Size charts are the most confusing collection of numbers on the face of the planet. No two stores create their size charts alike and the same can be said for designers. In the plus size fashion world it is probably worse, with a size 32 fitting the measurements of a size 16 and vice versa depending on the brand.
The confusion size charts cause has caused millions of women around the world who have never had any experience in sewing to be frustrated by size tags when shopping, and not realize the size tag is only a GUIDELINE as to the actual size. Measurements are far more important than the actual number.
*Picking up megaphone*
THE TAG ON THE INSIDE OF THE CLOTHES IN NOT FOR YOU! MEASURE YOUR BODY AND COMPARE THAT TO A DESIGNERS SIZE CHART TO KNOW IF THE CLOTHES WILL FIT YOUR UNIQUE BODY TYPE!
*putting megaphone down*
Knowing your measurements will:
- Allow you shop faster
- Be less frustrated when shopping
- Shop in more stores because you know how their sizes run
How To Dissect Size Charts
Size charts are broken into three categories. Bust, waist, and hips. If you know your measurements, when it comes time to shop whether it is offline on on the Internet you will totally ignore the size tag and look at the overall measurements of the garment in order to select the size that is best for you. Additionally, you should add 3-4 inches to your measurements to factor in undergarments as well as any alterations you may have to do.
For example purposes I am going to use Maggy London that does not specifically promote to plus sizes, but still has some nice looking clothes that can work for some larger sizes. According to the size chart the maximum sizes in inches are 41 1/2″ for the bust, 34 1/2″ for the waist, 44″ for hips.
For most of the readers of this blog these measurements would not work for anyone who is beyond a size 16 or possibly a snug fit on a size 18. While the clothes look nice for ladies with measurements like my wife whose hips are 50″ there is nothing from this merchant she could wear.
The point of this exercise is not to demonize any merchant for their size charts. The point is to recognize that measurements are more important than the size tags because there are some size charts that purport to go to a size 26, but their measurements are the same as the numbers above. Have you ever tried on something that was supposed to be your “size” and it turned out to be to small? Save yourself time, money, and grey hairs by dissecting the size chart before you buy.