Size is just a number*

*Or several different numbers, as the case may be.

The sun has appeared in the sky today, for the first time in what seems like forever. This is very exciting news! Now, I know we’ve been allowed to go out for a little while now but, to be honest, most days, I haven’t really got anywhere to go. I’m happy pottering about at home most of the time, but not even being able to sit in the garden for most of the month of May has been pretty depressing, even by British standards. So, imagine my delight when Alexa informed me that it was going to be a balmy 17oC today! This did present me with a bit of a dilemma though, as I have *ahem* “outgrown” all of my summer trousers during lockdown and have been wearing stretchy joggers most days. Luckily, I had to pop to Morrisons to pick up some stamps so I grabbed a pair of navy blue linen trousers whilst I was there. When I got home I delved into my wardrobe for a top to go with them and this is where things got interesting (or ridiculous, depending in your point of view).

One outfit, three sizes.

I stood in front of the mirror and realised that the top I was wearing was a size 8 while the trousers I’d just bought were a size 16! A quick check of my crop top/ sports bra revealed that it was a size 20-22! How on Earth could size 22 boobs fit into a size 8 top? Because women’s clothes sizes make no sense, that’s why! When you check the size guide of any given brand (usually available on their websites – good luck finding one instore!) the measurements are given for the bust, waist and hips, so they know what the measurements of the garments are. Why can’t they put them on the labels? We all know which areas of are bodies can cause problems when clothes shopping. For me, it’s my waist as I put all my weight on round my middle. My life would be so much easier if I could reliably shop for jeans by waist size. My husband can. He can go online, filter by waist and inside leg and know that when the jeans arrive, they will fit him perfectly – regardless of where he buys them from. Why are women still put through the ordeal of taking off their perfectly fitting size 12 jeans to try on a different pair of size 12 jeans, only to find they can’t do them up? How difficult can it possibly be to put the measurements on the labels and let us make an informed decision instead of playing the shopping equivalent of Russian roulette every time we need to buy something? No wonder women spend so much longer trying on clothes than men! We have so much less information to go on!

If you find yourself worrying about the numbers on the labels inside your clothes, my advice to you is to just cut them out. Buy clothes that make you feel good and get rid of number that makes you feel bad. Or you could do what I do, and make some of your own clothes – no labels required! If you are trying to get fit or lose weight, I’m not saying you should stop. There are other far more important numbers to worry about though- how many flights of stairs can I manage now? How long did I manage to exercise for today? How many of my five-a-day did I eat? Try and improve those numbers and your health will improve too. By all means, keep track of your waist size if you want to. Waist size is an important indicator of potential risks to your health, after all. Just make sure you use a tape measure and not some arbitrary sizing system that varies wildly from retailer to retailer. Your self-esteem will thank you for it.

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