Clothes Sizing for Real Women


While putting an outfit back on the rack in a plus-size clothing store, my mother was approached by a saleswoman on the floor.

“That dress hasn’t been selling,” the woman remarked. “Can you tell me why you put it back?”  My mother replied, “Because it’s made for an apple, and I’m a pear.” 

“Ahhhh,” said the saleswomen, “I never thought of that.”

Department Store Disenfranchisement

Most women find it difficult to shop for clothes because the fashion industry is out of step with real women.  The discouragement and frustration women feel while clothes shopping, and the negative impact that can have on women’s body image and self-esteem is finally prompting some European countries to step in.

“Buying clothes that fit can be difficult,” says Louise Wannier, CEO of the My Shape clothing line, “especially since there’s no standardization in women’s sizes, and most clothes are designed only according to one particular body shape.”

In fact, according to new research conducted by Spain, 41% of women have trouble finding clothes that fit. Now health authorities in Spain are suggesting a major overhaul of clothes sizes for women in the EU.

Discovering the Obvious?

Using results of a laser-mapping study, which analyzed the body shape of over 10,000 women aged 12-70, researchers have ‘discovered’ women that have three main body types: cylinder (similar measurements for bust, waist and hips), diábolo (or hourglass), and bell (pear-shaped).

In what also seems like a no-brainer,  Spanish researchers ‘found out’ that women’s body shape generally changes with age. Teens start out with a cylinder shape, morph into an hourglass shape (around age 30-60), then, in later years, to a bell shape.

Forgive me, but did we really need a study to determine that?

Shaping Up the ‘Dummies’ in the Clothing Industry

Spain’s newly proposed method for clothes sizing will include a three-point measure (bust, waist, and hips). There may also be a height indicator.

“Forget the sizes we use now,” Bernat Soria, UK’s health minister, said last week, adding, “We are moving toward a new system, which I hope will better reflect women’s real measurements.” via IHT

Just think about it… Women’s clothing made on the basis of actual measurements! Wow. How revolutionary. Forgive my sarcasm, but I just had to return several outfits over the weekend…

Comments are closed.

About the Author