womanspringdressA client questionnaire came in last week and she had me at hello.

Hello, since I hit 50 my body is hanging on to every last cookie I eat.”

Somehow we don’t notice the cookies until spring, when we are supposed to be rejoicing about shedding our layers and instead we are wining about shedding our pounds.

If this has crept up on you just in time for graduations, weddings and general spring flings, don’t fret, Cinderella, you can still head to the ball.

Let’s get the Windex, clean that smoke off the mirrors and begin.

What the hell size am I now?

When is the last time you walked into a department store and saw the ‘Have You Eaten Too Many Cookies Department’ right there waiting for you?

If you are going to buy a new dress, do you even know what size you are? If I asked three women what size they are (who I know are the same size), I guarantee they would all have different answers based on the stores they shop in. They might be a size ten in Ann Taylor and a zero in Chico’s. But if I asked one of my male clients he would say he is a 42 long with a 35 waist, a 33-inch inseam and his shirt is a 15 1/2 x 34. How is that even possible? He can answer intelligently because men’s sizing is consistent and actually based on measurements, however women’s sizing is based on vanity.

Vanity Sizing is defined in Wikipedia as the practice of assigning smaller sizes to articles of manufactured clothing than is really the case, in order to encourage sales. Seriously? One more inequality added to the list.

Here’s your first line of defense, buy a tape measure, it is the best tool in your style toolbox! You have to take the time to note not only your height and weight, but also your bust, waist, hip, inseam, outseam and even your preferred dress, jacket, blouse or sweater length! Just knowing your height and weight doesn’t even tell you if you are a petite or not.

You could have a short torso and be 5’6 but could benefit by wearing a petite top! TapeMeasure

You could have a long torso and short legs and could benefit by wearing petite bottoms.

Shopping is painful enough and not knowing what you are looking for precisely is not only a waste of time, but also a waste of money! Take your favorite things out of your closet, measure them and note those numbers on your iPhone so the next time you are shopping just pop out your tape measure and measure a few lengths before you bother to get naked in the dressing room! Having these measurements jotted down enables you to shop with purpose both in the stores and online!

What size are my girls?

When is the last time you have had a bra fitting? I am always amazed when I pose that question to large groups of women when I hear the inevitable 2 years ago, 10 years ago and even never. What?? This is not the time to guess, Gloria. Guessing gets you side boob, third boob, back spillage and underwire torture! Get it right. Head to Nordstrom and get fit by one of their bra fit specialists – once and done! You will be amazed at what ‘locked & loaded’ can do for your frame as well as your mindset.

Can I move this weight around a bit?

Shapers became a dirty word years ago when Spanx first came out because we all said oh this is just another word for girdle. Remember girdles, even saying the word seems downright painful. Well let me tell you Spanx has come a long way baby! I was a keynote speaker at a large banking conference in Baltimore last week and knowing there were 400 ladies looking, these two shapers were first into my suitcase. Whisper thin, no elastic bands in sight and they allowed my bra to be exposed, keeping my shape in tact. I wore the nude under the white dress and the black under my black sheath dress.

purpleplusdressNow let’s find the damn dress already!

Now that you know what size range you are in, pour a glass of Merlot and peruse online before you bother to head to the Mall. Most women are repeat shoppers, parking in the same location, going into the same door, walking down the same aisles at their favorite department store. Well guess what, you are only going to see the ‘same-old’. Spread your horizon, Helen! Head to your favorite department store online as the search box is your friend.

Follow my lead and you will see how to drill down precisely to what you like which is so much better than slogging around the mall.

Give this Nordstrom protocol a try.

Search Dresses – 9100 items – yikes!

Drill down by length – knee length – down to 2466

Drill down by sleeve length – ¾ sleeve – down to 244

Drill down by color – purple – down to 13

Drill down by size – plus – down to 6

Oh my, wasn’t that easier than going to the store to find out that they only have 6 choices for knee-length, ¾ sleeve, purple, plus size dresses? And oh wait – you can even now use the online chat button to see if it is actually physically living in the store or if you just have to have the big brown truck deliver it! There is nothing worse than spending an afternoon to find they don’t carry your size in the store.

Last Tip

When shopping online ALWAYS buy two sizes. Nothing is worse than being disappointed by your UPS man!

Need help Virtually finding your perfect dress?

Start here – Virtual Style Debit Card




Is Your Spring Dress Having A Cookie Crisis? was last modified: by

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