I Tried Identical Size 10 Shorts In Three High-Street Stores To See If The Sizes Matched Up

Hint: They didn't.


If you’ve ever gone hunting for a specific item in various different shops, you’ve probably noticed that you’re simply not the same size everywhere you go.

I decided to put the theory that there is no standard size system out there to the test, by trying on the same style of shorts across a range of different high-street stores.

In the spirit of summer, I went with a high-waisted denim style. I’d usually wear a size ten, so tried a ten on in every style, and went up or down in sizes as needed.

Here’s what I found…


Mom Authentic High-Waisted Shorts, €38

I haven’t had many issues with Topshop’s sizing in the past, but they can be a little inconsistent across different ranges. I couldn’t find any size eight here so went for a ten and 12.

Size 10
These fit well on the crotch, but my bum cheeks were most definitely visible.

topshop shorts 10

Size 12
Same ass issue – what is it with high-waisted shorts and showing off bum cheeks? These were extremely similar in size to the ten, and I didn’t notice much difference, except some extra space on the waistband.

Topshop Shorts 12

Verdict: I’d probably go for the ten here, but either would have worked.


Forever 21

High-Rise Shorts, €20

I’ve always found the clothes here to run a little small, so I cast away the size eight and went for a ten and 12. Or so I thought. I picked up a 28 and a 30, but a Google of Forever 21s size chart later revealed that what I was trying on was actually a 12 and a 16. WTF?!

Size 12
These fit on the waist but the crotch felt quite tight. Again, my ass was hella on show. Not a good look.

forever 21 size 12

Size 16
The larger size solved the ass-on-show issue, but this pair were far too big on the waist. No surprise, seeing as they were actually a 16.

f21 shorts 14

Verdict: A size 12 – but I reckon I’d have to wear these a few times to stretch the denim.



After our report earlier this week on size inconsistencies across some of H&M’s ranges, I went for two pairs of shorts here – one from the Basics section downstairs and one from the festival-inspired range upstairs that seemed to be aimed at slightly younger shoppers.

Basic Shorts, €14.99

Size 8
These were a perfect fit on the waistband and legs.

hm shorts size 8 pair 1

Size 10
These fit too, but were a little roomier. I could tell by the fabric that they’d stretch very easily, so I’m guessing these would be hanging off after a few wears.

hm shorts size 10 pair 1

Size 12
I skipped the 12 here as it would most definitely have been too big.


DIVIDED High Waist Shorts, €24.99

Size 8
I could barely get these over my thighs, which provided great entertainment for my shopping partner. Fail.

Screen Shot 2016-06-03 at 12.36.34

Size 10
These fit quite well around the waist and crotch and (for once!) there was no bum on show.

hm shorts medium pair 2

Size 12
I found these to be just a little too roomy.

hm shorts pair 2 large

Verdict: A size eight in Basics, but most definitely a ten in DIVIDED.

Overall, I found my “usual” size ten to be the correct one for just two pairs of the shorts, while an eight and a 12 fit me better on other occasions. My take-home? Always take at least one extra size into the fitting room, and don’t be disheartened if something doesn’t fit.


Have your say

More like this