10 March 2011

Size is more than just a number

By: Jessica B.
Tagged: Fashion, shopping

Last weekend, while enduring my least favorite type of shopping, aka bra shopping, the salesperson and I got into a little argument about my boob size.

She said I was a DD, I said I was a D. We bickered, passive aggressively snapped at each other and in the end, she was right.

I am now a DD. DAMNIT. I have Jessica Simpson-like boobs. DAMNIT AGAIN!

Even though my new bra fits much better than my old ones, I fought her on that size right down to the end. Why? Because I didn’t want to give in and be a DD.

I hear so many times on fashion shows that it’s not about size, it’s about fit. Well let me tell you something sir or madam, that is easier said than done.

Size and age may only be a number but it in some situations, that number is important to people. After years of hovering between a size 13 or 14, I’m very proud and possessive of my size 12 body. At my thinnest, being between a 10 and 12 was huge and I would prance around in my size 10 skirt like I was the sexiest thing alive. But, if I tried on a skirt that looked fab but was a size 14, I probably wouldn’t buy it…because it’s a 14. Mentally, that’s taking me back to my heavier days and I refuse to feel that way again.

I know the logic on this is backward but mentally, I can’t get over that hump. I would rather squeeze myself into something a little smaller, with a number and size I can live with rather than go up a size.

Others won’t know but I will and if I can’t pull it off, why force it? Of course, I won’t be prancing around in something ridiculously small or bad looking, but I’ll just have to search harder to find an outfit or top I love that will fit me as me and in a way I can feel comfortable with.

What about you? Do you believe fit is better than size?



  1. San says:

    I hate bra shopping, HATE!
    I am a DD, too, (sometimes even an E) with a 32 band size…. try and find that at a regular store. The larger cup sizes usually start with a 34 band size. ANNOYING.

    Also, I hear you on the numbers… but since sizes are really not standardized anymore and I can wear anything between a 2 and a 6, I really just go with what FITS.

  2. Lil' Woman says:

    I hate shopping for clothes and especially bras…..probably my least favorite thing to do.

  3. I HATE shopping for bras … so I tend to buy the same ones all the time.

  4. Aileen says:

    I am kind of a bit of both. I always gauge my size by one specific shop which is always Dorothy Perkins. (not at the moment because I am just fat in general!) but when I am size 12/14 in that shop thats what size I am. Other shops I may be a size 10,others I may be a size 16 but as long as I fit into 12/14 clothes in Dorothy Perkins I am happy!! When it comes to my boobs though I get really depressed when they get smaller. At the moment I am 36G and quite happy!

    Anyway I totally see where you are coming from and now that I am probably at the heaviest I have been in years then I wont get clothes that say size 20 because that is absolutely massive so I will go round all the shops until I squeeze into something I feel is acceptable.

  5. I’ve gotten better about how I deal with the number on the tags. It used to be that if it was over a certain limit, I’d get annoyed and just not buy it. But the longer I’ve been shopping and trying on clothes, the more I’ve noticed the VAST differences between sizing–sometimes even in the same piece of clothing. For example, I have one pair of Banana Republic boot cut jeans that are a size 0. I have another pair that are the exact same cut, but a different color, and they are a size 4. If I had gotten all in a tizzy about sizing up over and over, I’d be missing out on a great pair of pants :)

    So, I guess to answer your question, I’ve come to the realization that size really is just a number, and as long as I can still fit into the clothes I’ve already got hanging in my closet, I’ll stay happy!

  6. Marjolein says:

    You know companies mess with the sizes so something that will fit a size 14 body gets labelled size 12 because it makes people feel better? So why not buy exactly what makes your body look beautiful? Size really is just a number clothing manufacturers play with. It doesn’t mean much anymore.

  7. Jen says:

    I am an H or HH! I went to Intimacy for one of those holistic fittings and well that was a shock.

  8. katelin says:

    oh man i am right there with you on this entire post, not even kidding. the day i went from a D to a DD was devastating. and yeah if a bigger size looks better on me sometimes i just won’t buy it because i don’t want to admit i’m a bigger size, issues. i have them, haha.

    but yes, welcome to the uber well endowed club. :)

  9. It’s hard, but I’m trying REALLY REALLY hard to get myself out of the numbers game. If it looks fabulous on me, I’m going to buy it, whether it’s size 6 or size 14 (both of which I have hanging in my closet btw!)

  10. Bing says:

    I feel you on the boob size issue. I recently went up to a DD. I seriously think that bras are getting smaller. I have a couple of D bras that I bought a few years ago that still fit me perfectly. It’s only the newer D bras I’ve tried on the fit awkwardly and give me qudra-boob. I think bra designers are shrinking the bras to make the smaller-chested girls feel bigger. Call me crazy, but I think it’s the truth!

    I don’t pay too much attention to the numbers on clothes. I can wear anywhere from and 8-12. I feel like designers just make up random numbers to slap on clothes because I wear different sizes in all types of clothes depending on the style, where I buy them, etc. I just go by how they make me look and feel. I say forget the numbers and just focus on what makes you look and feel hot! :)

  11. Grace says:

    I feel like the sizing is all over the place. I have clothes from target that say I am much larger than I am and at Banana Republic and other more expensive stores and they sometimes don’t even have the size I need on the rack. I had an experience with a sales woman at VS that said I was an A and I was sad. How could she say that? Then I went to Nordstrom (far superior) and they determined my cup size was not the problem it was the difference between a 34 and a 32. ah!

  12. It is so hard, but yes, fit is much more important than size.

  13. A Super Girl says:

    Bra shopping…ugh. Last time I went into VS, I had them measure me because I felt my C’s were a little “off”. She told me I was a D. As much as the size shocked me, I was hoping that the fit would be better. But it wasn’t. I tried on several D’s and they all looked and fit like shit and I ended up leaving with another C. Sometimes I think bra sizing is even more wonky than other sizing!

  14. I so feel you. I am a little person with huge boobs and for years I fought the idea of doing a bra fitting because I am a 34C damn it. That’s me. Nope, finally bit the bullet and I am a 34D. But I have to agree. Size shouldn’t matter. It should be about fit. Case in point – I recently bought new jeans, and yes they are a size 0 but the new shirt I bought to wear with them from a local boutique? A large. Seriously. My top and bottom are not that disproportionate. Its just a number, we have to keep repeating it as if it were a mantra.

  15. Lacey Bean says:

    It’s funny, when I was working in a clothing store, I always used to tell the girls not to worry about the size, all brands are sized differently, so if they normally wore a small, but what they fit better in was a medium, they shouldn’t freak out. It wasn’t them it was the brand. Now I have to remind myself of that.

  16. Allison says:

    So I’m dreading hitting up Nordstrom’s because I have a distinct feeling I’m wearing the wrong size. I still think I’m the B I was five years ago but I have a feeling I’m probably a D.

  17. April says:

    I had the exact same argument with a bra sizing lady in a fitting room. I did not want to accept that my boobs needed two letters to hold them up!

    So I did what any normal American would do- I joined a gym and started exercising in hopes of shedding fat and reducing those suckers. So far, it’s not working :\

    But you’ll feel much better in the DD size now, it’s amazing how much better the right size bra helps. Good luck getting back down to single letters, if that’s your goal!

  18. Nora says:

    I hate numbers in clothes, mostly because they range so much from store to store. I hate buying sizes that I don’t normally wear because it doesn’t feel like it’s “me,” so I totally get where you are coming from here. There are certain things where I do agree that fit is more important than size (underwear, bras, bridesmaid dresses) but other times… well size is just depressing. At least that’s me.

  19. Bra shopping is the worst – I also don’t believe that if clothes can always fit differently, that the same can’t be said for bras. I have a range of sizes that all fit well, so maybe you’re just between a D and DD?

  20. yes- fit trumps size any day. I find that depending on the brand, i can be anywhere from an XS to L. That is ridiculous but true!

  21. Erin says:

    Ugh. Bra saleswomen are the worst. The women at VS are always insisting I’m some size that I’m pretty sure I’m not. At least, when I put on that size it feels really uncomfortable.

    I remember freaking out once when I had to buy a pair of pants a size larger than normal if I wanted them to fit. Now, though, I realize that pants (and clothes in general) are all so different that I’m not as upset when I have to try on three different sizes. Notice I said “as upset”. I’m still a little upset. Why can’t everything be uniform??

  22. I need to go bra shopping soon. I only have three bras that fit (but TONS of too-small ones that I’ve kept for that magical day when I lose weight), and two are so stretched out that I’m constantly pulling at them to get them to stay where they belong. I’ve been putting off shopping because of the expense, not because my size might change. I’m happy to be a D.

  23. Angela says:

    Totally feel you, girl. The size I am in my head is exactly the size I expect to be. And if I try something on and I need a different size, I get weird and self-conscious about it. If I go up a size, I freak out (“I’m FAT!”). If I go down a size, I freak out (“I’m losing my curves!”). There is no happy for me except my happy medium. (No size pun intended.)

  24. Mel says:

    Try doing French sizes… it makes my regular D’s.. E’s! At my thinnest I was a C. My mom says nobody in the family has boobs like mine.

  25. michelle says:

    i know what you mean about the numbers. i was so protective of my bra size and HATED when i finally had to go up. i got used to my new size over the last 8ish years, only to have it change again. i lost a significant amount of weight, and i’m now a smaller size. *sigh* i haven’t bought anything new yet, but that day is coming. i know i’ll grow to accept my new numbers the same way i got comfortable in all my new sizes. it just takes time… and i’ll protect that acceptance, too :)

  26. I think it’s more about fit, BUT my pants are a bit tight lately and I refuse to go up a size. I think there’s a balance with it. In some cases- yes, just go with the bigger size; however, sometimes (ie pants for me) it’s a red flag telling me I’ve indulged too many times and haven’t done anything about it.

    But for bras… FIT. For the longest time I wore a C and didn’t bother to get measured again, because afterall I was a C right? Wrong. I finally went up to a D and haven’t looked back since. I suspect with the weightloss, I might be a C again someday, but I’m not ashamed of my D’s right now haha.

  27. M says:

    I am so there with you on the number! As someone who used to be very overweight, I am very protective of my size 10s. A 12 now feels like a defeat to me (although when I was a 16 I would have killed to be 12).

    As much as I always hear size over fit, it’s a battle I can’t get mentally over.

  28. Auburnkat says:

    I know exactly what you mean! I absolutely refuse to go up a size in my clothing so when my clothes start to feel tight I know it’s time to start watching what I eat again. As for my chest, a couple of yrs ago I went from a 34 B to a 34 C now I think I am closer to a 32 C which makes no sense to me! I need to go get measured again and I’ll probably be off with what I measured myself as.

    BTW, a lot of women would love to have your cup size!

  29. phampants says:

    As my dear friend Chrissy would say, “I’m going to suffocate you in my boobs.”

  30. Harley says:

    Okay this is just crazy. First of all, different shops have different sizes. Some run smaller sizes, some run bigger. You are not going to be the same size everywhere regardless. Buy the beautiful bigger-size skirt and cut the label out if it makes you feel better – I guarantee in a couple of weeks you’ll have forgotten what size it ever came as.

    Secondly, cup size is not about weight. The number – 32, 34 etc. is what relates to your weight, since it’s the size of the band that goes around your body. The cup size is solely to do with your boobs and has nothing to do with weight. I am a 32 D/DD and it’s a pita to find a nice bra that size but I don’t go around feeling fat because I have nice breasts, and you shouldn’t either! Be proud! There are women that would kill for a chest like yours!

  31. Lauren says:

    First of all, I love that you generally post at night.

    Secondly, fit is much more important to me than the number. This is likely because as a tall female, I can never find things that fit right. I seem to be stuck between two sizes for YEARS AND YEARS. Neither exactly fit me.

    Oh, and at Ann Taylor I wear an XS and sometimes a 2. WTF? I am 5’9″ and am NOT extra small. So, sounds like you should shop there! Their clothes seem to be built for short people too – the rise in their pants is never long enough for me!