I found some great smoking jackets, such as this little number (150167050959) that were just begging for me. Sizing can be tricky with these sorts of things, so it is always best to work from an item's dimensions rather than trying to divine what "XL" meant to another era, region, or company. I grabbed a measuring tape out of my wife's sewing kit and took my measurements. To my surprise I found that all the items I wanted would fit just nicely, if anything, they would be too big.
Using this newfound cache of eBay merchants that had stocked a wide variety of shirts and jackets in appropriate sizes, I started putting together an order. On a whim I looked at other online stores, just to compare prices. A different sizing chart pegged me as a size "medium."
There is no way on Jebus's green Earth that I'm a medium.
I measured myself again. I looked back at the chart. Something was wrong. Then I did something seemingly silly. I measured my tape measure. Calibrating one's instruments is an important step in science, and a lesson quickly forgotten in a home environment.
My "inch" divisions were about an inch and a quarter, according to every other yardstick and tape measure in the house. The bogus tape measure is now in the trash, and I am really glad I didn't complete any transactions.
There is the possibility that all the rulers are wrong, so what I really need is a iodine-stabilized Helium-Neon laser.