Shopping is fun for some people, absolutely excruciating for others. There are so many reasons for this, but one of the ones that’s definitely near the top of the list (if not number one) is how limited the sizing is in most stores. The average American woman is a size 16 to 18 but most brick and mortar stores still only carry sizes 0 to 14. Another problem is how hard it is to figure out what size you’re supposed to be when every company seems to have its own measurements.
When 18-year-old Chloe Martin from Glasgow, Scotland tweeted about her frustrations with trying on jeans at a store, it went completely viral (getting more than 125,000 retweets in a week), showing just how many people related to the struggle.
Incase you’ve ever wondered why women get so frustrated with our clothing sizes – every pair of jeans pictured, is a size 12 pic.twitter.com/V88JAPQZTI
— c (@chloemmx) March 8, 2019
Martin’s tweet reads, “Incase [sic] you’ve ever wondered why women get so frustrated with our clothing sizes – every pair of jeans pictured, is a size 12.” (These are, of course, UK sizes, which are different from US sizes.)
The picture shows seven pairs of jeans that you can easily see vary wildly from each other in the waist and hip measurements. You can imagine how frustrating this can make shopping. I’m a size 12, you might say, slipping easily into a pair of jeans. But try on a 12 from a different brand, and you can barely get them up past your knees. WHY.
In an email to BuzzFeed News, Martin wrote, “I was getting ready to go out and I wanted to wear jeans, so I tried on a pair and they would not go past my hips at all, so I took them off and tried on a different pair, same size, but they fitted perfectly, so I took all of my jeans out and was so shocked at the size different between jeans that are [labelled] the same size — and some are the same brand too, so I took a pic and posted it on Twitter.”
“I expected my friends to think it’s funny and compare theirs too,” she continued. “I didn’t expect that response [going viral] at all, but I’m glad it did because no one seems to talk about the difference in sizes even though we all struggle in shops, going from changing room to changing room.”
And you know what’s even funnier, the very bottom pair fit me perfectly, the 2nd pair from the top, are too small, how does that even make sense when the top pair is bigger????
— c (@chloemmx) March 8, 2019
She wrote: “There’s been no efforts to make the sizing more consistent for all, even though if it says a 12, I should be able to go into any shop and know that a 12 will fit me, if that’s my size, it’s careless and toxic for young people who may be insecure, and a lot of high street stores are targeted towards young women.”
Martin feels that the sizing issue needs to be addressed and standardized in some way. “I think they either need to change it to waist and leg length for more accurate measurements, or there needs to be set measurements for each size, because it seems as though there’s literally inches between some of my size 12 jeans.”
As for the responses the tweet has gotten, Martin said, “It’s mostly women saying they don’t buy jeans anymore because of this, and that online shopping is never an option because sizes are so different.”
Does it happen to men? We don’t know! And apparently, men themselves are split on the issue. Martin said, “Then there’s a lot of men saying men’s jeans do this too, then other men saying they’re so glad this doesn’t happen to them so a bit of contradiction.”
One Twitter user responded with a picture of shorts in size 4 and size 10, from different brands. The waist looks to be almost the size size, despite there being a difference of 3 sizes.
This is tragic, one pair is a size 4 and one pair is a size 10.. no difference at all pic.twitter.com/IXlI8LXrdG
— Jade???? (@Jadeelouuisee) March 10, 2019
I remember years ago a friend and I bought the same trousers from H&M in the same size. Mine were too big and hers were too small so we swapped! Ridiculous. I just want to go shopping and not take the same item to try on in 3 different sizes!
— Lindsay Dickinson (@L1nds) March 10, 2019
i felt this IN MY SOUL!!! i was trying on shorts tonight and in LITERALLY THE SAME STORE, three different shorts all size ten fit me differently. one was too small, one too big, and one fit nicely even tho they were all supposed to be the same size. UGHHHH https://t.co/oJ4XefA3PB
— spring break (@rightintoplace) March 15, 2019
Welcome to “Whose Pants Are These Anyway?” Where the sizes are made up and the numbers don’t matter
— kellybot ???? beep boop (@kellyknowlesart) March 10, 2019
5’ 2’’ here – so I try on petite jeans but apparently petite sizes don’t go above 8 even when they say 12 on the label – they never fit around hips. I’ve just entirely given up on jeans
— Michelle Birkby (@michelleeb) March 10, 2019
It's a conspiracy to get us to stay in skirts https://t.co/mB3vvllU9S
— donna missal stan acct (@chelybells_) March 12, 2019
A few people pointed out how much they loved leggings for the simplicity.
No wonder we all just live in leggings and yoga pants now
— Bookish Bitch (@bookishbitch) March 10, 2019
this is why I wear leggings everyday https://t.co/Fd3P8lRFmQ
— Astri ♡ (@astri_pulliam) March 13, 2019
I used to be one of those “leggings aren’t real pants” people and now I don’t remember the last time I wore jeans
— ???????????? (@mythra_nyxera) March10, 2019
Or even men’s pants.
This is why most of my jeans are thrifted mens jeans LOL. They just fit me better https://t.co/kH0jMN2vl8
— miranda (@mirandafez) March 12, 2019
People also talked about the body issues involved.
Lol the fucking anxiety when you try on your own size and it wont go up https://t.co/dWlU9c58zg
— yara (@frankoshean) March 12, 2019
No wonder so many people struggle with body dysmorphia!!!!!! https://t.co/lBawz7u77N
— lil nugget (@JenBretty) March 12, 2019
Seriously, it’s time to get it together, women’s pants industry.
UNIVERSALIZE WOMEN’S SIZES A BITCH IS TIRED https://t.co/5m8dmbaKc1
— K8 (@kgoodie__) March 12, 2019