The thoughts and opinions of a woman who's always on the go...riding two wheels!
Ladies, I want to talk about your size for a minute here.
Wait! Before you close this window or hit the back button, you really need to hear me out. We have a sizing issue here, and what I'm about to talk can really help a lot of you find proper fitting gear, especially when shopping online. I’m sure there are folks reading this who think that to avoid sizing problems, you should just buy whatever’s available in brick and mortar stores...just try it on to see if an item fits.
If it were that easy, I wouldn’t be writing this piece. Online shopping is a must for some: There are women riders who live in isolated areas, their closest local moto shop carries limited gals gear, a piece of needed gear is only available online, or they simply prefer to shop online.
With that being said, we need to do a better job at writing reviews for gear. First off, kudos to those who do. It’s really an important factor when it comes to pulling the trigger (aka the credit card) for a particular item since the majority of gear is not cheap. However, overall I feel like we can do a way better job at it.
I was looking at an Alpinestars rain jacket recently and read the following review:
I am 5' 6", weigh 140 lbs. I ordered a large, since I wear size 8-10. This jacket was tight across the bust.
We're going to stop there. First off, I'm the same height as this woman; however, I weigh about 10 lbs more. Is she referring to 8-10 pant size? I don't wear a size 8-10 in pants— although I do rock that size (10-12) when it comes to bridesmaid dresses. I'm assuming she has some big bosoms, that's why it was probably tight across the bust. But then, I was thinking, "I don't have big boobs, but I weigh 10 lbs more than her and I wear a 10 in some things, I'm torn between a medium and large, and some reviews says the sizing is a bit small but...I just don't know what size to get damnit!"
As I read on, I saw this one: I love this jacket, great fit, I'm a 34 DD 5'7 135lbs and typically can't find a jacket with good waist to chest ratio, but this one is form fitting around my waist and zips all the way up without squishing me!...
Grr! This one says the jacket fits well! But she doesn't mention what size she got at all. Also, bra sizing is subjective— you can wear a 34DD in Victoria's Secret and a 36 D in Maidenform bras. At least, I know I'm not a consistent size (cup-wise) when you go from one brand to the other. Also I'm wider than her, at a 36 band size for all of my bras...so does that mean whatever size she got may be too tight on me since I'm wider?
The rest of the reviews for this item weren’t helpful at all. So, I decided not to pursue the jacket—I ended up playing it safe and got a rain coat to cover my current moto jacket.
There's various other examples I can give of these vague reviews when it comes to size, but I hope you get where I'm coming from. The point is: We need to be more specific when it comes to posting reviews in regards to how a piece of gear fits.
If the gear item fits as it says it does (i.e., you looked at the size chart, ordered your size based on it and it fits), the easiest way to review this is to simply say that the size chart is correct and it's "true to size." But it'd help me a lot if you could expand... I'm so adamant about this because my measurements are all over the place. I comply with sizes that fit into small to large buckets, and when I err on the largest measurement it's literally too large and then when I try not to repeat the same mistake and go with a smaller size, the damn item fits too tight! I feel like it's a lose-lose in these situations.
Now you know why it'd help people like me out if more details are provided. I simply want to know how an item truly fits. Point blank: I want to know your size in inches.
Tips on How to Review Gear Fitment
When reviewing gear, if you could provide actual measurements, that'd be awesome! If I came across it I know I'd love you forever. If an item is overall a good item, meaning it's made of high quality material and does what it claims to do, but there's an issue with the size, then please please review it (again, I'd love you) with the following notes: Mention the quality first and then go into detail about the sizing since that'll set the stage that this is an a piece of gear worth having. Then, follow it with the "however," which is the sizing issue.
You should be able to answer the following questions: Does the item fit snug in the bust? What's your size (in inches)? How far off is it on the size chart? The same goes with any other part of the body, too. A little tight around the waist? The hips? The inseam? Please provide your size...in inches!
Does anyone else face this problem, or am I the only one that's wary about size charts and wonder if they are "true to size" or if they are off just a bit? Again, this isn't a dress or a blouse we're talking about— it's gear. You definitely want to make sure it fits you like a glove in case you unfortunately need to test it out. And, of course, you want to look like a sexy fox in it too!
Learn more about Laura and the rest of RideApart's excellent staff here: The RideApart Team