“Clothing Size Conundrum”- this was the name of the April 10th Kojo Nnamdi show airing on WAMU 88.5. The episode touched on a variety of topics and themes, including vanity sizing, how people feel about their bodies, and shopping patterns. But the core issue was fit- how does one get the best fit when shopping?
Several callers expressed their frustration, mostly women who have to wade through a befuddling sizing system. For men, it should be easy, right? The actual measurements are on the garment. But according to show guest Lynn Boorady, associate professor of fashion technology at Buffalo State College, “Fit by measurement doesn’t mean that there isn’t some sort of vanity sizing taking place with men’s clothing as well, being that they can put one waist size on and that actual waist size, if you take a tape measure to it, could be off by as much as two to four inches”.
On top of that, if you fall between sizes (lets say you need a 35 waist) you won’t find many places that offer that size. And if you find that size, what are you left to choose from in terms of quality and style? You take what you can get, by what fits your body rather than what fits your style. And the fabric, and construction are surely lesser quality than you’d like.
Then take into account that once you find the right fit, you can order the same item from the same retailer only to find when they arrive that this same item was manufactured in different parts of the world and suddenly multiples of the same garment no longer fit the same.
After you have done all of this- trudged in and out of different stores and fitting rooms and bought whatever is closest to a kind-of-ok fit, you get to make another trip to have it altered, and hope it will look good after it is altered. By now you have spent quite a bit of time and probably more money than you would like, given what you get.
You might know the Davelle Clothiers answer to this conundrum- custom, custom, custom. But what does custom really mean? Our next post will break down the misconceptions and realities.