Clothing is a basic need for all humans. We wear clothes every day. As it is so important why isn’t shopping for clothes as easy as walking into a shop, buying some clothes and leaving in a matter of seconds? One main factor of this is because of sizing. It is near to impossible for someone to be the same size in two different shops. This proves that we need to take action on our clothing guides, placing stricter guidelines to have a women’s size 8 set as a specific size across every store in the United Kingdom followed by every other size. If we do this shopping could be done with ease and without stress and would get rid of UK wide changing rooms of people endlessly queuing to try on the same item in multiple sizes. We also need to tackle another problem within clothing sizes and that is how everyone desires to be labelled as ‘skinny’ rather than just average, which can damage our mental health.
It is well accepted that popular high street brands are labelling their clothing with differing sizing guides causing confusion amongst shoppers. However, they are doing nothing wrong as there are no official sizing guidelines for clothes in the United Kingdom so all the major clothing brands across our nation think it is just fine to size this clothing as they please; with no regard to their loyal customers. Brands are always changing sizes as they please: since 1958 what would have been a women’s size 12 is labelled as a size 6 in the day and age. One of Arcadias best-selling brands – Topshop, a store we all love, has a women’s size eight waist measurement of 64.2cm. Now compare this with the second biggest market shareholder Next with their size eight waist being an astonishing 3cms more at 67.5cm even though the label tells customers these are the same size – an 8. Much frustration is suffered by consumers when buying clothes. This is felt twice fold when shopping online even if you buy your usual size, it may not be similar in real centimeters from an online brand; resulting in it having to be returned and a new size being delivered, and we all know this is never quick or painless. Surely, we need laws immediately to save ourselves.
To save ourselves is exactly what I mean – it is our fault that we desire to fit into smaller sized clothes. Unrealistic mannequin sizing and models have been promoting an unhealthy body image. According to Victoria’s Secret supermodel Adriana Lima, she had to go on a liquid diet for nine days as ‘she needed to lose weight’ after having her first child. Liquid diets can be unhealthy as replacing your meals can cause you to miss out on vital proteins only found in food. Dietitian George Moore says that carrying out a liquid diet can cause the body to ‘go into ketosis’ which is when a person’s organs start to fail due to a lack of carbohydrates. I can assure it is simply not worth risking your life for ten minutes of fame. This proves in itself that we must stop being paranoid over what size we are labelled as and learn to be confident within that size. Models constantly have to wear high heels usually ones with a five-inch heel. It has been said from a study by the Journal of Orthopaedic Research that wearing high heels over three and a half inches tall can cause osteoarthritis, an incurable disease which is the highest cause of disability in women. All of this goes to show that Victoria’s Secret needs to be stopped as they are using stick-thin models to make even the average-sized woman feel self-conscious about their size and confuse them when buying clothes from brands that only promote models in sizes are vastly lower to their own. Mannequins are also being used to display the same toxic body traits as models. Mannequins have one job – to display clothes for people to buy but how can they be displaying them for real people when some shops have their mannequins so ridiculously skinny. Researchers from the University of Liverpool stated after looking through fashion displays in shops in different cities they were able to say that not even one store had a female mannequin with a ‘normal’ body size. These kinds of displays with the apparent ‘ideal weight’ can be a cause of eating disorders such as body dysmorphia. Clothing sizes have been said by people who suffer from body dysmorphia to cause anxiety and this can be due to seeing tiny figures everywhere when they may be shopping for larger sizes. This all proves that both mannequins and models should all be changed to being of varied, more realistic body sizes so that we can learn that we do not need to be stick thin to be the ‘perfect’ body shape and size.
Many companies have been undermining normal woman by branding average sizes as extra-large. Clothing brand ASOS, which stands for ‘As Seen on Screen’, was criticized on Twitter by a customer for branding a size fourteen as an ‘extra-large’ causing outrage against the brand. The average size of a woman in the United Kingdom is a size sixteen so by the logic of ASOS’s branding they would rule this as an extra, extra-large which is absolutely ridiculous! A 16 should be at least a medium being average, but the best solution would be for the brand to just get rid of small, medium, large altogether. Another brand abusing clothing sizes is the American brand Abercrombie and Fitch who have a size zero available in their U.K. stores, a giant eight times less than the average size. It is unbelievable that this is legally allowed to happen, especially after the ban on size four United Kingdom models due to the tragic death of young model Luisel Ramos, who died after eating only lettuce for months to achieve that tiny look. This highlights that laws need to be put in place to stop more terrible events, like this one from happening.
It may be true that some people aren’t that affected by both unrealistic models and mannequins as well as the confusing sizing difference from shop to shop because they can deal with it. However, we should not be simply having to deal with this easily solved problem. The solution is simple, we just need stores to have the same size of clothing as well as making their models more realistic. This could also mean brands like Victoria’s Secret can lay off their models allowing them to live normal live alongside their job not constantly training themselves and fixing their looks. These laws could make life just that little bit easier for everyone.
Overall, it has been made clear that there are no rules in the world of clothes and this has to be dealt with for the sake of the customers. Incredibly, this is still a problem regarding how far the human race has come. We all need to fight against this problem and take control of our clothes.