I'm not a great shopper. By that I don't mean that I'm no good at spotting a bargain - I mean that it's not something I get a lot of pleasure out of so tend only to do it when absolutely necessary and nowhere is that more evident than in clothes buying.
When the sun comes out, though, I do tend to start wearing short sleeved shirts and the truth is that most of my short sleeved shirts are a little on the old side. Twelve to fifteen years old to be precise. Don't get me wrong - they aren't tatty. Well, not very - but Mrs Stan had decided that I need something a little newer so took it upon herself to buy me three new short sleeved shirts.
But there is a problem. The shirts themselves are fine - there is nothing wrong with Mrs Stan's impeccable taste - it's just that they don't fit. They should do - they are marked as XL and all the other (old) XL shirts I have fit with room to spare - but they don't.
Of course, I'm not quite as svelte as I was ten to twelve years ago, but I'm not that different (I'm about half a stone heavier than I was when my kids were born) and I certainly haven't grown any taller, but not only are the new shirts too tight around the chest and neck, but they are too short.
The old XL shirts still fit fine - so the only conclusion I can draw from this is that XL isn't XL anymore. At least not a British XL. No doubt they are fine for your average Indonesian, but they don't quite work on a six foot plus Englishman.
The odd thing is that Mrs Stan - who is and always has been a size 12 - has had to resort recently to buying size 10 clothes to get a decent fit (which she is chuffed to bits about), so it's obvious that women's clothes are getting bigger while men's clothes are getting smaller.
Is this just a coincidence or is there a conspiracy going on here?