Size Matters – Especially When it Comes to Retail


Do you ever find yourself ranging wildly in size depending on the high street retailer? If that isn’t confusing enough, we’ve done our research and found that women’s sizing is just not that simple.

Adding to that, we’re almost certain that we can not be the only ones that are reluctant to endure the cold weather in order to fight a mountain of people whilst finding a bargain at the store… whilst we’re still not sure what size we’ll be at that store!

Thank god for the saviour that comes in the form of online shopping! What my bank account struggles with now is the fact that retailers now have online apps for your phone. So, as I brought in the New Year I decided to bring in a new wardrobe for the winter, especially with all the ongoing bargains. I’d more than likely gained a few pounds after all that chocolate and never ending leftovers. I approached my shopping basket with precaution!


As I shopped, I felt very uneasy at the fact I was so unsure which size I would be and how the items would fit. On an average shopping trip I can not fit a leg in a pair of H&M trousers, but find that Missguided do leave  enough room in their trousers for some extra booty, ASOS fits snug and Zara has its good and bad days.

Clothing sizes first stemmed from menswear uniform, which hardly compliments a woman. Keeping this same sizing for women proved tricky (shock horror). So in 1983 ‘vanity sizing’ was introduced, and this meant that the size on the garment was reduced to get woman to purchase the item.

I have one body that has to cater to several retailers who do not understand all women’s shapes.

Our research has found that stores are allowed to use their own measurements as there are no legal guidelines for women’s clothing – but majority of retailers abide by the EU guidelines.


ASOS size 12 waist measurements are 28.5 inches, Missguided are 32.75 and Zara 29.1. Personally, I have found that Missguided have given a self proclaimed curvy girl such as myself the most jello room! If I’m being honest, I’ve recently broken out of the habit of refusing to buy an item which is not my regular size. I have one body that has to cater to several retailers who do not understand all women’s shapes. So if I wear a 10, 12, 14 and 16 then so be it, it’s got nothing to do with me personally and if I’m spending my hard earned money on it then I need a good few Instagram pictures in it too!

Alas, lets not forget that these are random numbers put together by people in a boardroom so wear what size that suits you, and work it!

Written by Arifa Kabir

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