does size really matter?

May 20, 2010 at 10:40 am 13 comments

Regular readers of this blog may have noticed that, in addition to telling you where I got something and sometimes how much it cost, I usually also try to include what size I’m wearing. Perhaps some of you like that aspect (my roommate, for one, told me she likes it), while others may be wondering, “What’s up with that? Why does she do that?”

You might also think, since I make a point to try to include sizes, that size is obviously really important – when in fact my inclusion of it is actually to prove just the opposite (sort of). Let me explain.

If there’s one thing I have learned from Stacy and Clinton, it’s that fit – and dressing your body for the size you are now, not the size you used to be or the size you wish you were – is very important. But I personally don’t think size – the number itself – is worth a rat’s ass. And I think far too many people, women especially, place huge importance on it and thus place some kind of strange pressure on themselves to fit into X size and meet X standard of beauty.

I am 5’8″, 160 lbs. I have clothes ranging from size 4 to size 15! Sizes S to XL. Am I bragging in any way? Not at all. Am I embarrassed or ashamed? Far from it. And I include sizes for two reasons:

1. To share how sizes run, whether big or small (because every brand/line/style is different)


2. To show that size really is just a number (or a letter); it’s all about how it fits.

If you’ve put on a few pounds or slacked on your diet & exercise and maybe your clothes aren’t fitting the way you prefer, invest in some new ones to tide you over while you work on yourself and your goals. There is nothing sadder than people in ill-fitting clothing – too-tight jeans, stomach hanging out, etc. It makes me think that they’re in denial or just plain don’t value themselves. Don’t be one of those people who puts themselves at the bottom of the list.

The same is true for people who have lost a lot of weight but are still wearing their “fat clothes.” This has come up many a time on What Not to Wear – women who have achieved truly impressive goals but still want to lose more, have plateaued but are not at their ideal target weight. So instead of buying new clothes to fit their newly smaller bodies, they continue wearing things too big, too loose, too ugly and unflattering. They’re hiding in them because they still see themselves as the person – and the size – they were instead of the person who has worked really hard to accomplish something for their physical and mental health. And that is doing oneself a great disservice.

Be fair to yourselves! Be kind to yourselves and your bodies! If something is too small, go up a size. It’s not the end of the world! Who even sees it? And moreover, who cares?

Would I like – to paraphrase Bridget Jones’s Diary – to be thinner, with slightly bigger breasts or slightly smaller nose? Well, sure! We are our own harshest critics and all have stuff about ourselves we’d like to change. But loving yourself just as you are is a pretty great feeling.


Entry filed under: Blog Notes, Cara's Guide to..., PSA.

a lady & a gentleman fossil necklace

13 Comments Add your own

  • 1. browneheather  |  May 20, 2010 at 11:06 am

    i love this post. we are almost the same height and weight and don’t look all that much alike. i shop at a lot of the same places you do and i too have the same sizes running all over the gamut and sincerely appreciate you being so forthright with your sizes because you look effing great. you’re gorgeous! i love the line, “Be kind to yourselves and your bodies!”
    an excellent, excellent motto. agreed. you rock.

    • 2. Cara  |  May 20, 2010 at 7:14 pm

      Thank you so much for all you said in this comment! I’m glad this post is getting such positive feedback. :)

  • 3. Jessica  |  May 20, 2010 at 11:29 am

    I’ve noticed the trend of bigger clothes = smaller sizes these days. I agree people are too obsessed over the number on a tag. If you ever shop in vintage stores (or mom’s closet) the sizes are not the same! Makes me think of a male friend who was baffled by a womens size 0 (which should indicate nothing) unlike mens waist x length sizes (so much more direct). I learned a long time ago to know my measurements for online shopping (handy sizing guides) and to take a few sizes into the fitting room. I agree the fit is all that matters (like Stacy & Clinton have said, cut out the tag if it bothers you).

    • 4. Cara  |  May 20, 2010 at 7:16 pm

      Yes, definitely – I have a tape measure, which is my best friend for online shopping! I think a lot of people are still intimidated by / afraid of online shopping, but it’s not so hard!

  • 5. jenontheroad  |  May 20, 2010 at 12:12 pm


    Long-time reader here, NOT a first-time commenter. ;) However, this is the best entry I’ve read.

    Thank you for pointing out that when it comes to clothes, size is nothing but a number (I’m 5’2″, 120 lbs and also range from Small to Large in various brands & cuts / styles of clothes) AND that what really matters is being comfortable in your own skin!

    Thanks for posting!

    • 6. Cara  |  May 20, 2010 at 7:17 pm

      Oh, you are so sweet – thank you!

  • 7. JJ  |  May 20, 2010 at 12:37 pm

    BRAVO! My fav post yet!!

  • 8. Sarah  |  May 20, 2010 at 1:28 pm

    Cara, I couldn’t agree with you more.

    • 9. Cara  |  May 20, 2010 at 7:18 pm

      Glad to hear it! And I’m glad this seems to be resonating with so many people. :)

  • 10. Erinn  |  May 20, 2010 at 3:13 pm

    I concur with all of the above. It’s taken me a long time to accept the fact that size (and weight especially) isn’t everything. I too have everything from a size 6 to a 14 and S to XL. It all depends on brand, fit, etc. I’m around the same weight as you and 3 inches shorter, but often times, we’d be the same size. Unlike some people I know, I didn’t need to starve myself so I could fit into a size 4 wedding dress to say I could. Mine was a 14 and I don’t care. I may have to buy bigger pants once in a while, but I feel better about myself in them than I would in the smaller ones.

    • 11. Cara  |  May 20, 2010 at 7:20 pm

      Yes, yes, yes to all of this! This is exactly my point. :) And your last sentence is great advice/inspiration that I think a lot of people still would be better for realizing.

  • 12. Amy M.  |  May 20, 2010 at 6:28 pm

    I give this post an A+
    Amen. People shouldn’t care so much about numbers.cause they’re different in every store anyway.

    • 13. Cara  |  May 20, 2010 at 7:21 pm

      Thanks, missy! I just really don’t give a crap – then again, I’m a pretty open person about most everything… hehe!


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20-something Chicagoan, pop culture lover, and graduate of the Clinton Kelly School of Fashion, sharing & snarking on shoes, frocks, jackets, patterns, textures, trends, celebs & more


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