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Rallick wrote:

How do I go about figuring out my wife's size in clothing without her finding out? I've tried looking at labels, but there are so many measurements, none of which seem to agree with other, similar items of clothing. Since it's for a present she doesn't know about, asking her is out of the question.

Does she have a sister you can ask? With women's clothes, sizes aren't consistent across brands, and even if you find the right size, the proportions might be off. Definitely get a gift receipt. Or if this is super fancy and custom made or whatever, make the surprise bringing her to the store for a fitting.

Dakuna wrote:
Rallick wrote:

How do I go about figuring out my wife's size in clothing without her finding out? I've tried looking at labels, but there are so many measurements, none of which seem to agree with other, similar items of clothing. Since it's for a present she doesn't know about, asking her is out of the question.

One word: Gift receipt.

Spoiler:

I know it's two words, the error was intentional since we're stupid men.

This is very wise.
Even if you find out a size successfully, at least for my wife, the sense of whether or not it fits right is so subjective that she has multiple sizes in her closet.

With the holidays coming close, you can also say someone was asking and you wanted to make sure you told them the right sizes. After all, someone is asking.

Rahmen wrote:
Dakuna wrote:
Rallick wrote:

How do I go about figuring out my wife's size in clothing without her finding out? I've tried looking at labels, but there are so many measurements, none of which seem to agree with other, similar items of clothing. Since it's for a present she doesn't know about, asking her is out of the question.

One word: Gift receipt.

Spoiler:

I know it's two words, the error was intentional since we're stupid men.

This is very wise.
Even if you find out a size successfully, at least for my wife, the sense of whether or not it fits right is so subjective that she has multiple sizes in her closet.

With the holidays coming close, you can also say someone was asking and you wanted to make sure you told them the right sizes. After all, someone is asking.

Wife: who the hell wants to know my size? Don't tell them anything! Where is the gun?

Demosthenes wrote:
Rahmen wrote:
Dakuna wrote:
Rallick wrote:

How do I go about figuring out my wife's size in clothing without her finding out? I've tried looking at labels, but there are so many measurements, none of which seem to agree with other, similar items of clothing. Since it's for a present she doesn't know about, asking her is out of the question.

One word: Gift receipt.

Spoiler:

I know it's two words, the error was intentional since we're stupid men.

This is very wise.
Even if you find out a size successfully, at least for my wife, the sense of whether or not it fits right is so subjective that she has multiple sizes in her closet.

With the holidays coming close, you can also say someone was asking and you wanted to make sure you told them the right sizes. After all, someone is asking.

Wife: who the hell wants to know my size? Don't tell them anything! Where is the gun?

That's more or less the response I'm expecting, yes.

I am getting divorced... I am not super worried about offending her... still wouldn't ask.

I sense your perspective may be compromised

Heh... let's say this then.

I would not ask my mom. That alone tells me that it is a question that shouldn't be asked.

Idris Elba:

Handsomest man alive or handsomest man ever?

Demosthenes wrote:

Heh... let's say this then.

I would not ask my mom. That alone tells me that it is a question that shouldn't be asked. :lol:

I haven't spoken up before, but now I have to ask. Why? If I were going to give anyone a clothing present, I'd ask for a rather detailed size list measurement. And I expect to have it without any drama. It's just numbers.

LarryC wrote:
Demosthenes wrote:

Heh... let's say this then.

I would not ask my mom. That alone tells me that it is a question that shouldn't be asked. :lol:

I haven't spoken up before, but now I have to ask. Why? If I were going to give anyone a clothing present, I'd ask for a rather detailed size list measurement. And I expect to have it without any drama. It's just numbers.

In the US, we have a big problem with body image and body shaming for women - both external pressure from media saying "women should look like this" and internal pressure that an individual women may place on herself for not conforming to the image media presents.

It's generally considered impolite to ask a women her "size". And it's certainly made harder by the facts presented above - a "14" in one clothing brand may be tighter or looser than a "14" in another brand, or even from one year to the next for the same brand, and within a given season based on the cut of the garment. This is made more difficult by the fact that clothing size is some weird "even-number based guesstimate" for women. Men's pants are sold by the measurement of waist and inseam - women's pants are sold as "14 short lowrise" or "14 long midrise", and there's no control over what "short" or "long" or "lowrise" or "midrise" really means.

Which is why I buy my wife earrings, necklaces, rings, bracelets, and shoes

It's not just the US, McIrish, it's also true in France (the body image thing and the variations in sizes from one brand to another) and I suspect much of Western Europe.
I made things simple for my husband. I asked for a SSD for my birthday in December.

Women's clothing sizes are just T_T...

(You'd think that all of these online mail-order clothing sorts of places would start to make a difference in how clothes are sized, since it ought to be a lot cheaper to have more precise and accurate measurements than to have so many free returns because of size issues... but it hasn't happened yet.)

(Although one thing about it: When sizes are given in multiple countries' systems, that can help narrow things down a lot. Shoes, esp.)

I refuse to associate with people that think they have to keep silly secrets about their body size.

Dakuna wrote:

I refuse to associate with people that think they have to keep silly secrets about their body size.

Hold on a sec, I'll go grab a tape measure so I can get a read on my girth for you.

McIrishJihad wrote:

Men's pants are sold by the measurement of waist and inseam

True, but not all tape measures are created equally. I know I wear different sizes from brand to brand. Plus, their are many categories. Levi has 5 for their jeans.

I'm not saying men are under the same magnifying glass as women when it comes to size and fashion. For example, a well fitted suit will always be in style, but fashion for women changes on a seasonal basis. Their is a little more to men's clothing than two numbers.

No, but there is a greater range of hip-waist-inseam variation for actual women, which is not captured at all by the single size number given for women's clothing sizes.

If you have a man's waist and inseam sizes, you have a better chance of buying him pants that fit well than if I say to you, "oh, I'm a size 12 regular" and send you to buy me pants.

Also, bear in mind that this is a surprise gift. Asking for measurements would give away the surprise.

Katy wrote:

No, but there is a greater range of hip-waist-inseam variation for actual women, which is not captured at all by the single size number given for women's clothing sizes.

If you have a man's waist and inseam sizes, you have a better chance of buying him pants that fit well than if I say to you, "oh, I'm a size 12 regular" and send you to buy me pants.

*nod nod* Sizes can get you into the right ballpark--but for something to actually fit, you're probably going to need at least size and brand, and the only way to really be sure is if the recipient has already tried the item on.

Anyway, I think that for gifts the best you can do is: Go ahead and look at sizes of existing clothing. Check sizes separately for tops and bottoms, and take whatever numbers seem to be most common in the items that they actually wear. If you're feeling like a real go-getter, keep track of sizes by brand in case your gift is one of those brands. Go for the larger of the two sizes on full-body stuff. That will be enough to say "I cared to make an effort, and have some idea what size you wear."

Afterwards: don't be surprised when the item gets exchanged because it doesn't fit.

I'm still in the camp of the "gift" being a gift card and offer to go shopping, so she gets exactly what she wants.

I also bought my wife a new jacket for our anniversary last month, but that was made easy on me - she tried things on in the store, with the intention of coming back later to get something custom ordered, so they staff wrote down what she was looking at. A quick and subtle pic on my phone, and I went back a week later to place the order for her, and picked it up the following week.

Rallick wrote:

Also, bear in mind that this is a surprise gift. Asking for measurements would give away the surprise.

I actually don't really get the entire surprise thing, either. It's always seemed to me that this was more for the benefit of the surprisers than it was for the surprisee. I enjoy anticipation as well as receiving things I really want, so surprising me with something just robs me of the anticipation. I dunno.

It's almost like different people like different things.

carrotpanic wrote:

It's almost like different people like different things.

I said I didn't get it. I didn't say people were wrong to not be like me. There is no cause for snide remarks.

What's to get? Your remark was snide.

carrotpanic wrote:

What's to get? Your remark was snide.

It wasn't. You may understand, but I do not. What's to get? Well, everything! It totally makes no sense to me. It's a perfectly honest question, without any snide content whatsoever.

Caveman Lawyer

LarryC wrote:

I actually don't really get the entire surprise thing, either. It's always seemed to me that this was more for the benefit of the surprisers than it was for the surprisee. I enjoy anticipation as well as receiving things I really want, so surprising me with something just robs me of the anticipation. I dunno.

I have a friend who also dislikes surprises (and birthdays). He went on holiday to the Philippines not long ago and really loved it. If he makes it back there one day, you two should totally high-five.

I can understand both perspectives, and I like surprise gifts to and from people that are close to me.

mudbunny wrote:

Root through your wife's closet until you find a style of clothing that is similar to what you want to buy. Bring it into the store and say "This fits her", and the staff, if they ave a clue, will do the fitting and matching for you.

Also, gift receipt.

Depending on the store, I wouldn't really count on the assistants getting it exactly right. So +1 to gift receipt

So-called "vanity sizing" has made buying a gift of clothing a perilous, if not impossible, task, regardless of the recipient's gender. Interestingly, I have suspected that the ongoing electronics boom (phones, tablets, touch-this, scribble-that) was greatly accelerated by the simple fact that it's now darn near impossible to buy an ordinary gift of clothing for anyone.

LarryC wrote:
Rallick wrote:

Also, bear in mind that this is a surprise gift. Asking for measurements would give away the surprise.

I actually don't really get the entire surprise thing, either. It's always seemed to me that this was more for the benefit of the surprisers than it was for the surprisee. I enjoy anticipation as well as receiving things I really want, so surprising me with something just robs me of the anticipation. I dunno.

Horses for Courses, as my friend Jonman likes to say. I have some loved ones who love being surprised, and prefer it to knowing that a gift is coming. Myself, I'm with you on enjoying the anticipation.

Case in point. I love surprises. My wife hates them. H-A-T-E-S them. In a fairly typical incident, I'll start a movie for us to watch, she'll ask me what it is as the studio logo is playing, I'll respond "Just watch. It's a surprise." she'll then threaten to stab me through the eye with a steak knife if I don't tell her, right now, what the movie is even though the credits will be coming up in 30 seconds. She has made it abundantly clear that she derives only feeling of anger and sometimes homicidal rage, at "suprises".