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Size 14 in one shop, Size 10 in another... Why?

(23 Posts)
yummymummyreally Sun 12-May-13 11:02:56

Does anyone know why on earth we have a crazy clothes sizing system which is inconsistent at best and designed for only one body shape?

I have blogged about it, but wondered if anyone works in the fashion industry and may know more about it that could add to the discussion.

I also wondered what folks general view on it was? Especially when motherhood changes your body shape and effects the fit of clothes.

Can we all really be measured by one standard set of clothes sizes? Do you find it easy to get clothes that fit?

Thank you.


ToastedTeacakes Sun 12-May-13 12:57:03

Vanity sizing?
Although many people out there debate whether it even exists.

It is true that each store will have a chosen demographic: for example, Dorothy Perkins and Topshop are run by the same company, but the sizing differs quite a bit, possibly because TS presumes average shopper is a teen or prefers to keep 'fashionably thin'. DP on the other hand seems to presume its average consumer is less arsed about catwalk fashion, and is perhaps a bit older. I have never understood the age excuse though, because not all over 30's are larger than teens....if you are a size 8 40 yrs old you are fairly snookered trying to shop at M&S because you are practically sized out. M&S must definitely presume that their average customer is older and larger confused

And then there's the vanity issue. There's a theory that manufacturers are trying to flatter their customers by putting smaller size tags on larger clothing.
Yet some argue that the average customer has actually become larger over the past 2 decades, so the average size has risen from 12 to 14/26.

Personally I don't know what I believe, but I do think it is an incredible ball ache.

In Topshop, a pile of size 10 jeans can all have a different sized waistband. This is because (I heard) the factories cut tons of them at once on one pile, so some get shuffled about and the sizing is off.
I once tried 3 size 10's and all were different. It is very frustrating.

ToastedTeacakes Sun 12-May-13 13:05:05

Also, I do think that the slim fit styles or those which are meant to emphasize sexual characteristics are pretty much pushed onto us. There is very little variety, and it seems difficult to locate items which are not form fitting, yet don't succumb to frump.
I agree that there is a certain body type in mind, too, but I have been thinking this since 1990 to be honest. The straight-up-and-down physique appears to be favoured, for an average of around 5'7 (wildish guess!). Now, I am fairly thin, but have a lot of issues with fit, so none of us can win it seems.

My own guess: fashion favours fairly tall, slim women with no hips and largish breasts. Unless you want a button up shirt, in that case the buttons will pop open!

DrGoogleWillSeeYouNow Sun 12-May-13 13:14:58

Vanity sizing is definitely one reason imo. I have a nightmare trying to find clothes that fit. I'm a size 8 and always have been a size 8. In Next a size 8 is now usually hanging off me, I need a 6. I couldn't buy anything in M&S (which used to be my saviour for work skirts and trousers) even if I wanted to because it's all enormous.

Another is just extremely piss poor quality/production. In Primark last week I bought two pairs of jeans, one a size 8, the other a size 12.

PersonalClown Sun 12-May-13 13:26:37

Can I whinge about something else too??

Why do (next to) no shops cater for the taller woman?? Nearly every shop I go into has a Petite section but no Tall??
Dorothy Perkins and New Look have got rid of their Tall sections from the shops and the online section is pitiful.
Don't even mention Long Tall Sally as it is crap and overpriced
New Look has 8 pages on Tall compared to 254 for regular.

JeanPaget Sun 12-May-13 13:31:23

I couldn't tell you the reasons for it, although I agree that vanity sizing and what a shop sees as its target market probably has quite a lot to do with it.

But I though I'd point out this website, which lets you put in your measurements and then tells you what size at what shop fits you best. I've found it quite helpful and it is interesting to see which shops go in for vanity sizing etc.

meglet Sun 12-May-13 13:40:46

Designer clothes are cut really big IME. TK Maxx have designer stuff and I can fit a US size 2 (UK size 6). But if I head to New Look I'm a UK size 12 confused.

These days I try and gauge it on what size it looks.

Forgetfulmog Sun 12-May-13 13:56:00

Jean that website is fantastic! Thanks for the link!

ToastedTeacakes Sun 12-May-13 14:09:45

GAP is awesomely oversized. I went there for first time recently and fit a size 0 fitted dress. This does not tally with reality. No way should a size UK4 have a 36 inch chest, which is what the dress measured.

Designer large to fit on me, too. Coats are out of question, but jeans ok.

This site is an interesting read: she doesn't agree with vanity sizing, though.

yummymummyreally Tue 14-May-13 20:59:58

Thanks everyone.

ToastedTeacakes I agree with your view that fashion favours tall (ish), slim, no hips, and slightly large busted woman. definitely correct on the shirts front, I find that if they fit me beautifully around the arms, waist and back, I will still POP out of the front of shirts! Of to check out the Vanitysizing website next, thanks for the tip.

DrGoogleWillSeeYouNow Quality is a good point. I don't tend to buy anything much from Primark, but when I do the size is random!

PersonalClown And I don't think you need to be particularly unusually tall to have that problem either. I am 5ft 6, not tall, but all the linen or cotton trousers for summer will all hang slightly too short on me. I have to try and buy "long" sizes if they exist, but they don't often, and then try and hem them as they are too long! A friend of mine who is 6foot lives in leggings and smock tops/dresses as trousers never fit. Its stupid isn't it?! Will look out for tall suppliers and let you know if I find any.

JeanPaget. Off to check out the website next... Sounds great... Is it going to cost me money?!!!!

Meglet Crikey, I wish I could gauge size! I have enough trouble working out if it will suit me without trying on. I'd have no chance trying to gauge size. can you come shopping with me please! smile

yummymummyreally Tue 14-May-13 21:11:56

JeanPaget. That website is clever! It's interesting, as it thinks my issue is less about my bust and hips, and more about my waist. I appear to have a larger waist than most stores expect to go with my hips and bust. Does that mean I am less curvy than the store are expecting? It doesn't really explain why it thinks that I should be a size 16 as usually that size drowns me in the stores suggested! I can see that the website is really useful, but has raised more questions for me! Oops!

CeeceeBloomingdale Tue 14-May-13 23:35:22

That website is miles out for my measurements, it doesn't like apples. It's suggesting 16-18 whereas I'm a 12, occasionally 14 although 14 tends to swamp me. I'm honestly not deluded either!

JeanPaget Wed 15-May-13 11:03:58

It's interesting hearing what everyone thinks about the website (it's nothing to do with me btw, I saw it recommended on Jezebel last year).

It says it's based on the official size guide measurements published by shops, so it seems like lots of shops are expecting us to have smaller waists for our bust/hip size? Maybe shop sizes are still based on 50s style, wasp waisted models?

daisydoodoo Wed 15-May-13 14:53:53

my measurement son that site make me a 22 top and 10 bottom! im usually a 14, occassionally a 12.

Interesting that people find m&s i tend to find them on the small side.

WillieWaggledagger Wed 15-May-13 16:13:31

i find the opposite jean - my waist is narrower than expected (in comparison to my hips) so skirts and trousers will gape at the back if they fit on my hips. from my pov it seems like shops expect people to be apple shapes

JeanPaget Wed 15-May-13 16:40:08

I agree Willie, I've always thought of myself as quite hourglass-y, and I was a bit blush that it's apparently my waist that's disproportionately large for lots of shop's standard sizing! I've certainly never found that things are tighter in the waist that they are in the hips/chest.

Maybe the size info shops put on there websites don't actually correspond to the clothes they sell, although I imagine trading standards would be a bit hmm at that.

Warehouse also have an interesting thing where you can put in your measurements (or just height/weight) and they'll computer generate what you'd look like in the clothes you're thinking of buying. I confess, it always puts me right off!

WillieWaggledagger Wed 15-May-13 17:56:23

jean i didn't know that warehouse thing existed and i've just tried it out. you're right it is off-putting!

nohalfmeasures Wed 15-May-13 18:10:50

I bought some clothes in Matalan last week- some were 14, some were 16, and horror of horrors, one was an 18 (the label will be snipped out of that one!)

newpup Wed 15-May-13 18:29:33

Hmmmm, I ma a 12/14 and that website put me in an 18! That would drown me, I bought some size 12 skinny jeans last week!

juneybean Wed 15-May-13 18:33:54

I think it depends on the style too, I'm a size 18 at the minute but in Peacocks I have to buy tees in a 20 but managed to get a dress in a 16 which is still slightly too big hmm

noddyholder Wed 15-May-13 18:34:41

Even within the same shops I am different sizes!

alltoomuchrightnow Thu 16-May-13 19:08:03

The other day, i found a lovely primark dress still with tags on, that i'd put away from last summer and forgotten about. To my horror i couldn't do the side zip up...i am norky (38dd) but it's a size 20! In M&S and Dotty P i'm dress size approx 14 - 16. This is why i've stopped buying on line. I can't go by dress sizes..drives me crazy

yummymummyreally Sat 18-May-13 14:10:25

How come, that despite everyone having the same problems finding things that fit, the industry hasn't done anything about it?

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