- the size on the clothes is arbitrary, just buy what fits
- clothes are made for an "average" woman who doesn't exist, buy what fits at the widest point (nothing is too tight), then take them in where they are baggy
I ended up with 4 pairs of jeans (thank you Eddie Bauer jeans sale):
- dark wash boot cut
- dark wash curvy slim straight cut
- dark wash curvy trouser cut
- grey cargo cut
Due to following the principles above, the jeans in different cuts that I bought ended up being a couple of different sizes. I also asked a bunch of questions of the salesclerk and was informed that all of the pants were pre-washed and wouldn't shrink and that one pair had 3% spandex so it would stretch a bit over time.
I came home and Paul immediately washed (in cold water) and dried (in the dryer, not sure what temp) all 4 pairs of pants.
Day one: Wore the curvy slim straight cut pair and found they were looser than when I tried them on in the store. Will definitely be taking them in.
Day two: Wore the boot cut pair. Also seemed looser but fit the way I want them to for the most part so will leave them alone.
Day three: (business trip) Tried on the remaining trouser cut pair the night before and decided they hadn't stretched yet and picked a slightly concealing top to wear with them. Put them on the next morning and either they stretched overnight or I shrunk because the concealing top is no longer necessary.
Day four: I'll be wearing the first pair again. Will be interested in their relative fit compared to first wearing and store try-on.
All in all, I like the results of shopping with the principles, I'll be making a few alterations so the clothes fit ME, and things amazingly shrink or stretch in my life on a daily basis so I should just be prepared for the variance.