Since I've been trying to build up my spring wardrobe recently, it's inevitable that I've been in more fitting rooms than I can count. While I can safely say that I've been successful in my quest for new spring pieces, I've noticed a big disparity in sizing from brand to brand. I may be one size at one store, but fit into a size smaller or larger at others. On top of that, I have this idea in my head of the size that I'm supposed to be everywhere, so that's what I end up settling for. It's been pretty eye-opening, especially lately, as to just how different clothing can be from place to place.
Let's go back to last weekend. I dug out my swimsuits from the bottom of a bottomless drawer to try to them on since I have a beach trip this summer, and I honestly can't remember the last time I went swimming. I wasn't all that shocked when they didn't fit, given that I know I've put on the corporate 15 as I like to call it. You know, the weight you probably gain when going from a job during high school and college where you're on your feet all day to a sedentary desk job post graduation and you suddenly realize you should probably do some actual exercise. Or maybe that was just me. Any who, I did some online shopping on a very popular site for swimwear, figuring I'd just size up because that was the brand of the suits I already had. Fast forward a few days to when my order arrived, you can imagine my dismay when the new suits, a size larger, fit the same if not tighter than what was currently in my drawer. Needless to say, those will be returned.
I was led to another popular online shopping site where I did a complete change of style and found the most adorable retro swimsuits. I opted for a high-waisted bikini and a one piece to try, and let me tell you, these are the most amazing suits I've ever worn! I can't remember the last time I felt so confident wearing something that makes you feel so exposed. But here's the thing again, even these suits (Esther Williams swimwear for anyone who is curious) were labeled as running small, so please size up! It's easy to let vanity get the best of you and pick the size you think you should be, but I will say that by following the measurements and guide I picked the suit with the best fit.
What am I trying to say here? I've become so stuck on the idea of the size that I think I am everywhere that I almost get upset when I have to purchase something in a different size. Even if it's smaller. It might be the OCD in me and wanting to have everything the same in my closet, but it's also the frustration of the inconsistency between brands. It happens often in my normal shopping routine, from work clothes to casual and now even swimwear. We really shouldn't let a number on a little tag define what we think of ourselves or our bodies. Instead, the focus should be on finding things that fit properly. So what if you have to purchase a certain top in a larger size. If it looks great and more importantly makes you feel great, that is what matters the most.
I am going to challenge myself to not let that little letter or number control my self-worth, and I challenge you to do the same. It may mean an extra trip or two into the fitting rooms, but the confidence you gain from it will be completely worth it.