If anyone took a look through my wardrobe they would be puzzled to say the least.

There are tops, trousers and skirts ranging from size ten to size 18. And they all fit.

Today I am wearing a size 16 top and size 12 trousers. The top I plan to wear tomorrow is size 12, the skirt a ten. My favourite jumper, from M&S, fits beautifully - and it’s an 18.

So what is going on? Clothing sizes have puzzled me for years, and brought misery and joy in equal measure. Trying on a size 18 and finding it fit led to frantic plans of a crash diet, while slipping into size ten trousers in Monsoon, with room to spare, gave me a real thrill.

Different shops have different rules as to sizing. Many women have felt annoyed at finding they are a size 12 in one shop, but 16 in another. A size 12 shopper from Glasgow hit the headlines when she drew attention to this bizarre practice, after being forced to buy a size 20 dress from H&M because she could not squeeze into anything smaller.

Now the clothes-size lottery could be coming to an end after leading retailers including ASOS, Monsoon, Next and New Look backed a nationwide survey which will take the measurements of 30,000 adults to create new universal templates. It will also reflect the fact that Britons have generally become more ‘bottom heavy’.

I hope this will make buying clothes an altogether simpler, more straightforward affair. It may mean that I don’t head for Monsoon every time I need a new pair of trousers simply because I want a pair with a size ten label.

What women really need in shops is a Savile-row-style tailoring service that measures everyone and delivers a perfect fit. Why this sort of service is confined to men puzzles me. With wider hips and busts, women are far more suited to such a service.

There’s definitely a need for an overhaul in clothes sizes. Not only do the standard sizes vary in shops, but some stores throw an extra spanner into the works, labelling garments as small, medium and large. Is small a size eight or ten? Is medium a 12, a 14 or a 16 (the average UK size for women) and what is large - 20, 22…? It’s a minefield.

Clothing manufacturers also don’t take account of different parts of people’s bodies and how they change as we grow older. In common with many women my age, my upper arms are not as svelte as they used to be. Often, tops fit my upper body, but are far too tight around the arm tops. Sometimes I can’t even get my arms in. I tried on a gorgeous coat last winter, which I would have bought, had the arms not made me look like Popeye.

Stores are clearly keen to make changes. Following complaints, H&M has already announced it is updating its clothing sizes for women, making them larger.

I’m all for the new national scheme, which will involve both sexes, as it will go some way to help introduce uniformity in this greyer-than-grey area and reduce the time shoppers spend trying to find the right fit. It may mean that I will never again be able to fit into a size ten pair of trousers, but I will accept that if it makes the process easier. No more trips to the changing rooms carrying six identical tops.

But there is one garment which will always prove challenging, whatever the size. Buying jeans can, a survey of 1000 women recorded, ‘be more stressful than moving house.’ I gave up wearing jeans many years ago after every pair I tried, whatever the size, made me look like an elephant in denim. For some of us, mainly those of shorter stature, jeans just don’t look good, and never will.