Size Zero, my ass

This skirt is a UK size 6, which, for the benefit of my transatlantic readers, roughly corresponds to a US size 0:

green 60s style mini skirt

I say “roughly”.  The size charts will normally equate US0 to a UK4 (which is a largely mythical dress size, usually only found in petite ranges, and even then, in such tiny quantities that it’s like finding the Holy Grail, seriously).  That may well have been the case at some point in the past, but as someone who shops a lot in both countries, and who also regularly orders online from the US-based Shopbop, (who, in the interests of disclosure, are sponsors of Shoeperwoman and TheFashionPolice) my experience has always been that size 0= UK6. This is why it always annoys me when the UK media bangs on about “size 0″: it leads people who don’t know a lot about sizing differences between countries to believe that this is some terrifyingly-unnatural size which is THREE FULL SIZES smaller than a UK6. It’s not. Seriously.)

But I digress. This skirt is a UK size 6:

Man in a skirt
That’s Terry wearing it.

(Yes, he IS a good sport, isn’t he? Also, I’m trying to convince him to start a personal style blog:  he already knows how to WORK IT, after all.)


Or at least, it does at La Redoute, which is where I ordered this skirt from last week, along with a bunch of sweaters which would also have fit Terry, but which wouldn’t have been nearly as amusing on him. Sorry, Terry.

(And yes, I double and triple-checked the label and dispatch notice to make sure they’d sent me the correct size, and they had. I guess there’s a chance it could’ve been wrongly labelled in the factory, but I’ve had to send back items in the past for the same reason, so I suspect it’s simply a case of vanity-sizing gone mad.)

What does this tell us? Other than that Terry should totally have a fashion blog, and that green is SO his colour, obviously? Well, it tells us that vanity sizing is OUT. OF. CONTROL. with some brands. It also helps illustrate how totally random clothes sizing is these days.  Because if the “Tall” ranges are  too short even  for a petite woman, and the smallest dress sizes available will fit a 6ft tall MAN, where on earth are people supposed to shop? Not all of us are handy with a sewing machine (or have the time to alter everything, even if we are), and it’s so frustrating to constantly order clothes and find that they’re not just a little bit larger or smaller than you’d expect, but are actually a completely different size altogether. And will fit your husband.

(It also hopefully tells us that some of the skinny-bashing comments I’m forced to read on The Fashion Police every day, telling me that “no one should be that size!”  because “It’s not healthy!” are even more misguided than I’ve always thought they were, given that I now have a “size 0″ husband.  But perhaps it’s better not to open that particular can of worms…)

Of course, these issues aren’t just confined to the petites: every woman I have ever met seems to struggle to find clothes that fit properly, and while I understand that it’s impossible for brands to please everyone with their sizing, as we’re all so different, just a little bit of consistency would go a long way, I think.

Still, at least Terry gets a new skirt. Every cloud, people, every cloud…

(P.S. I feel I have to point out here that this photo was actually Terry’s idea, as was posting it on the Internets. I ask a lot of that man sometimes, but posing in a skirt for my blawg was a line even I had hesitated to cross!)

(P.P.S. For some reason, WordPress is currently sending about 50% of my comments straight to spam, for no reason whatsoever. I’m releasing them as quickly as I can, but if your comment hasn’t appeared yet, don’t worry, it’s nothing personal: it’s doing it to my own comments, too!)