Very often, people on social media and on discussion forums, express their dissatisfaction with the fact that sizes differ between clothing companies. Bloggers also try to determine which company offers the most “correct” sizes.
However, what we should begin with is a discussion of why we have the sizing tables we do and not something else, how sizes are determined, how clothing is made and how it all can influence the way we perceive our bodies.
Once, during a discussion in a larger group, a friend said that she wasn’t bothered by wearing a size M or L, but it would worry her if she wore L or XL. When I asked her why, she couldn’t give me any logical argument.
It is our subconscious that gives women such feelings about sizes – this is what we are indoctrinated with. Every publication we see, every model during a fashion shoot reproduces the same pattern – the less space a woman takes up, the better. And so we also want to identify with the smallest size possible.
- Why are sizing tables so very different from each other? Why can’t brands adopt one sizing scheme, so that a size 40 will be the same everywhere?
Until the 1820s, clothing was made individually for every person. In order to buy a new dress, a woman needed to go to a tailor and have it properly adjusted. Once clothing began to be produced on a mass scale, sizes were needed. Clothing production moved to factories, where each worker was responsible for one element of clothing, not the whole of it. Today, each brad or designer has their own sizing table so they can prepare a collection. Some decided on sizes ranging from S to L, others from XS to XL or XXS to 6XL. Regardless of what scheme a company adopts, clothing is created for their customers, taking their body shape into account above all. Companies making clothing for middle-aged women, have a middle-aged woman as their model, while younger companies use younger models. However, regardless of what sizing model is used, it is usually a person who represents the middle of the sizing scale. Next, designers take on sizing the model upwards and downwards, based on proportions from the design model. This is why it’s impossible for every brand to have the same scale, because too many factors influence the final result.
- How am I supposed to know what my size is?
First of all, the sizing table. Remember, these tables are your best friends. In order to read it well, you need to know your basic measurements: chest, waist and hips. Additionally, take into account the fabric the clothing is made out of. Is it stretchy? Is the cut fitted or loose? If your measurements fall between two sizes (which happens quite often), take the fabric and cut into consideration when deciding if you need the smaller or larger size. What if you’ve already bought it and it doesn’t fit the way it should? Don’t be afraid to have it tailored to fit you – for a low cost, you’ll get an outfit that first perfectly and that will serve you for years.
- How can my friend and I be the same size when our figures are significantly different?
Everyone is built differently, we have different muscle mass, height, bra size or body proportions. We have different arm lengths, shoulder widths or neck lengths. And all of that is very much all right. The fact that our bodies are so different is what makes us special and unique. So don’t look at others and don’t envy them their bodies – instead, learn your own body, measurements and proportions, and treat them as neutral facts. The more you fear your own body, the less you know about it, and the less you know, the more problems you’ll have with finding an outfit that fits.
- How to make shopping easier and less problematic?
First of all, remember that the number on the sizing label doesn’t determine your value, beauty, intelligence or passion. It’s just a number that, as I’ve mentioned, will be different depending on the brand. If a given size doesn’t fit, try another. It’s only a piece of fabric, not your body. Buy smart and don’t take shopping too personally, because the only size that matters is your dimensions and not the one on the label.