Every one of us has felt the frustration of finding the perfect fit in one shop, only to find you’re a completely different size in another store.
In today’s world, who has the time to head to the changing room to try on all the clothes you fancy? (That’s even if the fitting rooms are open given the recent Covid restrictions). Instead, we’re buying more and more online and unfortunately, it regularly feels like a potluck when it comes to choosing the right size.
But there’s now an antidote to our shopping size pain.
WeThrift has created the Inclusive Index, which is an analysis of more than 100 of the most popular, fast fashion, mid-price, and premium stores in the UK. And through this index we finally have sister sizing, so we can determine whether to size up or size down, depending on the store we’re shopping in. We no longer have to waste our time and money buying loads of options to try on at home.
Previous studies have revealed that the average UK woman is a clothes size 16. As the graph above shows – and based on the Inclusive Index measurements – you should be buying a size 16 in New Look, but a size 18 from Next.
Or if you’re a UK standard size 14 in I Saw It First then you should be buying a size 16 from Pretty Little Thing.
New Look, Warehouse and John Lewis were the only stores among those analysed which come up true to size across the board.
The Inclusive Index data shows there’s a big difference between the smallest and largest measurements for a standard size 16.
Across all of the retailers analysed, there was a difference of 9.7cm when it comes to bust size, 12.5cm difference in waist measurements, and 13cm when it comes to hip measurements.
An absolutely staggering difference proving that it’s not you – it’s very much them!
As part of its analysis, WeThrift’s Inclusive Index has also revealed which retailers are leading the way with the plus-size fashion and highlighted those which aren’t doing enough to cater for all sizes.
In terms of the most plus-size clothes available, Shein comes out on top with hugely impressive 88,850 plus-size options, ranging from a size 6 up to a size 26.
Although offering a smaller range, Silkfred in second place still boasts a very impressive 15,900 selection, followed closely by Debenhams with 14,762 options for us plus-size ladies. In fact, Debenhams gets a separate shout-out for offering up to size 40 – the widest range of clothes sizes in the UK.
These top three retailers also offer wide-fit shoes, with a combined total of 22,043, so definitely the best places to search for your next outfit.
When it comes to supermarkets, George at Asda came out on top with 2,445 plus-size options available over a UK 16, as well as stocking a range of clothes from a UK 4 up to a UK 32.
Sainsbury’s came in second with 1,837 items above a size 16, and ranging from UK 8 to UK 24. Morrisons and Tesco came in third and fourth place, with significantly fewer items. Their combined amount of plus-size items is only a fraction of the total that Asda George stocks.
The Inclusive Index has also found a couple of stores that excel in terms of their sizing range. So whether you’re looking for smaller clothes sizes, or you’re looking for the largest plus-size options, then Debenhams is your go-to retailer (as previously highlighted) with its sizes starting at a UK 4 going up to a UK 40. La Redoute is a close second with its clothes sizes going from a UK 4 to a UK 36.
Here at mamabella we know women’s bodies come in all different shapes and sizes but it can still be really disheartening if you don’t fit into a size you expect to.
This Inclusive Index is further proof it’s not us, but the inconsistency of the clothes sizes to blame. Therefore try not to get hung up on the number on the size tag. Instead, find the clothes that fit your body more easily with the insight of the clothing size conversion size chart created by WeThrift.
Kat is a freelance journalist, photographer, and the founder of Simply Gender Free – a company dedicated to smashing gender stereotypes in kids’ products. As a mum of two, Kat is passionate about making the world a better place for the next generation