Traditional women’s clothes sizes, such as 12 or 14, are to be dumped because they vary too much from retailer to retailer. Instead, items will be labelled with exact measurements for key areas such as bust, waist and hips.The new standard system is being drawn up by the EU, which is concerned about the ad-hoc way stores are tinkering with the current descriptions.To appeal to the ego of shoppers, retailers have been adding extra inches of material without changing the labels.A size 12 frock, for example, could vary by more than one inch in the bust depending on the designer.While it has proved to be a huge money-spinner for the stores, this “vanity sizing” will soon come to an end.
I have had to endure an oft-repeated lament from my wife about the unreliability of clothes sizing and as the table below demonstrates the numbers are in no way consistent. (Even though this piece is from the UK there is no doubt that the same applies here in OZ)
Psychologist and expert in consumer behaviour, Dr Joan Harvey, of the University of Newcastle, said vanity sizing is a very powerful ploy. (source)
I have usually suggested that this should be an issue for the government department that deals with weights and measures, perhaps such “truth in clothes sizing” would be a good idea downunder as well.