Working in a fashion store, I’m bombarded by women who believe their body blemishes are of a greater magnitude than the rest of mankind; this is of course simply not the case. It sadly comes as no surprise when you consider the mountains of glossies backhandedly persuading ‘curvy girls’ to cover up and berating ‘busty babes’ for wearing V-necks; explaining that what they believe to be sultry, is in fact slutty. With all these fashion minefields it’s no wonder our society consists of women conditioned to fear their own cleavage. I served one customer today who was simply aghast when her bosom was displayed in a stunning scooped-neck silk dress; she then proceeded to burst into fits of giggles before purchasing more conservative attire.

I am just as concerned with the women whose delusions feature on the other side of the scale. One customer, after trying on a top that was far too snug, had the pluck to pointedly tell me that “this large must have been labelled incorrectly” and demanded another, which to her surprise – and admittedly my delight – was even smaller than the first.

Then there are the women who flounce through the doors in skirts clearly snatched from their teen's wardrobe, with tops that exhibit their ample bellies. These are women who ask for a size ten but proceed to divulge that they’d been a little optimistic and opt for two sizes larger. These are women for whom I have more compassion. Mentally stuck in the days when their ‘perfect figures’ would allow them to wriggle into a pair of size 8 jeans with ease, these lovely ladies have yet to realise that whist they may be slightly more shapely than in their heyday, they still have great figures and just require a little help (and a liberal dosage of pride-swallowing) to display them. After all, sizing-labels can be cut out, thrown away, and never mentioned again. A too tight top will go down in history, archived by whispering colleagues whose malevolence knows no bounds.

As we ease out of autumn and creep into winter, it’s even more crucial to win the sizing-game. Although struggling into a coat in a size too small will induce feelings of ecstasy on the day of purchase; it won’t post-christmas when you’re desperate to layer your cashmere Chloe knit over a Topshop vest and slide your cover-up on top. Instead you’ll be hissing and wishing you’d bought a larger size, instead of investing in a coat that looks as though it belongs to your younger (and slimmer) sister.

The point of this post isn’t to make you feel bad about your body, nor is it intended to make you feel superior because you don’t suffer from too-small-syndrome. Instead, flaunt the bits you like, hide the bits you know you should, and stop letting magazines solely dictate what you should wear…leave that to the mirror.

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