“I tried on size 14 jeans from Next, George and New Look – they all had different fits.”

One writer set out to find out how sizes vary in high street stores when he bought a size 14 pair of jeans from stores like Next, George and New Look.

A woman buttoning her jeans
Abby McHale tried on size 14 jeans in six different stores (stock photo)

As any woman will tell you, finding your dress size isn’t as easy as finding the perfect fit in a store – as someone who can fit a size 44 pant in a high street shop may have trouble finding to do this button on a size 16 in another.

But of all the things, we hit that Main road because finding the perfect pair of jeans always seems to be the biggest challenge, especially when you love to shop for your flattering denim pieces.

In fact, research has found that almost half of women have trouble buying jeans – and here’s why The sun fashion journalist Abby McHale sent to six different ones high street shops to directly compare the size of their jeans.

Abby – senior stylist at Fabulous – bought a pair in size 14 Jeans from River Island, Next, New Look, George AsdaZara and M&S to see how different sizes actually are.

Marks & Spencer jeans modeled on their website



Next Jeans models on their website



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river island

The author claimed the 42-pound River Island denim “fit her great” and was one of her favorite pairs, having measured the waistband at 34 1/2 inches.

However, Abby was confused when she checked the sizing chart on the River Island website for clarification when she got home from her shopping spree, as the website said a size 14 should only fit a 30 1/2 inch waist.

This low waist number is also much lower than the numbers in other high street shops and if the jeans she bought were actually that size they would have been about 1 1/2 inches smaller than other size 14’s.


Abby thought Next’s jeans were too big as a size 14 measures at 34 inches at the waist.

Some jeans were difficult to put on (stock photo)


(Getty Images/iStockphoto)

She also noted that while Next – who sell their jeans for £24 – are great at offering different options for skinny, regular and large jeans, they don’t have a clear waistband indication on their website – which means you’ll have to break out the tape measure , if you actually want to check the waist measurement of your jeans.

After swapping out the oversized 14 for a size 12 that had a 32-inch waist, Abby found the jeans fit “just right.”

New look

New Look prices their jeans at £29.99 and the size 14s have a 33 1/2 inch waist.

Abby said she does in fact already have a pair of these jeans in her everyday wardrobe, but noted that when trying on a new pair she initially had trouble buttoning up – although she managed to squeeze in.

She also said that after wearing them for a while, the stiffness in the waist subsided and they were much more comfortable to wear.

However, similar to Next, New Look’s online size guide focuses on inseam length rather than waist size.

George at Asda

Abby claimed that when shopping online on Asda’s website for the George clothing line, she was unable to find any size chart at all and the only indication of size was the caption which read: “Our model is 5ft 6″ and wears a size 8.”

However, picking up the size 14 jeans, the author noted that they “walked on with ease and were well fastened” — and didn’t feel too loose despite measuring a 34 1/2 inch waist.


The style expert struggled with Zara’s £45.99 jeans because even with their claims of a 34-inch waist, the size 14 Abby tried on took a “proper tug” to pull up and fasten.

Zara’s offering was “one of the most flattering” pairs Abby tried on, but she opted to go up to a size 16 because she needed “a little more give” to make them really comfortable.

Unfortunately the size 16 was “much too big”.


The Marks & Spencer jeans cost £39.50 and were marked 31 3/4 inches at the waist.

According to Abby, “The jeans she tried on “slid on easily and were super comfortable,” to the point where she actually considered them too big for her, and she exchanged them for a size 12.

The author noted that the style is described as “baggy” so she expected a looser fit overall.


In the course of her research, Abby discovered that when it comes to our favorite high street shops, jeans sizing seems to be “just a number” as the size she tried on varied from 31 3/4 inches to 14 34 1/2 inches at the waist – but it was the pair billed as the smallest that was actually the largest in practice.

Speaking to Lauren Bell, a senior designer at fashion brand supplier Renfold, Abby also found that high street stores don’t “standardize” their jeans the way they do other clothing items.

Lauren said, “That’s because the current culture of fast fashion doesn’t allow time to get everything done perfectly.”

There are also differences in sizing due to the stretchability of some jeans that contain elastane compared to those without elastane.

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