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Oh dear. So we’ve been back from our (2 week) holiday for over a week now, and I still haven’t got round to even thinking about blogging about it.

This may take some time.

In the meantime, a quick digression: could someone explain clothes sizes to me? Ok, so I understand the thing with women’s clothes sizings–they are based on some made up numbers like “10” or “14” that don’t actually relate to any underlying measurements of any sort, thus enabling manufacturers to change the size to whatever they like, making women feel better about themselves if they can fit into what purports to be a smaller size, and encouraging them to buy more. Over time, then, the actual dimensions of these hypothetical sizes gradually increase in some kind of clothes-based inflation scenario.

This much I get.

Men’s clothes, on the other hand, tend to be sold in non flexible units, like inches. I’ve always wondered why it’s so difficult to find a pair of jeans that fits me properly: perhaps the fashion industry is suffering from a severe shortage of tape measures, because it’s the only explanation I can think of why two pairs of jeans from different brands both purporting to have a 34 inch waist can in fact be such different sizes. I tried on a pair recently in the States in a shop called Old Navy (which is like a cheaper version of The Gap targeted at obese mid-westerners) that claimed to be a 34 inch waist, and Sal described the effect as looking like I’d just had weight loss surgery but hadn’t replaced my clothes yet.

Yesterday, out shopping in London, I found confirmation of what I’d long suspected: that men’s sizes are just as flexible as women’s, whatever the spurious use of “inches” or “centimetres” might lead you to believe. There’s a shop on Oxford Street where the men’s jeans have both EU/UK sizes and US sizes. Apparently a UK 34 inch waist is equivalent to a US 33 inch waist. Erm…?

3 thoughts on “”

  1. If you take a look at the labels in much of Zara’s menswear you’ll see a variety of different numbers for different jurisdictions – not sure about here, but in HK they also seemed to have Mexican as well as UK, EU and US sizes, all varying wildly.

  2. Well yeah, I get the whole different sizes for different territories thing, but an inch is an inch, surely? How are 33 US inches the same as 34 British inches?

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