What happens to us when we step into the dressing room can sometimes be paramount to a nervous breakdown when things don’t fit. Watching ourselves squeeze into a pair of pants, marked ‘size 8,’ we are mortified when we cannot get the zipper all the way up. We walk away defeated and depressed. The next time you go shopping there are some things you should keep in mind in order to avoid a tearful exit from your favorite boutique.
1- Not all sizes are created equal. There was a time when sizes were standardized. That all changed in the 70s when some Madison Avenue genius figured out that if clothing reflected a smaller size than the ones instituted by the ‘National Bureau of Commerce,’ we would be more inclined to purchase. They were right. Just to give you an idea of how dramatically sizing has changed, in 1953 a size 16 or 18 was equivalent to a size 8 today. A size 16, according to the NBC, was 34 bust-28 waist-37 hip. A size 8, according to today’s specification charts is 35-28-39.*
2- I am sure it has not escaped you that the models you see in fashion magazines have the hips of teenage boys. The fit models for manufacturers sometimes are no different. Herein lies the problem. Women have hips. Not all, but most. Genetically, and this is hard science, women are predisposed to a roundshape. According to Weekly Magazine (March 12, 2010), the irony is that while men appear to be hardwired to prefer wider hips (and generous hips are evolutionary indicators of health and the ability to give birth) the Caucasian westernized female has somehow been duped into thinking men like skinny,waify, Kate Moss-type girls. Not true, says researcher Steven Platek, “Curviness is worth its weight in reproductive gold.”
3- If you are going to try on clothing, do yourself a favor and take off your pants. Do not leave them around your ankles while standing in front of the mirror and complain that what you are trying on looks awful. No one looks good with there pants around their ankles.
4- The next time you step into your favorite boutique and the sales person ask you what size you are, tell her/him, “the size that fits.”
* These numbers reflect a medium number after viewing several different size charts