In the world of designer clothes, sizing is more than a matter of
Size matters. With the diversity of international labels available, it´s difficult to know what size you actually wear. And what size
you should ask to try on when you see an item you like. American designers,
for example, use a sizing scale beginning from 4,6,8. If the designer or
label is French, it will be more like 36,38,40. Confused? You´re not alone.
Buying clothes in the global shopping centre means understanding that the size you take depends on the garment´s origin.
Sizing differs for a number of reasons and the smartest shoppers are those
who don´t automatically pluck what they think their size is from the rack.
A different cut or trend can accentuate different parts, so trying is always
best. Keep an open mind. If a conservatively dressed man comes in and tries
on a slim cut suit, it can give him a totally different, great look."
Each country has its own particular way of rounding up the diverse
measurements of its home population to produce a standardised sizing chart.
As a result, it can seem as if every designer is workig from a diferent set
of measurements, some so wildly different that you can go up three sizes in
one label and down two in another.
Tipes before you hit the stores:
Size is just a number. The exact measurements and proportions of a size can
go up or down for the following reasons.
This is often dictated by fashion. If the new season favours sleek styles,
the fabric will be cut to a smaller scale than if the current trend is
looser, flowing garments.
The House Model
For top designer brands, clothes are fitted on house models or ´fit models´.
They are deemed to be the ´ideal average size´ in terms of height, weight
and vital statistics - chest, waist, hips and length of skirt or trousers.
There is no one standard size model - the different design houses use
models who may vary in their measurements and this affects the sizing of the
The Designer´s Personal Quirks
Fashion lndustry insiders speak of how male designers tend to cut clothes
straight and narrow, while women designers are more generous and cut to
accommodate a woman´s curves.
Nationality of the Brand
A shirt or blouse from Burberry, a British brand, is usually cut slightly
larger than a similat top from an ltalian label. The proportions of a jacket
from French label Chanel will generally Be smaller than one from American
Donna Karan. These idiosyncrasies have much to do with the average size of
the customer in that particular country.
Stretch jersey will have a more generous allowance of room than a garment
made from leather or a heavily sequined number.
Differences Within the Same Designer Brand
Even different labels within the same fashion house can have different
sizing systems. A perfect example of this is when a main label has diffusion
lines, such as Giorgio Armani with its Emporio Armani and Armani Exchange
(A/X) lines. Diffusion lines are the younger and often more streetwise
collections of the big name designers. Think DKNY rrom Donna Karan, See by
Chloe and Marc by Marc Jacobs. Diffusion collections are often cut slightlt
smaller than their parent labels as they are aimed at youner customers who
are accepted to be a smaller size. Clothes from Greyhound, which is aimed at
20-35 year olds will be cut slightly larger than those at Playhound which
caters to 18-22 year olds.
Designer brands try to regulate their sizing´ but irregular fluctuations do
occur, for instance, when a new designer is appointed.
Finding Your Size
Most designers´ boutiques will expertly alter anything apart from knits,
heavily embellished or embroidered pieces or some special fabric creations
including treated or stitched leather or lace.
If you need a size that´s unavailable, Khun Kanchanart Sorat, General
Manager of Gucci, confirms that the sales assistants can check if any of the
brand´s other stores throughout Asia Pacific have thepiece. If you are
serious about wanting the item they may then arrange for it to be delivered
to their store.
Your last hope is for the store to re-order your piece from the label´s
factories. Sadly, factories generally only make the exact number of designs
to order. Chanel´s boutique manager Khun Pamornmas Boon-Long reveals, "If a
particular piece is very popular and lots of countries are asking for it
they may reopen the orders, but this is rare."
Exclusivity: One design, One size
Rule of thumb when shopping for designer labels: if you like an outfit,
don´t wait for the sale, buy it now or get it custom made! The pull of a designer label has a lot
to do with e
The Right Fit:Tips from the Changing Room
Even if you think you know your size, try before you buy! Trust your own
judgement. "You have to understand the concept of each brand first, whether
it´s aimed at teenagers or adults because the body changes as you get
older - there becomes more of you!" advises one designer. "You shouldn´t go
shopping with afixed mind, thinking ´well, that´s the size or style I always
wear.´ Being open to experimentation is what makes clothes shopping fun."
Don´t get hung up on the number on the label. It´s not always
representative. A woman with an hourglass figure may have to take a bigger
size than she´s used to in order to accommodate her curves. A tall women may
also have to take a bigger size to ensure the piece is long enough. As Khun
Nathima Indrapana of Nagara for Jim Thompson explains, "Each size depends on
pattern and style. One customer may be a size small for a Chinese colllar
shirt and a size medium for a camisole."
Sales staff say customers will often buy a size smaller to motivate
themselves to slim down, but the golden rule is: don´t buy if it doesn´t
Make friends with the sales assistants. Not only will they help you with the
right size, they´ll also tip you off when new stock arrives.
From Ask Men
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