How To Cure Yourself Of Size Phobia

How to cure yourself of size phobia. We all know clothing size is just a number, not a marker of our beauty, smarts or self-worth. But we are a size-minded culture and many of us (me too, of course) sometimes get caught up in the size game. I’m sure that’s how “double zero” sizes came about, we wanted to be smaller-than-small. This is craziness.


I adore the late, lovely Brenda Kinsel’s style books. In her Brenda’s Bible she has this to say about size-phobia:

“There are no rewards in Heaven for designer labels in size 8. There are rewards for appreciating the body you are currently in.”  Thank you dear Brenda! (I recommend the book in its entirety; it’s only 80 pages but they’re full of useful tips.)

I still keep this one on my style-book shelf, after 15 years.

“This is it: This body is home. This is where I live and hang my hat. . . . . This body is durable, has lasted for years, hunkered down through fierce storms and allows for the peaceful erosions of age. It is like a cottage on the shore: weathered and well made, a place where a person could comfortably live. I like it here. It is my own.”

Marya Hornbacher

Thrifting, shopping vintage, and shopping second-hand in general have cured me of negative thoughts regarding labels and size. Here’s how:

  • Sizes have changed dramatically over the past six decades. A skirt from the 1960’s marked size 12 often fits my modern size 4/6 body perfectly. So what size am I really? Who cares, as long as it fits and flatters? You probably know about Marilyn Monroe wearing a (1950’s) size 16.
  • Pre-loved clothing has likely been washed, dry-cleaned, maybe even altered by its previous owner. So the item marked size 10 may be the equivalent of a 6 or 8 now, and again, do I care?? Jeans are notorious for this phenomenon; I think sometimes they were dried in a kiln so as to shrink them to their smallest possible size.
  • The size label does not matter when you’re going for a new look via thrifting. I have a vintage floral blouse (similar), size Large, that looks great all poufed up and belted. My usual size Small or Medium would look silly this way. Second-hand shopping has allowed me to color outside the lines, size-wise.
Did you ever try this to shrink your jeans? Big nope for me. I like my jeans roomy. Source.

Are you label-conscious when it comes to size? Please be kind to yourself and know that numbers — weight, age, dress size, or W-2’s — don’t determine how wonderful we are meant to be.

Stay fabulous, xo

Wear what you love, always. Here are some goodies to browse:

Please be aware that links to vendors may be affiliate links. I may benefit from your purchases through the links on the blog. Header photo by Bruna Branco on Unsplash.

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patti

14 Comments

  1. I have to admit I am size conscious although I try not to be. After being a size 8 most of my adult life my post menopausal body is now a 12. I look at myself and am judgemental as my mother was of her body. I am trying to be “healthy” minded and not size minded. Thank you for sharing a timely reminder that size is, after all, just a number.

    • Hi Debbie and thanks for coming by! Please be kind to yourself – it sounds like you are – and enjoy your lovely body at any size. And have a fun-filled weekend! xx

  2. Lovely post, particularly as all we miss Brenda and her wise advice and attitude.
    Totally agree that actual vanity-sizing can drive us crazy, but we have second hand shopping to keep things in perspective. I own clothes in five different sizes, including Uk sizes which are completely different, so I’m glad to say that I don’t care too much about this insignificant number!.
    besos

    • Hello Sra, and I hope your day has been full of joy. You inspire me to do a survey: “How many different sizes of clothing do you own?” Stay fabulous as you are, xx.

  3. An example of how impossible it is to rely on the numbers: I have a skirt that is a size B. Not a bra – a SKIRT. What the hell is a B?

    I no longer even look at the sizes, since I’ve been shopping secondhand for so long – a measuring tape is more useful!

    • Hi Sheila! I’ve seen lots of sizes but (other than bras and pantyhose) not an “B”. For “beautiful” I reckon. Have a great day and stay well, xx.

  4. Great post it made me smile to myself at the realization that even in my 7th fun decade I have size phobia. I know this as I will cut out the size on garments I needed a larger size in and always leave the size in on clothes that fit at a low number. I adore skirts that have elastic pull on waist which I can wear at a small or medium size. French clothes I find run small and to me are more enjoyable once I cut out the size label. I started cutting labels out after I left a dress marked L laying open on a counter in a gym changing room silly to be embarrassed but I own it .

    • Hello dear Joan, hope you’re well. I love it that you’ve been cutting out labels – the only info that’s necessary is “can I throw it in the wash?” I didn’t know about French sizing; thanks for that info. Have a wonderful week ahead, xx.

  5. Great article and post! My best friend’s grandmother – Vera – was a fashionista. She worked in a dress shop/bridal salon and was a hoot. Lived to her 90’s, wore makeup everyday, dressed so amazingly. She always said – “don’t look at the size on the label, just try on lots and get the one that looks best…and don’t look at the label, ever!” She passed away many ears ago, but when my friend and I are shopping and chatting over the dressing room doors we still say “remember what Vera said!”

    • Hi Ann – thanks for sharing the story of Vera, she sounds like a force of nature! And so great that you remember her advice to this day. Stay well and safe, xx.

  6. I am quite petite. I have been the same size since adolescence, and I still have a coat, beautifully made I might add, that I ( well my parents) purchased at age 15 which fits me to a T. I never had problems finding things to wear, Now it seem in spite of the vanity sizing many brands no longer make clothing for petite women. J.Jill used to carry an xx small, Eddie Bauer an xs petite that was perfect .I still have items I bought years ago which I continue to wear and hope they will last. A number of years ago I discovered Karina Dresses. I purchased an XS dress which fit me better than almost anything I had ever worn. still does. but subsequent purchases in this size seemed to get bigger and bigger. and I was not getting smaller. I actually messaged the company and they told me they are doing a xxs small, but it seems in only 1 or 2 styles and I do not know if their new line even has any. since I am 80 now perhaps my current wardrobe will suffice and I can just shop ( my closet) till till I , literally, drop!

    • Hello Darby and thanks for coming over. I’ve worn Karina dresses for years, and they are a former sponsor of my blog! Their dresses are wonderful, sorry you can’t find many in your size. I’m sure you are rocking it all, nonetheless. Stay safe, xx.

  7. Oh Patti, I miss dear Brenda Kinsell, too. She was the first fashion person I ever followed and loved her style and personality. In honour of Brenda, I’ll try not to fret over label size today as I struggle with that too button.

    • Good morning, Kerri-Lee! It’s nice to hear that you’re a fan of Brenda too. And remember, it’s not you, it’s the shirt that has issues! Stay fab, xx.

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