Working in retail for a long time now I have handled many different styles of clothes and I have helped to nurture the confidence of many different women. The one thing – and I include myself in this – that most of these women had in common was there “number”…
Whether we blame it on THE media…your media, your mum, dad, mean girl at school that left her mark, we are all aware of our body type and size, the things we don’t like and the hangups we carry around with us, including that magic number that we often hold onto no matter what. On top of the emotions linked to our size, the labyrynth of womenswear sizes on the high street leading us down our own yellow brick road of trials and mistakes doesn’t help us in the slightest.
I have adivsed so many women that fit is a far better guide when choosing an item than a printed label can ever be, but it’s hard you know?! It’s so hard to let go of the size you think you ‘should’ or worse ‘could’ be. Even though we all know that every store and every brand sizes differently, it can be really tough to accept that we may be two or more sizes bigger than we usually are.
When I go thrifting, I am exposed to such a random range of items with all manner of sizes. Vintage sizing is in general cut much smaller than our current ready to wear styles of fast fashion, which has made me reasses sizing completely and has definitely made me far less precious about what size I think I am. The benefit of being exposed to all these exciting and varied treasures has been that when I see something I love, I grab it, no matter what the label tells me.
I have very limited dressmaking skills (see NONE) but I know that I can try and take a treasured find in or up, I can see the potential in items and how they could work differently if belted or layered and it opens up a world of new styling possibilites. The dress I am wearing in these pictures is a size 16. I am usually a 10-12, but it is an amazing silk mix, heavy weighted with amazing monochrome print, I loved the potential it had.
Knowing that with a few tweaks and some key accessories you can turn something into an amazing individual outfit makes me so excited! It also gives some respite from seeking trends in high street stores, with it’s traditonal sizing which can make you feel flat and uninspired. Wherever you shop, take a risk, try sizing up, try shopping in the mens or childrens departments, don’t focus on being a “perfect 8,10,12…” focus on being so excited and comfortable in what you choose to wear each day that it lifts you up, so there is no number to hold you back.
Stares off dreamily into the distance trying to remember the last time she was a size 8……
(also avoiding the mountain of paperwork behind her..bleurgh)