Ready-to-made fashion sizes seem to baffle us all. We are frustrated when shopping for fashion and no wonder as we have to juggle between different sizes, as one doesn’t always seem to be the perfect one for us. We wonder whether we have gained weight or whether the company made a mistake when they made the garment. It seems to be impossible to find the perfect jeans and nothing fits perfectly. I’ve heard this all many times from friends and acquaintances, as well as reading from people’s blogs. People questioning why all of the brands don’t just use the same sizing so that it would be easier to shop for fashion. Unfortunately, I am not here to tell you how to find that right size, but rather explain why it is difficult to find your size and why you shouldn’t feel self-conscious about it.
The current method of providing clothes with a size so that people would more easily recognise what garment is most suitable to them is quite new. It was during the industrialisation and the big boom of companies making ready-to-wear garments when they required a standardised size, before that women’s clothing was made as a made-to-measure by a seamstress or a couturier, or women sew their own garments themselves.
Making garments made-to-measure, although makes the garment to fit the wearer perfectly, is a slow process and is not suitable for the fast-fashion market (this might be changing now, but more about it later), which is why there is a size chart (or many) that groups certain measurement under one size.
Women are obsessed with their clothing size and especially how small of a size they wear. I read an article where a stylist explained how her customers would refuse to take a bigger size that would fit them because they wanted to have the size small label. The fashion companies have recognised this and adapted accordingly with vanity sizing. You’ve probably heard that in her own time Marilyn Monroe was a size 12, but in today’s sizing, she would be a size 6. It’s because fashion companies want to make women feel better about themselves, but when each company decides the sizing on their own (and might have more than one chart within the range of garments they sell) it can be difficult to find one size that fits you.
The main reason, in my opinion, is that all of us are different shapes. It is rare that anybody can fit into a company’s size standard so that everything fits them perfectly, and if you are one of them then good for you! But the number of times I have been in the dressing room wondering why a garment fits perfectly on the butt but not on my waist and going smaller would be too tight. Or when I try a top which is perfect around my shoulders and arms but is bulging around my bust, but going a size bigger will look like a sack on me. This is why you can be the same size with your friend and not fit into same garments and look absolutely different in the same garments.
With standardised sizing garments are produced with specific measurements in mind, which is for a specific body type most often slim hourglass or rectangle. In which case, if you are any other body shape it might be difficult to find garments that will suit you well and enhance your appearance.
In the end, size is just a number that doesn’t really matter. It is for the fashion brands to help sell their clothes and for you to possibly have a clue of what size of a garment you should be looking for. It has changed through the ages because of cultural pressure and norm. Fortunately, there is now technology that can help you find garments that fit you from the existing ones or even order made-to-measure garments. The technology is still in its infancy, but I am sure will make a big difference to the fashion industry in just a few years. For now, I’ve found Post-Couture Collective to have a great start on this idea and TrueFit, which finds you garments from many top brands that will fit your measurements.
I don’t think a size label will ever be out of our lives, but I hope the innovations in technology in fashion will allow better fitting garments for us in the near future with less headache over finding them.
Do you have problems finding the perfectly fitting garment? What do you think would be a solution to this?