Ladies, when it comes to clothes shopping, do you get annoyed that your size varies with different brands so you struggle to get the order right?
I’m afraid I can’t do much about that for you, except compare a few of the main brands in this blog, so you may be better at choosing which size to go for, and tell you some of my tips if you are, for example, more well-endowed up top.
According to an article in the Daily Mail published in March 2017, citing a study by lingerie brand Bluebella (based on Government statistics), they state that the 2017 female body shape has changed in the last 60 years.
In 1957, the average female in the UK was 5ft 2in tall, weighed 9 stone 10 lbs, had size 3 feet, a waist of 28 inches, 34B bust and was a dress size 12. The average UK female today is 5ft 5in tall, weighs 11 stone, is a shoe size 6, has a waist of 34 inches, 36DD breasts and is a dress size 16. The clothing industry has recognised these changes, and some brands are more generous in their sizes than others. Material costs money, and if a brand is more generous, they will either need to reflect that cost in the product, or reduce their profit, which is why the universal size varies: it’s a choice the brand makes.
The fact that the UK female today is taller and larger in every dimension, doesn’t surprise me, as our lifestyle, comforts and diet has generally increased and improved. I also think that food marketing has played a part, with BOGOF (buy one, get one free) or “2 for 1” offers everywhere (and not usually on healthy foods).
If a brand offers a petite range, it is to do with height not girth, and is usually good for 4ft 11 to 5ft 3in ladies, and they may scale down shoulder widths and sleeve lengths accordingly.
It isn’t so easy to measure yourself, but the best guidelines I found were on Apricot’s website (plus adding M&Co’s suggestion to measure yourself in your underwear):
“As a general rule, keep the tape measure firm but not tight around the point that you are measuring. If you are measuring yourself, we recommend taking a couple of measurements from each area in order to average out the changes in your posture whilst you are measuring.
Measuring Your Chest
Always measure around the fullest part of your chest, ensuring that you keep the tape measure as level as possible around your back and under your arms.
Measuring Your Waist
Measure around the narrowest part of your body, which is above your belly button but below your rib cage.
Measuring Your Hips
Measure around the fullest part of your hips, this is usually approximately 9″ below your waist.”
The M&Co website points out that the fit also depends on the material (stretchiness or not), cut and style as well, and I agree! And, they also recommend you take your measurements twice, averaging them out if necessary.
Whether you fit today’s “average” or not, here is my summary of a size 16 in various brands. Although I have included the full range of sizes listed on the websites I viewed, you will not find all their styles in all sizes. Look out for different length options too (short, regular and long).
Click here to see the summary: Clothing Sizes Compared
If you find the bust of tops, jackets or dresses too tight, my suggestion would be to look at these other brands: Bombshell, Bounteous, Bravissimo, Cast, Odyl, Saint Bustier, Taideux and/or consider having your clothes made for you. Of course, materials will make a difference, for example if there’s stretch in them, which is quite common now (eg ‘3% elastane’). This might help, so do check out the materials of the items as well.
I hope this has been helpful for you. Do leave a comment if so! I haven’t included every brand, so if you have any queries that you would like help with, please get in touch.
Your Colour & Style Consultant