Archive | August 2013

Dress Size Insanity

Chicos Sizing Chart

While checking out fashion styles recently, I came across this women’s sizing chart on the Chico’s website – . There is also a Petite Size chart underneath it.

They are saying that ‘because size is just a number’, they have made it simple to find your size when ordering. Yes, women’s dress sizing is confusing all around the world and we need conversion size charts to buy either from the Internet or when on holidays in another country.

But to me this is just going a step too far. It is sizing gone mad. You will note that their sizing starts at 000. I can’t get my head around that as to me, and maybe you, size 000 is for very small newborn babies. To me, a size this small is not a mark of pride but is saying that you are no size (ie an invisible woman). Maybe young girls want to be that but as I grow older and as a Baby Boomer Woman, I want to be a woman not a girl or a newborn.

I do know that there are certain genetic traits we are born with and that some nationalities have smaller body shapes than others. Part of our challenge as women is to find labels that cater to our particular height and shape as well as offering garments that are modern in style and colour.

To their credit, Chicos does include 3 explanations for each size they offer eg ‘Size 00 (2, XXS)’ for items of clothing. Their Chicos size always comes before the conventional sizing. They do include chest, waist and hip measurements and these are truer indicators of what size to buy than the number or letters before them. For petites, you have the same sizing starting at 000 but just with a letter P after every size (eg 000P). Sounds more like a mistake than a size.

If the sizes at least reflect a range of healthy genetic shapes, that is fine. When they are introduced to allow women to hide being unhealthily underweight or overweight under low numbers, it is encouraging self-deception. What do you think?

PS – I have just smiled as I noticed the Spanx Sizing Chart underneath the normal sizing charts. Now that is another topic.

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Retail Amnesia

                                                                                                  Post No 136

 A Fun Guide to Retail Amnesia

Last week I was in a local gift shop looking for my birthday present. Yes! I have sons & they love it when I choose my own present. All they have to do is repay me and I get what I want. One son even tried to get me to buy my own birthday card. That was a step too far. Now that we are all adults, money changes hands as we all buy what we like within financial limits.

When I told the cashier why I was buying that gift (Extroverts do this), he commented that I would have to practise ‘retail amnesia’ until the big day. It got me thinking how valuable retail amnesia is as a wardrobe tool.

Here’s my fun guide to retail amnesia for the modern Baby Boomer woman’s wardrobe.

What Men & Women SeeIt’s the Same One I’ve Always Had!

This one works Well on men who generally don’t seem to notice fine design details. You’ve replaced old black pants, black skirt, white shirt, red jacket etc with a new one. It is similar in colour but the style and details are different. With a straight face, you can claim they’re mistaken because it’s the same old one. This is ‘replacement retail amnesia’.



Oh! This Old Thing!

Come on! We‘ve all used this one. You buy something. You let it sit in your wardrobe for at least a month. Then when your husband, partner, mother or children notice you wearing it, you say – ‘This old thing! No, it’s not new! I’ve had it for ages.’ This is ‘calculated retail amnesia’.

Birthday VoucherGot it for Free!

It’s your birthday month or you’ve reached a certain spending amount and the store sends you a voucher. For some strange reason it is never enough to cover the full cost of what you choose to buy there. We all love a loyalty bonus and it is great marketing. It’s also great for retail amnesia as you can claim to your loved one that it was free or close to it. This is ‘reward retail amnesia’.


I Only Bought One Thing!

You’re shopping and carrying new wardrobe items in a couple of bags. The next purchase comes in an oversize bag. Great! All the smaller items can fit inside and not be seen. You walk in the door at home and your loved family member thinks you’ve only bought one item. You say nothing. This is ‘conspiratorial retail amnesia’.

Lady Internet ShoppingI Don’t Remember Buying Two!

You’ve been internet browsing and shopping. Unfortunately the parcel arrives when your husband/partner is home. Damn! Suddenly a second pair of shoes or necklace or top has appeared in the package. ‘I thought I only bought one’ you say.  This is ‘selective retail amnesia’.



Last Words

Our wardrobes are full of emotions – guilt, pleasure, love and hate. Retail amnesia (or the more serious six-letter word) plays its part in all of these emotions.

As for me, I’m off to spend that Birthday Voucher from Myers. I’m sure it won’t cover anything I want to buy but the purchase will still be a bargain in my mind.

(Don’t miss out on upcoming articles for Baby Boomer Women. Click here to sign up for the ‘Baby Boomer Personal Style’  eZine and get your weekly info every Thursday from Margaret, the Baby Boomer Personal Stylist.)

Shortening Ankle Zip Pants

Ooh! I Can Wear That Now

Have you ever looked at a fashion style and had to dismiss it because you could not see how it would work for you?

I have walked straight past pants with ankle zips. If, like me, you find all pants are too long for you, this article is for you.

I found the solution to taking up pants with ankle zips from Judith Turner in Vol 21, No 7 in ‘Stitches’ magazine. You can either do-it-yourself or take the instructions to your alterations person.

Shortened Ankle Zip PantsI bought these cheap purple pants from K Mart to try it out. Judith gives professional alterations techniques. I chose the ‘let’s skip a few instructions’ easy way. My method works best on dark colours (one seam) whereas Judith’s version works on all colours as she makes a feature of the seam.

Folding Ankle Zip Pants - by Judith TurnerFind the point just below your knee and fold over until the bottom hem is where you want it. It takes a few attempts to get it to your satisfaction (be aware of where the seam will be when you sit down). Then I sewed up the seam twice for strength on the inside. I cut the folded bit smaller, turned under the edges and zigzag sewed the edges together (about ½” final length). To make the fold less obvious, I hand-sewed the fold edges upward to the side seams.

Voila! You and I can now wear ankle-zip pants. Walk confidently and no-one notices the seam.

PS – Judith unpicks the side seams and ends up with a top-stitched feature seam whereas I just tried to downplay the seam. See her website – for more alteration tips and the link to her book ‘Clothing Alteration Secrets Revealed’.

PPS – If you want to try it and cannot find the instructions, click here to email me & I will send you a PDF of the 2-page instructions from Australian ‘Stitches’ magazine.

 (Don’t miss out on upcoming articles for Baby Boomer Women. Click here to sign up for ‘The Baby Boomer Personal Stylist’ eZine and get your weekly fashion tips every Thursday from Margaret, the Baby Boomer Personal Stylist.)