Why clothing sizes don’t matter and what to do instead


Your body type – your measurements!

Frustrated by made up numbers for women’s and men’s clothing sizes? Have you noticed that if you’re one number in a given brand or style that it’s not at all what you are in a different brand? It’s super frustrating and there is one way that will change how you shop forever.

Shopping by measurement was a concept I learned through reading style books and my own personal styling course I took. This method of shopping by your measurements will set you free.

It takes practice to get good at this but it is possible. It was new to me when I started but the more proficient I became, it has been a game changer for my clients. It’s how I shop for my clients and it dramatically increases fitting room success and reduces fitting room meltdowns.

Why measure yourself and your clothes?

Vanity Sizing

Vanity sizing has been around for decades and it is primarily the fashion industry’s response to making us feel better about ourselves as the “average” American size keeps getting bigger. So in other words, what was a size 10 thirty years ago is now a size 6. The fashion industry does this to make us feel better about ourselves but it makes shopping much more difficult.

All brands use vanity sizing. There is difference in sizing from brand to brand because every brand and manufacturer uses their own “fit model.” That means every brand’s size 8 model (for example) will vary. They try to make the most clothes to fit the most people at each size. This obviously does not translate into a good fit for the majority of women.

This is starting to happen in casual menswear – for example you’ll see slim fit shirts and various adjectives to describe pants – what does this mean? Who knows? But with measurements to compare to, you’ll have a much better chance at success.

Your numbers and body type – not theirs

In addition to vanity sizing, clothing sizes with letters (think S, M, L, etc.) and numbers (for women – 4, 6, 8 etc) are completely made up and arbitrary. They don’t really mean anything other than give us a place to start looking (and measuring) when we’re shopping. The other thing I love about shopping by measurement is it separates you from the tag. The number. If you have a problem with the sizes you’re wearing, you can forget them, focus on your numbers, compared to the clothing’s numbers. It’s much more personal this way.

See below – All three items fit me and you can see the size range. This happens all the time with my clients, by the time we’re done shopping they’ll have a range of clothes from XS to 10 (for example).

Why clothing sizes don't matter and what to do instead
The comparison of two pairs of shorts (left) and then with a pair of culottes (right)

Use your measurements!

For ladies – watch this video on how to take your measurements (and how to measure your clothes when shopping). Learning how to use your body measurements to help you shop will set you free from shopping frustrations.

For guyswatch this video on basic measurements to take on yourself and to measure clothes when shopping.

Write down your measurements, keep them in your phone or somewhere handy, always have a flexible measuring tape and enjoy shopping success!! Before shopping be sure to do these three things.

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