How to avoid the pitfalls of ordering the incorrect size

Let’s talk sizing…

Do you find sizing frustrating? In one Brand, you are one size, and in another, you could be several sizes different. We get it, sizing can be a minefield, and with ordering online, you do not have the luxury of trying it on. We will give you an insight into why sizing can vary between Brands and how to avoid the pitfalls of ordering the incorrect size.


As the catalogue industry boomed, standard sizing emerged to cut costs. However, problems were encountered as the data gathered did not represent the average woman. Technology has been more sophisticated than our old-school tape measure. However, the problem still exists. You cannot create a standard size when there’s no such thing as a standard body.

At the start of the system, there was a single, accepted size range. Brands now work to their own rules, making navigating buying clothes that fit a minefield. Many can find wild inconsistencies even within one Brand. This is attributed to a range of factors, from not accounting for the qualities or drape of different fabrics and high-speed production and lack of quality control.


One-third of shoppers expect they'll have to return some items when ordering, with variations in sizing the number one reason for returns. Issues arise when clothes are returned, they are not always packaged back up and put back into stock. For many Brands, the costs involved are not worth it, so instead, returns are sent to landfill. Five billion pounds of returned goods end up in landfills each year, creating 15 million tonnes of carbon emissions.

Most Brands only prototype the fit of the garment on one model, which is generally a size small. Garments are produced on an idealistic basis, representing maybe 1% of the population. Other sizes aren't controlled - they’re scaled mathematically and are usually full of fitting errors. Patterns need to be recreated entirely, and unfortunately, Brands do not do this because of a lack of investment in creating the smallest and largest sizes. Billions of garments at either end of the sizing scale go unsold.


At Stockinjur, all of our patterns are created in-house by Leanne, our Founder and Designer. We have much more control over the drafting and testing by creating these in-house. Only once we are satisfied with the pattern will it be graded up and tested again. This is a long process but keeping it in-house means adjustments can be made quickly. Another benefit of understanding pattern drafting is that when customers request a bespoke made to measure or slightly different measurement (sleeve length, neck size etc.), we can make these adjustments and provide a completely bespoke service for our customers. Made to measure is something that we would like to roll out in the future for all of our garments to ensure you get the perfect fit for your body shape. This goes a long way in reducing the excessive waste that haphazard sizing creates.


Whenever you're looking at a garment, rather than go by your usual size (8,10,12 etc), we would always suggest checking your measurements against the Brand’s size guide. Whilst this can be a laborious process, it will hopefully prevent you from having to return a garment that is either too small/large. We receive a lot of questions regarding sizing, we will always refer you back to our Size Guide so you can check your measurements, as it is always difficult for us to advise on sizing without seeing you in person.

What's your biggest challenge with sizing in your equestrian wardrobe?

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