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EU harmonisation of women’s clothes sizes

For that perfect fit try size 88 – The latest EU ruling will see British women expand beyond recognition (Daily Express, 15 March 2002, page 3)
British women are about to get a whole lot bigger thanks to European bureaucrats. Actress Kate Winslet, for example, is justly proud of her rather fetching 38-29-39 figure. She might be rather less pleased when it balloons to 97-74-99 under new Brussels regulations which require women’s clothes sizes translated from inches to centimetres.

97-74-99: Just look what the European Union has done to Kate’s vital statistics
(Daily Mail, 15 March 2002, page 1, headline)

Why women will be the new Metric Martyrs – Vital statistics become fuller figures under new EU rules (Daily Mail, 15 March 2002, page 11)
CEN, the European standards body, hopes to come up with a uniform system for clothes sizes across the EU by next year. 

Metre maids (Daily Mirror, 15 March 2002, page 6, leader)
The European Commission is thinking of standardising women’s measurements.

While it is true that a standardised system of clothes sizes across Europe is being discussed, this has nothing to do with the European Commission or the EU.

The Commission is not going to make any proposals to harmonise clothes sizes. European standards are developed on the basis of voluntary agreement between members of the independent European Committee for Standardisation. The committee is made up of national standards bodies, not national governments, and includes representatives from outside the EU. The representative from the UK is the British Standards Institution.