Women baffled at dress size variation
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no Australian standard in place in regard to men’s and women’s clothing sizing, with the last size coding scheme withdrawn in 2009.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of clothing sizes, we have not received any proposal to develop an Australian Standard since the previous ones were withdrawn.”