Clothing conundrum- I have no idea what size I am!

It surely can't just be me who has no idea of my size.  I think it's a combination of factors from self-image to dodgy sizing by manufacturers which mean I much prefer shopping for clothing for anyone but myself!

madmumof7 trying on clothes despite body image issues
Trying a jumper on.....
 Yesterday I went out with my friend who was shopping for an outfit for a Christmas party. I know her, and her wardrobe very well so had no trouble and lots of fun picking things up and knowing whether they would suit her taste, her body shape and the occasion. I didn't look at the size - in my experience that's a load of rubbish anyway depending on what shop or manufacturer added the label.

I easily picked out a dress for each of my daughters. One said age 5 but fit my 8 year old like a glove. The other said 12-13 but I knew it would fit my skinny 14 year old.

In one well known High Street store known for its bargain prices I can be anything from a size 6 to a size 20. And sadly but predictably I feel happier buying the things which have a size 6 label sewn in even when its blatantly obvious they are the same size as a 10/12 in another shop.

Luckily I buy a lot in charity shops where a lot of people donate because the size 12 they bought without trying on turns out to be a completely different size. Yesterday I bought two jumpers in a charity shop - one a 10, one a 14 - both the same size really. You can see me modelling one in the pictures. Is it the 10 or the 14? My friend took photos so I could see whether the jumpers fit - I don't trust mirrors!

I have an odd body shape - typical diabetic barrel shaped with skinny legs and arms and a big round stomach which makes me permanently look heavily pregnant. This makes shopping awkward.  I am very aware of the tummy and avoid clingy things when I can. Although after a carb lunch and a can of Coke Zero even the loose fitting tops become clingy!

I have no arse and thanks to a good surgeon, average sized boobs (after cutting down the JJ's which gave me migraine, back and neck ache)

I buy knickers in a size 6-8, jeans range from 6-14 depending on style, tops from 10-18. Dresses - small to large, coats aged 15 to size 18. Only my shoes remain a fairly constant size 5 which is why I have so many because they are easy to buy!
madmumof7 in Salvation Army charity shop
Does my tum look big in this....

In my dreams I am an average sized blonde, petite even at 5ft 3inches. I imagine myself a little like the blonde woman in flowing white clothes from the shampoo adverts. Only shorter.

On my iPhone BMI app I am not overweight. OK at the top end of the "right" weight at 24.4 but still a healthy weight according to the NHS calculator.

In the mirror generally I am obese with all my faults magnified - knobbly knees, flat bum, giant belly, double chins..... we all have those mirrors at home don't we?  I hear myself asking - do I look fat in this?

My husband is a star - always complementary, always telling me I am beautiful. I love him for his caring dishonesty.

I once asked him how he would describe me if he didn't know me. Y'know, if he'd seen me in a pub and wanted to tell his friends. Blonde. Short. Those are easy. Average sized? skinny, fat, chubby? I have no idea! He tactfully changed the subject!

I sound like I think about this a lot - I don't. Well, not so much any more anyway. My youthful insecurities have been replaced by a general contentment. I'm 45 and I've had 7 kids - I could look a lot worse! Maybe it's because Christmas is approaching where you tend to buy a new outfit or two for parties. Looking at clothes wondering what size I am.........


  1. I'm the same. I'm meant to be pear shaped which is a nightmare for clothes, at my slimmest I then go more straight up and down shaped, but at the moment am more apple as I've just kept putting weight on and can't seem to lose it even if I work hard. At my good healthy weight I'd be a 10-14 depending on shop and fit (not a chance of having less than a 14 in jeans however slim thanks to my chunky legs and backside. At the moment, I can be anything from a 14-16 on top and 16-20 on the bottom (oh and I'm still in a size 12 coat - just). Horrendous for shopping as even then clothes don't fit my shape properly.

    I guess it just means I will definitely have to lose my weight...I'm back to swimming although didn't see any shape change in the Summer going twice a week on top of walking, and must start getting up earlier to exercise in the mornings.

    1. I would love a waist! And no matter how much weight I lose I stay the same shape!

  2. I'm so glad I'm a guy and have a lot less of the clothe-size stress that seems to follow women around! #PoCoLo

    1. Menswear seems to be waist size and s/m.l/xl. Much less complicated!

  3. Lovely post. I feel your pain, I've got a wobbly tummy, big boobs, am short with thick thighs - this makes going shopping a complete nightmare! I admit to liking H&M as I can fit into an 'L' whereas other shops, even their 18's don't fit!
    I'd love to be able to get clothes tailor made and ignore clothes sizing completely, but not there just yet!

    1. Maybe I should learn to knit, using a sewing machine,print my own fabric and labels.....

  4. I always tend to stick with a 12 because in the past I know that's what has fitted me. I've put on a bit of weight since my 20s but clothes are made bigger nowadays anyway. It is annoying though how in some shops a 12 will be tight on me but in others way too big.#pocolo

  5. I volunteer at a charity shop every Friday and never cease to be amazed at the amount of brand new donations we get still with price tags on. I'm guessing people are too embarrassed to take them back because they don't fit. I know I'm a different size in every shop, excluding shoe shops, you're so right! There was a piece in my mum's paper this week about M & S and a lady had to buy an piece was a size 12, one a 14, one a 16, one an 18...I felt so much more "normal" after reading that!

    1. It's good to know we are not alone. I've given up looking at labels now. And don;t start me on shops where the hanger has one size and the label has another....

  6. I really enjoyed reading this post. I buy a lot of things in Charity shops and I think that many of the modern day retailers get it so wrong with sizing. I quite like M&Co as they cut their clothes pretty sensibly but I have all but given up on Primark! I eventually give up when clothes shopping for me and just buy for Grace (that said she takes 9 to 10 and is 7 but that is another story!!). Thank you for linking to PoCoLo :) x


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