The Trend For Larger Lingerie

Whether we like to admit it or not I think most women are aware that the proportions of clothes sizes have increased somewhat in recent years. Reacting to the undeniable fact that we are far more likely to buy something when we can squeeze into a smaller size, most brands and retailers have increased the proportions of each size. I had thought that this trend was confined to outer wear but have now discovered that even lingerie has experienced an expansion.

fuller figure

Image: Review of Elomi Imogen


Despite the fact that I have definitely put on weight over the last year or two I find that I am often able to wear the same dress size that I did in my younger days which is frankly ridiculous given that I am actually at least two sizes larger. It makes shopping a nightmare because as I am growing so are the clothes and it is often difficult to tell what size to pick up. I now routinely migrate to the changing rooms with at least two sizes of each garment that I wish to try because otherwise I would walk miles to pick up different sizes every time I visit a shop. Perhaps the whole thing is a plot to make us all lose weight from the extra exercise!

Never mind that you look like the back of a bus, that label says 12 so you are just an average size.


The last bastion of sanity in sizing was lingerie which seemed to have remained relatively consistent but last week I even encountered issues with knickers! Feeling that I am most definitely now a size 14 I exercised the logical side of my brain and bought size 14 pants but when I got home I found them to be absolutely massive! They were cheap numbers from a discount store and so I resisted the temptation to return them in case I was incapable of refraining from spouting a few jokes about tents and marquees.

big knickers


At least Bras are difficult to tamper with. As bra sizes mention a definitive measurement it will be difficult to get past that one so I am guessing that a 36C bra is still 36 inches otherwise things are going to get really confusing. I have noted that more generous cup sizes are now available in many ranges but I am not sure if this is the result of the obesity epidemic or the popularity of plastic surgery. Either way my boobs have failed to mirror the expansion of my waistline so the FF cups are unlikely to ever be on my shopping list.

False Flattery

Trying to flatter us is all very well but enlarging a size 12 into something that could house a family of three does not alter the truth of the matter and may well contribute the problems many people have losing weight. After all if you think you are a size 12 what have you got to worry about? Never mind that you look like the back of a bus, that label says 12 so you are just an average size. Perhaps being the size of a bus is average now but that is not the point. Sticking to the size charts and consistency would help everyone to shop more easily and would undoubtedly lead to far fewer returns when it comes to online sales.

As for me, well I think I will try out some more classy lingerie. If the high street retailers are going to confuse the hell out of me it would be worth trying out some quality brands to see if there is any level of sanity there. I don’t have the time to erect a tent when I get dressed so I need sizing that I can rely on.

Sally Stacey is a keen writer with an interest in fashion who is finding the sizing policies of retailers a little confusing.

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