Clothing measurements. How to find clothing that fits?

In a perfect world, size inconsistency wouldn’t exist. Instead, we would navigate effortlessly through dozens upon dozens of brands and their collections with standardized clothing measurements.

Unfortunately, that’s not the case. In a frustrating reality for far too many women, clothing measurements differ from brand to brand. In conclusion, this chaos in measurements often transforms the supposedly happy process of shopping into a tiring, nightmarish labyrinth.

brands and clothing measurements

You have had the same problem, haven’t you?

Clear measurement method, but total anarchy when it comes to size labeling

Most women know the basics of measuring the parts of your body. So, keeping these in mind is supposed to speed up your shopping process and make it easier for you to find clothing that fits.

For those of you who are unsure of how to measure yourself, here are the fundamentals:

How to take body measurementsbust, waist, hip:

  • Bust measurement: Measure under arms and around your chest, right where the fullest part of your bust is.
  • Waist measurement: Simple – just measure around your waist where your torso is at its smallest/narrowest.
  • Hip measurement: Keep your heels together and standing upright, measure the fullest part of your hips.
  • Arm length measurement: Bend your arm, and start measuring from the center of the back of your neck to your shoulder, then continue down towards your wrist.
  • Inseam measurement: Start with the top of your inner thighs and go down to your ankle. Measuring takes place along the inside of your leg, keep this in mind.

Clear enough, right? It might take you a try or two, but in a few minutes you will have all your body measurements.

Size Guides

However, where things get messy is navigating through the actual size guides provided by a specific brand. Let’s take a look at Asos and H&M, two well-known brands.

For example, the Asos size chart tells you that a 36” bust means you’re a size 6.

Asos size chart

size guide

What do H&M dress sizes say?

Apparently, a size 6 means a 34 1/2” bust here. In fact, a 36” bust in H&M charts means you’re entering size 8 territory.

H&M size chart

size guide

In other words, even if you know your measurements perfectly, you’re left alone and confused in a sea of different clothing measurements. Unfortunately, each brand differs from the others, requiring you to have encyclopedia knowledge about their size guides if you want to easily shop for clothes.

So why is size inconsistency so prevalent in women’s fashion, even now?

There are a few main factors leading to this confusing state in garment size labels.

The first thing is branding


As you know, every brand has a specific target audience. Some cater to young, hip people, others are focused on more mature and more conservative demographics.

In other words, we’re talking about the concept of the core customer. And in reality, brands center their clothing measurements around what this core customer looks like.

Sure, they use available size tables. However, these are merely a voluntary guideline, a basic starting point that is then molded by the aforementioned customer.

Life stages and fashion preferences

As we go through different life stages or fashion preferences, we switch from being one core customer to another. This can happen even if we want to spice up our wardrobe with something new for a specific event!

Forever21 and Old Navy differ a bit in terms of core customers, don’t they? As we mentioned in a previous article of ours, you’ll see that because of this difference their clothes have different fit and clothing measurements too.

While understandable – having a core customer is crucial for branding strategy, this practice leads to frustrating size inconsistencies.

Another reason is the rich diversity of women

body positivity

Unfortunately, size inconsistency is nothing new. It’s been around for decades, even centuries possibly as discussed by designer researchers like Alaina Zulli.

Yet the US has become increasingly diverse over the past century, with a variety of ethnicities comprising the fashion market. Lifestyle changes have also allowed for further diversification of fashion choices – the simplest example would be the rise of career women.

Last but not least, we see more size inconsistency with female fashion as compared to men’s or children’s garments.

Women come in all shapes and sizes

Because all these processes of diversification come on top of the fact that women come in all shapes and sizes, in much more abundance than men. Female fashion also goes through more rapid changes and much more seasonality.

As a result, there are categories upon categories – petites, misses, maternity fashion, plus size clothing only to name a few. Considering every category can be broken down into a subcategory of its own, thereby creating its own sizing system…

Well, it’s no surprise that sizing charts and clothing measurements have become so complicated. Women’s clothing measurements has never been as straightforward as men’s fashion – it involves a good amount of guesswork and gaps that risk inaccuracy.

How some brands try to solve size inconsistency

Let’s face it, many brands don’t do much to battle this unfortunate situation. Still, some of them have made beginner steps in providing a clearer approach to sizing.

A good example would be Levi’s Curve ID line. Instead of only sticking to usual sizes, this line goes further by catering to three different female shapes. It started with three variations – Slight, Demi and Bold. However, the brand added a fourth one called Supreme curve too.

For example, the Slight curve jeans are for women who have straight hips and only a little curve from the waist to their hip. Bold focuses on moderately curvier hips and Supreme is for the curviest of ladies.<

size guide

Each style is further broken down into the standard sizes, but what matters is that it adds the extra factor for more accuracy. However, it’s still far from a complete solution – more like a good first step.

How Fit+Inch” is a more complete solution to dreaded inconsistencies

We bridge designers with consumers for an easy and quick shopping experience that results in clothing that actually fits.

No unclear size charts, no inconsistencies and endless confusion which size will be just “OK” this time.

No frustrating moments anymore

Fit+Inch” does away with all of the frustrating moments the modern woman experiences when all she really wants is to create her own style. Instead, we offer an intuitive way for women to find the right fit while expressing their own personal individuality and for designers to connect with their customers.

Fit+Inch” does away with all of the frustrating moments the modern woman experiences when all she really wants is to create her own style. Instead, we offer an intuitive way for women to find the right fit while expressing their own personal individuality and for designers to connect with their customers.

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