No wonder we’re confused at the change room....


Yesterday I wrote a post about the best $20 jeans I discovered, and the comments descended into a discussion about how I can’t do maths how hard it is to find a pair of jeans in the right size.

The reason? Vanity sizing.

Vanity sizing is that frustrating experience of trying two or three sizes of clothing on because every label adheres to their own measurement range. You might be a size 8 in one label, and a size 12 in another. The subliminal theory behind it is that you’re more likely to buy the size 8 garment over the size 12 garment, because all females want to be inherently slimmer. Apparently.

A fashion website in the US has cut through the sizing madness by comparing the measurements for a size eight at 25 different fashion retailers. To find out what an ACTUAL size eight SHOULD be. In the process uncovering who the worst offenders are when it comes to vanity sizing.

They examined all US retailers, but many that are available to us in Australia: Zara, Uniqlo, ASOS, Gap, H&M, Urban Outfitters, Modcloth and American Apparel.

The standard women’s size eight measures a 29” waist and a 39” around the hips. Among the 25 retailers Racked sized up, they found the average for a size eight came to be a 28.9″ waist and 38.7″ around the hips.

Zara’s hip measurement was out by nearly two inches at 40.15” and Uniqlo’s waist by far the worst at a whopping four inches above the average at 33.35”. Either vanity sizing or

Locally, a size eight in Country Road equates to a 26” (67cm) waist and 36” (93cm) around the hips. Witchery widen their margin for error by having a 4cm buffer in the size guide on their website. A Witchery size 8 is 64-68cm (25-26inch) waist and a 92-96cm (36-37inch) hip measurement. Meanwhile at Sportsgirl a size eight is 25” waist (65cm) and 35” (91cm) hip.

No wonder we’re confused at the change room.

What Australian retailers do you think are the worst at vanity sizing?