Joanna sends word of a newly released sizing study commissioned by Talbots. Somehow, 85% of women know if something fits them by looking at the size tag but 62% of them don’t know their own body measurements! Moreover, only 16% of women will check the manufacturer’s size chart (19% for online and catalog shoppers) to verify sizing. But wait, there’s more…
Among the respondents willing to try a larger size, 40 percent indicated one size up was their limit and less than 20 percent said they would be willing to try two sizes up in their quest for the best fit.
This almost reminds me of that post I wrote on size being a matter of opinion, a problem that is compounded when you consider that most people lie about their size. The costs of misreporting are high with the exception of people who are eating disordered; the latter tend to be the most accurate in describing their attractiveness.
How can women continue to complain about sizing if they don’t know their own dimensions, lie about what they do know and won’t read sizing charts? It seems we can’t win for losing. Not that any of you are off the hook of course, but consumer behavior only complicates and frustrates matters. I keep saying that sizing is a social phenomenon, a two way street and if consumers don’t know their size or erroneously report it, manufacturers can’t -or lacking confidence, won’t- respond appropriately. This really contributes to the continual entropy of fit. No wonder sizing is all over the map or stuck in S,M,L shapeless rectangles and squares. Just how can manufacturers be expected to deal with this? How do you differentiate your sizing with your customers?