Battledress blouses and trousers were designed in a bewilderingly large range of sizes for men of different builds. Each uniform then had a size number stamped onto the label sewn into the garment:or printed on the inside:to allow something that almost fitted to be chosen in stores when they were issued. Sometimes, but not always, the size number was also printed on its own on the lining of garments- Indian uniforms often have this. Many collectors and re-enactors struggle when it comes to the sizing of these uniforms as they do not follow an obviously logical progression. Often it is a case of finding the two or three sizes that work for you by a process of trial and error. Hopefully the table of sizes included in this post will help collectors and re-enactors find the size they need when searching auction listings or clothes rails at fairs, this list applies for ‘Battledress blouses and trousers, Service dress jackets, trousers and pantaloons and trousers, gymnasium’ (Please click on the picture for a larger, readable version):
This list comes from a period stores catalogue, but I have transcribed it for clarity. Sadly this list only covers men’s uniforms; women’s uniform had its own sizing system to take into account the different shape of male and female bodies. If anyone has a list of female sizes please let me know and I will add it to the post for reference.