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Question for Folks Buying Vintage Internationally

Discussion in 'PUBLIC Vintage Chatter - Anything and everything' started by Patentleathershoes, Dec 22, 2004.

  1. If you are living anywhere that uses the metric system unlike the United States, when you search for clothing on the internet, do you search by bust size or sleeve length in centimeters or in inches as you are used to doing so? I am sorry if it sounds like a silly question.

    Would it be helpful if sellers also included metric measurements in their listings? (not that you can't convert them, but because you may completely miss something you are searching for because it doesn't come up in searches for your measurement specs). Or, does it not matter one way or the other? It may not matter so much when you are knowingly searching an american site but perhaps would make an impact when just surfing the web, or for site that have shipping available internationally.

    Of course, very precise measurements, such as measuring beads is standard in millimeters no matter where you are. You can include measurement in inches, but the mm is what is more commonly and universally searching for.

    I am just thinking of ways of making my site more user friendly for people and would appreciate any input from both occassional board visitors and regulars on this topic.


  2. emmapeelpants

    emmapeelpants Alumni

    Personally, although I am supposedly a child of the metric system, I measure in inches. It just sounds more real and here, our bra sizes are still in inches. Even on my costume degree course there was reckless veering between inches and centimetres depending on your mood. Sometimes, whilst making a pattern, I would measure lengthways in inches and widthways in centimetres (or something like that).....that was probably dependent on which way round my ruler was and whether it landed on the inches or cm side!! Everyone seemed to do it, and the tutors were fairly ambivalent about it.

    I find the whole thing fascinating. Even european sizes seem to be based in inches (32/34/36 etc). I like to hear it's hot in fahrenheit, and I like to hear it's cold in celsius.

    I like to see my weight in stones and pounds, and I weigh my parcels in grams because I have to.

    This <B>could</b> all be just me, but I think the UK is generally a bit mixed up.
  3. I hate to say this Liz, but I still don't know how much "stone" translates to and the only reference I ever hear it is in describing a person's weight on the emphasis that they were...um....large boned. Like "she weighed a whole ___ stone!".
  4. crinolinegirl

    crinolinegirl Alumni

    As a Canadian living in the UK, I'm a bit mixed up too. I use inches to measure myself and garments, grams to weight parcels and stones to weigh myself (14 1/2 stone sounds alot nicer than 203 pounds!) :P
  5. nsweezie

    nsweezie Registered Guest

    Hello all!
    Thought I'd chime in on this one.
    When I live in Canada, I knew my measurements in inches. Like the people above, I am a bit mixed up!
    Now that I am in the UK it's the same thing.
    However, no one in Norway had any idea of their measurements in anything but metric. My husband knew he was 1.92 meters high, and was very surprised when I told him that was 6'2''. His response was 6-2 what? :cool:
  6. emmapeelpants

    emmapeelpants Alumni

    LOL! A stone is 14 pounds. :)
  7. artizania

    artizania Alumni +

    As with the others, I'm of that generation still using feet/inches, pounds/ounces etc - using metric is like speaking a foreign language to me!

    The UK will never go fully metric, not whilst their biggest trading customer, to the left of the pond, still uses imperial measures!!
  8. emmapeelpants

    emmapeelpants Alumni

    <I>The UK will never go fully metric, not whilst their biggest trading customer, to the left of the pond, still uses imperial measures!!</i>

    If we get dragged further into Europe, we might not have much choice in the matter! ;) I can imagine underground 'Imperial' clubs starting up, with drinks served in pints, produce sold in pounds and ounces, paying in old money etc etc :)
  9. Hi Louise! Nice to see you. At least in the UK folks understand both more or less so your husband won't feel like he is a total fish out of water.

    Thanks for the definition of stone, Liz. Sure reminds me a lot about expressing a horse's height in hands. Just like "foot" comes from the size of the king's foot at the time, i bet some queen or king made "stone" up too based on how heavy the stone in their backyard (well..i mean courtyard was) .

    I was never too hot at math. I think i am coming out as 7.72 and that sounds way too small.

    Mabe the metric system is much more dominant in countries where English is not teh predominant language. Even though English is certainly a language of business, like Spain, France, or like Louise was referring to, Norway.

    I have not had too many international customers who were not fluent or at least competent enough with the english language, but i did have a transaction where the person barely wrote english and luckily the language was spanish so between my bit of spanish, and her bit of english, we figured things out. And BTw, that was one of my few listings that had it in cm too. That was the whole reasoning behind the question. But of course, she could have found it independent of the metric system factor and just liked the jacket.
  10. But thinking of drinking a "pint" is so quintessentially UK to us here. If you go to a pub in Ireland or England, or bars here that are in areas of very heavy Irish immigration. And if you asked for one and were just a tourist gettin their kicks say in parts of Boston, you would be looked at funnyl. But you would never ask for a pint in a regular ol' American bar. You would ask for a bottle, or just a beer and it would be the standard size they offered. You might get a choice of a big glass or carafe to share (or not) but taht would be it. If you asked for a pint they would think you were from WAY out of town.
  11. emmapeelpants

    emmapeelpants Alumni

    Personally, in all my time selling to non-UK European buyers, I don't think I have ever had a request for the measurements in centimetres. It worries me sometimes, but I guess they have dual measuring tapes like us - or are very good at converting?
  12. As a Canadian I really should be much better with the metric system. I use imperial measurements for pretty much everything.

    I recently had an Italian customer ask for measurements on a hat and I just gave her both. It's easy when your measuring tape has both!!
  13. Thanks so much everyone who chimed in (and if anyone has any more insight - please feel free to jump in!) I think i may add it on some things but perhaps I am not missing the boat as much as I thought.
  14. dibs2002

    dibs2002 Registered Guest

    We're mixed up in Canada. We use Celsius for temperatures outside, but Fahrenheit for cooking. And we can still relate to 72F, and when it's really hot it's more impressive to say "It's 100 degrees!" rather than "it's 38" or whatever it is.

    We also measure by inches, especially our height. But we get 30 cm of snow and 10 mm of rain. We also buy gas by the litre, and groceries come in grams, kg and litres.

  15. But try converting your recipe from imperial to the metric found on the packages of food and you are using your Grade 12 math!!
  16. That's why i stay out of the kitchen Bonnie. That is the same way recipes are here. I have ruined a cake in a BIG way because of that. what was supposed to be moist and fluffy ended up lopsided and hard as a rock! Stir fry i can handle!

    they say that kids who learn to play a musical instrument can grasp mathematical concepts better...I played two as a kid...but it still didn't help in the kitchen! I think that may only apply to fractions.
  17. elsewhere

    elsewhere Guest

    I remember when we were young they tried to introduce the metric system. They told us that it was going to be the standard and that they were going to stop using inches, etc.
    Obviously, this never happened. They really just abandoned it, even in school.
    This must've been in the late 70's (maybe early 80's??), here in Southern CA.

    Oh.. and at least out here, people do sometimes order a "pint" of beer. It's not the norm, but it's not unheard of, either. And no one's had their a$$ kicked for it yet as far as I know ;)

  18. This thread is like therapy. :P I remember being told the Imperial system would disappear, too, Kristine! I've lived so long with the nagging sense of inferiority that I must be one of the few who never 'got' metrics, after being taught the Imperial system, first. LOL. They're teaching both in public school, here. Darling daughter has to tell me metric measurements. Hee.
  19. bartondoll

    bartondoll Guest

    I was out of school when the metric system was introduced and
    still use inches for measuring....however as far as temperature goes
    with the weather, I'm finally familiar with degrees C as opposed to F.

    I think a lot of Canadians (45 years and up) are still more familiar with imperial measures and 'kind of' familiar with metric.


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