Sizing Up Women’s Clothing

After nine months of wearing maternity clothing I was anxious to hit the stores and get some new outifts.  I found these amazing local boho stores by the house that I had to go check out. Anyone with a child or a baby knows how difficult it is to shop for clothing, let alone actually trying things on. Nevertheless, my maternity clothing was hanging off me, but my regular clothes were still too tight. I had to get something to wear.

I loaded up the kids and hit the department stores. With the baby fussing, I knew I’d be taking my chances and probably wouldn’t have the luxury of trying anything on. I’d play it safe and get large and extra large T-shirts, a skirt or two and some stretchy shorts. In the “misses” section of Kohl’s they had T-shirts on sale for 50% off. I loaded up on several extra large T-shirts without trying them on.

I’m not a big woman, I’m average sized but I like my T-shirts to be nice and roomy. Even with my new and improved boobs (I’m nursing), I’m still a medium. Imagine my surprise when I got home and the extra large T-shirts were too small!

What happened to the vanity sizing of women’s clothing? Remember when a size 12 would be labeled as a size 8 so that women would feel flattered? I hated that system but at least there was some consistency, you knew to try on sizes a few sizes smaller than you actually were.

Has the pendulum swung the other way? Do I need to be shopping in the “plus” size section? Instead of trying on size 8’s, do I need to try on size 18? Has my changing body swelled beyond what I’m willing to admit? Or is the “misses” section the new “juniors”?

Standard sizing for women’s clothing is non-existent. Sizing varies from store to store, manufacturer to manufacturer and sometimes even by designer. To make it more confusing, add in the different size categories: juniors, misses, women’s, petites and plus sizes. A junior’s size 8 is different from a women’s size 8.

• Junior’s sizes are designed for teens and younger women with slimmer hips and busts than those found in misses sizes.

• Misses/Women’s sizes come in even numbered sizes such as 8, 10, 12 etc.

• Plus sizes use the same even numbering system but usually have a W after them such as 16W, 18W

• Petites are designed for women under 5’4″.

• Tall sizes are designed for women over 5’9″.

Lands’ End has a virtual model where you can enter your measurements and get clothing that supposedly fits. I think I may need to try that next!