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Sizing Gone Skinny

I had some time on my hands last week & visited an outfitter in New England. Tried some things on.

Patagonia has added to their long-standing R1 light fleece offerings with something called R1 Air. Fluffy-looking fleece. It's nice, but it's cut very slim/athletic. I'm normally fine with their size XL, but on this one, it was too confining. Maybe the intent is to wear it more like a base layer.  They didn't have XXL to try on, so not sure if sizing up would work or not. I have had to size up with a few Patagonia layers in the past - an old version of the nano air was really tight on my forearms, so i went with XXL. Sometimes, when they introduce a new line, this happens, or maybe they're thinking people lost weight last year?

Tried on a Smartwool long-sleeve layer, the Intraknit merino 200 crew. It's 53% merino, 45% polyester, 2% elastic. Love the fabric - it's substantial & stretchy, but again, slim fit. I have older Smartwool baselayers, a zip neck i have had for at least a decade, and size XL fits well, meaning it doesn't fit like a glove, has a little room. the Intraknit fits like a surgical glove.  The outfitter didn't have XXL to try on.  

As we age everything feels like slim fit. 

OUtdoor clothing used to be strictly functional and utilitarian, now it was fashion sense.   In a town like Seattle I run  into hipsters dressed in outdoor clothing.  "Did you used to work in the woods?"  I ask.  "Huh?" is the typical reply.

ppine said:

As we age everything feels like slim fit. 

OUtdoor clothing used to be strictly functional and utilitarian, now it was fashion sense.   In a town like Seattle I run  into hipsters dressed in outdoor clothing.  "Did you used to work in the woods?"  I ask.  "Huh?" is the typical reply.

 generally true about fit, except that i'm 15-20 pounds lighter than i was a year ago, and these are both cut more narrow than other things from the same companies.  

I just wish that there was consistency across brands. An XL from any brand should fit the same. Look at size guides, some brands might use 40-42 waist size for XL and others 36-38. Shoe sizes are even worse, how an 11 isn’t an 11 isn’t an 11 across and and all brands is beyond me. 

One benefit of this site and reviews generally, particularly informed reviews on sites that curate/review the reviewers, so to speak, is feedback about sizing. I find many European brands' view on sizing is smaller than the US and that i need to 'size up' for many Europe-based brands.

Ditto for how shoes are sized, particularly width, b/c i'm relatively wide at the ball of the foot, and volume b/c i have to fit a fairly high volume custom orthotic in there.

I have never found sizing of any apparel or shoes to be uniform.  Clothing sizes S-M-L-ETC, shoe sizes 6,7,8,9,etc, all had a ballpark similarity, but as an adult since the 1960s I've always taken anywhere from a medium to a smallish XL shirt size, and shoe size 9 to 10 1/2.   Even "objective", discrete sizing, for example a 32" waist pant or belt, or a 34" pant inseam, and analogues sleeve and neck sizes on shirts varied more than can be explained by any quality control tolerance criteria. 

The fact garments are marketed internationally nowadays probable exasperates this issue - a medium size male in China is not the same as the US, etc.  Even the Euro metric shoe size varies, due to how the volume of the foot box is dimensioned, regardless the length is otherwise  "standardized".  I think this issue, combined with everyone getting stuff off the web without personally trying on the article purchased, are reasons why it appears this has become an issue.  One more reason why you should support your local economy and  merchants, and buy from neighborhood brick and mortar shops whenever possible.

Ed

I think it is also true that styles these days are for a slightly snugger fit than in years past.  That can make a big difference.  

whomeworry said:

I have never found sizing of any apparel or shoes to be uniform.  Clothing sizes S-M-L-ETC, shoe sizes 6,7,8,9,etc, all had a ballpark similarity, but as an adult since the 1960s I've always taken anywhere from a medium to a smallish XL shirt size, and shoe size 9 to 10 1/2.   Even "objective", discrete sizing, for example a 32" waist pant or belt, or a 34" pant inseam, and analogues sleeve and neck sizes on shirts varied more than can be explained by any quality control tolerance criteria. 

The fact garments are marketed internationally nowadays probable exasperates this issue - a medium size male in China is not the same as the US, etc.  Even the Euro metric shoe size varies, due to how the volume of the foot box is dimensioned, regardless the length is otherwise  "standardized".  I think this issue, combined with everyone getting stuff off the web without personally trying on the article purchased, are reasons why it appears this has become an issue.  One more reason why you should support your local economy and  merchants, and buy from neighborhood brick and mortar shops whenever possible.

Ed

 many brick and mortar retailers don't stock full size runs these days, particularly in XS or XXL (or larger). i just purchased a Patagonia 'slim cut' fleece that didn't fit when i tried on the XL, which was the largest size they had in the store. i bought online and sized up to XXL. fingers crossed.  

Even in the skinny outdoor gear world, sizing up is a reasonably safe bet. the patagonia R1 air crew neck in XXL fits well. I would welcome some cooler weather now....

Vanity sizing, is the confusing factor.  I generally order a size up, if I'm obliged to buy online and haven't used the brand before.  I'd rather a shirt or coat has a looser fit, than a restrictive, tighter fit.  Sometimes, that will lead to hilariously outsized purchases, though;-)

May 16, 2022
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