Looking Great at Every Size
by Allison Hamilton Rohe, Daily Outfit
Have you ever wondered how some women — no matter their size — dress beautifully and can rock any number of looks?
The only difference between you and the women you’re seeing is knowledge and belief.
I can give you both.
Knowledge: Understanding Sizing
Knowing which label fits you well is a process of elimination, but it serves in the long run.
However, there is always human error. Even if you normally fit Levi’s, for example, sometimes a garment just isn’t sewn well. The fit of a garment is not a judgement about you. It’s just fabric sewn together incorrectly.
The Top 5 Things You Need to Know About Sizing:
- Fit Model. Part of the puzzle to understanding how clothing fits is knowing about the fit model. Each company has proportions it uses to create its clothing. There are differences in proportions from label to label. Some labels serve more than one fit model, some don’t.
- Your Size: US Size Ranges. There are data that put you squarely in a certain size range:
- Petites are women 5’4″ and under, size 0-16
- Misses are women 5’4″ and up, size 0-14
- Plus are women 5’4″ and up, size 16-22
EU Size Ranges. EU women do not have same size range we enjoy in the US and UK. In the UK, there are Petites and Plus, but the sizes themselves are labeled a size smaller than in the US.
Here’s an example of how sizing compares across geographic areas:
3. Size Variety. Obviously, there are Plus women in Italy and Petite women in the EU. Lack of sizing variety across geographic areas is cruel and the issue is a mix of unconscious bias, actual discrimination and myopia.
4. Brands v. Size Inclusivity. The Gap brands have tall women covered, offering inseams up to 36″ for their Tall range. Ann Taylor carries Petites and Misses. Nordstrom carries a number of brands in all sizing. Bloomingdale’s has a few Petite and more Plus brands, including their own Acqua line. MMLaFleur has Misses and Plus, but no Petites.
Size inclusivity is happening because women are demanding it — not the marketplace.
For example, I simply don’t shop at stores who do not carry a variety of sizes — even though I am the most popular US size. Global brands could lead the way in introducing wider size variety across the board, but we need to advocate for a faster rate of change.
We all need to advocate for inclusive sizing no matter where you live or what size you wear at the moment.
5. Body Types. Body types span size ranges. There are women who are oval body type who are Petite, Misses who are inverted triangles and women who are hourglass and also Plus size. As my sister says, “Just because I’m a Plus doesn’t mean I have a big bust.”
Check the key below to learn your body type:
Fit Model + Size Range + Body Type + (Tailor) = Great-Fitting Clothes
Once you know what labels work for your body in your size range, then you can begin to look for clothing that flatters your body type. Whether you’re tall or small, a fabulous wide belt is going to look great on you if you’re a triangle. Full stop.
Trust your instincts. Women generally know which clothes look great on them, but have been taught to doubt themselves and the mirror. Your best friend might know what looks great on her, but she cannot know what feels great for you. If you need a second opinion, take a selfie. Looking at your outfit on yourself, you’ll know!
Find a Tailor. A tailor is every well-dressed woman’s secret weapon. Even if your clothes are inexpensive, when they fit you perfectly, they can look fabulous. If you do not have a tailor you love, ask around for personal recommendations. Your tailor’s demeanor can be almost as important as his or her ability to sew!
Belief is a Process
When I work with you, we start with where you are. The beginning of the process is making sure you know everything you need to know about how to flatter your body, face, coloring, hair and face shape.
The next two pieces of my formula focus on creating that belief in yourself and honing in on what makes you amazing. When we clarify to how to convey what matters to you and what your dream version of how you show up looks like, the pieces all fall into place. You can suddenly step into belief every single day — literally!
Some days are going to be easier than others — I’m not going to lie! And you may find there’s even deeper work to be done. But, for 99% of my clients, this process is the key to unlock that next part of their journey to their remarkable self.