“Your best friend is a flexible tape measure.”
YES! This is what I did recently. I bought a small cloth tape to carry around with me because numbers (usually) don’t lie.
For example, my waist is 36″ around, so I got my best fitting skirts and closed the waistbands, spread them out and measured the distance from side to side when laying flat (as they would be on a store hanger). A good starting point is 17″, maybe 16″, with no stretch. However, I found a pair of size 10 shorts on sale in Old Navy, recently. The tape said 17”! Go figure, so I bought 3! The same applies to inseam lengths. I need tall women’s sizes, so in the 31″ min or, better yet, 32″ range, if I want to be subtle and hide my shoes more.
I record the ideal body measurements (both in & cm) like that on a small, hard card and keep them together in my day bag. Update your notes, to make corrections when something doesn’t fit. When I find something that interests me, I use the tape measure and card to see if something is in the ballpark. If the width of a pull-on dress isn’t wide enough to pass over my barrel chest or my arm will never fit into a sleeve, there is no point wasting time in a fitting room. I made a copy to give to my wife, too, with another tape measure (dollar store, sewing section), in a small zip bag.
Shoes are a whole other story. Don’t get me going on about shoes.
The problem with standards is there are so damned many of them! 😉
Thanks for the topic, Lucy.