Shopping at Thrift Stores Helped My Body Dysmorphia

I dislike going shopping for clothes, but trying on jeans is the number one thing that will trigger the biggest dressing room panic attack. The fits are so confusing with names like "skinny relaxed", "curvy boot cut", "semi-high waisted ankle" and all the other adjectives designers can string along to describe parts of our body. The numbers though are the absolute worst! I can walk into any department store and my mind goes blank. Am I a size 7? Or is that a juniors sizing? I thought was a dress size 8, but maybe I'm a jeans size 10? Or was that only because it was the "relaxed" fit? I think I was a 32 at H&M, but does that mean I'm a 12 in Aeropostale sizing? 

I know I'm not alone with this either. Women's sizing makes no sense at all. In fact, the sizing has actually shrunk over time. This is called Vanity Sizing, the Vox video below explains this. 

Couple this with my underlying body dysmorphia and it's the perfect storm. 

Acknowledging my poor college student bank account and being disappointed in how the current clothing trends made me feel, I decided to start to shop at thrift stores. I first started by trying to add more skirts to my wardrobe. I wanted to ditch my jeans and t-shirt ensemble, but most skirts sold in stores were too short for my liking. I wanted to be comfortable without thinking about my thighs being on full display.

Now here's the key thing to remember when you're in a thrift store. It's a magical place that's a mixture of fashion trends from multiple decades. It's a mixture of old and new, with nothing making any sense. You can move through a rack where there's a Forever 21 cardigan, next to grandma cardigan with kitschy appliques all over it. 

I know that when I go into a thrift store, the sizes don't matter. Let me say that again. The sizing of the clothes inside a thrift store does not matter. At all. I can fit into a '90s small, but I'm a today's large, almost extra large. While shopping at thrift stores takes a lot more time because you have to sift through all the racks to try to find something cute, I know that it's worth the extra time to save myself from crying inside of a fitting room. 

The next time that you're out clothes shopping, remember that the sizing has nothing to do with the function of your body. You are strong, capable, and beautiful no matter what fashion designers label you as.