As a personal stylist in Sydney BODY TYPES are one of the main areas I cover in my initial analysis of a client to help guide them in to what they should be wearing versus what they should avoid. There are many different body types so click here to read more about my analysis service to help identify the shape of your body:
It can be a tricky area with even the most perfect of physiques having their own hang up’s about their body image. During my personal styling service, I’m all about empowering clients to make the best choices and to magnify people’s ‘best bits’.
I find it fascinating how my clients respond to size labels, or when clothes don’t fit them well so I thought i’d give you all some industry insight to make you feel a little better about your bodies:
6 FACTS YOU DIDN’T KNOW ABOUT CLOTHES SIZES
There is 5cm between each standard dress size ie. between a size 12 and 14 there’s 5 cm’s difference throughout the main body measurements (bust, waist, hip)
2. SIZE TAGS
Don’t let a size tag change your mind about buying – or not buying – an item. If you consider the above and then imagine that some paneled skirts could have 6 seams, if the seamstress takes off just a few millimeters too much seam allowance whilst sewing the panels together, that means your skirt ends up half a size smaller!!!
I understand that the number on a size tag can create an emotional response, but really we need to asses the actual garment size rather than the number that generally represents your body shape. THAT NUMBER DOES NOT DEFINE YOU!
Most people have a variety of sizes in their wardrobe – up to 3 sizes either way – so don’t buy something too small or too big, because it’s the size you ‘normally’ take. Buy the size that fits you in THAT store.
3. SIZE DIFFERENCES
A plus size 16 is equivalent of a standard size 18, so go down 1 size if you shop plus size brands. Similarly if you shop vintage, go up a few sizes as the measurements that we know today used to be ALOT smaller back in the 60’s as explained in this DAILY MAIL article. www.dailymail.co.uk/femail/article-3198374/Chart-reveals-clothing-sizes-changed-past-60-years-shows-size-12-Marilyn-Monroe-00-8-today.html
4. LEAD TIMES
With lead times decreasing for fashion retailers to get their designs on to the shop floor, often fit sessions would suffer – sessions where we would fit our new designs on to our brands fit model and usually 3 are scheduled per style. Certain brands now boast that they can get a design in to store in 3 weeks (!!) which leaves me questioning how they get time to fit these properly?
I’ve seen female clients upset that a top doesn’t fit their particular body shape well when the bust dart is up by her collar bone! Sometimes it’s just a design flaw and my remark is “it’s not you, it’s them”
5. FIT MODEL
Do you find yourself often shopping at the same stores? Well this might be because the fit model that a particular brand uses probably has a similar body shape to you so most of their clothes fit well, therefore efficient shopping is about aligning yourself to their fit model.
Each brand creates their own customer profile and employs a fit model accordingly which means that a size 10 in Seed could be a size 14 in Cue!
The model I used to use when I was designing for a youth fast fashion brand had a tiny frame and very little curve where as for a more mature luxury retailer, I would fit my clothes to a more realistic curvy model with a few lumps & bumps. As a stylist in Sydney I know how different brands fit different body types.
6. INDUSTRY SIZING STANDARD
Ok, so the main reason that sizes come up so different is because, cue gasp, there is NO INDUSTRY SIZING STANDARD!!
“The Australian Standard Size Coding Scheme for women’s clothing was scrapped in 2008, allowing retailers to develop their own sizing scale based on sales data” Rebecca Sullivan of News.Com.Au reports on September 18, 2016
As I mentioned above, each fashion brand creates it’s own customer profile and generates their sizing specifications based on that and there’s no industry guidelines to align them!
This, mixed with various other issues creates complete havoc for customers. Consider:
- Trying to police the multiple suppliers each retailer has to adhere to their sizing
- Every style has an allowance of 1cm or 1.5cm bigger/smaller depending on the brand
- Allowances in cloth manufacture ie. maybe it’s shrunk slightly in the production dying process compared to the initial sample?
- Button placement on a waistband could be slightly out?
So you can see that there’s so many variables…and imagine if all these things happened to one garment!!???!!
These disparities are the reason so many Sydney retailers have size’s that come up different so PLEASE, I go back to my earlier point,
DO NOT LET A SIZE TAG CHANGE YOUR MIND ABOUT BUYING – OR NOT BUYING – AN ITEM!!
My advice: take 2 different sizes in to the fitting room, try both and buy the one that looks the best, regardless of the size label it SHOULD be.