Why am I a size 10 in one brand of clothing but a 14 in another? This is the age old question … especially here in Australia. The simple answer is that the most recent Australian Clothing Standard for adult men and women was withdrawn in 2007 as it was considered no longer relevant. The standard was originally based on data from a 1926 study of women that was carried out by an underwear company along with data from the US Department of Commercial Standards .
I am sure we all realise that Australians in general are a different shape today than what our Great Grandparents were in 1926. Research from the US suggests that due to our increasing sedentary lifestyles, waist lines are getting thicker for both ladies and men. I’m sure that most of us would have seen articles posted on social media from time to time in support this research.
So, why can you be a size 10 in one store yet a size 14 in another? The answer is simple – Australia does not have any sizing standards for Ladies and Men’s clothing so therefore manufacturers will quite often use what is commonly called “Vanity Sizing”.
The issue of self image can be very delicate and manufacturers, not wishing to offend will quite often be more generous with their sizings – making a size 14 lady a size 12 or in some cases a size 10! Great for the wearers’ morale but little else! Sadly, sizing labels really are only of benefit to the maker of that garment, not to the wearer! The only way to really be sure that a garment is going to fit is to try it on.