Tuesday, 22 January 2013

Women's clothing sizes - just a number!

Clothing size is only a number, not a science and there is NO consistency across different labels and brands.  So why do we get so hung up on it???

When I started making clothing I didn't want to make lots of sizes and get overly complicated because it just didn't make sense.  Also I have been quite a few different sizes myself over the last few years and I had lots of fat clothes, thin clothes and in-between clothes.  Thanks to Tim Ferris' slow-carb diet and William Davis' wheat belly this is no longer an issue for me but I still want sensibly sized clothing that lets you fluctuate a little in weight and how you style your clothes.  

AND then we have to add in the complexity of different size systems from around the world and whether to use metric or imperial measurements and it all gets more difficult!  So here are the basics for Minnie + Ree clothing ...

We currently have two main sizes SMALL and AVERAGE.  Obviously I am the average!!!  The other major input is body shape.  There are lots of systems out there e.g. Trinny and Susannah, that describe your body shape.  I tend to design for me and I have a larger bust.  Also I don't have much of a waist definition because I only have a few inches/cms difference between my hips and my waist ('cylinder' shape).  Few women have the waist size that is described in many size charts which tends to be about 11 inches or 28cms less than their hip measurement.  So if you have a body shape that is 'hour glass' or 'pear' shaped i.e. tiny waist compared to your hip measurement, you will probably find that you will have a gap at the waist if you buy a Minnie + Ree skirt and try to wear it high on your waist. You will need to wear it lower on your hips or get it altered to fit your shape better.  

So get out the measuring tape and see where you fit in.  This will also be handy for any ordering that you do for online shopping and if you are sewing for yourself from commercial patterns (and did you realise that sewing pattern sizes need to be bigger than your normal store size?).  If you are buying a skirt you choose by HIP size, if you are buying a top you choose by BUST size unless you are D or above cup size in which case it is just too complicated!  If you are buying a bra you choose by UNDER BUST size - you measure your rib cage under your breasts.  

I have tried to map Minnie + Ree sizes to standard sizes in the chart below.  But Standard sizing has developed over the years from a survey done by the US Department of Agriculture in the 1940-50s.  Since then sizes have been changed on an ad hoc basis to reflect size change in the population.  However very few people are the same size as the standards and that is why new clothing often doesn't fit well.  And it's why we make our clothes adjustable in size...



Minnie + Ree sizing


SMALL
AVERAGE

centimetres
inches
centimetres
inches
Bust
85 - 92
33 1/2 - 36 1/2
97  -  112
38 - 44
Hips
90 - 101
35 - 40
106 - 117
42 - 46
NZ & Aus approx size

8-10-12

14-16-18
USA approx size

4-6-8

10-12-14-16
UK approx size

6-8-10

12-14-16-18
Eur approx size

34-36-38

40-42-44-46

Sonsie Swimwear sizing


SMALL
AVERAGE
Under- bust
78-85
31 - 33 1/2
88  -  100
335 – 39 1/2
Hips
90 - 101
35 - 40
106 - 117
42 - 46

LARGE (limited range in swimwear only)

Under- bust
100 - 115
40 - 46

Hips
115 - 125
46 - 50




Read this blog about how size (doesn't) works and that many people who look good buy bigger sizes and have them altered to fit:
http://inkdot.tumblr.com/post/7243925631/no-shit

So, what are your measurements?



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