Blog: Leonie BarrieThe hidden cost of vanity sizing

Leonie Barrie | 16 April 2007

Is anyone really surprised that ‘vanity sizing’ is as prevalent in the UK men’s wear market as it is in women’s wear? I thought the practice of marking items as smaller sizes than they actually are in an attempt to flatter customers into making a purchase was just as widespread in the UK as it is in the US – and more importantly, that it was just as well known. But it would seem not, if investigations in the British media this weekend are anything to go by.

The Sunday Times has accused Gap, H&M and Zara of vanity sizing, and singled out French Connection for selling a pair of jeans in which the actual size exceeded the waistband measurement by six inches. Designer brands also dabbled in the practice, the study found, but by a lesser amount.

Of course the discrepancies can be blamed on styling differences, but with an estimated 44% of men and 38% of women in the UK classed as either overweight or obese, isn’t it wrong to be pandering to their delusions? I know clothing retailers don’t have a moral obligation to look out for the welfare of their customers above and beyond the accepted margins of making sure the garments are safe and fit for purpose, but if consumers continue to get bigger, yet the labelling on their clothing tells them they’re getting smaller, then the worries about vanity sizing are surely justified. 


Asia facing up to increased competition

Increasing competition for garment sourcing contracts is seeing China not only being challenged by other countries in Asia, but by sub-Saharan African and even Russian suppliers too. And it is pushing...


Cambodia raises garment worker wages

The monthly minimum wage for workers in Cambodia's textile, garment and footwear sector is set to rise to $153 from January next year, following a vote on the issue last week. The increase marks a ris...


Sportswear initiatives start to take shape

The results of two highly-anticipated initiatives in the sportswear sphere were revealed last week: the launch of Under Armour’s new UAS lifestyle brand and the first pair of running shoes created at ...


Hanjin Shipping collapse triggers fear of West Coast port repeat

The recent bankruptcy of South Korea's Hanjin Shipping, the world's seventh-largest container shipper, at the end of August, has left billions of dollars worth of merchandise in limbo, leaving the fal...

just-style homepage

Forgot your password?