Sizes Don’t Matter

No, from the name of this article it is not what you think. I will actually be engaging with the idea that the size on the label does not matter. I have recently been to many different high street shops to do some after exams celebration shopping and I was shocked at the size label differences and what it does to your self esteem. I am a mid-size person, roughly a size 12 and I say roughly because I sometimes have to size down and then size up. Ridiculously, I just had to purchase some size 16 trousers and shorts. Now we know that it has always been difficult to get the right size of clothing and that usually the sizes on the label do not match the actual size, but having to size up twice to get a comfortable fit, really destroys my self esteem. Every body is beautiful. I am not dismayed by that idea, but I think it is actually ridiculous that in the male fashion world, they have uniform sizes from extra small (or round about that) to as many extra larges as you can count, but every shop has mainly the same size. I did a size comparison of a pair of a woman’s size 12 shorts in one shop and they fit with a size 8 from another shop and a size 16 from another. Where is the uniformed sizing?


No of course sizes don’t matter and I am an advocate for buying clothes that fit the person, not the other way round but I find it soul destroying when you purchase what you think would fit you, and they do not do up. The only thing that seems to be universal about the sizing in the women’s fashion world is that everyone seems to have a universal experience of size confusion. One of my friends identified that she has trousers in the same size from the same shop and they fit completely differently. This has to change, no wonder that eating disorders have increased from 3.4% of people in 2000 to 7.8% of people in 2018. I know how horrible it is to look at yourself in changing room mirrors in trousers that are ‘your size’ but they won’t even go up your legs, or do up round the waist. Recent data shows that a pair of size 6 jeans can vary as much in the waist size as six inches and still be called a size 6. How is this right? Many people have said that they avoid in person shopping because when asked the humiliating question ‘what size are you?’ they don’t like to give the honest answer of: they don’t know, or in one shop I was a 12 and in this one i’m a 16. This then leads to an increase in online shopping, which still has the same issues, approximately 40% of what people buy online is returned due to sizing issues. If there was a universal size then maybe this wouldn’t be a problem, but there is clearly one with modern fashion. 


This is a similar idea to the clothing items that say ‘one size fits all’, what sort of morphing suit are they selling in these shops and how are they meant to fit a size 24 and a size 2 in the same way. Oh wait- they do not fit in the same way at all. Brandy Melville are infamous for having all of their clothes say ‘one size fits all’ which if you’re on the smaller end of the spectrum must feel great, you can grab anything off the rack, but not for anyone who is slightly taller or larger than the average size in there which is a XS/S. Which is not the universal size at all. 


So what is the future for this? Some people argue that online services like StitchFix will be the future, where you put your measurements online, and they find clothes that fit you, disregarding the single numerical digit that you are given. I’m not sure whether this will take off as quickly as possible, the price points tend to be a little higher than the average person will spend on clothes, and therefore is not yet comparable to high street stores. But, when the prices reduce, I believe this could be a viable option for the future of sizing. 


But for now, I think we just have to try and ignore what the label says, cut it out even. Every body is beautiful and we need to start preaching that the clothes must fit the body, whatever size it may be, not that we must fit our body into clothes that are not universally sized.


Photo by monica dahiya on Unsplash with License 

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