Women baf­fled at dress size vari­a­tion

The Sunday Telegraph (Sydney) - - HOT TOPIC -

DE­SIGN­ERS and brands are prey­ing on women’s in­se­cu­ri­ties about the size of their cloth­ing in or­der to boost sales.

There is a huge dif­fer­ence in mea­sure­ments within what ap­pears to be the same size of be­tween var­i­ous brands — in some cases the equiv­a­lent of al­most two dress sizes.

The ab­sence of siz­ing stan­dards in Aus­tralia has led to the rise of van­ity siz­ing, the du­bi­ous prac­tice of us­ing smaller num­bers on la­bels to boost con­sumers’ morale and, ul­ti­mately, sell more prod­uct.

Stud­ies have shown when peo­ple feel thin­ner, they are more likely to buy. Con­versely, if buy­ers don’t fit the size they think they are, the neg­a­tive im­pact can mean them leav­ing the store empty-handed.

Chief ex­ec­u­tive of the Stan­dards Aus­tralia Com­mit­tee CS-902 Sys­tems for Cloth­ing and De­sign In­sti­tute Jo-Ann Kel­lock said some women have at­tached them­selves to a size la­bel and take it very se­ri­ously.

“It im­pacts how they feel about their body,” she said.

One woman who knows the pain of shop­ping for new cloth­ing all too well is 97.3FM break­fast ra­dio host Bianca Dye. She said fash­ion has be­come a frus­trat­ing game which of­ten leaves her feel­ing con­fused and de­feated.

Con­sid­er­ing her­self an av­er­age size 12, Dye was shocked on a re­cent shop­ping trip to find her­self fit­ting into cloth­ing rang­ing from a size 4 to a size 14 across sev­eral dif­fer­ent well­known brands.

Even more con­fus­ing, siz­ing within the same la­bel proved to be in­con­sis­tent.

There is cur­rently no Aus­tralian stan­dard in place in re­gard to men’s and women’s cloth­ing siz­ing, with the last size cod­ing scheme with­drawn in 2009.

Hav­ing no of­fi­cial siz­ing sys­tem set in place for Aus­tralian re­tail­ers cre­ates a prob­lem for con­sumers as brands use their own siz­ing sys­tem based off their “ideal cus­tomer” pro­file.

“All stan­dards start off as a pro­posal from the pub­lic,” a Stan­dards Aus­tralia, spokes­woman said.

“In the case of cloth­ing sizes, we have not re­ceived any pro­posal to de­velop an Aus­tralian Stan­dard since the pre­vi­ous ones were with­drawn.”

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