Dec 162013

Patrick Lauer posted a rather lengthy article regarding the issues of clothing sizing.

In essence, it’s his struggle, having known what his sizes were earlier suddenly discovering that the new clothing he buys, with the same size as his existing clothing, does not fit, despite his old clothes fitting just fine. Presumably his old clothes didn’t have a problem, therefore the summation is that the sizing standards have changed.


You’ve just hit upon the #1 reason I despise shopping for clothes online or through any sort of “proxy” (i.e. getting someone else to buy you some). You just never know from looking at a size label whether it’ll “fit”. Doesn’t matter what the clothing is: shoes, trousers, shirts, jackets, gloves, hats, helmets … you’ve got to physically go there and try it on if you want to be sure.

Workwear tends to be more consistent, particularly items that companies sell less of. If I buy a pair of overalls, they tend to be consistent. High-vis polo shirts, usually not a problem. But casual stuff? All over the shop!

Add to this, I absolutely despise branded clothing. I’ll even go as far as to remove branding from clothing I buy if possible. One cap I bought had a small metallic logo sewn to it — that disappeared within 5 minutes. Another, had their logo embroidered on the back. Once again, I found myself picking at it to remove it. Both made in China I might add, and neither particularly cheap.

What do I look for? Plain, unbranded. Some might say “boring”. If it’s a shirt, I’ll tend to want something long sleeved, maybe hooded too in some cases: good for when I’m outside since being of fair complexion, a bit of sun exposure and I turn into Caucasian lobster very quickly. (White supremacy my arse!) Hats, I’m fussy: I tend to like styles that are rare, my last two purchases were a gatsby and a spitfire, I also have a stack of coolies.

I’m not fussy where it’s made, although if I see something made in this country, I’ll tend to jump on it. Sure, more expensive, but I’m all too conscious of the ridiculous mark-ups that get put on kit made in Pakistan, and I don’t fancy lining the pockets of people running shoddy factories.

I particularly object to mark-ups when the product is poorly sized, inferior quality, heavily branded and overpriced. Some of the “cheapest” (quality-wise) clothing I’ve seen, comes from “brand” name suppliers, is designed to last until it “goes out of fashion” (3 months) and is approaching triple-figures. I don’t fancy being a walking billboard, especially when I have to pay for the privilege and the product will be in the bin by that time next year.

I have a couple of polo shirts I recall paying quite decent money for. About $60 a piece if I recall. Both have developed tears around the wrist on the sleeves. From another shop I recall buying some hooded polo shirts. They had a logo sewn on to one sleeve (soon gotten rid of). Similar price. I bought three: a white one, a black one and a grey one. The grey one promptly shrank in the wash, it was fine in the shop but now no longer fits me, I’ve only worn it once. The black one developed some strange brownish markings on it.

So I’ve spent effectively $180 for a single shirt, as the other two are no longer in good condition. Made in China. Bugger that!

No, here’s what I’m after: plain, unbranded, will last weekly wear for a period of a few years, and a size label that’s accurate if I’m to purchase online.

Plus, I hate doing this online. I refuse to own a credit/debit card: my bank account is the old-fashioned passbook type because it forces me to be organised with my expenditure. I can only withdraw or transfer money during a bank’s opening hours, demonstrating either knowledge of the account number or holding the passbook, and supplying a signature in front of the cashier. That’s triple-factor authentication: nothing electronic comes close.

This restricts my payment methods somewhat. B-Pay and direct deposit are doable, as is telegraphic wire transfer. PayPal won’t work however, because with no credit card, there’s no ability for them to draw money out of the account. And I don’t trust them either.

I might yet give Bitcoin a try, since this is the sort of transfer that it’s intended for. They’re not meant to be hoarded, they’re meant to be passed around. Seems a good way to just buy just the quantity I need (paying by bank deposit or B-pay), then purchasing the goods I require. Maybe that’ll open up a few more sources.

However, I still then have to wait for a package to arrive. I like the immediacy of just strolling into a shop, seeing something I like, doing a quick check to see if it’ll fit, then walking to the counter, handing some cash over, and walking out with the newly purchased item. No ordering, no payment hassles, no courier, no guesswork on sizing and no post sales spam.

Admittedly, shops are no fun either, I actually dislike going into a shop to buy clothing. Especially since some insist on ghastly music, and have a guard standing at the door insisting on checking your bags, even if you merely take two steps in, look around (in their plain sight), decide you can’t stand the noise and (try to) walk out.

Is it any wonder I tend to frequent charity shops?