Tuesday, 13 July 2010

One Size Fits All

As usual, I am struggling for summer clothes. Each winter I get comfy and accustomed with my pencil skirts, cardi’s and tights only for the sun to surprise me with an appearance, throwing me into panic about what to wear. A bit late, I hear you shout, the sun has been out for ages now and so moaning about the lack of suitable items in the wardrobe is a little old-hat, shall we say.

The poor state of my wardrobe is not really what I wanted to discuss, it’s more of a scene-setter really. Basically, desperate for summer garments, I found myself in New Look after being reliably informed by my eagle-eyed Mum that their sale was quite good. But on my search for frocks-a-plenty, I was faced with an unexpected and very annoying obstacle.

I spotted a cute little navy pencil-like skirt with gold buttons, very nautical I thought, and very ‘me’. Now, usually I range between a size 10 and 12, so always have to try on both. As the skirt was on the sale rack, the available sizes were limited and therefore I could only take a size 12 into the dressing rooms. I then saw a pair of cropped trousers, similar colour and detailing to the skirt – perfect! Again, limited sizes so I took a 12. I then grabbed a pair of cropped linen trousers, size 10 to try and thought if these, by some miracle, all fit, my summer wardrobe has just improved 10-fold.

Off I skipped to the changing room.

And this is where it all started to go wrong, very wrong.

The cropped linen trousers; Size 10: Fitted very well around the waist, perfectly I’d say – good I thought. On further examination, although fitting well, they just didn’t look quite ‘right’, so I put them to one side.

Blue skirt with gold detailing; Size 12: Too tight! I could do it up, but it looked and felt really tight and I just couldn’t possibly feel comfortable enough to wear it. But how can this be? If a size 10 in the trousers fitted so perfectly, how can this skirt in a BIGGER size be so damn tight?

Blue trousers with gold detailing; Size 12 (so note, same size and style as the aforementioned skirt): FAR FAR TOO BIG; Practically fell off my hips.

I am confused, very confused.

How can sizes in the SAME SHOP differ so much? I know I’m not the only one who has frequent problems with differing sizes in differing shops, which is why I have to try both a size 10 and 12. But differing sizes in the same shop? How can this be? And why should this be?

Do we not have enough trouble clothes shopping as it is?

It would be so much easier if we could just ‘know’ our size in each shop, surely? Well, it would be so much easier if we could just know our size and be able to get this size in every shop we choose to visit – but that’s an age-old argument that never seems to get resolved.

I think it’s time we started a revolution – clothes style.


  1. I've put on a pile of weight over the last 18 months (oh hai chronic illness) and it's just the same at the larger end of the scale. Size 14 shirt - too small. Size 16 in a different shop looks like I've donned a circus tent. Size 18 trousers are too tight in the thighs, but I need a belt to hold up the 16s in a slouch fit.

    I'm becoming more and more inclined to make my own clothes, but it's so time-consuming (and expensive) that I tend to end up a bit lost.

  2. The idea of making my own clothes really appeals to me too, but I agree - the theory is far easier than the practice. It's ok imagining sitting at the machine churning out outfit after outfit, but it just doesn't happen like that (for me, anyway).
    I hate clothes shopping :( but love clothes - one can't even shop on-line because of these sizing issues.
    Thanks for your comment :)