Standing in a fitting room at a high street store, feeling absolutely deflated and really frustrated. I’d imagine this feeling rings a bell with most. This isn’t the first time this has happened and, sadly, it certainly won’t be the last. Taking the time to try on clothes can be so annoying, but throwing the crazy clothing sizes into the mix and it can become a nightmare.

Over the last 18 months I have lost a lot of weight and have gone down two dress sizes. I was so excited to be able to try different shops on the high street that didn’t carry my old clothing size or ones that say they do but you just know you have zero chance of it fitting properly. After losing so much weight being able to purchase clothing in smaller sizes was so exciting, but then you find yourself standing in a fitting room with a pair of jeans around your ankles needing some sort of miracle to make them go up any further. You check the label a number of times in hope that you have picked up the wrong size by mistake.

I find this totally insane that this is still happening. Clothing sizes have been a topic for many years. It can leave people in floods of tears and can have such a dangerous effect on our mental health.

We, as women are in the midst of a great opportunity, our voice is finally being heard and we aren’t standing for just mediocre anymore. Why are we still having to deal with this on a daily basis? It has been said a number of times that a size 12 should be the same measurements in every single store. It should be measured in inches that every store or clothing brand has to follow. I really feel at this point it should be part of a law that states this.

It is so amazing that we are part of a time where body confidence issues are being discussed so openly. We have to continue this and make sure we aren’t letting our confidence take a knockback because of the incorrect sizes.

We are taught to believe that as long as you’re healthy, size doesn’t matter. This is so amazing and words to live by, but, it is so disheartening to try on what you believe to be your size but it is completely wrong. We are all completely aware of how shocking sizes are. Even if the next size up fits perfectly a lot of people, (myself included a few years ago) will give it back to the sales assistant thinking to yourself ‘I am not buying that. I am not that size’.

Is this a missed opportunity for the high street? Could they be missing out on sales due to how their sizing is making their consumer feel? If all brands got together and decided to stick to the same sizing, wouldn’t this have a huge impact on their takings?

Shops and brands need to make a stand and be the leader in how women feel when they shop. Surely this would increase sales and make people return to the store? Why can’t we feel amazing every time we step foot into the fitting room, knowing that the store has our back and wants us to leave looking great and feeling happy.

As a fashion stylist, my main goal is to make sure my client leaves their shopping experience feeling absolutely incredible. I love seeing their face light up when they try on an outfit and you just know it is ‘the one’. I always make a promise to myself that if I don’t see this face I would never encourage them to make a purchase. We have spent many years buying things that are just ok its time to make a change and start only purchasing the items that make us look and feel great.

So what can we do to make a stand and change things? My first thought was going straight to the source of the issue, (I know this has probably been done a number of times and it definitely still needs to happen). However, as I was writing this article I started to think that if we try and change our mind-­set could this be the start of a great change?

Let’s start the change from within and take our power back not just in the workplace but in every aspect of our lives and let ourselves feel great as often as we can. This is definitely an issue that needs to be addressed but, if we start to change our attitude towards clothing sizing surely that could be a great thing? If we start approaching a shopping trip fully understanding that it isn’t our bodies and it’s all down to the sizing that can surely have a positive effect on our mental health?

We always know if we have lost or gained a few pounds. Going into a store aware of the body we have and not letting their sizes get us down can have a powerful effect. We can stop allowing the brands to make us feel a certain way. I’m not saying this is going to fix everything but, once our attitude changes we are free to take on the brands directly and make a stand.

Yes, the sizing definitely needs to be addressed directly with the brands but changing our attitude when we shop can be the first step to tackling this important change. Let’s take our power back ladies and be in charge of our right to feel happy at all times.

By Nikki J McFarlane

Want more thoughts from Nikki? Check this out:
Fast fashion to sustainable style 

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