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or How I Learned That Reading Size Charts Before Making a Purchase is a Wise Move

Women’s clothing sizes are tricky things — unlike men’s sizes which basically consist of measurements, women’s sizes seem to be up to artistic interpretation. You can be a size 8 in one store, a size 10 in another. Me? I’m usually a 4 or a 6, with occasional trips into 2 and 8 land. This isn’t due to weight fluctuation; different designers/manufacturers give different vanity sizes to their clothing because they know that you’ll buy more clothes if your size 8 ass will fit into something with a size 6 tag.

So when I recently bought a dress pattern (see: post below this one), I figured it would a-okay to get the one that covered sizes 4-6-8-10. I didn’t need to check the size charts, pfft! Even with vanity sizing, I assumed that it was a wide enough range to account for all manner of interpretive tailoring.

Wrong. So wrong.

The measurements that earn me a size 4 or 6 in most stores are 35″ bust, 28″ waist, 37″ hips. Imagine my surprise when I got my pattern today and the sizes were as follows:

size 4: 29.5″ bust, 22″ waist, 31.5″ hips
size 6: 30.5″ bust, 23″ waist, 32.5″ hips
size 8: 31.5″ bust, 24″ waist, 33.5″ hips
size 10: 32.5″ bust, 25″ waist, 34.5″ hips

My measurements? In Dress Pattern World, I’m a size 14. A size 16 after a few weeks of abusing carbs.

Lesson learned: Always check the size charts before making a purchase.