they have to go up in size. I just don't understand who's being fooled here. Like you, I don't feel good because I'm wearing a XS/S here. I feel annoyed that the sizing is so inconsistent and happy that I tried this in store rather than on-line where I would have went with a larger size. The size on this sweater gives me no delusuions! Likewise, having to up in size on occasion doesn't make me feel worse about my body.

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  7. When I was at my thinnest, a healthy 97 pounds for my 4'9" frame (and a more muscular build at the time), I was wearing size 0's in juniors. I can't imagine what someone who was underweight would have done in this case, and vanity sizing has only gotten worse in the last 10 years.

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  8. My friend isn't underweight, her skeletal system is just tiny. She looks perfectly proportioned with hips and a butt and everything…. everything about her is just….SMALL.
    It just so weird about vanity sizing in the small end, and large sizes have seemingly gotten smaller too…. what used to be an XL at Target is now a 3X (no joke, my friend and I measured a Target sweatshirt from 10 years ago and compared it to a recently purchased sweatshirt that was the same dimensions). Shouldn't vanity sizing happen at the larger end too? Like a 2X should now be an L.

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    • Oh, I hope I didn't imply that your friend was underweight! I just meant that even at a normal weight with a muscular build, I was in a size zero. Had I been underweight, I would have had nothing to wear! Children's clothing was too big in the waist and sometimes too small in the hips

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  9. I agree Nina. If you like it, wear it. Don't worry about flattering for your size, or the number. Just rock it out! I love your style (I've checked out your blog a few times).

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  10. Yes, personal style is just that–personal. And I agree that clothing sizes don't really matter because they are completely inconsistent. But I wish they weren't because it gets really annoying when I buy "my size" and then I try it on and it's way too small or way too big. What a headache! 🙂

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  11. The oversized styling exercise can be a proportional disaster if done wrong. Since you're a petite, this can be especially challenging. I love the sweater the most out of all of the different pieces of this outfit. Wonderful style by you here.

    johnbmarine.blogspot.com

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  12. Thanks John! You're right – proportion matters when it comes to adding in oversized pieces. Keeping the pants slim helps balance everything.

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  13. The sweater looks great on you and although it is technically not a fitted piece it still fits you well and I think that's the key to its success along with pairing something less fitted with slim trousers or a monochromatic under layer. Like you, I am not really a fan of a belted waist and sure I want to look nice in my clothes but I don't think that always has to involve a figure hugging outfit or a belted waist.

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  14. Thanks Shawna!! I agree that proportion is important. I try to stick to one oversized piece in an outfit usually.

    And, I definitely don't think we need to completely show off our shapes to look nice in clothes!

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