Size matters, at least as far as clothing is concerned

 Size matters, at least as far as clothing is concerned

For quite a while now there have been a lot of giggles and jokes happening about one of pop culture's favorite new phrases, "the muffin top". As I'm sure all of you know, but in case any of you have someone managed to not yet hear the description, a "muffin top" occurs when one wears pants with a waist-size that is too small, making their stomach spill over their belt so that their mid-section resembles the top of a muffin.

Size matters, at least as far as clothing is concerned

While I know a small group of people who find the muffin top attractive, as far as I know most don't and tend to snicker at the thought of it. The thing about it is, a muffin top doesn't necessarily have anything to do with how much extra weight you're carrying but it has everything to do with how your clothing fits. If you've chosen jeans or pants of an appropriate size, you shouldn't have too much trouble preventing your belly -- whether large or small -- from ballooning outward. I think that more than just about any other fashion disaster, the muffin top illustrates the importance of wearing clothes that fit properly. Every time I watch 'What Not to Wear', the helpful hosts stress the fact that finding the right size can make a huge difference in how heavy or slim, tall or short and curvy or lumpy you appear.

I can understand why people still cling to the hope or memory of a size 8, 10, 12, 14, etc. Who wants to admit that they've put on a few pounds and can no longer fit into their favorite 'size whatever' dress? I know I hate pulling out old clothes and realizing I can no longer zip up jeans that used to fit perfectly. However, it's better to admit that you've increased your mass, make a pledge to do something about it (if you're unhappy that is) and then buy whatever size makes your body look great, even if it's way larger than anything else you've ever worn. Squeezing into clothes that are too small will make you look big, and hiding under something the size of a tent will make you look like a tent.

Having said all of this, I realize that finding clothes that fit isn't always an easy task. A size 8 in one store rarely fits the same as a size 8 in another, one company's 'long leg' jean may need hemming while another may barely skim your ankles and while some shirts come in S, M and L, others come in 10, 12 or 14. The best tip that I've ever gotten is to go shopping expecting to be at the mall for a while and spend as much time in the change room as necessary. Try on as many sizes, lengths and colors as you can until you know what looks good.

Keep in mind though that I am neither an expert nor a shopaholic so if you want ideas from someone who has a better idea of what they're talking about take a look here for tips on finding clothes that fit. It includes suggestions such as trying custom-made options and learning how to "decipher vanity sizing". For another great resource, check out this piece which offers pages and pages of recommendations on how to find looks that compliment your body, finding the perfect fitting blouse and keeping clothes wrinkle-free (by buying items that fit).

Once you've gotten over the (imagined) stigma of a certain size, you'll have the chance to see how great you look if you're wearing something that fits well.

Mohammed khalf
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writer and blogger, founder of Go motivations .

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