What's in a size?
We’ve been working away now on a behind the scenes sizing project for more than a year now. She’s a pretty big job!
We started off surveying our existing customers, matching their measurements with the sizes they wear and talking to our pattern makers about the fit of our clothing. We had some great laughs reading the survey given the comments and feedback we got along the way with some ladies comfortable wearing up to 3 different size ranges (just to throw us off).
Previously we’ve used what they call Alpha Sizing (XS, S, M, L) for our garments but we felt like this labelling system is problematic. As we grew our range, we didn’t want to be labelling garments 3XL and 4XL. To us it doesn’t feel inclusive. Much like the term Plus Size, we weren’t getting warm feelings over it.
Side note, why do we say plus size like there’s some major difference between one size and then the next one is considered ‘plus’. It’s utterly ridiculous. Crappy social construct? We think so. Bye bye label that means nothing about you as a person.
As a result we’ve been slowly chipping away at getting our clothing labels changed over to numerical, i.e. 12, 14, 16, 18. This includes the in-garment tags as well as the swing tags that go on each pair. This process has taken a considerable amount of time because we wanted to use up the tags we already had in stock to avoid waste. That’s why we still label our sizing on the website with both Alpha and Numerical.
One of the things we always say is that no one except yourself knows what size clothing you wear. But we also know that sizing is super tricky so we’ve put together a quick “how the heck did we get here with sizing” chat below.
A super quick history on clothing sizes
Many of our modern day practices of getting clothing off the shelf originated with the need to get men in uniform for various wars across the ages. Men’s clothing was based on chest and waist measurements, but women’s fashion took a lot longer to become ready-to-wear, because corsets (choose your own emotion there).
Once the shift in fashion occurred in the early 1910’s away from corsets, it became more fashionable and practical for women to be able to buy directly from the store. Hooray! We no longer needed to squeeze our bodies if we didn’t want to!
In the 1970’s and 1980’s, some companies began downgrading their patterns due to a phenomena called vanity metrics. I.e. what was once a size 12 waist, became a size 8. And so sizing then became a marketing tool taking advantage of consumer body image aspirations. Just another way we put crazy standards on women’s bodies. Go us.
With the introduction of stretch fabrics, came the use of Alpha Sizing ie. using S, M, L and XL and because the fabrics being used were more flexible, companies got to be less precise with their sizing guidelines.
Because fashion brands are now catering to different demographics, it’s not uncommon for big brands to have inconsistent sizing across all their different ranges. I’m sure you’ve all been there where you go into one shop and pants fit in a different couple of sizes even though they’re supposedly made by the same company. So. Frigging. Annoying.
So where does this leave us as consumers trying to get the right fit?
Honestly, try and try again. One of the hardest questions we get as an online shop is if our sizing is true to size. Yes and also no. If you’re used to the fit of one brand, it’s not necessarily going to reflect the same in our clothing. Each of us have different body shapes and preferences of how we like our clothing to fit.
What we recommend - check out our sizing guide. It was developed with the help of our customers. Always check the fit notes for any of our styles - our fabrics always have different stretch amounts and while we do our absolute best to have it consistent, it doesn’t always happen that way.
Our current range extends to size 22 in our Running Leggings, Running Shorts, Full Length, Capri Length and tops. Our Sport Skirts currently go up to a size 18 and our remaining styles currently go up to size 18.
Here’s the thing, we want to hear from you - if we’re not stocking your preferred style and size, tell us! That way we can dial in on getting you the styles you want. In our Core Range we can make them for you if we don’t have your size in stock. We'd love to ensure our gear fits you, so if it's not, please get in touch! firstname.lastname@example.org