I am so sorry for neglecting you loves for a few days now – my grandpa just passed away and I wanted to take a moment to just grieve and also give myself a little me-time. However, now I am back and want to keep posting more regularly. Today, I wanted to tackle the topic of women’s sizing these days and talk a little bit about what we mean when we say that something is true-to-size.
I know sizing can be a difficult topic to discuss – it always raises an battle of wills and opinions as we all think differently about sizes and also have different emotional bonds to our dress size. When you used to fit into say, size 8 and then need a 12 with some random piece of clothing, it will stir maybe some swear words or even tears. I used wear a size 6 but have now gone up to 10, even after I slimmed down a couple of inches on my waist. I have battled the fear of sizes above 8 since I got ill with anorexia even though each brand fits differently and your dress size doesn’t actually MEAN anything special.
I was never very small when I was child – just a regular sized kid with a fuller bust that made me feel fat at a very young age. I developed breasts at age eleven and I got teased for it quite a bit as I was not supposed to be curvy when others still looked like children. At age 16 I started to develop disordered eating habits and thoughts regarding my body – just because I felt so isolated from other teenage girls. I was not flat, I was not sporty and I definitely wasn’t slim in my opinion. However, I was never above UK size 10-12 so my weight wasn’t a problem at any point – but still, it was a big issue for me. I never got my boobs to fit into anything that was less than a size 10 and I was frustrated as I felt so big compared to others.
In the above picture I am not at my smallest but at a point where I started to recover from anorexia and was breaking up from my ex at the same time. I was gaining weight and shimmed myself into my old size 8 Oasis dress which dramatically ripped from its back seam at that very occasion (my sister’s matriculation party). I was devastated as I felt that I couldn’t live up to that size 8 standard anymore. Damn Oasis! Damn my old dress which had been a bit loose about a year ago.
I took a look at Oasis size chart today and currently their size 8 is meant for a 25,6″ waist and a size 10 for a 27,6″. With British sizing, dress sizes usually escalate the way that each dress size accommodates a two inch larger waist than the previous one. However, most brands have very different size charts to each other and I find a lot of people using the terms “true-to-size” and variations of it while describing brand sizing. To me, this seams odd since every blogger and consumer seems to have a different opinion on what “true-to-size” means.
True-to-size compared to what? With bras, there is a more solid ground to compare the sizing – some well-established brands can be compared to as they usually fit very similarly. By well-established I mean eg Eveden brands and Panache. Also there are less brands in the business which makes the comparison easier. However, with regular clothing the sizes vary so much that it’s actually pretty hard to come up with some kind of standard fit to compare brands to. I have found that many brands’ size 10 fit about 28″ waist but I have also seen a few bloggers call those brands to run big. As dress size is a rather sensitive topic, I feel a bit “meh” about this kind of categorizing as it gives you the impression that some brands and their size charts are more or less right or wrong.
Besides being inconsistent from brand to brand, sizing can also be inconsistent inside a certain brand. I am wearing a Dorothy Perkins size 8 in the picture above though their size chart would put me somewhere near size 12. After trying a few styles in-store, I realized they fitted very inconsistently and I would definitely not dare to order from them online because the sizing is so hit-and-miss.
Pic by the lovely Tania (see the squished boob – not attractive!)
I also find the different body part measurements a bit tricky. For instance, some brands might both measure 28″ at waist with size 10 but then measure 34″ or 36″ at bust. This is why talking about something being “true-to-size” doesn’t make sense – which one of the measurements fits true-to-size; bust, waist or hips, all or none? Also some brands come up with measurements that seem super unfair to me – but this is just my subjective view on the matter. Let’s take some very common measurements for UK size 10: 34-28-38. Does this seem realistic to you? My answer would be yes, to some body types. When I see 36″ instead of 34″ I jump with joy as the 34″ bust measurement is a far cry from my 39-40″ bust and with 36″ I might be able squeeze myself into a dress that is still a bit too snug.
I am all for making clothes for every body type – pears, apples, hourglasses, and lollipops etc. but there is far too little choices for people who actually don’t fit the 34-28-38 frame. I myself am about 39-28-38 which means I have very hard time finding clothing that would look and feel good, not to mention getting the zipper past my upper torso. So many brands are favouring girls with a pear shaped or straight body type and it saddens me cause I can never live up to that standard.
This was it for this time but I would love to extend the conversation to the comment box – how do you feel about today’s sizing standards and where do you usually find clothes to suit your body type? xx