I’m turning 27 this year and it wasn’t until this past December that I actually got a proper bra size measurement. I don’t even know how I came to the decision that my old bra size was what I needed to wear. I may have just guessed from a Judy Blume novel, though I vaguely remember getting measured at my local Victoria Secret store once upon a time. Long story short, up until the end of last year I was wearing a bra that was three sizes too small, for years. According to the Huffington Post, "a startling number of women are choosing their bras incorrectly. An international survey of 10,000 women found that 64 percent are wearing the wrong size bra. Out of that 64 percent, 29 percent know they are wearing the wrong size.”
Over the past 9 years my weight went from being around 110 lbs. to over 120 lbs. This past January I hit 135 lbs. and the weight change has made shopping for clothes quite difficult. Yet for some odd reason, I kept trying to fit into the same sized clothing that I had been wearing for years. I’m almost thirty, so why am I still trying to wear a size from when I was a teenager?! During this time I’ve competed in races, competitions, and have worked out. Surely I can't be the same clothing size; I’m a trainer I should know better!
I think this has to do with habit. Before, I would walk into a store, grab a Small or size 1/2 and call it a day. I hated having to wait in line for a dressing room and physically try on clothes. I also didn’t feel the need to try it on because that had “always been my size” and thats what I “should” fit into.
I have finally accepted that I’m growing up and it’s time to move on. Instead of trying desperately to fit into my small clothes I have decided to accept my new “heavier” body, complete with more muscle mass and focus on buying bigger, better fitting clothing.
My closet and drawers have been purged of clothing that I need to stop trying to fit into. I am not 18 years old anymore. Furthermore, this brings up another issue with women’s clothing. Manufactures will issue a size small, for bodies built like teenagers or really tiny woman á la Michelle Dockery. Most women do not have that frame. I am small and I stand at five feet but my build is athletic, so I don’t fall into the traditional “skinny” group. If I tried to be a cover model, they would probably tell me I need to lose 15-20 lbs. I often get called skinny but skinny girls don’t wear large or size 8 bikini bottoms, they wear the crap I’ve been trying to fit into.
We live in a society that if you wear a size medium or large you are considered “fat”, and as someone who is adjusting their wardrobe for their “grown girl bod”, that is furthest from the truth. The sizes for women’s clothing are disproportionate and inaccurate. Women that I see as having normal bodies wear plus size clothing. Really?! I’m small and I have to wear large bottoms, a size 8 in certain brands, a D bra, and a size 6 in Lululemon (because their size 2 is for preteens). I’m not even a big girl. So where does that put the bigger girls at!? You can’t even wear Lululemon if you’re overweight.
And so I will share with you what I wish someone had shared with me: If you open your closet and realize things are no longer fitting you, you don’t have to assign it any emotional significance. You haven’t failed. You can just buy some new clothes, or tailor the ones you have. I promise that it’s not a big deal, and that you’ll wish you’d done it a whole lot sooner.