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  • Writer's pictureSonya

Fit and Size - which is key?

We’re all familiar with this shopping scenario; we select a garment, choose a color, pick a size ,…….and then it’s into the changing room.

As many of you know, this is where it can get frustrating. Why? Because we have to navigate the fit-size conundrum.

What is the difference between these terms?

Which do we need to focus on for less hair-pulling fitting-room sessions and successful shopping?

Here are a few tips from my consultation room.


Simply put, it is the number or letter(s) written on a label.

The snag is that different countries have different standards (size M in the US may correspond to a size L in France for instance). Different brands use different dress mannequins and fit models - at equal measures of a garment, a size 10 at designer X may correspond to a size 8 at designer Y. What’s more, some brands resort to vanity-sizing (using smaller numbers on tags) in an attempt to play with our emotions.

With so many designers playing the global fashion market this can quickly become confusing.

Where does this leave you? Trust me, there is little reward in tag-phobia. The truth is, the best size for you is the one that fits you best and truly flatters your figure.

Believe it or not, buying a size smaller than you are can make you look larger. Yes, when garments are too tight, they create unsightly bulges resulting in precisely what you were trying to avoid – a larger looking silhouette.

My invitation to you is to relax a little, and use garment tags as rough indicators, not phobia triggers.

Instead, focus on…..


It is the way a garment “sits” on your body; does it drape or gape, sag or hug? In other words, how does it place itself on your body? Where are the seams, hems, and proportions in relation to your body?

More importantly, fit determines how your silhouette is “mise en valeur” (enhanced), how it really appears to the outside world.

Good fit is the key to looking great!

So how do you assess the fit of a garment? I’ll share with you a few pointers.

For tops and jackets: ideally shoulder seams should sit at the edge of your shoulder, not further down the arm. Darts should stop at the apex of your bust. Look out for tightness or gaping across the bust area and back.

For bottoms: look first at the hip area, is it too tight or too loose? Can you see a “beak” (excess fabric) at the back? Is the rise too high (bunching of fabric) or too low (muffin top)? Pockets should ideally enhance the asset you are covering.

If you are unsure about what a great fit for you is, don’t despair, you can get help from a professional; a tailor, seamstress or image consultant will be able to give you the objectivity and advice you need.

And for those who need to allow for bodily changes and have several “size areas” to their wardrobe, the principal remains the same; at any given bodily dimensions, the best “number or letter label tag” for you is the one that has the best fit.

Finally, remember that clothes that fit well are comfortable, they move easily with your body, don’t constrict or get in the way.

The saying is true; size is just a number. Great fit gives you “de l’allure” and paves your way to great style, so why sweat the small stuff?

Enjoy bringing out the best in your silhouette during your next fitting-room session!

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