Clothing Sizes: Don't Let the Digits Get You Down 

I really enjoyed my day today. My mother and I spent hours shopping, something we haven't done in a while because of conflicting work schedules. Her day, however, started off a little shaky.

We perused the racks of the Banana Republic Factory Outlet that she loves so much. She had enlisted me as her personal shopping assistant, and asked me to pick out whatever outfits I thought would look good on her, as long as the items were in a size 8.

I happily did my bidding, and thought being a personal shopper would be a very fun job to have. I found a few great pairs of dress slacks in black and a warm khaki color. I also found the most gorgeous wrap shirt I have ever seen. I grabbed them all and shuffled my mother into the fitting room.

I waited outside the door for a few minutes, and my mother still hadn't emerged from the fitting room in all her new, high-fashion glory. I tapped on the door and asked if everything was okay. She opened it a crack, and when I saw the sullen look on her face, I asked what was wrong.

She didn't tell me. She merely patted her midsection, where the trouser's button remained open. Then, she pointed to all the spots at which the pants were pulling. Then, she attempted to button the pants one more time, though the attempt proved futile.

"Lauren, I can't fit into a size 8," she said. "I have been a size 8 since I had your brother. Am I really getting this fat?"

I wasn't sure what to say. In all honesty, my mother has put on weight, but who doesn't gain a pound as the years go by? I certainly have, and most people I know have, as well. It's only natural.

Instead, I told her I'd be right back. I marched back to the rack and grabbed the next size up. When I got back, I shoved the pants into the fitting room and told her to try them on, whether she wanted to or not. The door closed. I heard her murmuring something about being "a disgusting size ten."

Then, the door cracked open again. I looked at my mother in the gorgeous dark pants. No pulling and a fully buttoned fly-- already, these pants were an improvement. I asked her to turn around, so I could get the full effect. In the process, she caught sight of herself in the mirror. She paused and stared for a second.

"My ass hasn't looked this good in years!" She exclaimed, uninhibited and unnoticing of the other customers in the fitting rooms. " I HAVE to get these."

And she did.

Not because they were a size 8. Not because they were a size 10. She bought them because she looked good and felt good about herself in them. She felt HOT.

The most important thing about your clothes is the boost of confidence they give you, not the number on the tag. Don't let the digits get you down.

How do you feel about clothing sizes? Can you get yourself to ignore the numbers?