Gripes about sizing and fit came through loud and clear when we brainstormed about improving fashion retail. Here are some examples:

“I wish for consistent sizing from store to store so that you’d never be puzzled as to why you were a 4 in one store, a 6 in another, and a 2 in the next – and would never be made to feel bad about it either”

“I hate having to take the size I think I am plus a size up and a size down for each item into the dressing room with me”.

“My biggest wish is that brands would have consistent sizing”.

“I wish for consistency in sizing of all clothing”

“The biggest item on my retail wish list is consistent sizing” .

I hear you on the fit challenges (I experience them too), but I’m siding with the retail industry on this one. As someone who dresses every body type from size 00 to 34 for a living, I am extremely grateful that sizes are inconsistent across different retailers and brands. It means that we can all find garments to fit our unique bodies. Unlike men, woman were blessed with curves that make us anything but standardized. You can’t have a set of standardized clothing sizes without a set of standardized bodies. It’s as simple as that.

This variety does have a downside: the inconvenience of visiting several stores, taking multiple items into the dressing room, and trying on a few different sizes before you find the right one. But if you go to this trouble, focusing on the fit for your body instead of the size on the label, you will be happier in the end. The key is to view size as a starting point or guideline.

The bottom line? I don’t think there is a way to eliminate inconsistent sizing and fit challenges. As an ex-fashion buyer, I know that most retailers try hard to give you a well fitting garment. The reality is that they aren’t perfect and we aren’t standardized, so instead we have to think of ways to work around the problem. I liked Sal’s solution best:

“Free tailoring for full-priced merchandise, and tailoring at a discount for sale items”.

If all retailers were geared up to custom tailor off-the-rack garments for free or for a pittance, we’d have far less to grumble about.