Wednesday, 5 November 2014

Why are we different sizes in different shops?

Why are sizes different in different stores? Have you wondered? I’m sure you have?

Why different sizes in different stores

 At London college of fashion where I’m doing this course we work on  a basic block size 12.
When I first heard we would work on size 12 I was super filled with joy. I’m a size 12 on most days and I  could use the same pattern to draft something for me. Well I thought and Oh boy! When I saw the block
it  looked like it might be a size 4 – that tiny or rather that huge was the size 12 from the shops I was buying from.
So I asked the tutor why this difference. She said there is no standard size 12.
And went on to say if I was going to have my own collection I’d need to study the market to know where I was competing against, study their sizes and position accordingly.
Strange right?
Also there was a buyer on our course and she said the lower end of market sizes are bigger for their size and higher ends are smaller.
What does that mean? Is it right? How crazy right?
Whatever, I bought a tunic from fatface last week and I fit comfortably in a size 10. Oh hoooo. Did that make me happy. Oh yes! I say.
Did anyone else see that size label – No. Does it make any better from outside – No
But you know what I’m talking about. The whole shopping experience gets so depressing when you don’t fit in your so called size in a shop right?


Also, how does retail cater to bust cup size? A pear shaped size ? Why do I have to fit in a a size. The clothes need to fit me. :)

So I want to make my own.


Also how do they cater to different geographies - Zara sells in India but do they have different measurements for Indian women?

Age :

We are different shaped when we get older. Is that even a consideration for ready to wear?

I tried to find a bit more and I came across - What size am I
Have a look. You can put in your size and it will show you what size for each shop you would need to buy. My sizes range from 12 – 14 - 16.
Next – Size 14
Gap – Size 16
Zara – Size 12
I think this is particularly useful considering the online shopping we do.
It’s a cool website I thought and you’d like too.

Have a good week ahead.

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  1. Location plays a huge roll in dress sizes too. I'm usually a size 8 US/Canada for Zara, but the strange thing is that I'm a size 12 for Zara outside of North America. The website you've mentioned is a great tool. Thanks for sharing!

    1. Hi Preeti, makes sense to have different sizes for different parts of the world based on their shapes. It only makes shopping difficult if I were in other countries though but as long as I fit into a lower size Im happy. :)

  2. This is so interesting! It makes sense. In here I always feel a bit depressed when I buy at Zara because their sizes are tighter than other brands... :)

  3. Your enthusiasm is commendable, Preethi! Ha haa :D That's true, clothes have to fit you!

    Actually there is no standard size. Everyone has unique structure and thus, different measurements. That's why I don't mention any standard measurements in my pattern tutorials. But, what about the large scale manufacturers? How will they survive making patterns for all the possible measurements? They conduct surveys. Based on these surveys, they group individual measurements into some sizes. Say, bust sizes X, Y and Z groups. Based on the number of pieces that are sold, they calculate the ratio of people who need it.

    You know, sizes and the numbers change from brand to brand. As you just mentioned, some brands want to make their clients happy looking at small numbers :) So, they will see them returning to their brand :)

    I hope the information I shared is useful :)

  4. “It’s not about the dress you wear, it’s about the life you lead in the dress". Fashion for each


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