Human Factors Blog Entry #1 – One Size Fits Some

This is the first time I learned about anthropometry, which is the measurements of the human body. For some reason the first topic that comes to my mind is the fashion industry and how it is causing problems for everyone, though mostly women.

The problem with sizing for women’s clothing is because women’s sizes are not standardized in North America. So depending on the company, the ‘ideal’ woman could be a size 0, 4, or 12. As a result, women have to take the same article of clothing in multiple sizes to the fitting room at every store.

In a BuzzFeed video, they had two women try on jeans that are labelled as the same size, but from different brands. You can very clearly see how big the size variances are and why this is so frustrating for them.

“Certain brands run larger or smaller…There’s the whole thing with vanity sizing, where companies will make their clothes bigger so that you’ll be happier in them.”

Case Study – Brandy Melville

Brandy Melville, an Italian brand, only sells size small female clothing. There are those who complain that the brand is too exclusive and should offer more sizes, but brand defenders say “if plus size stores exist, so should tiny size stores.” In fact, their regular customers say that they enjoy shopping there because everything fits them and it makes their shopping experience more enjoyable.

After further research, I discovered that the majority of hate toward this store is due to the “one size fits most” marketing slogan they use. If their clothes are small and their target audience are girls who have a slim figure then they should own up to that instead of claiming that the clothes fit everyone, because they don’t. The last thing women need is another company creating low self-esteem and body image issues.

In another of BuzzFeed’s videos, they had women of all shapes and sizes try on clothing from Brandy Melville. The overall response was that one-size-fits-all clothing model does not work.

“One-size-fits-all hats don’t even fit all people”

“It’s awful. I hate everything about it.”

“If I didn’t fit into it, it felt like something was wrong with my body.”

My Opinion

Although I don’t support the “one size fits most” slogan of Brandy Melville, I do like the consistency in sizing that they are offering their customers. I myself do all of my denim shopping at Bluenotes simply because I know how their products fit me. I can buy clothes there without trying them on.

Companies should stop fooling around with marketing gimmicks that are untrue. Statements such as “Redbull gives you wings” or “one size fits all” are simply not true and can trick and/or offend people. We’re moving toward a world where specialization is becoming more common; companies scramble to cater to specific audiences, making their products increasingly specialized and niche. That’s how Brandy Melville’s is playing the game and we can choose to not be a part of their game.

If you choose clothes that fit well rather than relying on the size, shopping will be less stressful and a lot more fun. Plus, your clothes will look much better on you.

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3 thoughts on “Human Factors Blog Entry #1 – One Size Fits Some

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