Why All Clothing Sizes Are Not Created Equal?

Amy Reece

Posted on November 07 2016

I Know My Size, So Why Don't My Clothes Fit?

Forget the size on the label or the rack, different stores and different manufacturers make clothes different sizes. That's the plain fact.

A size 10 in one store, may be a 12 or a 14 elsewhere, so while you may wear one size in one store, in a different store, with a similar garment you may need a totally different size. Even the waist measurements may be very different, with even a 6 inch (15 cm) difference in waist measurements between a particular size of garment in one place and in another, or even between different designers in the same store.

With all of these sizes turning into guesstimates of YOUR measurements, it is no wonder that there is such a great deal of frustration to be had and money spent on clothes that simply do not fit. There are data showing that maybe 40% of clothing purchased online will have to be returned and of these returns, possibly 60% of them are due to the wrong fit. Customers are frustrated and so are suppliers.

Of course, many years ago, most women knew how to sew, or else the wealthy bought their clothing custom made by tailors or dressmakers. But who has much time to sew these days, even if you know how? (I don't and I have no interest in it, whereas my grandmother loved making dresses.)

That's where ready made clothes come into their own. That is also what has caused the problem. There are many different sizes and shapes of body out there (don't you just love the variety?) possibly as many as 27 but this makes too many different combinations of size to make it economic for factories to mass produce clothes at a reasonable cost.

And of course, over the years, people have got bigger and heavier. Better nutrition means people are growing taller than they were at the start of the twentieth century and the the average American adult is about 24 pounds heavier, or more, than they were in 1960.

This has meant additional sizes being added to those that were in use 50 years ago, both at the top and the lower ends of the sizing scale. But again, no two manufacturers or designers use the same measurements for the same sizing!

This is why you may prefer shopping in one store for your clothes, rather than another. Customers get used to considering themselves as being a particular "size" and may feel upset if they have to move into a larger size if they shop at a different store, even if they like the style and cut of the clothes they are considering buying.

So what's the solution? keep a note of your MEASUREMENTS. Add them onto a little card that you keep in your wallet or in a file on your computer, so you can CHECK whether YOUR measurements are the same as those shown for a garment you are thinking of buying.

Remember, you are NOT the size number. Being a zero or 10 or 12 or an XXL is NOT who you are. You are a person looking for a style of clothing that suits you, your lifestyle and who you are. The number or category on the label does not define you. Choose your clothes by your measurements and you will have a happier experience shopping online.

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