Every girl hopes to feel happy with her body, but when clothing sizes differ so drastically, those expectations are more often than not, shattered. We have all been there, tried on a microscopic size eight in one shop and barely gotten a leg into a 12 at another. It’s when these contradictory sizes begin to affect our self esteem, dictating the way in which we feel about ourselves that begins to cause concern.
But it’s not your body to blame. Incredibly, there is a British standard for clothing sizes that is put in place to theoretically make purchasing standard sized clothing a whole lot easier and more time efficient. However, because there is no obligation for manufacturers to abide by it, it is essentially useless.
The use of vanity sizing by high street manufacturers is purely one of marketing. In order to ensure consistent spending, brands need to cater to our narcissism. In other words they need to make us feel good and keep us feeling good in order to produce recurring sales. In a world where appearance and body image seem to matter most, your average shopper will learn, for example, that in shop A they wear a size eight. In shop B they may find they need a 12 so naturally revisit shop A for peace of mind and an overall ego boost.
Not only are labels misleading and quite frankly deceptive, shoppers are often left frustrated by the lack of consistency between brands. Last year a survey by which? confirmed that 82 percent of women think retailers should be clearer about the measurements they use, while 91 percent of women said they take different sizes into the changing room because they don’t know which will fit. Shopping expert Sarah Dennish said; “Women are clearly annoyed by size differences. It’s unrealistic for shops to conform to a universal size, but they could be more upfront about their own sizing to give consumers less hassle in the fitting room.”
The problem with these dishonest tactics is the psychological impact it has on customers and the way in which we allow the misleading labels to jolt our self confidence. Just as unrealistic images of models and celebrities overwhelm and blight already fragile esteems; it seems the digits on the dress sizes also share part of the responsibility.
So what are we fashion conscious to do? Well, short of campaigning for more accurate size charts, practical advice would say not to rely on the mysterious numbers that tell us absolutely nothing about the garments potential to fit us. To avoid hassle and unnecessary emotional turmoil, Sarah Dennish advises; “knowing your size and being aware of the measurements used by different clothes shops will save you time and energy.” Concentrating on the shape and style of the item and certainly not on the unreliable number system will prove beneficial when searching for those all important pieces to complement your figure. After all, it’s whether it fits and flatters that matters.
Image courtesy of: sheknows.com