Anyone who has ever bought clothing that wasn't custom designed for them knows that size inconsistency across brands is a real issue. In fact, for almost every different store I shop in, I come in at a different clothing size in each. (All committed to memory, of course, so I don't have to faff about in fitting rooms for the entirety of my mall trip.) And no, this isn't a case of denying your real clothing size. There actually are almost no regulations for sizing in the clothing industry.
Mallorie Dunn of size inclusive clothing brand SmartGlamour — a brand that handmakes sizes XXS to 6XL, as well as offering customization for anyone in between or beyond — has had enough not only of size inconsistency, but what size inconsistency actually means for everyone involved. Because in reality, it's not as simple an issue as being a 12 in some stores and an eight in others.
In her video titled Size Inconsistency + Body Positivity - The True Story, Mallorie Dunn goes through how most of our clothes are designed and made, how each part of this process affects the way sizes are created, and how even just one clothing store can stock two T-shirts in a medium that are in no way the same size.
The explanation is long for a YouTube video, but it's fascinating enough to keep you watching. Dunn reminds us that big brands don't design clothes in-house, but buy them from different design houses that, you guessed it, all have different size charts. And since as 97 percent of apparel bought in the USA is made overseas and these design agents have less rule over regulation in sweatshops, this means sizing can get confused another time. Therefore, when these garments finally hit the shelves of whichever brand you're purchasing from, it's no wonder that two dresses both monikered as a medium may be totally different.
What Dunn then proceeds to point out is that even if standardized sizing was more strictly regulated, no two bodies are exactly the same size or shape. One woman may wear a 3X because of her height, another may wear it because of her hips, and another may wear it because of her bust. All three will look completely different from each other, and completely different in the same size garment.
If you really want an outfit that's true to your size, then tailoring or custom creation are really the only options for you. However, as Dunn points out, all brands should have their sizing chart available on their website. Meaning if you know your own sizing, you can learn which size you need in each item from each individual store.
Dunn finishes off her informational video with a series of important points about body positivity and how it relates to clothing size. The takeaway, unsurprisingly, is that clothing size should have no impact on how you see yourself or your body. Fitting in a size four in one garment shouldn't make you feel any better than you feel fitting into an eight in the next. Clothing sizes are markers for brands, not for your own self worth.
"Own your body, not your 'size,'" says Dunn. "Blame society's stigma, not your 'size.'"
Images: Courtesy SmartGlamour