Expert explains why clothing size frustrates everyone

- It's not so much "size matters" as it is what's the matter with sizes? Many wonder how you can be a size, 8, 6, 2, medium, and small all at once.

When we asked, "What's your size?" crowds at Clearwater Beach gave the same answer over and over.

"It depends."

You're a size bigger in one brand, smaller in the next, and it changes from store to store.

To make some sense out of it, we went to fashion expert Patty Soltis - who spent 20 years as a VP and general manager at Neiman Marcus, Lord and Taylor and Marshall Fields. She says blame the fit models.

"A fit model is the person who tries on the clothes as they're being created. The fit model is actually there in the work room with the designer. The fit model's job is to make sure the clothing fits as well as, how does it move? Does it ride up? Does it scratch?" she explained.

A clothing brand finds the fit model it likes and creates a size 6 based on her measurements and then uses software to scale the dimensions bigger and smaller for other sizes. But the problem is bodies don't usually size up or down in a uniform way.

Attempts failed over the decades to come up with better guidelines. There's no such thing as standard sized clothes because there's no such thing as standard sized bodies.

"We are not fruit. We are not apples, pears, and bananas. We are women and we have bodies and our bodies have proportions and there's a big difference if your shoulders are broad or have a slope in what kind of items you can wear. If you're short or long-waisted, there's a big difference," says Soltis.

Otherwise, it's trial and error. To find your happy medium, or small, or large, stylists say find a brand that works and stick to it Because you don't pick your size - they do.

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