The Style Bible - How Do I Figure Out My Clothing Size?
If your like me and you adore fashion, style and looking your best but you are baffled by what size you actually are in each shop or you have ever asked yourself the question “How do I figure out my clothing size?” I have the answer as I have been religiously partaking in style my entire life. In my professional opinion you need to learn to forget and forgive the fashion and clothing sizing system to a degree. Lets face it it’s a minefield and each and every shop or label has its own pattern cutting blocks or size guide. It all stems from the history of fashion (I studied years ago) and it can get you all muddled up. It can change the way you feel about your body and yourself. The fashion sizing system really doesn’t count these days as it’s totally down to where the products are actually manufactured and you as an individual. keep reading if you want to feel totally empowered and begin to love your body for the first time in years!
Where you shop from or the country the items come from has a huge impact on the sizing. Take Spain for instance, their sizing depends on their culture and who is necessarily shopping for trends over style. In Spain there are so many teen looking shops and this is due to their culture. The younger generation are the ones wanting lots of mainstream options and the sizes are generally tiny. Also clothing sizes vary drastically from manufacturer to manufacturer. It’s always a very good idea to understand your body shape. However I’m going to share some basic rules that will at least give you an idea of what to take into a changing room, order online or note when purchasing vintage and thrift store items. I’m a huge eBay shopper and pride myself in finding unbelievable bargains no matter what the sizing label says.
Now, so we can chat about this further and understand what we need to essentially we need to ignore for women’s clothing here is a formula to help you understand different countries sizes. Yes I am saying ignore, but having a vague idea will help you in the long run
The Messed Up World Of Sizing
I’m aiming to confuse you her so you get the point….Add 28 to the UK size to generate the Spanish size (32 to US sizes). So, a UK size 12 (US 8) becomes a Spanish size 40, while a UK size 8 (US 4) becomes a Spanish size 36.
Also be aware that genetics come into play as various countries women’s body shapes can vary. Still confused well here is a conversion chart for a few different countries. Still really baffled…..
Spain UK USA
32 4 0
34 6 2
36 8 4
38 10 6
40 12 8
42 14 10
44 16 12
46 18 14
So ladies, I’d forget it! It’s been well documented that a universal sizing system could soon be taking over the UK high street. Retailers including ASOS, New Look, River Island and Next have partnered with Shape GB. This is a revolutionary body volume system for measurement. And although this is a good thing I still believe we need to take it with a pinch of salt. Mainly due to the fact that we are all individuals with totally different proportions. And further more we all like our clothing to fit in many different ways and for different purposes. Now you have an idea of how silly it all is, we still have to take into account of body shapes! So what can we do about this down right mess of a sizing system? Virtually Ignore it and go with what feels right for your own style, body and lifestyle.
The Style Bible - How Do I Figure Out My Clothing Size Top Tips
Going up a size is a good way of making items look and feel more expensive and won’t have you fearing getting dressed in the morning if your keen to get in shape or look like you have! I know this goes against a lot of peoples way of doing things but hear me out. Even if you are the girl that wants to always wear a size 8 in everything. It’s a down right unhealthy way of thinking for one and it’s an also extremely unstylish way of looking at fashion.
Buy from brands that are consistent with their sizing that you are familiar with. Or the local shops that can assist you with styling. I’m a personal stylist and help countless women everyday with everything to do with looking good from top to nail and toe! My ladies understand the importance of not being dictated to by a label.
Purchase multiple sizes online and try on at home. This way you can get a feel for how they look, drape and feel.
Ignore the size labels when out shopping. Take more than one size into the changing room. This is the biggest tip I can give you as even when you are a size 10-12-14-16 two items the same size can come up totally different.
Look at the garment for its styling options over the size. Take a maxi skirt for instance, it’s a beautiful garment to wear but how are you wanting it to fall. Nipped in at the waist or worn sat lover on your hips with a chunky knit over the top. Within just these 2 options a size 10 and a size 14 could serve you well for both options.
Where do you want the hem of an item to fall is another reason not to be swayed by constraints. You might be a pear shape and then not want your lower calf on show, opting for just a little ankle to be revealed. So you see it’s really down to your own preferences and style.
Look at the garment for its form, composition and what purpose you require it for. Not being bound by a label will set you free and help you to admire all kinds of other options you’d never have thought of.
Do you want a more androgynous look with your trousers over looking too skin tight, sexy or lets face it cheap! Clothing that’s too tight or the smallest option you can squeeze into will look so unflattering and actually make you look 2 sizes bigger in the long run. I opt for sophisticated over size every time.
I say look at clothing in a totally different light. I’m a size 8/10 and have many items in my wardrobe that are a size 12-16! Think outside the box when it comes to fashion ladies as it will really set you free!
Next time I will be chatting about sustainable fashion! It’s the new way of shopping girls, so see you again soon!
Check out the mini style video!
Love Sarah x