Small just got a little smaller, at least for J. Crew shoppers. The retail giant just released a new size, size 000, and it’s gotten a lot of people talking.

Arguments are heated on both sides of the debate. Some fear that sizes this small–which very, very few adult women would naturally fit into–encourage eating disorders and self-loathing. Others think it’s great that J. Crew is carrying a wider variety of sizes so women of all sizes can find fashionable clothes that they love.

After all, it must be tough being a size 000 and finding grown-up clothes! (Not that they are getting any sympathy from me!) Either way, the debates are not likely to end soon.

So where does this leave the average shopper? How should the addition of a new size affect you? The short answer is: it shouldn’t. Size may be an important number, but it’s just a number. It’s like in cards–some hands are easier to play than others, but it’s all in the way you play what you’ve got.

So my advice to all of you is: Stop looking at the size, especially J. Crew sizes like size 000, and start asking yourself these three questions instead.

Three things to ask yourself when shopping for clothes

1. How Does This Outfit Make Me Look?

When people look at your outfit, they don’t see the number on your tag–they see how the clothes fit. So stop worrying about the number and start looking at the shape. Do the pants make your butt look amazing or squished? Does the shirt make your chest look nice and perky or like it’s about to pop out or your shirt and say hello? Choose the clothing that fits you just right and you’ll look like a million bucks–no matter what size you are!

2. How Does This Outfit Make Me Feel?

If your clothes are uncomfortable, you’ll look and feel uncomfortable too. That’s not an attractive look. Find clothes that make you feel amazing instead. Maybe you love wearing bright pinks and yellows. Maybe you love flowy skirts and sandals. Maybe you love high heels and power suits. Choose the clothes that make you feel amazing, and you’re sure to look amazing too. Your confidence will shine through if you’re comfortable.

Three Dressing Room Questions You Should Be Asking Yourself

3. How Will Others Respond If They See Me in This Outfit?

Okay, so others’ opinions of you aren’t the most important thing, but you know you care at least a little about what other people think. (If you say you don’t–well, props to you, but you’re lying.) When trying on clothes, after you decide what YOU think about the outfit, ask yourself what other people would think or what kind of message your outfit would send. Do you look dumpy, like you can’t be bothered to try? Or do you look stunning and put-together? Also, how do you want to look for your spouse? What kind of example do you want to set for your daughters? If you don’t care for you, at least care for their sake.

While it may be impossible to completely stop looking at the numbers (after all, they do make finding the right size to try on SO much easier), it’s high time that we women all learned what the numbers are really there for: to help us find clothes that make us look and feel great.

Not to define us, our beauty and our worth.


 What are some tips you would add? 


BrittanyWife and mom to two very energetic little boys, when Brittany isn’t busy chasing after her kidlets, you can find her reading, writing or sneaking chocolate so she doesn’t have to share–probably all of the above!


Maria Lianos-Carbone is the author of “Oh Baby! A Mom’s Self-Care Survival Guide for the First Year”, and publisher of, a leading lifestyle blog for women.


  1. Unfortunately women who need to be a size 000 do not have the mental health capacity to ask themselves any of these questions. They do not see themselves as ill. In fact they reject any suggestion that they are too thin. They see themselves as victims of jealous little people. Ex: Bethany Frankel

  2. 000?! Really? Who does that even fit?

    My sister is an actual size 0. She is a runner, she eats well, and is just built very small. But I cannot imagine anyone smaller than her unless she weighs 70#! Eeek!

    I think it’s the whole ploy about labeling sizes for what people want to see. If one store you are a size 4 and another you are a 6, the 4 will get your loyalties, right? I like how men’s sizing is and how some Euro sizes are; the number is what it is regardless of brand. This is how many inches you are, so that’s your size.

    I have gained weight through working out a lot and it is tough sometimes finding clothes that fit properly, but I’d much rather have something that fits well than squeeze into the number I think I should be.

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