April 4, 2009

The thinking girl’s guide to fit and size

The most important thing to remember is ignore the size on the tag. Knowing your size only provides a frame of reference. The size units you need to know for yourself are the letters (XS-L), the numbers (0-12), and waist (24-32). Tops, dresses, and bottoms are sized using letters and numbers. Jeans are sized using the waist measurement. I haven’t mentioned odd sizes (1, 3, 5, 7….) because those are Juniors sizes. Try to stay away from Juniors because the cuts and sizes will get you down.

There’s a correlation between the letters and numbers. Remember this and you’ll have a great idea of where to start when you try something on in a store.
XS = 0, 2
S = 4, 6
M = 8, 10
L = 12, 14

Knowing your jeans size is straightforward. Stand up straight and while relaxed measure your natural waist with a measuring tape. On average your natural waist should range in inches from 24 to 32 and up. So next time you’re at the store, start with the pair that matches your waist measurement. Shopping for jeans won’t be fit at first try. Depending on how comfortable you are, size up or down. It’s very possible that you may be a different size across several denim brands. This happens because they don’t use the same fit models. Same is true for tops, dresses and bottoms.

For tops and dresses your bust measurement will be a good indication of where to start. Here’s the breakdown. Bust measurement in inches:
32 – 33 1/2 = XS = 0, 2
34 – 35 1/2 = S = 4, 6
36 – 37 1/2 = M = 8, 10
38 – 39 1/2 = L = 12, 14

For the same reason as jeans, you may be different number/letter sizes across different brands. You’ll know when something is too small by administering a simple test. Cross your arms in front of your body. Do the armholes cut into your skin? If so, size up. You’ll know when something is too big if the shoulders of the garment extend past your own shoulders. Also, if there’s too much fabric under the armholes of the garment, it is also too big for you.

Knowing a few tricks like these will help you have a better time trying on clothes. Remember, the size you choose should be comfortable and tailored looking. With an open mind, shopping can be fun, therapeutic, and satisfying!

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