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Sizing Up the Clothing Industry

One opinion on women's clothing size variations

Buying clothes for my husband is a breeze. For pants, all I have to know is his waist size and inseam, and voilà, perfect fit every time! The same goes for his shirts. A large is a large, no matter what brand.

I wish it were that easy when it comes to buying clothing for myself, especially when shopping for pants. Knowing my size is never enough because every designer seems to have his or her own idea of how big or small that size actually is. And length is another tricky situation. I’m 5’4" which is considered “average” in the U.S., but when buying pants sometimes average is too long and short fits just right.

This is the reason I have to bring at least three sizes of various lengths into the fitting room. It’s a frustrating experience and buying clothes online is almost impossible. It usually involves shipping items back because they don’t fit. 

Another observation when shopping for clothes is that the more expensive the brand, the more generous they are with their cuts. I guess if a woman believes she wears a size 8, buying a size 10 just won’t do, and that insulting piece of clothing will be left behind on the rack.

Shirts and blouses are a bit easier because if they’re a little too big or a little too small, they can still look okay. When in the fitting room I usually have at least two sizes of each to try on. 

If only the clothing industry would make women’s sizes consistent, we would then have a better idea as to what size we actually wear. Right now, the only things I can confidently buy right off the rack are socks. At least my feet are happy.