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Monday Musings – Sizing Charts & Animal Print

Happy Monday ladies. I’m a big fan of one-and-done dressing because it’s so easy. That means a jumpsuit or a dress for me and I haven’t found too many jumpsuits that feel effortless to wear 🙂 There’s that whole restroom issue as well as bending over and having the rise remind you it’s an issue.

A dress, on the other hand, is easy peasy but many feel too dressy for my lifestyle so I’m always happy to discover one that’s casual.

As always, you can click the red text for more info and to shop the item.

jennifer of a well styled life wearing target dress and rothy's flats

I spotted this super casual knit dress in Target last week and decided it was perfect for a casual day. In an era when many retailers are cutting back their size options, I’m always delighted to find a retailer who isn’t! This dress comes in 3 colors, in womens and womens plus size XS-4X. 

over 50 woman walking in target dress and rothy's flats

That sizing is wonderful for several reasons. It’s not called, regular and plus which might imply a plus size is not regular which could not be further from the truth. At least 70% of women wear a size 14 or above which gets classified as a plus… shouldn’t those sizes be classified as regular? 




This brings me to one of the things on my mind this week…sizing and the labels that are put on women by clothing brands. As fun as it can be to try on and buy new clothes, it’s frustrating to have confusing size labels and categories. Women come in all shapes and sizes and no one size it better than the other. I try on a lot of clothes and I’m often puzzled by the way different sizes are categorized.

And what the heck is “misses”? Is that as opposed to Mrs? Then we can go down the rabbit hole of comparing one brand size chart to another. We know there is no standard or parity between brands.

The subject of vanity sizing is an entire post on its own. Suffice to say, we’re all victims of it whether we think we are or not. Zipping up a pair of jeans labeled 8 shouldn’t make us feel any happier than zipping up a pair labeled a 12…but they seem to. Brands know this and they play to women’s insecurity by vanity sizing. Their bottom line is money, not the joy and confidence of the women buying their clothes. My tiny rant is over, but it’s an important conversation.


woman sitting on bench smiling into camera
You’ll usually find me with my sleeves folded up. It helps me appear taller plus I like to see a peek of both garment colors at my wrist to tie them together.

My necklace is old as the hills and has a silver metal medallion.  My earrings have a gold metal finish. They flow because they’re both labradorites. Mixing metals should be done at your pleasure so please ignore all rules thrown at you.


I use animal print in all shades as a neutral. It’s one of the few prints I do wear. I started to ponder why some women love it and some never wear it. It’s a personal preference of course, but why?

woman sitting on wall wearing animal print rothy's shoes and target dress

Some women feel strong, stylish, and powerful wearing animal print. Others find it trashy, tasteless, and low class. Is there a right or wrong answer? Of course not. It’s called personal choice and I encourage you to express yours with delight… whichever side of the faux pelt you come down on.

two pair of rothy's aniumal print loafers on escalator

I’ve been wearing and loving these Rothy’s flats since my daughter and I discovered these during a shopping trip in 2019. I brought mine to Vancouver this week and she picked me up at the airport wearing hers. For me, animal print is both timeless and easy so I always keep an eye out for fun accessories to add to my collection.

Here are a few cool-toned animal prints that crossed my radar this week-


What are your thoughts on sizing? If this topic interests you, please pin this post to Pinterest so other women can join our conversation.

Thanks for reading and remember to wear what makes you feel confident.






  1. I don’t know, I don’t really care about the number on the label. It just gives me a general idea of what size I am. Sometimes it’s M or 10/12, sometimes a medium is 12/14 at another store. Sometimes I am a large as a 12. But I have to say, vanity or not, I love it that I wear a 0.5 at Chico’s! It is what it is and doesn’t bother me, although I agree, at times it is frustrating.
    I love animal prints! I have them in all different scales in tops, dressed and shoes! I think they’re attractive and fun.
    I love your outfit today; especially the shoes. Love the cool tone tops you show too…thanks for that. I’m catching up from yesterday.

    1. So long as we know what size fits…:) Have a great day, Nancy

  2. I don’t like to wear animal prints not because I think they’re trashy, but because I’m a conservative dresser, and they seem showy and ostentatious to me.

    1. Knowing why and being true to yourself is the easiest way to dress with confidence. Bravo, Janet

  3. I’m with you on the sizing rant. ‘Their bottom line is money, not the joy and confidence of the women buying their clothes. ‘ Have you noticed that the more expensive the outfit the smaller the size you take? Why does Chico have to have regular sizes in brackets after their weird sizing? Is it so you can say you wear a 1.5 rather than a 10? Why can they make men’s clothing fit different shapes and sizes and label them as such ( ie shirts with sleeve lengths and collar sizes). Even for little boys they have regular and husky.

  4. Gwen Ewing says:

    Enjoy your posts! Always good tips and points!!

  5. beth byrd says:

    Over the past year or so, I have gained weight — mostly in my mid-section, and now have a terrible time finding the right fit in my clothing. My size range is all over the place — size 10 to size 14. It depends on the brand which is totally frustrating. Pants are the worst. If I can’t try on in-person (which was pretty much the case during 2020) I’ll shop online only to the places that offer free shipping/returns. I haven’t shopped Nordstrom … think that might be a good place!!!

    I do love animal print — it’s fun and stylish to me. However, I’m careful not to go overboard.

    Love that dress — it’s so cute paired with the jean jacket. I’m a frequent Target shopper and plan to look for that dress!!!

    1. I shop at Nordstrom a lot because their customer service is amazing, the selection is awesome and shipping is always free!

  6. Love animal prints! May I ask which size is the Target dress you are wearing? About to order. Thanks!

    1. I am wearing a small

  7. I especially get aggravated when I want to purchase different colors of the same pants, and each color fits differently! WHY?!?

    1. YES! That makes no sense at all but happens to me too

      1. I’ve been told the dye reacts differently on the cloth, making some a tighter fit. I used to work for Talbots and that is what they told us.

    2. @Namcy: Because they are industrial manufactured. In other words even the same colour of pant will have size variation as fabric is ‘stacked’ when cutting, so due to progression the ones on the bottom for example are larger than those above them, but seam lines remain the same. -Brenda-

      1. Exactly! Has nothing to do with the color of the fabric!

  8. The whole size/weight thing drives me nuts. Did you know 30% of people who have a normal BMI are unhealthy? And those considered overweight may have healthy numbers.
    As a society we should be looking at our individual health numbers like BP, cholesterol and glucose no matter our weight!
    I’m healthy and a size 10.

    1. I agree, Dot. BP, glucose levels, thyroid numbers, and cholesterol are much more important!

  9. Cathy wilk says:

    I’m with your follower Janice with the Nordstrom comment. I wanted to try jeans from other makers and had to order different sizes. The free return policy was used a few times to get my size right. Vanity sizing is a problem for me too. I know the sizing is messed with because I wore a 2 when I was 20. I’m 64 now. Bodies change. But they fit?
    Animal prints are ok for accessories on me but tops are a problem. My face looks drab next to the shades of warm browns/tans. Some are a little too “golden” which is not a good color near my fair cool /skin. The cobra patterns are OK in black/white/gray.

  10. Sizing is also an issue for me. I too have a large bustline, so I am now buying Plus size 1X or 2X . The shoulders are often to large for my frame. I wear size 16 slacks. I have a 30” inseam so I need to purchase slacks with longer legs. Most slacks and jeans don’t come in long or tall. When I do find longer legs, the slacks must be hemmed. I hem my own slacks because my grandmother taught me to sew 50 years ago. Clothes shopping can be really frustrating!

    1. I’m glad I learned to sew because I often need to alter the length of sleeves, skirts, and pants.

  11. The things that frustrate me most about sizing as a larger woman: first the “no man(woman)’s land” of all plus size too big but all misses too small; the fact that sometimes plus 1x is smaller than misses xl, and trying to figure out the difference between misses’ xxl and plus 1x, which often requires opening two different windows and size charts. Also, the arms are too long in larger sizes; your arms don’t grow with added weight. I don’t care what the label says (much) though sometimes I will cut out the label in a coat, so that when it’s draped over a chair judgmental people won’t hurt their necks trying to see it 😀.

    1. I hear you, Linda. Judgment people deserve to get a crick in their neck, and then some.

  12. Many of us like animal and similar prints because we have textured hair. Using a print like that creates wonderful harmony with our physical self.

  13. I have always had to buy XL to accommodate my bust. Consequently I always felt much bigger than I really am. It’s been a body distortion I’ve carried my whole life. When I was a teen I was excluded from junior clothes. Shopping was no fun at all. Then I moved into “miss” sizing and nothing fit…I ended up with anorexia. I was desperately sick, but clothes finally fit. The sizing and cut of clothes seems to drive women to feel badly about themselves.

    1. I agree with you completely. Most of my tops are too big in the shoulder because of trying to accommodate my bust. Very frustrating due to lack of choices and needing to have almost everything altered. I try to look for photos of well dressed busty women and find the style/cut they are wearing. Big problem!!!

    2. It absolutely does make women feel bad about themselves.

  14. I love animal print shoes. I have 2 pair. One for summer and one for winter. Women’s sizing has always been so confusing. It makes it really hard to know your size online. I’m best with petites and I do know that one size fits all really means one size fits some. I guess I’m done with my little rant too. Thanks!

  15. Love the dress! I’m heading to Target to check it out..

    And having been in retail for years, there are only TWO sizes. “It Fits and It Doesn’t Fit”

    1. I’m going to quote you on that:)!

      1. Chicki Atwell says:


  16. I like the look of the dress today! I’m wondering if it is too bulky to put a leopard belt with it? Then it becomes too matchy matchy with leopard shoes but just saying…

    1. It’s a substantial knit so I would choose a wider, looser belt rather than a narrow one.

  17. Do like your dress and wish we here in Canada had Target, however seldom choose such as prefer two pieces that give the illusion of one with the option to mix ‘n match and less in my closet. As to sizing can relate to your rant as have everything from a size 4 to a 14, Small to X-Large and petitie to tall in my wardrobe even though I am a 5’5½”, stick-person …. lol! Find even if its a same label or a high end it doesn’t matter and can be a guessing game, chart or no chart and that goes for descriptions as well. (Fortunately I am a hobby sewer though, so if necessary can tweak or alter for proper fit.) Regarding animal prints, I do have a few pieces that I wear (some old, some new) which depending upon their fabric work in all seasons. i.e.: A short sleeve blk. ‘n white zebra print blouse for summer whereas a wool blend leopard print sweater for winter wear. -Brenda-

  18. I saw a video this morning (might have been on Wardrobe Oxygen’s Insta Story) showing how jeans are cut in piles prior to sewing. No wonder sizes are inconsistent! Petite sizing is becoming a rarity, and I really need petite tops to accommodate my narrow shoulders and shorter arms. And why are even petite tops so long (if not cropped)? I look for leopard and other animal prints in cool colors and recently bought a lovely button up blouse from Talbots in white, gray, and black.

    1. That’s how all garments are cut so the ones on the top are always different than the ones on the bottom. Sooo frustratng.

  19. I hate sizing labels on all of my clothing and I ALWAYS cut them off unless they are printed right in the fabric.

    I find having the size there on the garment to be thoroughly demoralizing no matter WHAT it says.

  20. As an extra short (4’11”) , extra small woman the frustration is tripled! Everything, including shirts, gets shortened. Ever try to shorten jacket sleeves that have the button holes cut through? ( take the sleeve out at the shoulder, cut off a couple inches, widen the top of the sleeve , reattach and don’t forget the lining!)
    I try to find older nice jackets before they started making the sleeves openable. ( ebay, poshmark, thrift stores)
    Our Nordstrom closed its petite department. Grrrr. Target, Walmart, don’t have petites in the store and few online. And don’t go down to a 0p. Nor does Kohls. Only the pricier brands and very few in a store. Of course, wildly different from brand to brand. (!Chicos 000p is still too hippy!)
    Tailoring is astronomically expensive. Add in shipping costs and, oh my! Out of my retired person budget.

  21. I’ve never met an animal print I didn’t love. Well, nearly. But they always grab my attention and I love them.

    The sizing issue is discouraging, and I think most of us have been driven online to try on multiple sizes when we need/want something. There was a really disheartening article in The Atlantic last week about what happens to all those returns. But given the lack of inventory in the stores, it’s hard to know what else we can do if we want to buy something and try it on. Crazy times.

  22. Sizing is so annoying! I shop Ebay and other sites and if measurements are not given on an item, I’m not buying. I also avoid Chico’s because of their strange sizing. The Target dress is so cute. I might check into that. I like animal prints on other people, not me. Happy Monday!

    1. Jennifer, I really like that you tackle ordinary topics that others ignore — e.g., jumpsuit issues. Animal prints: I don’t really now why I dislike them so much. maybe too ‘primative,’ although I have no issues with faux fur. We don’t wear animal skins anymore, but leopard prints seem to be no problem. I don’t mind faux aligator though. Not rational at all LOL. Sizing: a psychological horror show to convince us we’re thinner than we used to be. Best antidote: heavier and older models.

  23. Leslie Greaves Radloff says:

    Sizing is a boon for manufacturers and guarantees happy customers if sizes run true in all pieces. I know a size four Tribal fits when I buy jeans or trousers, though length is a different story. Much depends on the human model used to size clothes. Forget fast fashion brands if you are over 30 unless they are floaty garments or have little tailoring for shape. If the size number or letter bothers me, I cut it out.

  24. I love my leopard rain boots and a pair of black flats that has leopard on the toe. I have several pieces that I bought years ago. I like dresses but it can’t be knit or high neck. Empire waist with a vee neck and mid calf with boots. That’s my favorite style. I don’t buy by size. I go by the measurements on the size chart. Every company is different even in S, M, L sizes.

    1. I wish more brands would give the actual garment measurements

  25. Love that dress on you! I’m pear shaped & it probably would cling right where I don’t need the emphasis. Frustrating time to shop since store inventory is dismal & return shipping costs can soon kill the sale

  26. Agreed all ‘round. I started wearing animal print accessories in my 20s when Audrey Hepburn and Givenchy ruled (tells you my present age range) and I still have my original scarf plus newer iterations. I DO feel like I am having fun, can step out of the ordinary, and can be empowered by a little adventurous spirit on a small scale! This year I added a leopard print shawl, Nordstrom blouse, and new Skechers super comfortable GoWalk shoes.

  27. I’ve given up on wishing for consistent sizing between brands, the same with wishing for consistent thinking in Congress, hah. I’m reluctant to buy animal print anything because I always feel like it’s been a trend for so long, it’s bound to soon go out of style… but then it doesn’t. That said, I LOVE the fuchsia Vince Camuto button down you show in your thumbnails (except it’s soooo long).

    1. LOL…it’s not going out of style anytime soon. It would be easy to hem…just a thought:)

      1. Good point! Just bookmarked it and might place an order. 🙂

  28. A nod to the comment from Janice… as more retailers have less inventory in stores, one is left to order online. Due to the discrepancy of sizing, I order my “regular” size and 1 size up and 1 size down. Then comes the matter of returning the items that didn’t work, which either comes with shipping fees or another trip to the store ( IF there is one close by.). It’s enough to make one not want to bother. Aaaarrrggghhh……!

    I appreciate and understand your mini rant. I think most of us feel that way ? The vanity sizing approach is so frustrating., especially Chico’s sizing of 0 and 1 and 1.5 and 2. etc,etc,etc.
    C’mon, you’re not fooling anyone. Get over yourselves and use the standardized sizes.
    Again Aaarrrggghhh ….!

    Moving on, love your dress, especially in your ‘power’ color. You look great ! Thanks for your words today. Have a good week.

    1. I do the same when I order because even the same size in different garments makes a difference.

  29. SuzanneGabrielle says:

    I was lucky enough to have a great grandfather (he lived till 97!) who owned a tailor shop. I never had to sew anything myself, but virtually everything I wore was “finished” by one of the seamstresses. I never think about size and frequently buy something in a larger size and have it tailored to my frame. Everything – even the least expensive item – will look so much better when it’s tailored.

    1. I totally agree! Garments that fit perfectly are a delight

  30. Sizing is one of the reasons I love Nordstrom because of free shipping. I can order a couple of sizes to try on, while other stores charge. It is frustrating that there is no consistency between stores or brands. I do like the animal print shoes I have them too.
    Have a good week.

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