One Size Never Fits All! A Guide to Understanding Women's Size Charts

One Size Never Fits All! A Guide to Understanding Women's Size Charts

Online shopping can often be frustrating with ill-fitting and inconsistent sizing. The image shows the expectation vs the reality and expectation of buying clothing online. Image:

Is online shopping giving you a headache? Do you have a wardrobe full of ill-fitting clothes? Please don't blame it on your body! If you purchase from international online e-commerce stores, navigating inconsistent sizing and different countries' conversions can feel like a minefield of measurements. Knowing your size and how to dress for your body makes ordering an outfit that little bit easier, alleviating frustrating online shopping experiences. Where do we begin—S, M and L, 8, 10 and 12 or 34, 36 and 38? 

As a Singapore-based fashion brand, our clothing is manufactured using European grading. But if you are overseas and purchasing online, you may be confused about how our products will fit. Unfortunately, countries use different grading rules and size conversions, with no universal global standard to follow. As a general rule of thumb, European sizing is bigger than Asian fit but smaller than US sizing. Western bodies are often broader and fuller than Asian figures, so the grading rules have more bust and hip allowance. Even though an Asian size L is smaller than a European size L, you may not be aware of the pattern's reduced hip and bust allowance. Cm and inches add further to the confusion!  

Confidence Dressing

Confidence—if you have it, you can make anything look good. But first things first, do you know how to measure your body correctly? Understanding your size will allow you to dress the body you have and create the body you love. Purchasing from stores and retailers with clear product descriptions and measurement converters will allow for fewer returns and less stress! Our handy guide to understanding women's sizing will help you whittle your online wishlist to the essentials—a perfectly fitting outfit. 

Graphic showing how to measure your body to ensure the correct sizing for Gen Woo.

How to Measure Your Clothing Size

The first step to understanding your clothing size is taking accurate body measurements, which may differ depending on the type of garment you wish to purchase. To put it simply, for your height, measure from your toes to the top of your head. For your bust, measure the fullest part and across the shoulder blades. For your waist, measure the circumference around your natural waistline. For your hips, measure around the fullest part of the hip. And finally, for your inside leg, measure from the top of the crotch to the floor (this is a body measurement, and garment lengths may vary according to style).  

International Ladies' Size Chart Conversions

European countries often have their own size systems, as unfortunately, there is no such thing as a “European size” or “EU size”. However, British sizing is also used in Australia and New Zealand. French sizes are used in Belgium, Spain and Portugal, and German sizes are used in Austria, Netherlands, Switzerland, Sweden, Denmark and Norway.

Chart showing women’s clothing sizes for dresses, jackets, coats and blouses with different countries' conversions. (

What is Vanity Sizing?

Sizing for ladies' clothing is often inconsistent and varies depending on the clothing brand or store. The rise of so-called ‘vanity sizing’ has rendered most labels grading meaningless. As Americans have grown physically larger, brands have shifted their metrics to make shoppers feel skinnier—so much so that a women’s size 12 in 1958 is now a size 6. It is always wise to check the specific store's sizing chart before purchasing.

Sizer’s ground-breaking AI technology is revolutionising the eCommerce retail industry through precise body measurement capabilities that is changing how consumers shop online. (Sizer)

Artificial Intelligence-Powered Sizing

Online returns remain a massive headache and cost for fashion brands and retailers, with size and fit the biggest factor. Many are turning to technology and artificial intelligence-powered size recommendation tools to solve sizing, sell better, reduce returns and improve customer satisfaction. The technology asks consumers to upload the details of an item from any brand that they feel "fits them perfectly", and it then uses AI to recommend personalised advice for each item clicked on. The AI-based solution is sizing up apparel retail's future, with True Fit claiming its tech reduces retailers' average returns by 5% and cuts size bracketing-related returns by 40%. Virtual try-on software takes things one step further and can transform the digital shopping experience. 

Gen Woo is a Singapore-based fashion brand, and we thought long and hard about how we can cater to both the Western and Asian markets. To compromise, we decided to use a European fit for our clothing. We are a little smaller than UK brands, such as Marks & Spencer's and a little bigger than local Asian brands, including Love Bonito. Just think along the lines of Zara or Mango—and that's us. 

As an independent fashion brand that cares deeply for our customers, we aim to help you find the best fit for every piece of clothing available. Our clothing is manufactured using European grading. To ensure you are shopping for your correct size, visit our Size Guide for detailed information on selecting the best size based on corresponding sizes and measurements. 

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