Made by me

Sizing research

I am working on a block pattern for a skirt in woven fabric and I’m struggling a bit with the sizing. Even though I provide measurements I also want to have a sizing system that comes close to my customers expectations of a medium or whatnot. My customer is a grown up woman, hence a small is bit larger than shops catering towards teenagers. And my XS would be for the slim folks (though I don’t have that size yet as I never get any requests for it, only XL).

Today I checked out skirts in retail chains such as Mango and Zara. However I think their Mediterranean sizing is a bit smaller than the US market equivalent (where most of my customers are). I’m wearing a Zara medium in the photo, and it fits pretty well, but maybe some would find this skirt a tad snug for being a medium. I think that my lower body falls somewhere between a “generic” small and medium. What would you say, does this skirt looks like a medium to your eyes or is it more a small? I know it might be hard to tell from a photo, but for reference, I wear a size 6 in US brands like Anthropologie, Ann Taylor loft and Banana Republic.


  • Kaja
    March 22, 2011 at 6:28 pm

    Not sure. I think it looks great on you…

    If you need measurements for a larger size I could help you with a size 12 with long legs… 😉

  • Johanna
    March 22, 2011 at 6:37 pm

    Hehe, I was actually tempted to buy it, but then I reminded myself that was only doing research!

  • Summer (Our Heroine)
    March 22, 2011 at 8:23 pm

    I'd say the skirt is a Medium. I wear US size Small and am 2-4 at Banana Republic and Ann Taylor. I think you're doing sizing right if you don't need XS.

  • Jane
    March 23, 2011 at 3:46 am

    I'd err more on the side of that being a small. I think of myself as pretty much a 'medium' (although currently sitting on the heavier end of that which I'm not happy about!). I don't think that skirt would fit me. I'm a 12 – 14 Australian which is I think about 10 – 12 US. I think something like a 40 – 42 European? So confusing! When will the fashion world get its act together and have universal sizing? (I know, never.) Oh and I think I am roughly your target age – 40 with 3 kids and the body to prove it! And really, really not wanting to buy anything in size 'Large'….

  • Johanna
    March 23, 2011 at 8:12 am

    Jane and Summer, thank you for the feedback! And it just goes to show that the concept of a medium certainly can differ depending on who you ask 🙂

    I thought some more and I'm more inclined to follow Jane's idea of a medium, I'm thinking that the sizing of a Burda/North European size 40 would hit the mark pretty well. I will grade less difference between sizes than I do in the tops since a fitted skirt is more demanding when it comes to exact fit.

  • Laura
    March 24, 2011 at 7:09 am

    Small is my vote. I tend to think of an AT/BR size 2-4 as an XS, 6-8 small, 10-12 large and 14-16 XL. (RTW sizes, not Big 4 pattern sizes). I'm in the US which I know tends to run a bit bigger than most of the rest of the world.

  • linda
    March 24, 2011 at 10:56 am

    I'd say small if you wear a 6 and you think it is okay (slightly tighter than normal on you).

  • Lisette M
    March 27, 2011 at 1:03 pm

    I would consider a 6 a small by US sizing.

  • Åsa
    May 2, 2011 at 7:54 am

    I always go up one size when shopping at mango/Zara – those south europeans are so much smaller than us swedes!


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