Blog: What size am I?

Petah Marian | 15 February 2012

Sizing issues are hitting the headlines again in the UK, with the launch of a website that allows consumers to find out what size they fit in different brands.

Created by computer programmer Anna Powell-Smith, the site, called 'What Size am I?' uses the size data published by individual retailers. Shoppers can then input their measurements to find out what size they'd be in a number of high street labels.

"As everyone who's ever bought clothes knows, high-street sizing is completely mad. You can easily be a size 8 in one store, and a size 14 in another, and it's impossible to guess your size without lots of zip-wrangling. However, I am a computer programmer as well as a fashion-fan, and so I decided to do something about it," Powell-Smith says.

As any industry watcher also knows, consistent fit strategies are key to helping brands and retailers generate repeat business, reduced returns, higher prices and full-price sell-throughs. And the rise in online shopping means sizing is likely to become an even greater issue, with shoppers likely to stick with brands where they know their size, or not buy at all.

However, another online site takes things one step further. dressipi.com gets shoppers to input their clothing size in one or two brands (no need to pull out the measuring tape), and then spits out what size they are in other stores too. And on top of this, it also figures out their body shape and style tastes, and colouring to suggest flattering options.

However, these tools largely use the published data on retailers' clothing sizes, not necessarily the measurements that might make it into the garment.

But for many retailers it still seems to be a challenge to maintain the same fit and sizing across similar garments - like jeans in different colours, for example. For many consumers, knowing what size they are is an important element in a their relationship with a brand - and not upholding their side of the deal means retailers are at real risk of losing sales.

 


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