Materialised Ideals: Sizes and Beauty

Author(s)

Publication date

2011

Series/Report no

Culture Unbound;Volume 3

Publisher

Linköping University Electronic Press

Document type

Abstract

Today’s clothing industry is based on a system where clothes are made in readyto-wear sizes and meant to fit most people. Studies have pointed out that consumers are discontent with the use of these systems: size designations are not accurate enough to find clothing that fits, and different sizes are poorly available. This article discusses in depth who these consumers are, and which consumer groups are the most dissatisfied with today’s sizing systems. Results are based on a web survey where 2834 Nordic consumers responded, complemented with eight in-depth interviews, market analysis on clothing sizes and in-store trouser size measurements. Results indicate that higher shares of the consumers who have a body out of touch with the existing beauty ideals express discontentment with the sizing systems and the poor selection available. In particular, large women, very large men, and thin, short men are those who experience less priority in clothing stores and have more difficulties in finding clothes that fit. Consumers tend to blame themselves when the clothes do not fit their bodies, while our study points out that the industry is to blame as they do not produce clothing for all customers.

Keywords

Version

publishedVersion

Permanent URL (for citation purposes)

  • https://hdl.handle.net/10642/7527