Ok so you’re browsing through the clothes rails looking for something new and exciting, you suddenly find the perfect dress in your size only to find that it won’t zip up. But hold on a minute you think to yourself you’ve not put on any weight and THIS is your size. Sound familiar? For a lot of women finding the right sized clothes has become a bit of a minefield. It’s probably why women with arms full of clothes is a familiar site at the fitting rooms as well as the standard long queue. It is also the reason why retailers experience so many returns and can often mean multiple purchases when ordering online. I know just the other week my girlfriend bought a maxi dress in two sizes because the queue at H&M was ridiculous with the intention of returning one.
There really should be some sort of universal sizing system that can be adopted by different brands and retailers to help people find their right size. If you take a look at the photo below you see the difference between sizes from different fashion houses. It’s quite alarming when one size varies so much. I know from my own experience one of the most shocking in terms of sizing was Azzedine Alaia. I remember a girl struggling to squeeze into a size 10 dress that was really a size 6.
You also have the issue of self esteem that can seriously be shattered by the jumping sizes. If you think about the notion of the ‘dress size’ and how a lot of women let it define them. There is a lot of emphasis placed on a figure that as the image above shows is never really absolute in terms of measurement. Think about how many times you’ve heard women say “I want to get down to a… dress size”. Think about the impact the ‘size 0’ fad had on people all wanting to try and fit into that size just so they say they’re a ‘size 0’. There is also the issue of vanity sizing which doesn’t help matters. Some brands have changed their sizes to allow women to fit into smaller clothes to try and make them feel better about themselves. However, it just causes more confusion in the long run as there you end up jumping from size to as you try on different brands.
A good illustration of vanity sizing and how size has been warped for decades is the research done by Alaina Zulli. She looked at dress sizes in vogue advertisements from 1922 onwards. She found, for example, a woman with a 32 inch bust would have been a size 14 in sears from 1937, then in 1967 she would have been a size 8 and then today should be a size 0.
I’d love to hear your experiences of sizing?
Are you ever a dead straight fixed size?
or do sizes drive you up the wall?
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