What does 'DRESS SIZE' even mean??

The other day while shopping, I visited the changing rooms with two very pretty dresses; one, a breton-striped drop-waist dress in a wonderfully thick material, the other, a bright yellow sixties-style shift dress. Both dresses were beautiful - the striped was an effortlessly cool piece, something I would have worn day or night, trainers or heels. The yellow was a sumptuous garment, silky-but-not, designed to hang straight down to mid-thigh.

When I tried the breton stripe offering, it seemed a little short (to say the least). When I reached up to grab the hanger, still wearing the dress, it rose with me. I stood there in the changing rooms with my arms up, wearing something that more closely resembled a peplum top than a drop-waist dress.

The yellow dress wasn't as short, and at first held promise. Trying it on, it was clear that although this dress had just enough length, it was too snug on my hips, and didn't flow from shoulder to thigh as it should have. A bigger size swamped my upper half, so I gave up on the dresses.

These dresses weren't designed for me. I have broad shoulders, a long torso and wide hips, while the rest of me is rather small. Don't get me wrong, I have no problem with my bodily proportions, but I want to demonstrate the reality for most gals out there; that we are not a standard size all over. While choices in clothing can be rather limited in sizing, it is important to remember that you are not a single number. Should you need to size up in a dress/jumpsuit/playsuit/onesie to accommodate your hips, stomach or shoulders, do not take the size's deductive number at face value.

Plenty of emphasis is placed on 'dress size', as if a woman is actually a size 12 from her neck to her toes. Please. The 'drop a dress size' fad needs to stop, and we need to take different body types into account - I may diet all I like but my natural shape will still remain; I will still have far wider hips than my waist, no matter my weight. So...why are we all measuring ourselves on the same yardstick?

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