Sizing Disparity: How size 16 differ between brands

We wanted to see how Lucinda’s sample size, US 16, compared with other brands in the same space. We looked at the size charts of 50 brands and documented the bust, waist and hip measurement in inches.
The first thing we noticed is that 27 of the brands we looked at did not stock a size 16. For the 23 brands that did, the size 16 measurements ranged by 14 inches/35 centimeters! No wonder finding the right size, especially for larger bodies, is so confusing. 

An Image of the sculpture of Aphrodite displaying differently colored lines representing the size 16 measurements of 23 brands. 

Why don't more brands have inclusive sizing?

There's no one more disappointed in the lack of options for larger bodies than us. 

To understand why, though, we’ll briefly describe how clothing sizes are created today.
Clothing is typically developed using a sample size 4 fit model with a 5’8”+ height and a low waist-to-hip variance.
Using this fit model as a template, styles are created and once the final sample is approved and ready for production, the pattern is sent to what's called a grading service.
A grading service hasn't seen the garment on a person and they're not expected to contribute to shape. The grader takes the sample pattern and increases it in increments to create new sizes.
By the time the pattern is graded to a 10, 12 and 14, garments can be completely wrong on an actual size 14 woman. It takes time and money to redevelop the style for a curvy figure, which is why many designers simply stop.
Small and independent brands shouldn’t be held to the same standard here as large conglomerates that have the resources to support size diversity.
This is where narrow, current day beauty ideals come in. Notice how most fast fashion giants do curve, but luxury fashion giants do not? Both groups of companies have the resources to support curve, whereas only the luxury conglomerates are trying to maintain an exclusive and aspirational ideal through use of the most narrow standard of beauty.
At Lucinda, we believe size diversity is a social responsibility with the power to create more kindness and acceptance in our world. 

Do you struggle to know what size you are when shopping with new brands? How often do you find a brand only to learn they don't stock your size? Let us know by DMing us on Instagram @studio_lucinda