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However, I am usually there to tell them the INVISIBLE TRUTH. (Invisible because it's actually a common truth, but it's still ignored.) The invisible truth is, SIZE LABELS DO NOT REALLY MATTER. Whether or not there is a standard, chances are there will be times that you are supposed to wear something smaller for this type of clothing and bigger for the other one. It is not because you have lost weight or gained (respectively) but because each clothing is OBVIOUSLY NOT THE SAME.
Ultimately each clothing differs in cloth used and style, which defines what your body will need (in terms of size) in order to look fab.
There are cloths that are stretchable like jersey and spandex (which splits up to different branches). In this case, more often than not, you will need a smaller size.
But how small? You need a smaller size when:
1. For bottoms: you can fit your whole palm inside, even while you are wearing the bottom already. Straighten up your palm like you are going to chop a brick and then place it inside your bottom. If you can wiggle your palm inside with ease, then you need a smaller size.
2. For tops: this is tricky as there are tops that are meant to be lose. For the otherwise, if the top is folding all over, then most probably you should have a smaller size.
On the other side of the spectrum there is organza and satin (in general, although there are stretch satin). With this one, it gets tricky, but usually, a bigger size would be optimal just as long as you can breathe in it.
But how big should you be selecting? That's the question. You need a bigger size when you put it on and:
1. the seams on the sides are stretching to the point that you can see the threads stretched already.
2. the print of the clothing is disfigured already (not unless it is crazy printed)
3. if it is garterized and it is stretched to the limit of its elasticity. (To be sure, try to stretch the garter, it is supposed to leave a little more room for breathing of at least a two fingers, middle and index.)
4. You look lumpy. As plus size women, our curves will at times fold. If this is showing through the shape of the clothing, then get a bigger size.
So I hope that this helps you find out the right fit for your body.
If you want to chat directly, tweet me! ^^ @erzullie
Aries De Guzman