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Shopping for self-esteem? Good luck!

In my post ‘Unhealthy jeans’, I told you that I was going to investigate this sizing business a little more closely. I had a ‘great’ response from that post, with girls telling me how they too have been brought to tears in the changing rooms of various shops after failing to squeeze into their favoured size and thanking me for sharing my story. Well ladies, I really hope this post brings to light the damage that poxy labels can do to your self-esteem if you choose to let them get to you.

Lets go shopping. This is me:

Lots of my friends think I’m a ‘perfect 10′ and can slip into anything just fine. I’m at a stage where I’m OK with how I look, there is plenty of room for improvement of course, but I’m OK. I’m not overweight or underweight and I’m healthy and fit. Look! I’m wearing an XS t-shirt in H&M! I must be doing something right then. XS!

Yeah, yeah, I hear you. It’s a loose fitting top, no big deal. Well OK, how about this loose fitting top which is too small for me but is a size 10… I can hardly move my arms in this one:

What about the longer version of the XS t-shirt?:

So it will be a size L (thats LARGE – how awful, the biggest size!) then?

Hmm…so I’m no clearer on my top size here. I’ve gone from a happy XS, to not being able to fit into a 10 and then looking good in an L. Maybe I can get some bottoms?? Jeans. The devil that spawned this post. Well here we go… tucked in nicely to a size 14:

And a size 12:

But then look at this size M! Maybe I shouldn’t feel so bad after all:

Maybe I AM skinny enough to be a 10 after all?? No, I don’t think so:

On second thoughts. Lets get out of H&M.

I know, Next. I’ll find out my true size in trusty Next.

Well forget those tiny 10s, look at these tailored trousers…clearly I’m actually a size 8!:

I’m definitely not a size 12 anymore:

Hang on…perhaps, no, it can’t be…I’m a 6?! I’ve always wanted to be a 6!:

OK, maybe I squeezed into that one a little bit…but I didn’t squeeze into this one from M&S:

So M&S, good ol’ M&S claims that I may be a size 6. So perhaps I’ll meet my friends for lunch now that I don’t feel so bad about my size. I’ll just enjoy myself!

Now it’s time to hit up Topshop and I think I’ll be positive here and just select a load of size 10s…seeing as I’m a ‘perfect 10′ and all that…

That’s attractively tight:

Oh dear God! I should have gone easy on lunch:

No…no hang on…this one is kinda Ok…bit on the baggy side even?:

As are these! Phew, its OK, I’m not gaining weight by the second:

Argh! Sod it…if I get this done up it will be love-handle city. I’m a lost cause:

Maybe Miss Selfridge will give me the answer I’m looking for??

Size 16?! Since when?:

Or a 10?:

Or an 8?:

I’m officially losing the plot now. I’m fed up, I don’t know what size I am. One minute I’m doing well and the next I’ve gone up 3 dress sizes!

One last check in M&S, I want something to take home!!

Wheeey, how about this open size 6 shirt, it would nice over a black vest:

Or perhaps its meant to look ‘slubby’ and in that case, perhaps I’ll just take the size 18…seeing as there is hardly any difference!!:

Ladies, you are more than just a number printed on a label. Wear what makes you beautiful and forget about the size! It means NOTHING!!! I’ve just proved that I can wear anything from a size 6 to a size 18 depending on the brand, cut, style and material. So what size am I really?? I don’t know and I don’t care! I know that my wardrobe contains clothing from an 8 to a 14… so I guess I fluctuate?? Don’t let the clothes bring you down. Why do you want to be size ‘x’ anyway?? What are you basing the perfect size on?


  • Gemma Dean Gemma Dean says:

    Brill article Sarah! I think I’m a 12 til I step foot into Topshop. Then I think I’m clinically obese. It’s so unfortunate that the labels on our clothes dictate how we feel in our own skin! I’d love to follow your advice about feeling good in any size but I fear it’s too late and that I’ve already had my self esteem bashed too much by the numbers on my clothes! Xoxo

    • Amy Tocknell says:

      I was the same Gemma! Went in Dorothy Perkins… size 12 dress was great. Went into Topshop…. DEATH TO SELF-ESTEEM! I think this is why I love shoes. Shoes never make me feel chubby or lardy! xx

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