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    • #766848
      Ellie Davis
      Managing Ambassador

      Hey girls

      I was intending to give this post a slightly earthier title, but I was afraid that it would get blocked by the moderators if I tried.

      There was an interesting article in yesterday’s Guardian newspaper about women’s clothing sizes in the UK. The title leapt out at me, because it mirrored my own experience. It was called ‘They’re meaningless: why women’s clothing sizes don’t measure up’. Although it was written from a UK standpoint, I’m sure that the issues it talks about have universal application.

      You all know the sort of thing I mean.

      Let me illustrate.

      I’m on a bit of a online shopping spree at the moment. I like the ‘auction’ aspect of eBay and the fact that although it can be hit and miss you occasionally get something you love for very little money. Recently, I decided I’d like some silky harem/yoga pants for slouching around in. I imagined how they would feel against freshly-shaved legs *Ellie pauses for a moment, considering this anew and enjoying the thought*.

      While browsing, I was also quite taken by a pair of culottes.

      I ended up winning two pair of harem pants and a pair of culottes for a combined total of £6.50 plus postage.

      Hurrah for me!

      Now, all three items were listed as the same size, but when they arrived one was way too baggy round the waist, one was a very tight squeeze and the third fitted perfectly. How can this be? To make it even more confusing, the ‘largest’ and ‘smallest’ items, which were allegedly both the same size, were from the same manufacturer.

      The author of the article (Leah Harper) has obviously had a very similar experience over the years:

      ‘In my wardrobe, I have a long Cos dress with a label that reads XS. A similar style from Doen is labelled M – theoretically a whole two sizes up – while a Topshop dress that always feels a little on the large side is labelled a 6. Weird. A vintage mini that I can’t get on without undoing the zip is a 14, and two Asos denim jumpsuits are an 8 and a 10 respectively. Don’t even get me started on jeans. Despite this, all of these clothes fit just fine.’

      We all know that just because you fit into a size 14 dress in one store, that doesn’t mean that size 14 dresses from other stores will also fit you. You can’t even be sure that a different size 14 dress from the SAME store will also fit. Apparently, ‘incorrect size’ is the major reason for return to online retailers. Almost a fifth of clothes get sent back, and for 93% of these it’s because the size was wrong.

      So what’s going on?

      As bizarre as it seems, it turns out that each brand is allowed to set its own sizes.

      There IS no industry standard for women’s clothes sizing.

      Instead, they identify their target market, and then size products according to whatever they think will make customers happy. In part they do this by setting their sizing based on individuals from their target market (called ‘fit models’ … I presume that this is because they’re models who the CLOTHES fit, rather than models who ARE fit, though it could be a bit of both) rather than on any set guidelines.

      A brand largely aimed at teens will select teen models, and size everything to fit them. A brand aimed at 40-something women will have a 40-something model. A size 10 for one will not be the same size 10 as for the other, and of course their body shapes will be completely different.

      Other oddities are:

      1) if you have two pairs of trousers labelled the same size then the more expensive pair is likely to run larger than the cheaper one. This is to flatter more affluent spenders that they are thinner than they actually are.

      2) The rise of ‘vanity sizing’ in general has meant that as people have generally got bigger over the last 50 years, size numbers have got smaller. A UK size 12 dress in 2015 would have been labelled as size 20 in 1958. This makes it particularly hard to shop for second hand or vintage clothes.

      Then there are the differences in sizing between countries, the difference in general body shape between different cultures and ethnicities and so on!

      It seems that online retailers are intending to shift more towards ‘digital fitting rooms’ where you enter your height and weight before choosing a body shape (which might not ALWAYS be particularly helpful for mtf crossdressers, with our mismatching top and bottom sizes) or allowing you to select clothes based on bust, waist and hip measurements. Ultimately, UK sizes 10, 12, 14 and 16 might get scrapped entirely since they don’t actually have any meaning.

      The article concluded with several recommendations, of which the ones relevant to us might be:

      Know your measurements precisely (not just vaguely)
      You can also take measurements from your own clothes as a guide. For example, when buying a t-shirt online, take one of your t-shirts (that you already know fits) and lay it flat. Measure underarm to underarm, and also from the middle of the neck down to the back of the hem. Ask the seller to take the same measurements from the item they are listing.

      Take your clothes shopping
      Take one of your pieces of clothing with you to the shop and hold it up against the item that you are intending to buy rather than relying on the size on the label. This is more reliable than holding it up against yourself and looking in a mirror. This might be a good approach if you’re thrifting.

      If in doubt, size up
      It’s usually better to give yourself a bit of wriggle room.

      Of course, the best approach of all is to try the clothes on in store … but not all of us are brave enough to do that!

      Hugs

      Ellie x

      • This topic was modified 10 months ago by Ellie Davis. Reason: Even after several read throughs, there was STILL a mistake
    • #766857

      Thanks Ellie.

      Very interesting article. As an online purchaser from Ali and Shein I do have to trust the measurements published. I find Shein more reliable and with Ali often there are two or three other sellers of similar products so check their sizing info. Also pays to read comments. One thing useful in Shein is in comments you can see the reviewers measurements if they allow and that increases my confidence. However I do admit to size and fit anxiety on deliveries.

      • #767017
        Ellie Davis
        Managing Ambassador

        Hi Monique

        I gave up on Shein because of the quality of the clothes as well as the sizing. However, I know that some other girls swear by them!

        Lately, here in the UK, my online purchases have tended to gravitate to Marks & Spencer and Next; with both stores the clothes are always good quality, the sizing is pretty reliable, they have a no-quibble returns policy and the return process is straightforward.

        Like you, I’m a great one for turning to the ‘Comments’ section, especially when buying from Amazon. There have been many, many occasions when I’ve been tempted by something, scrolled down to the reviewer’s comments and then done a hasty u-turn.

        If the first four or five commenters are all having a rant about the sizes then it’s a definite no-no!

        Hugs

        Ellie x

        • #767022
          Anonymous

          Hi Ellie….I’ve backed off from Shein for exactly the same reasons!

    • #766863
      AnnaBeth Black
      Duchess - Annual

      Thanks Ellie, I never know, sometimes large sometimes Extra large. Right now I have my skirt tucked into my shaper because I bought the extra large and it’s to big, so frustrating. And number sizes omg who knows, usually a 10 but you never know. And don’t even get me started on shoes!

      hugs

      Annabeth

      • #767075
        Ellie Davis
        Managing Ambassador

        Hi AnnaBeth

        It’s a nightmare, isn’t it?

        I deliberately avoided mentioning shoes because that would open up a whole new can of worms. It’s worthy of a post all on its own.

        *Ellie starts planning*.

        I’m a UK men’s size 9 in shoes. Most size comparison charts carry the less than reassuring statement that ‘men’s and women’s UK shoe sizes are mostly the same.’ Now hold on a darn second. Why aren’t they EXACTLY the same?

        Men’s size 9 is often left off UK comparison charts completely (they jump from 8 to 10), presumably to lend an air of mystery and excitement to your shoe-buying experience.

        A UK men’s size 9 would be a US men’s size 9.5 … which I think is a US women’s size 11.

        My head hurts now. I’m going to lie down and try and avoid any thoughts of shoes for at least half an hour.

        Hugs

        Ellie x

    • #766864
      Angela Booth
      Hostess

      There was a downsizing of clothes back in the day.  My mother made me aware years ago as I used to be a size 16 but now am a 14 0r 12 dress size. That is why when buying clothes online myself couldn’t understand why a 16 was loose on me. The other reason was that women were getting larger so it was a ‘feel good ‘ move for women.

      Buying online depends on where the clothes are made. China and far East countries tend to be smaller than the western size it claims to be. Store shopping is more straightforward as sizes tend to be fairly standard in mainstream stores with small variances.

      The key to it is knowing your measurements and, if online shopping, check against any charts offered. If they don’t have them then don’t buy. My way is to measure the bust area with bra and halve, that measurement is then pit to pit. The same applies to skirts where I do the same then halve. So if you take a tape measure with you then measure the garment flat you know what will fit, despite what is on the label. I shop a lot and can look at something and know it will fit, to be certain knowing the measurement from tip of little finger to tip of thumb on my open hands combined gives me a literal ‘Rule of the thumb’. So I am a fairly constant 12 in a skirt and 12-14 in dresses and tops.

      However there are some surprises which are usually found on sale rails or special purchases where sizes really have to be scrutinized as a bargain isn’t quite that if you take it a face value.   I have walked away with a great buy in a size 10 because I know my size. Obviously trying it on is the ultimate way and you will see women going in with up to three sizes of the same dress as they know the score with measurements.

      Shoes are the same at times so know the length of your foot and width. One of my best buys was an Italian leather boot in a size 5. I am a seven but can fit into a 6 – U.K sizes.

       

       

      • #767092
        Ellie Davis
        Managing Ambassador

        H Angela

        Lots of really valuable tips there for everyone – thank you!

        I’ve had the same experience with online clothing from the far East. It’s particularly dispiriting when you would normally buy, say, a size 16 dress. You find something you like but … oh … the supplier is in China. The sizing chart is incomprehensible. As you wonder what you should buy based on the sizes listed, Amazon helpfully says something like ‘Based on your recent purchases, you are an XXL’.

        As if that wasn’t bad enough for your sense of self-worth, when the dress arrives you find you were actually 4XL based on their sizing 🙁

        Hugs

        Ellie x

    • #767036

      Generally, when discussing sizes, I think they are mostly useful as a guideline. A starting point if you will for trying to find the one that fits best.

      When sizes vary by manufacturer and style, they really can’t be anything more. In the end it’s how the garment looks on your body.

      • #767097
        Ellie Davis
        Managing Ambassador

        Yes … I wish though that they were more of a reliable guideline, with at least SOME commonality between manufacturers.

        Of course, even if I buy online and miraculously get the size right, what looks great on a beautiful young model can still make me look like a sack of potatoes that’s had a particularly hard life.

        Hugs

        Ellie x

    • #767037

      I’ve bought some clothes on Amazon recently and found that sizes are all over the map. For clothes that come from Asia, I have found it best to go up two sizes! If it doesn’t work there are always free returns..

      • #767111
        Ellie Davis
        Managing Ambassador

        Hi Lauren

        Yes – the ‘two size up’ rule when buying from Asian suppliers through Amazon seems to be a good one!

        Knowing that rule, and knowing that others are unaware of it, it can be fun to scroll down the Amazon page and read all the disgruntled reviews from people who have been unpleasantly surprised by the size they received.

        Schadenfreude in action.

        Hugs

        Ellie x

    • #767038

      I buy the majority of my female clothes on line and have found the M&S 38A bras give me a good fit, I did once buy a Gossard 38A and it wouldn’t even do up at the back – so I stick with what I know. Most size 14 skirts fit but if it is mini I only buy ones with an elasticated waist as there is a bit more give than a zip.

      • #767112
        Ellie Davis
        Managing Ambassador

        Hi Randi

        Interestingly, the Guardian article said that cup sizes in bras are the only thing that’s standardised about women’s clothing in the UK.

        Of course, the chest measurement can still be inconsistent between manufacturers, as you’ve discovered!

        I have a few bra extenders to deal with the ones that arrive and prove to be too tight. You can get them in 2-hook, 3-hook, 4-hook and even 5-hook forms and they’re available in a range of colours 🙂

        Hugs

        Ellie x

    • #767050

      Excellent article sis and thank you

      • #767120
        Ellie Davis
        Managing Ambassador

        Thanks Deborah

        Women’s clothes sizing has always been something that’s baffled me. After reading the Guardian article I now know why!

        It hasn’t solved the problem for me … but at least I understand it better now 🙂

        Hugs

        Ellie x

    • #767063

      Living in Denmark I buy a lot of clothes and shoes from Zalando, they are in 25 countries and their sizing is good, prices are reasonable and the have large shoes for me I’m a EU size 45-46 .

      Only had to return some jeans once and that was because I didn’t understand the sizing of female trousers. BTW at least in dk returns are free. IDK if the mods are allowing this post which somehow looks like an ad which it is not, but please don’t block me, but feel free to remove the post and warn me as Im just trying to be helpful to the other girls in her by telling what I do when buying online.

      • #767278
        Ellie Davis
        Managing Ambassador

        Hi Clarissa

        In my original post I managed to name-drop Cos, Doen, Topshop and Asos. Elsewhere in this thread we’ve given air time to Amazon, Macy’s, Calvin Klein, DKNY, Marks & Spencer, Next and Shein.

        I don’t think you’re going to get into any trouble for adding Zalando to the list 🙂

        I’m certainly going to be checking them out for larger shoe sizes – thank you so much for the tip!

        Hugs

        Ellie x

    • #767066
      Rhonda Lee
      Baroness - Annual

      As you say, the best solution is to find a day to shop in person… more fun and more likely to be successful in terms of getting the right size. Otherwise, I pay attention to the comments of others who have tried on garments, buy items I can return, or buy items that are so inexpensive that it is worth the risk and not worth the effort and cost of returning if there is a misfit.

      Recently I bought $100 worth of clothes from a super-discounted site..Temu. I must have bought 20 items, figuring I’d toss most, if they even arrived. (I suspected a scam). Surprisingly, all fit great and proved to be super-bargains. There was only one item I decided to pass to Goodwill and a waist cincher I have not managed to figure out how to use but was clearly worth no more than I paid so will go to Goodwill. The dress did not fail due to lack of fit but because I wasn’t fond of it. The sizes were supported by measurements in the fit guide associated with individual garments and were true to what was advertised. I still don’t know what the catch was. Perhaps my information was passed on to a mailing list for scammers. So far I’m not complaining!

      I never buy online without consulting a fit guide. I would not trust any advertised size without knowing the measurements to which it is associated. I have seldom been disappointed.

      • #767295
        Ellie Davis
        Managing Ambassador

        Hi Rhonda

        Shopping in person is definitely more fun – especially now I can do it in the company of my sister 🙂

        I’ve been tempted by Temu, but like you thought it might be too good to be true. After your reply I’ll definitely give it a second look (probably immediately after writing this).

        On eBay I always restrict myself to low bids and hope that no-one else is tempted by what I’m after. As a strategy, it works surprisingly often! Since I consistently bid low, it doesn’t matter if items don’t fit, or look different from the online photo … and it keeps the local charity shops happy 🙂

        Hugs

        Ellie x

    • #767087
      Cassie Jayson
      Duchess

      Clothing sises are all over the place. As others have said already knowing your measurements and using the size guides provided when ordering usually works well. Having worked at Torrid for almost 10 months now even the GG’s have a problem figuring the right size. A lot of Sundays when I work there are almost more returns in the first hour than sales. They are almost all on-line purchases, usually not the right size but sometimes they didn’t like the style after they tried them on.
      I am not a large person so at torrid a size 00 (med to lg) or size 0 (lg to Xlg) fits perfect. One time I found a cute top that I tried on and both the 00 and 0 were tight on the ribs, just below the bust line. Then I tried a size 1 (1XL) fit perfect!! Then there are shoes, normally in men’s I wear size 10 in women’s size 11. Because Torrid shoes are WIDE even the women’s size 10 is a little loose.
      So know your measurements!!!!!
      . Cassie

      • #767501
        Ellie Davis
        Managing Ambassador

        Wait … what?

        You have a size 00 and a size 0 in the US?

        What happens when you’re a smaller size than that? Do you hit negative numbers? Fractions?

        Or is there an ‘000’, as in ‘000 … look how thin I am?’

        This has added a whole new dimension to my already complete lack of understanding.

        Ellie x

        • #767573
          Cassie Jayson
          Duchess

          Those are the Torrid sizes. Since it is a store for larger ladies they have their own sizing system. So ladies who wear a 4X or 5X (size 4 or 5 at Torrid)don’t think they are quite as large’

          . Cassie

          • #767673
            Ellie Davis
            Managing Ambassador

            Thanks Cassie!

            We don’t have Torrid in the UK. I feel quite sad about that, since I’ve heard it mentioned on here quite a lot.

            Now you’ve explained, I find myself quite drawn to their ‘feelgood’ sizing system 🙂

            Hugs

            Ellie x

          • #767693
            Cassie Jayson
            Duchess

            Yes, since Torrid caters to plus size women a lot of their clothes fit us CD’s since a lot of the tops work for wider shoulders and/or longer torsos.

            . Cassie

    • #767104

      Hi Ellie,its Michelle.Sizes are all over the map.I usually wear a size 14 dress in Calvin Klien or DKNY,but I have a DKNY size 18 that fits wonderfully.Talk about discouraging,WOW.And getting the right size and fit in jeans is just nutsy,even in the same brand and style.I just returned two very nice tops to Macys and I even bought them as XL and I know I am not that big,:Michelles vanity is showing thru},LOL.O well,it means more in person shopping.YAAAAAAAAAY. Hugs  ,Michelle.

      • #767675
        Ellie Davis
        Managing Ambassador

        It’s a complete nightmare, Michelle!

        When I was putting together a 50:50 ‘incognito’ outfit for my covert on-the-way-to-en-femme outings in the summer, jeans were part of my required purchases.

        I went on the Marks and Spencer website and, good girl that I am, took all the measurements that they asked for (using a cloth tape) and selected the size accordingly. When the jeans arrived they were baggy around the waist.

        Okay, not to worry … free returns 🙂

        I sent them back and ordered the next size down. That pair arrived and … still too big. On the third attempt I finally got it right!

        Of course, none of this would have been a problem if I’d been brave enough to actually go into the store in the first place …

        Hugs

        Ellie x

    • #767113
      Fiona Black
      Baroness - Annual

      When I first started to dress, I bought things from Amazon but the sizes were all over the place and I got tired of all the returns. Since then I buy from stores where I can try everything on but even then things go awry. For example, I have a half dozen dresses from Anne Klein, all size 14 and they fit well. Shopping recently, I saw a size 14 dress by her I liked & bought it without trying it on. No problem right? Wrong! I couldn’t even get it close to being on, it must have been like a size 8 or 10 or something. And when it comes to sizes like S, M, L, XL forget it, I have dresses in M, L, & XL in my closet. A pox on women’s clothing sizes!

      • #767579
        Harriette
        Lady

        “I buy from stores where I can try everything on” Fiona

        I like to hear this, rather than seeing people buying on-line all of the time. Retail stores are still an important part of the economy, so support them and get good service, too.

      • #767676
        Ellie Davis
        Managing Ambassador

        Following on from Fiona’s post, a shout out to any UK girls who are following this thread.

        Have you – en femme or otherwise – got any experience of trying things on in UK stores? I know that Marks & Spencer are often flagged as being CD-friendly, but is that true in practice? What about other UK stores?

        When I went clothes shopping with my sister back in August one thing we didn’t do was attempt to hit the changing rooms … in part because SHE was very hesitant about what the reaction would be.

        Hugs

        Ellie x

        • This reply was modified 9 months ago by Ellie Davis. Reason: Apparently I struggle to spell the word 'about'
    • #767349
      Chrissie Smith
      Baroness

      Hi girls.

      I have nothing helpful to add to this discussion but I’m going to waffle on for a bit due to my need to be accepted and included!

      As most of you will know I dressed for the first time in 35 years in June and I think in general I got lucky. I ordered two complete outfits from Amazon. I’d measured my chest and got a 42B non-wired bra which fitted perfectly. I prefer a smaller boob but couldn’t find a 42A. There were a couple of gorgeous dresses which I ordered simply on waist size and they were perfect (size 18 – I’m a big girl, 6’00” and 190 lbs).

      I didn’t really trust Amazon shoes. Too much confusion over size, and most suppliers were Chinese with the possible risk of forced child labour. And a lot of them didn’t even specify heel height. Got some lovely heels from Next (I’m a UK girl). I’m lucky that I have size 8 shoes in men’s size and in the UK that seems to match ladies sizes. Stockings tended to be one size but they were fine. I’m in love with OBGs but again didn’t trust Amazon, but found a lovely site called undercover.com. Ordered waist size 35 – 36 and again was perfect.

      All a bit of a minefield but generally I was pretty fortunate. What a week that was!

      Chrissie xx.

      • #767697
        Ellie Davis
        Managing Ambassador

        Well now Chrissie … you said you had nothing to add and then went on to write a really interesting reply 🙂

        I’ll definitely check out your source of OBGs!

        Hugs

        Ellie x

        • #767722
          Chrissie Smith
          Baroness

          Thanks Ellie for your kind words girlfriend. I think you’ve noted my fondness for OBGs elsewhere in these forums. And I had a modicum of support from the girls here. The one I sourced in June was just lovely, but not as robust as the M and S offering I had all those years ago! A lot of the American girls here swear by Rago. Not sure if they’re so accessible in the UK, and they’re not cheap. But hey we’re worth it girl!

          Hugs, Chrissie xx.

    • #767363
      Harriette
      Lady

      “do [sizes] mean anything?” Ellie

      No. As you point out, clothing sizes are inconsistent and arbitrary.

      “There IS no industry standard for women’s clothes sizing.” Ellie

      The nice thing about standards is that there are so damned many of them.

      As you know, I have commented about how to deal with sizing clothes in stores by bringing along a measuring tape and a card with relevant body measurements. This works with the clothes in your hands, but doing that for on-line items is still going to be more hit and miss. However, you can do things to help with getting a good fit right.

      For example, selecting a dress with an elastic waist area and loose sleeves will give you some leeway. Pants/shorts/skirts waistbands are relatively easy to get right, especially if they are not stretchy. Find the best fitting skirt that you have, join the waistband together and measure across the skirt. Use that as a minimum when you measure something in a store because you know what will fit. Ignore what the label size is. The tape doesn’t lie.

      Doing the same thing for inseams is just the same, but more complicated by different shoe heel heights. Do you want to hide your shoes or have them uncovered?

      Shoe sizes are just as problematic. One way to order shoes on-line is to order by foot length and width, if you have lucky feet with no problems. 280mm is 280mm. Mostly Japanese and Chinese manufacturers supply shoe sizes by length.

      The only way this conundrum will be resolved is if enough customers complain about your size issues. A shoe store that has one size chart for all of their shoes isn’t being serious. A store selling pants without an inseam measurement isn’t being serious.

      Learn from your mistakes buying clothes. Use a more reliable system and you will save yourself time and money.

      • #767897
        Ellie Davis
        Managing Ambassador

        Thanks Harriette

        Stacks of useful advice here, as is usual with your well-written and thoughtful posts 🙂

        Are foot measurements from tip of big toe to heel?

        By the way, I’m not sure if I can classify my own feet as ‘lucky’. I certainly wouldn’t trust them to pick my lottery numbers. In all the years I’ve known them, they’ve never won anything.

        I’ve definitely found myself looking for the magic phrase ‘elastic waist’ when shopping for skirts, as well as things such as culottes and harem pants.

        Shoulder width can often be a problem with dresses, since they’re not made for a male build. Of course, one way forward there (other than the ‘loose sleeves’ approach) is to go for things with shoulder straps and avoid sleeves altogether.

        Hugs

        Ellie x

        • #767917
          Harriette
          Lady

          I tried reply to your post, but it wouldn’t work.

          • #767918
            Ellie Davis
            Managing Ambassador

            Hey Harriette

            I got your reply as a PM, so here it is for everyone to read 🙂 Incidentally, I had trouble uploading my original post, and the problem turned out to be that I had included a smiley face emoticon. I know that Lucy Bancroft found the same thing when sending a PM to someone a few weeks ago. So, everyone … if you have a problem posting anything, try removing any smileys before going to all the trouble of clearing caches and trying different browsers!

            Anyway, Harriette’s reply:

            ‘Lucky in the sense of having a common, medium-width foot, with no nerve or ankle problems. As we get older, luck runs out. Yes, the length measurement is usually in millimeters with the heel up against something straight, such as a wall or door. Widths at the widest point.

            ‘What I don’t know yet is how forgiving the shoe sizes are compared to the foot measurement, but at least a physical measurement is a good starting point compared to an arbitrary number. Lucille Sorella does not recommend open shoulders of tops on CDs with broad shoulders. Sort of makes sense, if you want a femme look, but if you do have open shoulders, at least shave them, eh?’

            Harriette

          • #767919
            Ellie Davis
            Managing Ambassador

            Just an interesting follow on from this.

            If any girls haven’t watched it already, there’s some really good advice in a YouTube video called ’Fashion tips for trans women’ on the channel run by qneetza live (aka Lena). Lots of great tips on how to disguise the ’triangular’ male body shape and draw attention away from the shoulders.

            It’s thirteen and a half minutes long, but it’s time well spent!

            Hugs

            Ellie x

          • #767922
            Harriette
            Lady

            I thought about the smilie that I included, but got distracted by dealing with the issue. Something to remember. However, maybe WP will fix the issue.

    • #767508

      Hi Ellie

      I realised this when I first started.

      Mist online sites have sizing guides, but I still much prefer the old fashioned way, actually trying clothes on in store, love it, had many frustrating ‘this is no way a size 10!!!’ episodes in changing rooms!

      B x

    • #767616

      Hi Ellie, Yup, you got it!  Numbers are only estimates.  I have a small tape measure in each of my cars and also one on my keychain.  I use these for instant sizing checks when I’m out shopping.  I almost never trust the labels. You can pick up a really small tape measure like mine at most fabric or hardware shops.  Using them helped me avoid buying things that looked nice but were deceptive in fit.  Thanks for the informative post.  Marg

      • #767902
        Ellie Davis
        Managing Ambassador

        Hey Marg

        I have a cloth tape measure at home, but I’m such an airhead that I would almost certainly forget to take it clothes shopping with me.

        Having read your reply I’m going to buy a key-chain version.

        How does it feel to be a social media influencer?

        Hugs

        Ellie x

        • #767950

          Wonderful Ellie, and I’m still trying to get the Colonies to accept the Metric System.  We resist centimeters by yards! lol   Marg

          • #768015
            Rhonda Lee
            Baroness - Annual

            Most at least accept the existence of centiPEDES. In the TG community they may be referred to as walkie-talkies.

          • #768429
            Ellie Davis
            Managing Ambassador

            Hey Marg

            My key-chain tape measure has arrived. Every time I’ll use it I’ll think of you!

            Ellie x

          • #768503

            Why Thank you Ellie.   And I hope that each time that you use it, you get a fabulous outfit!  Hugs,  Marg

    • #767649
      Lynne Eden
      Baroness

      Hi Ellie,

      A very interesting article that sheds some light on the subject.

      It explains how come ladies’ jackets in most stores that fit me (depending on the store of course) are size XL, where at Torrid I am a petite size 1.

      Thank you for submitting this, it will be very helpful the next time I go shopping.

      Aurora Eden

      • #767920
        Ellie Davis
        Managing Ambassador

        Thanks Aurora

        When I stumbled across the original Guardian article it solved a lot of mysteries for me as well.

        I imagine that it feels a lot better to have clothing which is billed as ‘size 1’ rather than ‘extra large’.

        Torrid have played a blinder there. Good on them!

        Hugs

        Ellie x

      • #768016
        Rhonda Lee
        Baroness - Annual

        Chico’s does something similar.

        • #768094

          And there are others. Simply a Mind F++k…

          • #768392
            Rhonda Lee
            Baroness - Annual

            Of course it’s a mind F++k. That’s the key to success in the sales world. We act according to what we believe or want to believe or have others believe is true. Whether it is true or not is secondary. Don’t we do that when we crossdress?

          • #768485

            In this case, the advertising is like misdirection for a magician. It causes people to forget, at least temporarily. Why think that you are a Size 20 when you can think of yourself as a Size 4 according to Chico’s?

    • #767730

      There are some things that are not obvious about women’s clothing sizes, so I’ll share my experiences.

      • Agreed, there is No Standard Sizing. Anyone who thinks that will be sorely disappointed.
      • Not only are there sizing differences between manufacturers, but there can also be sizing differences WITHIN a given manufacturer. I have 2 shirts from the same brand. It theory they are the same size. They are the same design. The only difference between them is that one has long sleeves and the other is sleeveless. The sleeveless one is slightly tight in the bust whereas the other is not.
      • Also, remember that fit comes into play. A designer may intend that the garment fit in a traditional way or body conforming (bodycon) or oversize or perhaps some other variations. For example, Chico’s sells a number of blazers and jackets that are designed to be oversized. They also have their own sizing chart. In theory, for my 46” chest measurement, my size would be their #4. However, I have several of their jackets that fit very well even though there are size #3.
      • Gloria Vanderbilt Amanda jeans are consistent from my experience. I have a number of pairs. I wear a size 14 and after the 4th or 5th pair, I quit trying them on before buying. Now that may have changed as the last pair I bought was maybe 3 years ago.
      • Probably 80% of my wardrobe was purchased in thrift stores, online and in person. Online, Etsy vendors are pretty good at including measurements in their listings. Poshmark vendors, not so much. These days I tend to skip over items without measurements. I have to be really interested before I will ask. My perspective is that people without enough foresight to take measurements for the initial listing do not deserve my money. Also, I’ve seen questions go unanswered for over a year. That is just not right.
      • As stated, Chinese vendors are VERY inconsistent in their sizing. I learned that lesson many years ago and have not been back.
      • I’ve had very little difficulty with shoes, but I do try to stick with name brands, such as Born, b.o.c, Callisto and a few others. My 9 1/2 or 10 in men’s sizes translates very well to women’s 11. The “size up 2 numbers” is generally not true from what I’ve seen.
      • One thing about shoes that I find is often lacking is a platform height measurement. I have an arthritic ankle with limited movement. A 2 1/2” difference between heel and platform is the absolute maximum and 2” to 2 1/4” difference is what I usually look for. Often sites like Sierra, TJ Maxx (same company) and others don’t include platform heights in their descriptions. One way to counter that is to check the manufacturer’s site.
      • Checking size charts on store sites is often a great help. Often they will include information on how to measure your body and feet. Buy a cloth measuring tape! Unfortunately, some sites like Sierra do not publish size charts for individual items. They publish a generic size chart which can be hit or miss.

      Good Luck!

    • #768409
      Becka
      Lady

      I have pants and shoes down. I’m struggling with blouses!

Viewing 19 reply threads
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