Title:
Materialised Ideals: Sizes and Beauty
Author:
Kirsi Laitala: National Institute for Consumer Research (SIFO), Norway; Department of Product Design, Norwegian University of Science and Technology Ingun Grimstad Klepp: National Institute for Consumer Research (SIFO), Norway Benedicte Hauge: Norwegian School of Management
DOI:
10.3384/cu.2000.1525.11319
Read article:
Full article (pdf)
Year:
2011
Volume:
3
Theme:
Theme: Fashion, Market and Materiality
Pages:
19-41
No. of pages:
23
Publication type:
Article
Published:
2011-04-19


Today’s clothing industry is based on a system where clothes are made in ready-to-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 instore 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: Clothing sizes; beauty norms; labelling; finished goods; obesity; clothes shopping; clothing norms

Volume 3, Theme:: Theme: Fashion, Market and Materiality, Article 4, 2011

Author:
Kirsi Laitala, Ingun Grimstad Klepp, Benedicte Hauge
Title:
Materialised Ideals: Sizes and Beauty
DOI:
10.3384/cu.2000.1525.11319
Note: the following are taken directly from CrossRef
Citations:
  • Josephine Kasambala, Elizabeth Kempe & Reena Pandarum (2016). Determining female consumers’ perceptions of garment fit, personal values and emotions when considering garment sizing. International Journal of Consumer Studies, 40(2): 143. DOI: 10.1111/ijcs.12236
  • Ingun Grimstad Klepp (2011). Slimming Lines. Fashion Theory, 15(4): 451. DOI: 10.2752/175174111X13115179149875
  • Kirsi Laital & Ingun Grimstad Klepp (2013). Environmental and Ethical Perceptions Related to Clothing Labels Among Norwegian Consumers. Research Journal of Textile and Apparel, 17(1): 50. DOI: 10.1108/RJTA-17-01-2013-B005
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