Any woman will be able to tell you that the high street sizing policy is inconsistent. A happy size 10 in Marks and Spencer will struggle to fit into a Topshop size 12, and will need to take an 8 or a 6 when visiting Jaeger. This is due to all sorts of reasons; from some stores choosing to cut more generously- or tailor their clothes for curvier women- to the rise of vanity sizing, where clothes are labelled as small to give the customer a false sense of thinness.
The New York Times has created an interesting infographic that shows the discrepancy between sizes on the high street- and also how many high end designers are consciously cutting their clothes to be on the small side. When you look at the above chart you can see that Marc Jacobs cuts their clothes considerably smaller than Ralph Lauren. We could theorize that’s because Marc Jacobs caters to a younger crowd, and is looking for young attractive people to wear their line, whilst Ralph Lauren is worn by a slightly older market and is happy to give people room for curves/ dinner, but this is really all conjecture, and we’ll never know exactly why these decisions have been made.
What we can see however is the differences in waist size in black and white, which will help us guide our way around the ever baffling changing sizes in women’s fashion. I’d love it if we could all agree on one standard sizing policy and forgo the vanity sizing nonsense, but till then at least we have this rough guide to clothing sizes to help us navigate the stores.