Size (another perspective)

Being in London today (of which more in a mo) i just had to make my way home via Oxford St and the great Top Shop shrine at the heart thereof. Not that it was a great success.

A pair of pink leggings – and a bag of wasabi popcorn (!) – were all that i had to show for my efforts.

It didn’t help, having to wrestle with their odd sizing policy. Half their garments were marked the usual sizes – 8, 10, 12, etc. The other half, or maybe two thirds had waist sizes on.

How do these two equate? I asked one of the Top Shop assistants, who confessed to “not having a clue”. Then, like some vestamentary rosetta stone, i chanced upon a pair of jeans marked both size 10 and waist 28. Aha!

I could be wrong: but logic suggested that 12 equated to a 30 – and 14 would therefore be 32. I grabbed the nearest pair of W32 skinnies and headed to the changing room.

A struggle ensued from whcih, dear reader, i did not emerge the victor. There’s always the slight issue, with skinnies, of getting them on over my foot…big feet, you see…and working round the heel can be a challenge.

And then there was the waist. Well: it did fasten. That was a result. On the other hand, it fastened at cost of serious muffin and breathing difficulties which probably meant i’d hardly get past my front door before i needed first aid.

So. Question. Is a W32 a 14 – and therefore just the case that this particular garment didn’t fit? (I have the same probs sometimes in New Look, whose 14’s at times wander down into distinctly 12-ish territory).

Or should i be looking at a W34? Surely not!



6 Responses so far »

  1. 1

    bobette said,

    I’m a size 12-ish. So do i buy (this was on the internet) S/M or M/L? I opted for S/M which was tiny so sent it (a very cute dres as it happens) back for exchange.

    I some was shoppping on line is easier because you can try on at home.

  2. 2

    Women’s clothing sizes vary considerably (I have comfortably fitting clothes ranging from size 6 to size 14) and the further one gets from the 10 to 12 range, the worse they tend to be at taking into account other dimensions of anatomy. I have never understood what the logic of this is. If I want a good men’s shirt, I can usually seek it out according to collar size, shoulder size and, sometimes, waist size. There is a lot more variability in women’s shapes than in men’s, yet there is less effort to account for it.

    You’ll also discover that women’s clothing almost completely discounts the possibility of bodies with significant muscle. As a teenager I was continually forced into blouses in which I couldn’t raise my arms above waist height..

    • 3

      janefae said,

      oh, don’t i just know it….i’m 14 bottom, 18 top…but i’d be a 16 top if they didn’t cut almost everything in under the arm and/or make no allowance for a broad back. If i could be arsed…which i almost am…i could remake a few garments to take account of that.

      Meanwhile, they continue to tease on the bra front. 42B: little choice and quite a few options that don’t fit at all as advertised.

      42C, as far as i can see, i get the run of the shop. I am definitely hoping for just that teeny bit of extra cup size…after which i should be happy.

      (Although, of course, sod’s law suggests i’ll either get stuck at B…or suddenly balloon to D).


  3. 4

    Shirley Anne said,

    God knows how they arrive at size in relation to shape. For instance you might get a girl who is extra slim and yet be a say size 10 and another girl who is more plump being the same size. How is it worked out? I think they take averages, they must do. Another mute point is that even the sizes differ from outlet to outlet. How we can even get clothes that fit us is remarkable.

    Shirley Anne xxx

  4. 5

    Carka said,

    My rule of thumb: Each size up is another 2 1/2 inches around the waist. This said, I have two *identical* pairs of jeans, from the same manufacturer and in the same size – one of which needs a belt, the other of which is too snug.

    *helpless shrug*

  5. 6

    Sabine said,

    Size depends on the company in question, I guess.

    Through thorough shopping around I’ve found a chain that stocks clothes for a woman of my size – rubenesque, muscular and above average height but not in need of a visit to the tent (i.e. oversizes) department.

    They also employ assistants that know about clothes in general and the particular lines they sell. I can choose what suits my eye and they will give it to me in a size that suits my body. A lot better than just browsing the shelves and working my way through 10 pairs of pants to find one that has room for both thighs but does not have enough waist to spare for 2 more persons. Somewhat more expensive though as I tend to buy more items there. The first time I found that chain I got 3 pairs of pants and matching shirts in half a lunch-break.

    Just shop around until you find a shop or chain that fits you and stick with it. Same with shoes, actually. Don’t even bother ordering clothes on the net, they never fit.

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