Are clothes in retail shops getting way too small?
I recently noticed a trend of popular high street retailers "downsizing" their clothes or only making clothes in a single size.
Are these brands sending the wrong message to shoppers?
If shoppers are unfamiliar with a particular brand's concept of making single-sized items or a tendency to downsize their sizing charts, they may leave with doubts about their body sizes, which could be detrimental in the long term.
It could be due to the discrepancies between the sizing charts of these brands, or their different target audiences.
But more consumers are starting to call out these brands for their smaller sizes on social media platforms.
On May 25, 22-year-old student, Lowri Bryne, called out H&M for its "ridiculous" sizing in a Facebook post. In her viral post, Lowri, a size 12, wrote that she had struggled to fit into a size 16 dress while shopping. Frustrated, she had to ask a sales assistant for a size 18, only to be told that H&M did not carry the dress in a larger size.
Lowri also felt that these discrepancies, up to "3-4 sizes", may upset other shoppers,
should they fail to fit an item that is advertised as their respective sizes.
I am starting to see this "downsizing" trend in our local shopping scene too. During a recent trip to Bugis Village, a popular shopping destination for youths, I noticed vendors carrying "one size fits all" and "free size" clothes.
Despite my average height of 160cm and my UK 6 size, I was appalled when certain free size items did not fit me.
So, I decided to do a little fitting room experiment at Brandy Melville, a high street brand that markets itself as a "one size fits most" store. Naturally, I expected the most of pieces from the American brand, which lists its sizes as "Fits size Small/Medium", to fit my average body size.
However, my experience was quite on the contrary. The tops fitted me fine, but the bottoms were a different story.
From the Brandy Melville website, I gathered that the waist measurements for their bottoms vary from 22 inches to 25 inches. This is a severe downsize, as surely, many women are not that small-sized.
The tops that I tried on fitted quite well, considering that they only came in one size.
I could not button up the pants (right), and it looked like it was about to burst at the seams.
Perhaps, it is time retailers started making clothes that are truly inclusive and reflective of every size. Call it a marketing concept, but these brands should come clean about their "one size fits all" sizing charts, so that shoppers do not feel frustrated when they cannot fit into clothes that were supposedly made for them.
Regardless of the brands you shop at, keep in mind that a "one size" fit does not necessarily cater to all body shapes.
A size is just a number. Even if you have to go up and down the size charts while looking for an item that best fits your body, you should feel completely okay about it.
Because humans are not meant to be uniform anyway.