Wednesday, April 20, 2011

True to size-and what does it mean?

So if any of you have ever shopped for clothing-you know first hand that sizes range greatly between brands/stores.  This can be a frustrating experience for you and can often make you wonder-why?  To say that you are typically a size x but then when you shop find you are higher in size or lower in size can be a not fun experience in the dressing room!

Some of you because of this have found stores that have the "best fit" for you and this is the reason why you return over and over and over again.

Let's take two popular choices in clothing-Ann Taylor and Banana Republic.

There is not a lot of difference in their size-but there is some.  For example dresses between the two have the exact same bust measurement-but the waist measurement is different.  Ann Taylor adds a 1/2 inch for its sizes in the waist.  So if you are a size 8 and you try on a Banana Republic dress and it fits you perfectly in the bust and waist and then you try on a Ann Taylor dress and you realize that the waist seems a little big-well now you know why!

When designers make their clothing a sizing chart is one of the first things that need to be created.  There is no standard for this measurement which is why if you buy a size 14 from Lane Bryant the waist is 1.5 inches bigger than a size 14 Ann Taylor and 2 inches bigger than a size 14 at Banana Republic.  Depending on the clothing that you are making and the market that you are going for a size chart is just as important as your design.

So what does it mean when someone says that a garment is true to size when there is no standard on sizing?  It isn't like every size 10 is the same size 10!  While at a clothing party that I was invited too-this was one of the selling points.  The common question in the room was-is anything true to size???

The answer is yes.  However it may not be what you are thinking.  It doesn't mean that if you typically wear a size 12 that this particular clothing will fit you in a size 12.  What it does mean is that if that brands sizing chart says that for a size 4 dress that the bust is going to be 34 inches and the waist is going to be 26 1/2 then it will be EXACTLY that size.  So when asking if something is true to size-you are asking about their measurement chart-and not what size you typically wear.


  1. Thank you very much for the advice. I was looking at gilt, and found some really cute flats that would go perfect with a dress i just bought, and was debating about the size, since I measured my foot at 9 1/8ths, and so the chart said I was a 6.5, but I usually buy shoes at a 5.5 or a 6 at most. Now I know :)