COUTURE COMMENT: Why Clothing Sizes vary from store to store

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Why Clothing Sizes vary – have you ever said to yourself: “Oh no I’ve just been into one boutique and I am a size 12 but now in another boutique I am a size 14, how did this happen?!”

Panic not, I’ve got you covered: sizing throughout the UK and EU varies vastly between each fashion company and it’s all because of their ‘fit model’. You see in the world of fashion they have their version of the ideal woman, her lifestyle, where she likes to shop, the kind of work she does, the food she eats, the magazines she reads (which of course is Eclipse), her social entertainment and, drumroll please…, the size clothing she wears.

No, gentlemen, I am not dismissing you; the same also applies, however for this little story which I am sharing with the ladies. I’m talking about women’s dress sizes, but you can also pick up some tips when shopping for your lady.

In the fashion industry they have dress size blocks, I do too for my ready-to-wear collection of dresses; it’s a set of measurements that are based on proportions for each part of the body, bust, waist, hips, neck size, wrist and so the list goes on. What they are looking to create when they make a garment is balance and symmetry, thus making your outfit appealing to the eye, and that’s before fabric and colour-ways are introduced.

You may have come across this experience, take a dress with a styled waistline for example, you’ve tried it on in your regular size, does it sit on your waist, could it be a little lower or higher, or is it perfect? On this occasion, let’s say it sits higher than your natural waist than you would like, is a little bit tight in the tummy area? I would try on a size up from your regular sized dress, it doesn’t mean you have suddenly gained pounds standing in the shop, (but you do have to tell the truth here, have you been late night snacking!!) – OK, so no late night snacks, perfectly well behaved – it’s the proportion of the dress bodice to the waist that is out of sync with your body shape, in that particular style.

Is that a sigh of relief I hear…? Trust me when I say, it is always better to have a garment that fits you well and is in proportion to your body, it instantly makes you appear slimmer, as opposed to a label size you are squeezed into, besides if the label size really does matter that much, you can always take it out!


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