What’s more important to you - buying clothes that fit you well or the label size of those clothes?
You may be surprised to find that in a recent survey by a clothing alteration firm that Australasian customers, and in particular women, would opt not to purchase clothes that fit them well, if the label says it is in a larger size than their usual size. When you consider that most clothes don’t have the size label on the outside, why are we so worried about this invisible measure?
I’m sure a lot of readers can relate to the thrill of finding that they can fit into a smaller size of jeans, and the disappointment when their usual size doesn’t fit. Some people use it as a form of motivation – they intentionally purchase clothing that is too small for them in the hope that this will inspire them to lose weight, but others do it because they can’t bear the thought of purchasing a larger label size.
Canny manufacturers recognising the psychology of clothing sizes often opt for roomy clothes and increasing the measurements to allow people the comfort of purchasing clothes in a smaller label size. This is on top of adjustments that have been made to accommodate the growing girth of the population.
Experts estimate that today’s size clothing in New Zealand is approximately 5cm (2 inches) larger than the same label size 20 years ago.
Two-thirds of customers surveyed by clothing alterations chain LookSmart said they owned clothing in different sizes, and half said sizing variations made them feel frustrated, depressed - or fat.
Mr Hatoum said inconsistent sizing was demoralising to shoppers, many of whom were unwilling to change sizes for emotional reasons.
Hatoum sums it up neatly when he says,
"A size tag is more than a number - it relates to how people see themselves."
So what is the solution? Some in the industry want to see standardised sizing across all apparel manufacturers, but I think the real answer lies in not becoming overly attached to the clothing size label. Scales and clothing sizes are useful measures to help you track your progress toward your goals, but when you get on the rollercoaster of feeling good or bad about yourself depending on the result of those measures, they become self-esteem killers.
If you can learn to be confident and happy with your body and opt to purchase clothes that are comfortable and fit well it will be one less trigger to emotional eating, which can stop people from losing weight and keeping it off.