Yesterday, I took my daughter shopping for some new shorts and as I waited for her outside the fitting rooms, a young teenage girl came out wearing one pair of jeans and holding another.

"Well?" said her mom.

"These are a zero," she said. "But they're a little tight in places."

"I think maybe you need to go up to a 1," her mom said.

"No, mom," she said. "I don't want to wear a 1."

"Well," sighed her mom. "As long as you can breathe."

As the girl turned and went back into the dressing room, her mom glanced over at me and shook her head. I just smiled.

That scenario, I think, is one of the trickiest mother-daughter shopping moments there is: When your daughter clearly needs to go up a size, yet telling her that feels -- to her -- like you're saying she's putting on weight.

Of course, at a certain age, girls are supposed to be putting on weight and it's a perfectly normal period of growth.

But they don't always see it that way.

I always encourage moms to make it about the clothes -- because it often is. My daughter knows that different manufacturers cut clothing differently and one's size 1 or 3 might be another's size 5 or 7. If it makes you feel bad to have to go up to a larger size, you can a) not buy that particular brand or b) buy the size you look great in and cut the tag out. Why not?

How about you? Does it make you feel bad if you have to choose a larger size in a particular brand of clothing? 

Does size really matter?

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