CHOICE membership

Non-standard Variable clothing sizes!

I’m a mum of two. I have a six long old. And 3 months ago I went shopping for jeans.

Before bubs I was a size 12 in most clothes. I tried 5 different shops for jeans and I every store the size and for varied from 12-16!

As a new mum trying to but size 14 jeans on and they won’t do up is heartbreaking and soul shattering. Also so frustrating when the next store I fit into a 12!

Something needs to be done to regulate sizes to a code.


We find that some stores sell ladies clothes labeled say 12, when they are really 14. I am sure this is so the ladies will feel happy that they can fit into a 12 again after all those years.

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Hi @lozz83

There are a number or issues in your post.
Firstly, I agree that clothing sizes are all over the place. There are no standards for clothing sizes, thus womens’ & mens’ apparel sizes are subject to interpretation by the manufacturers. Manufacturers size tolerances can vary hugely. This applies to shoes as well as clothing.
Secondly, after giving birth it is normal for a woman’s body be different to what it was before being pregnant.
Thirdly, your clothing size label does not define who you are. If you are comfortable with your body, and it’s not making you ill, enjoy it regardless of the size label!


It is a universal problem for both men and women that sizes have evolved into marketing tactics more than how big or small a garment or shoe is. Check shoes: US, UK, EU, AU sizes are commonly shown and they are all different and within each version can be as inconsistent as garments depending on manufacturer and shoe model. How about S, M, L, XL, XXL, XXXL variations for clothing where the sizes mean next to nothing. I usually wear an M for US origin clothes and an XXL for Asian origin clothes but have some L’s and XL’s that fit fine. There is often no sizing consistency even within a single label.

No government or industry body has been willing to step up to define a set of standard body sizes to define labelled sizes. Is it “too hard” because of the diversity of the human body? Or is that a cop out from a very lazy industry?


I have problems with getting jeans small enough, there either too skinny in the legs, not long enough in the crutch and there always a mile too long, im sixty dont want to dress like a teenager.


YES it is called “vanity sizing”. The US takes it to extremes with size 0…yes we have adults who are a figment of someone’s imagination.
It has taken me a VERY long time to be happy in my skin.
Clothing size is a sop to some marketer.

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Google “images: size 00” ! Size 0 seems so yesterday for the most svelte!

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I am so over the difference in sizes with women’s’ clothing! Once apon a time (many years ago) I was a ‘true’ Australia and the UK, and dare I say a O in the USA. Now I find an 8 is more like a 10/12 and swamps me. Now I am in the 6 or 4 size range to fit my original 8. My body size hasn’t changed despite 3 children!. These sizes 4 or 6 are sooooo limited and hard to find. I am sick and tired of having to have my clothing altered to what should be the size should be, the size the product says it is. Don’t even start me on jeans! leslieberry56 I so hear you! I sometimes buy children’s size 14, I don’t care about the 14 size label!!! At least the damn thing fits! I am with you TheBBG it’s a cop out from a very lazy industry and really must be addressed. .

Today, I walked into K-Mart and purchased three pairs of jeans. All three were tagged with the same size, description and price. The only difference visually was the colour of the material used for each one. When I got them home however, I discovered that one fitted me perfectly, one was extra tight around the legs and wouldn’t go around my waist, making it impossible to button up, let alone zip the fly up, and the other one was fine in the leg area but also wouldn’t fit around my waist. All of the trousers I already own are this size and fit perfectly.

The Mrs. also purchased some tops while she was there today and knows that sizes are never consistent from one brand to the next. She tried on some tops based on how they looked when she held them up in front of her to guestimate the actual size first. Of the tops she was looking at, there were three size 18s and 2 size 22s. One of the 22s was too small, while the other fitted perfectly, as did two of the 18s, yet the third 18 was too big.

I read online a while ago that there are currently no standards or regulations when it comes to clothing sizes in Australia, and clothing manufacturers are free to add whatever size number they like to their products. It’s the same with shoes, jackets, trousers, shirts, etc. So while some brands try to have an unofficial standard set of sizes to stick to, others deliberately set sizes to be larger than what they really are, which usually means it costs more to purchase because the size number makes it a plus size, even if it isn’t really as big as they claim, while other brands set sizes to be smaller than what they really are in order to make the customer think they’re wearing something smaller, because some people like to think they’ve lost a size or two, so naturally they’ll choose something that says they’ve gone down a size if the “smaller” choice fits. Unfortunately, sometimes the only thing that is smaller is the size number itself.

It would be nice if there was a national standard for all clothing sizes in Australia that clothing manufacturers were required to adhere to when adding sizing labels to their products. It’s very difficult to find clothes that fit nowadays no matter what the label says on the things.


Hi Vince

A very similar problem was raised in

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It is actually worse than that. I have found the same label and same size of the same product can be different depending on the factory where they were made!

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Yes, I’ve been aware of the differences with the sizes of women’s clothes for quite some time due to complaints from my partner over the years about this exact same issue. This is the first time I’ve seen the problem when shopping for men’s clothing though. :slight_smile:


I am amazed you haven’t encountered the discrepancies before.

For a long time, I have not bought clothing or shoes without first trying them on for fit, because sizing is so inconsistent.

This is why I don’t buy clothing on-line.


@NubglummerySnr, it’s a real stitch up if you ask me (sorry, couldn’t resist). While I can’t prove it, I would guess that in some cases the marketing department may even get involved at some point.

CHOICE called for a national sizing survey late last year to address the issue. I might be wrong, but I have a feeling this won’t be the last time the organisation is motivated to get involved in the issue.


Just sizing up the situation here ( I too could not resist that )I have sometime s purchased 4 tops at a time from K Mart , Target or Big W and had to return at least 2 . I take an M in men’s sizes and even though they were marked M they were way too small for me .


:grin::grin: nice one


I have noticed that over the past few years my top size in most cases has gone from an L to a whopping XXXL and I haven’t really changed my physical size in all that time. at least not to that degree. So clothes can be more expensive for me now depending on where I shop if it’s a place that has higher prices for the larger sizes. It really does make me feel as if I’ve packed on a lot of weight over the years, when I’ve actually been either maintaining it or occasionally losing a bit of it. I still have some jumpers from years ago that are labelled as an L and they still fit perfectly, If I was to try on a new L today however I’d look like this:


The daffy pic gave me a chuckle :smile:

I’ve had the same thing with pants @NubglummerySnr. Maybe it’s meant to be the style (?), but somehow it always just ends up like this:


I gave up on Kmart clothes ages ago. No two items shown as the same size on the garment are correct. Whats more they are now trying to keep the manufacturing costs down even more by using less material in the garment.

Short sleeves meant that the sleeve came down nearly to the elbow. Now the sleeve is so short its just below the shoulder.

I now do my shopping for quality men’s garments at Loews. Pay a little bit extra, but the sizes are correct and they fit your body as they should.

Kmart is getting the reputation for “cheap and nasty”.


I used to get lots of clothes from Lowes, but the last couple of batches of Jeans I purchased from them were all different sizes as well, even though they had the same size ticket and brand label and were all purchased on the same day from the same table. Out of 5 pairs of jeans, only 2 of them fitted while 1 was too big and the other 2 were cut so low in the waist they didn’t even attempt to cover up the bits that only plumbers dare to show, even whilst standing up.