The Strange, Unfathomable World of Women’s Clothes Sizes


If you’ve ever tried shopping for clothes in the women section, you’ll understand how much of a struggle it is. It doesn’t matter whether you know what size you are or not, it’s always touch and go as to whether or not “your size” will actually fit you. 

It used to be that a size 12 was a size 12, and a medium was a medium, they were set measurements. However these days, sizes vary from brand to brand based on the age or type of customer that particular brand has. For example, if the brands main customers are teens, then the sizes may come up smaller in order to better fit their body type.

However, this should mean that once you find you size for a certain brand or clothing shop, that size will fit you consistently throughout the brand. But alas, it does not. I recently bought two pairs of jeans in the exact same size, colour and style from the exact same brand, and was kindly provided with two pairs of jeans that fit completely differently (I’ve honestly never been more confused).

To be honest, it’s sad that this is something that women have learnt to just accept, and while for most, not being about to find something that fits you (especially now that due to covid, you can’t actually try anything on in stores) is extremely annoying and inconvenient, for some it can have a much more extreme and negative impact. Having to go up or down a size in a store for people with eating disorders or issues with body dysmorphia, can be very mentally challenging and draining. Feeling bad about yourself because the clothes you’ve bought in “your size” don’t fit. When in reality it has nothing to do with you, and everything about shopping for women’s clothes is insane. 

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