This is a really loaded question for women. For one thing, too many people seem to tie the size a woman wears to her worth, and it’s inversely proportional. The larger the size the smaller the worth. Bull feathers! Then you have the whole issue of the weird sizing itself. Men’s sizing is so much easier—it’s a measurement of their waist, inseam, neck, etc. Women’s sizing is incredibly unreliable. It is dependent on the company and the style. Three women who are essentially the same height, weight, and build can wear three different sizes.
Plus, you have the vagaries of fashion. Right now things are designed to be worn very tight. I don’t do tight. So, while I technically, according to the size charts, wear one size, I routinely buy clothing that’s marked one or two sizes larger. Hard on the ego, but better on everyone else’s eyes. Tight doesn’t look good on me. Frankly, I don’t think it looks good on most women my age, which is well into middle-age.
Men think we spend a long time shopping. They’re right. Yes, many of us enjoy meandering around the store simply browsing. However, if we’re seriously clothes shopping, it can take a long, long time. I know I have to try everything on. Just because I wear, say, a size 12, doesn’t mean I can just pluck a size 12 off the rack and count on it to fit.
What’s really sad is that I almost never buy anything that doesn’t have to be altered. I’ve made great friends with the ladies at the local alterations shop. I just build that cost right into the cost of anything I buy.
One of the most distressing things I see is women who dry so desperately to hang onto a particular size that they are wearing things that do not flatter them in the least. Something that fits and flatters is much more important than the size on the tag. If the number bothers you, cut it out. Literally. Cut that tag out and toss it. It doesn’t matter. If someone other than an associate at a clothing store asks your size, simply say, “It varies.” That’s definitely the truth.