Clothes sizing – quite apart from the arguments about size zero, plus size and vanity sizing, there’s another issue that just won’t go away – the fact that most of us, whether we’re big, small, tall or petite struggle to find clothes that fit properly.
Plus size women seem to bear the brunt of the lack of decent fashion – have you SEEN Evans’ latest offering? But it’s not an issue that’s confined to our curvier sisters. Having said that, it’s true that if fashion brands really wanted to get to grips with our constant whinge about ill-fitting plus size clothes, they would just spend a bit more money on clothes sizing and fit their clothes on larger models. The trouble is that doing this for every garment they produce is likely to cost them extra in time and money they just aren’t prepared to invest – even in their target market. As a result, we get things like this:
The problem is that because the clothes don’t fit, we don’t buy them. So, we get a situation where brands don’t think they have many plus size customers because they aren’t selling any of their plus size lines. They are missing a trick – just think of all the sales they could make if they made a bit more effort and came up with a plus size clothing brand that is designed for its target consumer!
The perils of clothes sizing – buying clothes online
A lot of us shop for clothes online and 40 per cent of us have problems with the fit and sizing, so we end up returning them time after time.
Some retailers seem to have got it right; At GFW Clothing – a gender neutral online store – the return rate due to clothes sizing is just 7 per cent, because they have very cleverly adapted their ranges for different body shapes as well as sizes. We’re not all hourglass, some of us are slim and tall, others are fat with very little cleavage. There are so many variations on the theme. GFW offers seven different sizes to pair with three different body shapes, and even goes as far as to come up with their own sizing system. Yes, it probably sounds like hard work but the rewards for the brand are clear with such a low return rate – and the rewards for the people buying their clothes are obvious. It fits!
Getting clothes that fit is a major issue for most women because we feel like we’re under scrutiny a lot of the time. It’s easy for us at Wingz to say, with honesty, that you should love the skin you’re in and wear whatever you like. But in reality if what you like fits terribly, or is just horrible and badly designed in the first place, the advice isn’t really workable.
No garment size at all
Body image and size issues are something that Erin Drischler and her fiance, Jordan Tomb, are very aware of, as both have experience of eating disorders and the way that clothes size can be just another stick to beat yourself with if you’re recovering from any kind of eating disorder.
The pair recently started the Garment Project which works with eating disorder treatment facilities in the US to provide outgoing patients with brand new, sizeless clothes. It takes away the focus on arbitrary numbers that can fuel eating disorders, and gives the women in recovery space to return to their old life without focusing on their jeans (or anything else) size.
“We’re really hoping people will be able to look past numbers and realize what else they have to offer versus the size they’re buying,” Drischler said.
What do you have trouble with when you’re hunting for clothes to fit? Have you found any retailers that get it spot on? We’d love to hear about it in the Facebook group.
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