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February 02, 2015

SIZE MATTERS: The Story Behind the Oiselle Size Change

Not too long ago, the design team started feeling pinched. As in Oiselle’s size grade, XS to XL, was limiting the range of sizes we could offer you. XS to XL is five unique sizes, and in terms of doing more, we didn’t want to keep adding X’s for the outliers. XXXXXS or XXXXXL anyone? That didn’t meet our desire to help women feel included AND create an elegant size system.

But if we changed the sizing to 2-12, we would have six sizes, with room to grow. (Next puzzle: how do we reinvent the size “0” - a weird non-number, non-entity which doesn’t sit well with athletes who like substance).

As we saw it, 2-4-6-8-10-12 would accomplish several things:

  • Increase our options by one full size
  • Provide room for additional sizes in the future
  • Solve for “smediums” and “marges” (between small and medium, and between medium and large)
  • Accommodate customers who wanted something slightly bigger than our XL 

To simplify the change, we maintained our measurements for sizes 2 and 4 (which are the same as our former XS and S respectively) and then we modified the remainder as noted below:


Our former size small is the same size as our new size 4. Our former size medium, shown below in Flame Pink, is slightly smaller than our new size 8, shown below in Pop. 


A couple of notes:

  • Lifestyle and seamless styles will maintain XS – XL sizing as these designs are either stretchier than technical or compressive garments. This includes such items as the Flyte and Birds of a Feather Tops; Trials Hoodies, Rest Day Sweats, etc.
  • Note that for some seamless product, however, we are looking to add size XS beginning with the Fall 15 season.
  • An updated "Oiselle Sizing Information" Chart is here.

We’ve asked some friends to compare the old sizing with the new and provide honest feedback. So if you have Q’s, please feel free to ask us (always here to help!) or the following O-believers:

Name - previous top size - previous bottom size 
Andrea Duke - xs/s - xs
Kami Beckendorf - m/lg - m/lg
Britney Henry - lg - lg
Beth Baker - lg - lg
Nicole Antoinette - s - s
Lauren Fleshman -  s - xs/s
Sarah Boone -  m - m
Beth Gillespie - xl - xl
Sarah Robinson - s - s
Jacquelyn Komen - xs - xs

As always, we want to hear your feedback. Please feel free to email any questions or comments to [email protected]. Most importantly, thank you for believing in us. We love and respect our family, no matter the size!



MaryJo | February 2, 2015 at 9:14am

Sizing matters

Love the post about sizing changes. But as a firm XS who often finds that you run out of my size, I want to ask... could you try to create more stock in this size? Especially with the additional sizing in the larger sizes, I fear that I'm going to grow frustrated as you have inventory in every size but my own :) I'm excited to hear that you will be creating XS seamless styles. I've been getting smalls and they tend to be bigger than the rest of my oiselle duds.

Rachel | February 2, 2015 at 11:11am


My feedback... Real women are all shapes and I am thrilled to see a change so more of us folks with athletic builds, larger bums, smaller tops (or reverse) can wear more of your product <3

Erica | February 2, 2015 at 1:36pm


Great news on the resizing but you are still leaving a group of people and active runners on the sidelines. Why don't you get into larger sizes. XL based on your model of 14 doesn't work for many of us. I think we have a tougher time finding great workout and running clothes then those dealing with an XS or S.

Jen | February 3, 2015 at 4:27pm

sizing matters

I agree with MaryJo. I also feel as an XS woman, who is only 5'4", the shirts seem to be a tad long on to mid thigh. Will the new XS take length into consideration?

Kate | February 8, 2015 at 1:20pm

Super helpful!

This is SO helpful -- was trying to puzzle out my size as I was shopping this morning. Might be worth linking to this from the size chart until people transition? I love that I'll have more flexibility in the "smedium" range. High five!

Alison | May 20, 2015 at 8:12pm

Is there a reason?

Is there a reason you don't make a true XL (14-16 or 16-18)? Do you think your clothes would be poorly represented by more curvaceous women? Or that we busty girls don't want to be fit or do yoga, so we wouldn't wear them? Here's the thing: If you made them, I would totally, totally wear them. And I would look good. But you don't make them, so I can't even take a picture of me looking good in your cute clothing to show you, so I guess it'll never happen. So sad, really. And less profit for you. Booo.

jacquelyn scofield | May 26, 2015 at 4:51pm

Size change - reply

Our size grade 12 is an XL. Have you tried the 12? We'd love to be represented by all shapes and sizes. But most of all we want to make apparel you love. We will pass this information along to the design team. We'd love to discuss further, please email [email protected] It's all about you and making running apparel that works.

abbeyviolet | September 17, 2015 at 10:18am

size change

I second the reply above. Why is there a stop at 12? Why was 12 ever considered XL? I spend most of my life in the 14-16 range. Yes, I'm trying to become more healthy and fit and hopefully that will all work out, but there are a lot of people like me that routinely exercise 4-7 days a week and are still in the 14-16+ range. I get that it takes more fabric so these sizes may cost more to make, but the cost can be passed along. Self-esteem and body image are frequent issues in larger sizes and having more beautiful options that fit us would be so wonderful. Just know the original poster is far from alone.

Cathy Surerus | June 5, 2016 at 11:45pm

size matters!

there are MANY women left out in your narrow size range! I was casually considering undertaking my first ever athletic endeavor from a sedentary, and overweight 60 year vantage when I met my soon to be running coach. When he asked me, " you a runner?" I asked him, "do I LOOK like a runner?" His response changed my life forever. "You can't tell by looking; people of all ages, shapes and sizes are runners!" His belief in my ability, and my determination and hard work has allowed me to complete 3 half marathons in 1 yr. Us full figured women, while not young girls; ALSO would like to look great while we chase our dreams!