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Resolve to wear clothes that fit in the year ahead

Many people struggle to find the right size clothing, shoes and undergarments. It’s a situation that affects both men and women. Consider these facts:

  • Research by menswear retailer Jacamo found 22 percent of British men are wearing the wrong size clothes or shoes.
  • A recent international study done by Swiss lingerie company Triumph found that, of the 10,000 women polled, 64 percent are wearing the incorrect bra size.
  • The average shoe size is up about two sizes since the 1970s. Yet, at least one-third of men and half of women are buying the wrong size, according to Long Tall Sally, a U.K.-based apparel and footwear retailer that gets almost half its sales from North America.
  • Many people today purchase their clothing off the rack and never step inside a tailor’s shop unless it is to have formal clothing adjusted for special occasions. People generally give little thought to taking out the measuring tape and getting a refresher on their measurements - despite changes in their body weights. Plus, many do not recheck their shoe sizes, likely because shoe stores are mostly self-service and the number of Brannock devices, or the standard foot measuring tool for the worlds footwear industry, are dwindling in retail centers. Bra measurements are even harder to come by, no doubt thanks in part to the nature of getting measured in such an intimate area of the body. But considering undergarments set the foundation for all clothing worn on top, this is one of the more important measurements to verify. Enlist the help of a friend or family member to make measurements go more smoothly.
  • Women can measure their bust around the center of the breasts and back.
  • Chest measurements are taken as high up as possible on the widest part of the chest. For women, this will occur directly under the breasts.
  • The waist is measured at the narrowest point width-wise, usually just above the navel.
  • Sleeves are measured from the middle of the back of the neck over the top of the shoulder and down to the point where the sleeve will end.
  • Men should measure a collar around the base of their necks where a shirt collar would sit.
  • Hip size should be taken around the fullest part of the hips and buttocks when feet are placed together while standing.
  • Inseam is measured from the top of the inner thigh to the ankle.
  • Measure shoe size while standing in stocking feet. Pay attention to shoe width as well. Knowing body measurements can make clothes shopping easier and ensure people are wearing the right sizes.