Clothes sizing: what’s in a number

Take two denim jackets.

Two different brands, two different sizes, with one similar fit.

This is the perfect illustration of why it is less important what the label says and more important how good the shape and fit of a garment is on you.

I had my denim jacket, which I bought several years ago, packed away because I assumed it would be too small for me.  It is still in good condition and a classic wardrobe staple that never goes out of fashion, so I kept hold of it.

Meanwhile I wanted to fill that gap in my current wardrobe, so I shopped around for a new one.  One that would be the right style for me – there are quite a few variations on a theme out there.  I needed it to be not too long and have a certain among of shaping around the waist so that it didn’t cover up my curves and end up looking bulky.

Ultimately, I chose one from Sosandar, an online store I’ve been aware of for a while but have never bought from before.

I was delighted when the package arrived because the colour and fabric looked and felt exactly as I had hoped.  Unfortunately, my joy was short-lived when I opened it out fully though.  Despite being the ideal shape and cut of jacket for my body shape, I could tell immediately that it looked to be on the small side.

I tried it on and thought I could get away with wearing it as a throw on piece over my maxi dresses during the transitional season of summer into autumn, but it was never going to be comfortable fastened.  Not too much of problem with this type of jacket.

This got me thinking, so I retrieved my old denim jacket from its storage place and compared them.  Lo and behold, my size 10 M&S number was almost identical in dimensions to the new size 16 Sosandar one.  I tried mine on and discovered it had a similar look and fit.

The potential purchase was hastily returned, and instead I have spent the last month getting wear out of something I hadn’t thought to try because I was worrying too much about the label size, saving myself some money into the bargain.

Is there something in your wardrobe you could revisit before you rush out and buy something new?

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