So, thought I might talk about that number on the little white bit of fabric that sits on the inside neckline or waistband of our clothes.

The size label.

That little number which, the mere sight of – can cause some of us to come out in hives and sometimes make our palms itchy… all from frustration.

Regardless of which end of the clothing size spectrum you sit at, I can’t imagine that there is a single one of us who hasn’t experienced frustration with the irregularity of clothing sizes.



Regardless of how many times we tell ourselves the above, when we’re lambasted left right and centre with a specific image-type, even the most confident amongst us will inevitably get down on ourselves once in a blue moon.

I’m a case in point.

I love clothing and fashion, but being extra petite makes me hate clothes shopping as it’s all so frustrating when anything and everything won’t fit.

In my late 20s, when friends were graduating onto more ‘grown-up, womanly’ clothes shops, whether it was French Connection, Ted Baker, Whistles or Karen Millen… I was stuck with shopping at Topshop.

And this was around the time Topshop disappeared off the radar for many of my friends… before Kate Moss et al started being papped in their clothing and before Kate collaborated with Topshop for the first time, making it all cool again.

I remember once when someone I’d met at a party asked me where my top was from, I felt embarrassed to admit that it was from Topshop.

Even though I’d been asked about the top because the lady in question was complimenting me.

A friend of mine who was standing next to me at the time joked:

“Poor Beans! She still has to shop in Topshop because no where else does clothes small enough”

Now my friend didn’t say those words to be mean.

It was simply a fact (at that time).

Yet, somehow the words stung.

The truth hurts and all that.

In fact, back in the day I had a friend (a size 10/12) who refused to buy clothing if the label read anything above a 12 because she said it made her feel “crap inside.”

Should it really matter that much?


By the time I was 30, I’d learnt to embrace all that was me… short & extra-petite.

I’d reached peace with the label on my clothing, and didn’t care where they were from and was very much of the “shoe fits…” ethos.

However, what if, instead of a size, the clothing label has an age printed on it?

Say, Age 12… how does that feel?

Let me tell you – when you’re in your mid-40s: it’s not that great.

Clearly, I don’t buy kids clothing items which have all the child-like diamante embellishments… but even so, regardless that I’m saving money, there’s just no true ‘feel good factor’ associated with making a purchase from a kids range:

La Redoute Kids Dungers...

La Redoute Kids Dungers…

I bought these dungarees from La Redoute last spring with a 40% discount, so they cost next to nothing, which should give me a little zing, right?

But the label reads ‘age 13’ which immediately cancelled out the joy of purchasing a bargain.

That said, they’re a pretty plain pair of dungarees, so I do wear them quite frequently.

Boden? More like Johnnie-B!

This little military jacket was from Boden’s Johnnie B range last Autumn and the label reads age 12.

I really love the jacket and will continue wearing it, but as it’s Boden-central in my small town, there’s always a chance of bumping into an 8 year old wearing the same thing.

Can you imagine?

It’s not happened yet, but if it did, I reckon I’d immediately stop wearing the jacket.

It’s a bit like when your most loathed Eastenders or Corrie character wears the dress or jumper you just bought… it’s just off-putting right?

And yet… out of frustration from being unable to find clothes to fit me, I do occasionally look around the ‘Older Girls’ ranges, just in case I find a little gem.

These Next Girls Dungarees appeared on my Instagram feed about 6 weeks ago and sat in my basket until this Sunday when I finally bit the bullet and clicked the purchase button:


Not too childish… or is that just me?

I like vertical stripes; I like horizontal stripes; I like dungarees; I love a good wide legged crop and of course, I love monochrome.

All the things I like: so I figured, these dungarees were worth a shot & that perhaps I could make them work for me.

Having never ordered from the Next Kid’s range before, I ordered in age 11, 12 and 13.

So what do we think?

For reference I’m normally a petite’s size 6, and these dungaree’s are age 12.

So to my mind, in theory, if you are 5’4″ and under, and: a small 8 go for age 13; a true 8 go for age 14 right through to size 10 being the age 16.

The dungarees are a bit of a bargain at £23.

I have to admit, the fit is great… the fabric is a nice mid-weight cotton, and although probably a little too thin for *right now* (given the freezing wind chill!) they will be perfect for summer.

Now don’t look too close or you’ll see my goosebumps as it was freezing today!

I happen to think the dungarees look pretty cool with grey, white, gold and black footwear and would, in fact look pretty cool with some red shoes or mustard… monochrome goes with pretty much every colour!

I grabbed my denim jacket for these pics, but again, the dungarees would look great with a khaki utility ‘shacket’ or a little black blazer perhaps?

I bought these dungarees because I thought they’d be great for kicking around parks with the boys during the holidays… and having just booked our ‘Glamping’ holiday for mid-August, down in the South of France… these dungarees would get a lot of wear on that trip, I’m sure.

BUT, but… but… the label reads age 12.

And that fact, in conjunction with the fact that it’s my 46th birthday in a couple of months… doesn’t exactly boost my self esteem in any way.

So what to do?

Should I keep or return… when in my heart I know, I’d be returning just because of what the label reads?

Surely if I’ve truly embraced all that I am, then it shouldn’t matter what the label says, right?

And yet… somehow, when it’s not an adult size on the label, but a kids-range age instead… it does seem to matter.

I mean, we all know that just because a label reads size 14 in Zara, that actually, it’s probably a size 10 in most other shops and so we say “ignore the number on the label!”

I should just get over it right? And live my “if the shoe fits…” mantra…?

What would you do? I’d love to hear your thoughts on this one?

Thanks for reading.

P.S. I’m taking the Easter Weekend off – so no Sunday 7 this week: sorry.  I’ll be back with my usual mid-weeker and Sunday 7 will resume as normal from 23rd April. Xx