Sizing is a very subjective thing and varies not only between brands but also within brand ranges. For this reason we do always recommend trying any items on before purchasing. We realise this is not always possible and so we will try and outline a few basics of fit here. If you are in any doubt, there should be more information within each Brand (under Brand Info) and within each product description. If you're still not sure just give us a call or drop us an email.
Chest sizing varies widely depending on the garment, brand or range. Instead we have outlined below a few of the main types of fit found in our ranges and how they compare.
All of our women's clothing is shown in UK sizes but many of our brands use US sizing too, for reference we have included a rough conversion.
Athletic - Usually the closest fit of all, often in baselayers and light midlayers, some shells. Narrow waist, very little excess material, short length.
Alpine - Trim fitting, narrower at the hips, usually shorter than traditional jackets and tops, broad shoulders and long sleeves for freedom of movement.
Mountain - Designed to fit more layers underneath for 4-season use, squarer cut, longer, possible helmet-compatible hood and high collar.
Relaxed - Lifestyle clothing, squarer cut (little difference between shoulder and hip width), little or no tapering in the body.
Fitted - Narrower hips and taken in at the waist, often in shirts and baselayers.
Baselayer: Most fabric technologies work best close to the skin where they are able to pick up moisture and wick it away. Aim for a close fit in technical baselayers such as the Icebreaker Oasis Short Sleeve Crewe or Arc'teryx Accelero/Ensa.
Midlayers: For technical midlayers such as the Mountain Equipment Shroud Jacket or Eclipse Zip Tee, a close fit works best, once again allowing for optimum wicking while stretch fabrics ensure freedom of movement. For more relaxed midlayers such as the Mountain Equipment Micro Zip Tee, a looser fit works well while still providing warmth.
Shell: For 4-season use where a number of layers may be worn underneath, a squarer (Mountain) cut is best suited. Closer fitting (but never tight) jackets such as the Mountain Firefox or Patagonia Leashless Jacket are suited to more active pursuits, moving quicker in the mountains or when fewer layers are needed underneath.
Insulation: Insulation needs to loft in order to trap air and insulate. Tight fitting down jackets are fashionable but useless! A slightly looser fit will still keep you warm but allow for layers underneath. Belay jackets that are to be pulled over absolutely everything else, including a shell, should be sized accordingly (usually up a size).
All of our footwear is shown in UK sizes but some of our brands do also use European and US sizing. Converting from UK to European sizing is not exact and varies between brands. The table below is a rough guide only. If in doubt, contact us.