Ladies dress sizes can be mystifying and it can leave a bitter taste in the mouth when you are usually a size 10 but you have to buy a couple of sizes up. Not only that, but it makes any kind of internet shopping unpredictable for the consumer and expensive for the retailer in the form of returns. Of course, size uncertainty will shift behaviour, causing consumers be more likely to purchase clothes in a couple of sizes and then return one (or both). This is clearly costly to businesses with 57% of retailers saying returns have a negative impact on their company, as they can’t control costs, and the ‘convenience’ mentality of consumers means retailers are under pressure to offer free delivery. So why do clothes shops not stick to globally agreed measurements?
If I go into a store it is always a gamble as to what size I will be. I bought two size 12 dresses in one store last week and one fits comfortably and the other one I can’t even get into, let alone do the zip up. Each garment seems to be sized differently, and typically everything comes up very small. I have never worn a garment larger than a size 12, yet I can’t fit into anything under a 16 in some new summer ranges.
57% of retailers saying returns have a negative impact on their company
It would seem that I am not alone in this struggle. H&M has received a fair amount of criticism over recent years because of their sizing. One disgruntled shopper posted on Facebook about her disappointment at not being able to do up a pair of jeans a size too big for her. Her post was liked by thousands of fellow shoppers who catapulted it to go viral on social and blog platforms.
As a consumer, I would definitely vote for uniform, global sizing. In fact I am unsure why retailers have such wildly different size measurements to begin with. Despite clear consumer opinion on the matter, we are still no closer to size uniformity, even though the evidence is that it is harming retailer’s bottom lines and impacting the customer experience.