Size is just a number

When I was in college I worked at a boutique children’s/women’s clothing store in a pretty ritzy Long Island town. Because we sold clothing from many different retailers, the sizing ran across the board in terms of fit. With that, a lot of girls would balk at the size of something they liked, because it was bigger than what they normally wore, and my mantra was the tell them that the size doesn’t matter – all clothing is sized differently and as long as they liked how it fit, it shouldn’t matter.

I repeated this statement over and over again during my time at the clothing store, but until now I never had to say it to myself. I’ve always been thin, and while I wasn’t in the best of shape before I got pregnant, and had gone up a size in recent years, that never bothered me. Post pregnancy caused the issue.

See the (cute) pair of mint green pants in the picture there? Those pants are two to three sizes BIGGER than I normally wear. I got them from Old Navy, and first ordered a size slightly bigger than I used to fit into. I couldn’t even zipper them. They got returned, and I ordered the next two sizes up to see what worked. The next size fit, but I felt like a sausage squeezed into a too small casing. The size up from that? Fit perfectly.

I went from a size two to a size eight in these pants.

Here’s my disclaimer: Yes, I bought these pants a few weeks after having a baby. And the reviews said they ran small. And now, over seven weeks after Sadie’s birth, they fit better than they did when I first purchased them. But I still felt… bad.

There was really no reason for me to feel bad about it. The pants were cute, they looked good on me (so I thought) and I was comfortable in that size. But I can’t lie, it stung a little. I had to go back to my clothing store days and tell myself, as if I was the customer, that the size didn’t matter.

It’s not the size that matters. Size is just a number.  (Well in clothing at least! 😉 )


  1. old navy has really weird sizing, for sure 🙂

  2. Like you I’ve always been petite, a size 1 or 2 pre-pregnancy and even though I’m back to my pre-preg weight I still have a bit of a pooch and my hips have spread so when I buy new pants or shorts I need the next 1 or 2 sizes up than before which is irritating. It’s crazy how your baby changes and shifts after having a baby.

  3. This really rings true for me too. I’m back to my pre-baby weight, for the most part, but my hips are wider than before. It stings the MOST when I have to go up a size at Old Navy, the kingdom of vanity sizing 🙁

  4. You look great and that sweet babe of yours doesn’t give a lick what size pants you wear. My body has changed so much since being pregnant. Almost 11 months after giving birth I’m lighter than my pre-pregnancy weight but my body has changed. My hips are wider and I don’t think they’ll ever go back. It’s been difficult, accepting this new body of mine, but I just keep reminding myself that this is the new me (and the new me has an adorable baby) so I can either accept it or be upset and neither reaction will change my reality.

  5. Don’t feel bad, you just had a baby! Old Navy does have odd sizing in pants, which sucks and I try to remember that size is just a number too.

    I was in my maternity jeans still when I was 12 weeks postpartum and I think I was back in my pre-pregnancy jeans by 14 weeks postpartum, but they didn’t fit the same. Breastfeeding and running have helped me significantly, but all of my old shirts are too small and short (thanks breastfeeding boobs) and my hips are definitely a bit wider. I weigh 10lbs less now that I did before I got pregnant (I am 12.5 months postpartum now) and some of my old stuff still doesn’t fit right because my body is just different now.

  6. GIRL!

    You don’t even know timely this post is. I went to Old Navy on Saturday to get some new capris to wear for the remainder of this pregnancy. I grabbed a pair of white jeans in a 4, my pre-pregnancy size, and couldn’t get them over my ass. I ended up buying a 12 (!!!) and then proceeded to cry because I felt so bad about myself. My husband kept saying that the size is just a number and I still look great and blah blah blah, but hearing it from another woman somehow means more. I am glad I am not alone!

  7. As someone who has been working hard to lost a lot of weight in the past couple of years, I understand all the ways you can play head games with yourself. So, first off, brava for understanding that size is just a number.

    Next, remember that you did just have a baby. It took nine months to put those pounds on and it could take nine (or more or less) to take them off. Rome wasn’t built in a day, yadda yadda yadda.

    What you weighed before might not be a number that you’ll reach again. And, depending on what that number was, it might not have been the healthiest weight for you. A long time ago before I had children, I was in a clothing size I was happy with, BUT I was also slightly underweight AND in terrible shape. I ate crappy food and never exercised. But hey, I was skinny, so that was all that mattered, right?

    The healthiest thing to do is find out what a healthy weight range for your height and body type are and keep those numbers in your head. Don’t fret too much and definitely cut yourself some slack.

    And yes, Old Navy sizing is weird.

  8. I don’t even WANT to know what will happen to my body when we start having children. As someone who is curvy (super curvy), I am in all weird sizes right now. At old navy, I can wear a 6 or 8 in khaki pants/shorts, but a 4 (?) in stretch skinny jeans, but a 10 in another style of denim. At American Eagle, its a 10. Every single brand is different.

    That said, I know many friends who have already had kids and even though they may weigh the same or less than their pre-pregnant self, hips and waists change after being pg. It’s a tough reality. 🙁

  9. dude clothing sizes are so detrimental. it seriously wigs me out when i’m one size at one store and then like three sizes bigger somewhere else. it’s nutty. but like you said, it’s only a number.

    also, those jeans are super cute on you! love that color. also, sadie is like the best accessory to that picture ever, ha.

  10. This is definitely difficult to keep in mind, for any size. Your body changes over the last year have been a lot but you look great and if your body changes, it’s for the best reason ever….Sadie!

  11. Definitely just a number and trying to stay the same size among different brands will drive a woman crazy! Your body just did a wonderful thing! Wearing a size that fits will ALWAYS make you look and feel better than wearing a size you “like!”

  12. You most definitely do NOT “look” like a size 8.
    You know what you do look like?
    Damn good for a woman who just had a baby.
    You’re awesome.

  13. I agree with Tricia. You look fab and if it goes back, it goes back…and Old Navy is weird, had you grabbed another pair of the same cut, same size just a different color or pair? They might have fit. Who knows what they’re doing over there, it’s not QC in sizing,that’s for sure


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