Drop a Dress Size

51% of Australian women, in a poll recorded in the February 2012 issue of ‘Prevention’ magazine, want to drop a dress size. Hmmm!

I looked in my wardrobe. I have clothes that range over 3 to 4 sizes and some made for me with no size number. When I sew, I am different sizes for different pattern brands. There is the contradiction of a size 8 skirt where the waist is too big although it fits perfectly over my hips. And I can also wear a size 12 bra under an Extra Small top and they both fit me perfectly. The only thing that stays consistent is my shoe size.

Drop a dress size! Where do you start – the largest, the average or the smallest size?

A universal standard of dress sizes doesn’t exist in Australia. In the USA I am a different size again.

I bet your wardrobe also has a variety of sizes in it.

Here are my thoughts on the subject.

The Dream

‘Drop a dress size’ is a favourite new year’s resolution as it’s seen as an easy thing to do. This is a longing for a happier time in the past when you felt slim and all your clothes looked good on you.

You can drop a dress size (ie lose weight) in any number of ways. There are lots of programs, books and people out there who will help you achieve it. The real challenge is to maintain that dress size and that means a permanent change in lifestyle eating and exercise habits.

The Reality

You can drop or gain one or two sizes just by your choice of clothes on any particular day. That won’t change if you lose weight. Well OK, it will if you wear only one brand exclusively but don’t count on it.

When trying on new clothes, take three sizes if possible – what you think you are, one size below and one size above. It is the fit not the size number you are looking for ie the feeling not the number. Note that the best size for your tops and skirts/pants may be different especially if you are pear-shaped or an inverted triangular shape.

Illusion

What’s left – one size fits all or multi-sized clothes. Don’t go there. These clothes have to be the biggest size to fit everyone. If you are not the biggest size, it won’t look good on you.

I’ve never been asked ‘Have you dropped a dress size?’ I have been asked ‘Have you lost weight?’

To dress slimmer be adventurous. Try on new styles, even if you think they are not for you. In the privacy of the dressing room only you will see yourself. You may be pleasantly surprised. Modern bandage-style dresses (Laura K dress on left) that wrap in small crossovers from your bust to your waist or hips make your midriff area look slimmer. Materials with some stretch in them can gently hold you firmer and slimmer. Some dresses now have built-in shaping. Shapewear today is much softer and less constricting than 1960’s step-ins. All give the illusion of a smaller dress size.

If All Else Fails, tap into your lighter side. Cut off all size tags or order some personalised dress tags in the size you want to be. Humour is good for your body and your soul.

If you want to be slimmer, do it.

If you want to look and feel slimmer, read more clever slimmer dressing tips (especially re waist slimming styles) in Part 2 on 2 February 2012.

(Article sent to ‘The Fashion Translator’ eZine readers of 12 January 2012. Click here to sign up for the eZine .)

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