next clothing

I bought a new top from Next recently – it was an impulse purchase, one of those, “It’s a blogging event tomorrow, I have nothing clean, this looks okay.” 

It was a nice top – green, plain, detailing on the sleeves.

So nice, in fact, I decided to buy the same top in blue. I wanted to wear it Friday night when I was taking Flea and her bestie to see The Vamps in concert.

Small problem, though – I could hardly get it over my shoulders.

“Really shouldn’t have eaten pizza this weekend,” I grunted, before giving up the top as a bad idea.

Then I had the bright idea of comparing the two tops.

Same top. Same design. Same store. Same size (according to the label). But as you can see from the photo above – ENTIRELY different sizes.

It’s not just Next (although this is possibly the worst and most frustrating example I’ve seen in a while). In Gap I bought a great pair of jeans last summer in a size 16. They were so great, I bought them in a slightly different shade. They don’t fit. In Fat Face, a pair of size 14 jeans are loose around the middle, unless I’m wearing a belt, but in Boden I need to buy a size 18 unless I don’t plan on breathing all day.

And don’t even get me started on the depressing act of finding a pair of “cropped” jeans in a store’s petite range and finding they STILL sit somewhere around your ankle. Grrr.

Why is it SO hard for clothing stores to decide on what a size 10 or 14 or 18 looks like – and stick with it?


And it’s not just adult sizes. We recently got Flea a new summer wardrobe and it’s a nightmare – we have to try on everything because you never can guess from the label what will, and won’t fit.

In Gap, the boys’ jeans in age 9 are a perfect fit, but the girls’ jeans need to be an age 10.

In John Lewis, Flea can still happily wear shorts in an age 7, but her Gap shorts from last summer (age 10) are too small.

In Fat Face, Flea usually wears an age 9-10 in the tops, but the jackets she needs a size 12.  The cotton top she’s wearing here is an age 11-12.

How can one, fairly average sized child vary from an age 7 to an age 12 depending on where we shop?

Is it just me? Or is the retail world on a mission to make shopping like a great big, annoying game of chance?