Sizes?

General discussion of skirt and kilt-based fashion for men, and stuff that goes with skirts and kilts.

Sizes?

Postby fasteddie » Fri Aug 02, 2013 10:32 pm

I apologize if this has been discussed before... I'm new here.

I'm having trouble determining which (women's) sizes of skirts are correct for me. Is there an easy way to convert skirt sizes to something I can understand? Why aren't they just sized by waist size like jeans???

FE
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Re: Sizes?

Postby crfriend » Sat Aug 03, 2013 2:35 am

fasteddie wrote:I apologize if this has been discussed before... I'm new here.

It's not so much been discussed as lamented as a black art (at best) or outright chicanery (at worst). Ultimately, as my wife once put it, "It's trial by fitting-room."
I'm having trouble determining which (women's) sizes of skirts are correct for me. Is there an easy way to convert skirt sizes to something I can understand? Why aren't they just sized by waist size like jeans???

We've been trying to figure that out for years, and the only consensus seems to be "get precise measurements from the vendor", "take a length of string that fits your waist and measure proposed skirts with that", or eschew "rigid garments" and go for elasticized- or tie-based- waists. My personal tactic if I'm buying a skirt in a shop is to hold it up to my waist to see if it goes 'round halfway; this also gives me a look at the length as well.

Of note is that the sizes aren't standard, and drift over time as well as manufacturer. Some 14s fit me fine, some are impossibly tight, and some fall off me. I suspect the gals don't like this much, either.

Your username of "fasteddie" made me grin a bit. I'm an erstwhile sailor (mainly as muscle and ballast, although I know how to navigate "old school") and when we were last in Provincetown (MA/USA) there's a guy there with a trimaran named "Fast Eddie" that can go like the dickens in the slightest zephyr. It's a hoot to watch him slam around when the regular sailboats are doing, perhaps, a knot or two at the most.
Retrocomputing -- It's not just a job, it's an adventure!
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Re: Sizes?

Postby r.m.anderson » Sat Aug 03, 2013 6:02 am

Before throwing $$$s to the wind invest in a tailors/seamstress cloth tape measure or if less expensive a carpenters metal one.
Now when out and about use this ole fashioned method of measuring anything worn when in doubt. And even when certain use it anyway.
It helps right off to have your own measurements also. You should measure you waist at the navel (belly button) for kilts - measure 2-4 inches
below that point for the dreaded pants and refreshing skirts you will entertain buying. Measure at the hips so that you will know the minimum obstacle that
must be overcome to get something to fit at your preferred waist; the hips are traditionally 2-4 inches wider than the waist YMMV-your mileage may vary - with
women's wear the hips could be anywhere from 4-10 inches. So thus you should have no trouble if the waist fits the hips will be no bother at all.
The only other consideration is the hem length - standard for kilts is 24 inches with a 72 inch man kneeling on the floor distance from navel to floor.
For skirts now there is a wide variation in length. Less than 16 inches ultra mini skirt (dangerous territory for the male without a supporting clause in their contract).
16-20 inches mini skirt careful here. 20 inches should be somewhere near the knee and getting into a bit of conservative territory still with caution.
At 24 inches or more then one should be in the area of decent recovery with only the wind (or exhaust ventilation - think Marilyn Monroe movie "7 year itch").
What is left - just be careful of an ankle tripping hemline.
The sizing is always a number game with no real rhyme or reason unlike men's wear where a number represents a known measurement i.e. 36 inch waist is a Size 36.
With women's wear you have Juniors (young teen age girls) in numbers 01-17 (all odd) - Misses with numbers 00-14 or 16 (all even)***** Then women's with
numbers 14-24 (again all even) Plus size women's generally start at 16 and have a prefix of a W in front i.e. W18; but each manufactured uses a VANITY system for
sizing and numbers. A sizing used for small frame misses is called Petites - the waist is pretty much the same but the overall dimensions i.e. length of the garment
will be shorter. And one other size is the half sizes for the woman - now discontinued for the most part.
****** Used to be a regular measurement for the misses take the size number and add 20 to it to get the waist measurement i.e. size 14 add 20 = a waist of 34 inches.
But forget that now your tape measure may say its a 30 or 32 or something else - again the VANITY factor !

ReCap - get a tape measure and use it - demand and require the measurements before you buy especially on Ebay !

What a delight you will have when you measure it yourself and it fits !
"Kilt-On" -or- as the case may be "Skirt-On" !
WHY ?
Isn't wearing a kilt enough?
Well a skirt will do in a pinch!
Make mine short and don't you dare think of pinching there !
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Re: Sizes?

Postby Big and Bashful » Sat Aug 03, 2013 10:14 am

r.m.anderson wrote:Before throwing $$$s to the wind invest in a tailors/seamstress cloth tape measure or if less expensive a carpenters metal one.
Now when out and about use this ole fashioned method of measuring anything worn when in doubt. And even when certain use it anyway.
It helps right off to have your own measurements also. You should measure you waist at the navel (belly button) for kilts - measure 2-4 inches
below that point for the dreaded pants and refreshing skirts you will entertain buying. Measure at the hips so that you will know the minimum obstacle that
must be overcome to get something to fit at your preferred waist; the hips are traditionally 2-4 inches wider than the waist YMMV-your mileage may vary - with
women's wear the hips could be anywhere from 4-10 inches. So thus you should have no trouble if the waist fits the hips will be no bother at all.
The only other consideration is the hem length - standard for kilts is 24 inches with a 72 inch man kneeling on the floor distance from navel to floor.
For skirts now there is a wide variation in length. Less than 16 inches ultra mini skirt (dangerous territory for the male without a supporting clause in their contract).
16-20 inches mini skirt careful here. 20 inches should be somewhere near the knee and getting into a bit of conservative territory still with caution.
At 24 inches or more then one should be in the area of decent recovery with only the wind (or exhaust ventilation - think Marilyn Monroe movie "7 year itch").
What is left - just be careful of an ankle tripping hemline.
The sizing is always a number game with no real rhyme or reason unlike men's wear where a number represents a known measurement i.e. 36 inch waist is a Size 36.
With women's wear you have Juniors (young teen age girls) in numbers 01-17 (all odd) - Misses with numbers 00-14 or 16 (all even)***** Then women's with
numbers 14-24 (again all even) Plus size women's generally start at 16 and have a prefix of a W in front i.e. W18; but each manufactured uses a VANITY system for
sizing and numbers. A sizing used for small frame misses is called Petites - the waist is pretty much the same but the overall dimensions i.e. length of the garment
will be shorter. And one other size is the half sizes for the woman - now discontinued for the most part.
****** Used to be a regular measurement for the misses take the size number and add 20 to it to get the waist measurement i.e. size 14 add 20 = a waist of 34 inches.
But forget that now your tape measure may say its a 30 or 32 or something else - again the VANITY factor !

ReCap - get a tape measure and use it - demand and require the measurements before you buy especially on Ebay !

What a delight you will have when you measure it yourself and it fits !


I would love to know what has been censored out, I bet it isn't a sweary word!
I am the God of Hellfire! and I bring you truffles!
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Re: Sizes?

Postby allen476 » Sat Aug 03, 2013 4:07 pm

r.m.anderson wrote: Plus size women's generally start at 16 and have a prefix of a W in front i.e. W18; but each manufactured uses a VANITY system for
sizing and numbers. A sizing used for small frame misses is called Petites - the waist is pretty much the same but the overall dimensions i.e. length of the garment
will be shorter.


Womens Plus starts at 14 now and can go up to a size 44. If you are a plus size, the sizing is more or less up to the maker themselves as there are NO standards. I can range anywhere from a 26W to a 32W size.

It is a suffix too. 32W for example. W32 would actually indicate the waist is 32.
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Re: Sizes?

Postby r.m.anderson » Sun Aug 04, 2013 1:57 am

allen476

"It is a suffix too. 32W for example. W32 would actually indicate the waist is 32."
Correction noted - thanks !

Ebay sellers drive me crazy when they don't note the actual sizing of their auction item in a uniform standard with a inches or centimeters.
Then you 'ask seller question' and hope they are on the same page you are with the measurements.

The numbers are all arbitrary - there is no uniform standard for women's sizes even within the same manufacturer.
Therefore the need for the tape or other measuring device.
A lot could do with how hard the whip is cracked in the sweat shop to hurry up the mass production of cheap clothing for this country (USA).
A shorter piece of elastic in the waist - an extra stray pleat in the hem - a dart misplaced at the waist - you get the idea and the garment is
rushed out the door for shipment and sale to the unsuspecting buyer who is thrilled to get the latest trend. The recent accident in the factory
in Bangladesh was a wake up call for mass produced garments. Yes the garment you bought was made OK but why are there factory seconds
some sold as first quality. With just a mm or cm perhaps an inch off here and there - close enough is good enough - unsuspecting women will
wear it once or twice and trash it via thrift shop, ebay, goodwill or salvation army the moment it becomes out of vogue!
But what a find for us when it fits and looks good - but those pesky measurements are critical.
"Kilt-On" -or- as the case may be "Skirt-On" !
WHY ?
Isn't wearing a kilt enough?
Well a skirt will do in a pinch!
Make mine short and don't you dare think of pinching there !
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Re: Sizes?

Postby Zorba » Sun Aug 04, 2013 4:29 am

Like a woman friend once said to me: "Welcome to our world".

I'm in anything from a 14 to a 20W. *shrug* Whatever! :?: :?:
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Re: Sizes?

Postby Disaffected.citizen » Tue Feb 14, 2017 5:46 am

I thought I'd resurrect this thread to make a sizing observation, rather than start a new one....

As we all know, understanding sizing marked on garments aimed for general sale to women is a bit of a dark art; unless we are physically handling the skirt we need to ask (particularly on EBay) for the waistband measurement to be converted from vanity sizing to real world sizes in centimetres or inches. This can still present a challenge as some EBay sellers are, shall I say, not the brightest candles in the box :? Just recently I asked a seller for the waist measurement of a UK size 12 skirt and was expecting it to be somewhere in the region of 32 or so inches (80ish centimetres). The reply came back as roughly 42 centimetres but it varies as it's not one lenght! Knowing that it's length is about 17-18 inches, the vendor clearly was clueless - muggles, eh! I took a gamble anyway as it's likely "within my tolerances" and the particular skirt is not common.

Anyway, back to the main thrust of my point; we all know the perceived wisdom that sizing on the men's side of the aisle is reliable because it's xx inches or yy centimetres, etc., right? Well, this sizing, too, is unreliable. I had the misfortune to need some trousers and purchased based upon the marked waist measurement; big mistake! They look a fairly regular shape, but it turns out the cut is such that I can't even get them on :shock: , let alone try to do them up! Go figure that one out.

Also, for trousers, I need a 32 inch waist yet, depending upon the style and cut, I am able to comfortably wear some 30 inch waisted skirts! Again, go figure that one out :alien:
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Re: Sizes?

Postby denimini » Tue Feb 14, 2017 11:03 am

Yes, sizing is a black art.
Buying in shops, I take a retractable tape and measure the "flat" waist, that is folded flat with button done up, so it is half the waist circumference which is probably what the eBay seller gave you: 42cms X 2 = 84cms = 33". With ebay I usually ask for flat measurements, unless it is a brand I already have as brand sizing is fairly consistent.
Some size systems are quite good, like pants with waist circumference in inches or some european sizing which is based on flat waist in cms.
I am a 34, 42EU, 8US, 10UK, 12AUS, M. Some fabrics have a bit of stretch so may be a 32, 40 ............
Pants, you have to try on because of the cut. Skirts are easier but can spring a few surprises like too tight at the hem for a good stride or sticks out at the back like a pelmet.
Try things on if possible, I am usually rushing and don't have the time, especially in winter, as shopping means 400kms travel which must be done in daylight.
For me, eBay in good and in the feedback I usually acknowledge any accurate waist measurements.
Anthony, a denim miniskirt wearer in Outback Australia
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Re: Sizes?

Postby r.m.anderson » Tue Feb 14, 2017 11:33 am

D.C - the clue here is elastic lycra elastane - the super clue is coded OSFA or OS (One Size Fits All).
When measuring clothing that stretchable panel pleat dart seam can be a blessing !
When buying or bidding off Ebay and the waist and other measurements are fixed that is fine if the seller actually posts the measurement !
But with the stretch factor now some clothing items may fit better and then again might not with too little stretch.

The critical mass factor (THE HIPS) is the crucial fitting obstacle - a skirt or pants has to have a large enough opening to pass over - slide over -
slip by this bump in the road to rest finally at the waist (low high kilt empire). After passing over this bump in the road the garment has to shrink in
size a bit to stay in place otherwise it is London bridges falling down. A button or zipper closing is fine for a fixed waist - but the better closing
is the elastic waist or Velcro like on some kilts resulting in a more flexible waist. Other methods are braces (suspenders) to use the shoulders
as a hold up to keep the garment fitting loosely at the waist; belts and lacing as in boot or shoe laces to close and snug the space down to
restrict the size of the garment to fit at something above the Hips.

It is very important when communicating with an Ebay seller to get the UNstretched and Stretched waist measurements when dealing with
these type of garments.

So for skirts it is the Waist and not so much the Hips that are factored unless one is fitting pencil skirts
For pants and shorts the Waist the Hips and then the leg inseam
For tops shirts blouses it is the Bust/Chest (measured across the garment from lower arm hole across to opposite hole and doubled x2) this
followed by the length from the back collar top to the hem bottom - the waist may come into play with a fitted top - and then lastly the sleeve Length
Sleeveless N/A - cap sleeve a few inches - short sleeve 6 to 10 inches +/- - elbow length or 3/4 length and finally long sleeve with or with out cuffs
Bear in mind that goods from Asia have a different measurement Asian sizing usually about 2 sizes smaller than USA UK sizing and the sleeve lengths
are terribly short-armed - generally Asian people are petite folks of smaller stature - Ebay sellers are finally getting the message about selling clothing
to customers this side of the world and making much larger (2X 3X 4X sizes etc.)

Knowing your measurements and carry that tape measurement when shopping will easily make selection of your clothing needs (and fantasy) a breeze !
Forgot to add that the tape measure should have both metric and inch scaling - metric will have a bit finer sizing number - 2.54 cm to the inch - so know
your measurements in inches as well as metrics !

When buying or bidding on Ebay remember the carpenters rule to measure twice before doing the transaction ! It is a lousy way to buy things
not doing any measurements and even if the seller allows returns - you are paying both ways to try using your home as a fitting room - bad bad deal !
"Kilt-On" -or- as the case may be "Skirt-On" !
WHY ?
Isn't wearing a kilt enough?
Well a skirt will do in a pinch!
Make mine short and don't you dare think of pinching there !
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Re: Sizes?

Postby partlyscot » Tue Feb 14, 2017 7:30 pm

In addition to all the other advice here, I would also like to point out how much of an impact your build has on the problem, and how you feel with various ways of wearing the skirt. I gave a skirt (ladies kilt) to a friend to try on, as he had expressed some interest. He told me it ended up too short because his waist is up too high and he's a skinny dude compared to me. When I next speak to him, I'm going to get him to re-try it, but just allowing the skirt to hang on his hips. I'm thinking that he is not used to the feeling that the skirt can be pulled off, and is trying to get the "secured" feeling that he has to have for pants. With pants, if you don't do that, they will eventually pull themselves off, but that doesn't have to be the case with a skirt. This flexibility of fit is one advantage that skirts have over pants.
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Re: Sizes?

Postby Happy-N-Skirts » Fri Feb 17, 2017 1:32 am

Sizes vary between manufacturers, in what country the item was made, from year to year, even the same manufacturer. Try them on and be sure, besides, it's fun.
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Re: Sizes?

Postby Caultron » Fri Feb 17, 2017 4:49 am

partlyscot wrote:In addition to all the other advice here, I would also like to point out how much of an impact your build has on the problem, and how you feel with various ways of wearing the skirt...

This is true. Different skirts the same size will sit differently on your hips although, especially with stretchy fabrics, you do have some latitude as to where that is.

I've has pretty good luck always buying a size 16 or XL but every now and then I get one that just don't fit. That's when free returns are a really wonderful thing.
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Re: Sizes?

Postby r.m.anderson » Fri Feb 17, 2017 5:35 pm

Caultron wrote:
partlyscot wrote:In addition to all the other advice here, I would also like to point out
how much of an impact your build has on the problem, and how you
feel with various ways of wearing the skirt...

This is true. Different skirts the same size will sit differently on your
hips although, especially with stretchy fabrics, you do have some
latitude as to where that is.

I've has pretty good luck always buying a size 16 or XL but every
now and then I get one that just don't fit. That's when free returns
are a really wonderful thing.


Getting a skirt that is too big can usually be fixed by taking it in a
size or a half by installing a couple of darts restricting the elastic
waist band - moving the zipper or button closing placket ever so slightly.
As for too small adding material can be done but the design of the skirt
may suffer and not look right ! AND then there is the "COST" of the
alterations - is it really worth it ? Yes take it back and exchange it and
a lesson learned - do the in store fitting before taking home for further
review. For Ebay mail order stuff get the vital measurements and check
the material of garment construction - the more elastic lycra elastane etc.
the more flexible the fitting !
If you do sewing know your limitations or check with a tailor/seamstress
for less costly alternatives - measure twice and alter once !
"Kilt-On" -or- as the case may be "Skirt-On" !
WHY ?
Isn't wearing a kilt enough?
Well a skirt will do in a pinch!
Make mine short and don't you dare think of pinching there !
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