A noticeable difference between here and the US, is the size of the people. It is very apparent that people are smaller, both weight and height. I feel very large in this city. A good indication of the population’s stature is the clothes sizes. So far, I haven’t purchased many clothes here because I had plenty for cool weather, however I have zero work appropriate clothes for warm weather, because at Haverford we had dress down in the summer. As a result, my summer wardrobe consists of a few t-shirts, jean skirts, and flip flops; not really appropriate for a business environment. Primarily, I shop in H&M because I like the clothes, they are affordable, and the store is in the mall by our apartment. For those who don’t know H&M, it is a European store and has “regular” sizes although they are sometimes cut slim. I believe the largest women’s size at H&M is 12 and XL.
Just for reference, I am shy of 5’6” and weight about 130 lbs. I have lost a little bit of weight since arriving. Usually, my pant size is 8 or 10 and I can wear a 6 skirt if it is A-line since my thighs are the limiting area. I wear a 6 suit jacket and a S or M shirt. Recently, I have branched out and shopped some local brands. Last night, I shopped in a store similar to Gap called Bossini. In no way is it a teen shop. Actually, the style is very basic and classic. There are no numbered sizes only XS-XL. I tried on XL pants and they barely fit! They were part of a casual suit, and I fit into a M jacket. At a more trendy store I like, the largest size they carry is 8, a small 8. Believe me, this is not a junior type store. It is a good thing I’m not hung up on clothing sizes! Honestly, I’m happy to be able to purchase clothes here at all. I am seriously considering buying the suit I tried on last night. I did get two simple cotton skirts and a white shirt, all size L. The woman who formerly had my job is a larger size; guessing 16-18 with a size 10 foot. She has all her clothes and shoes custom made.