London: High street stores in Britain have been criticised for starting a vanity trend dubbed ‘fanta-sizing’, which dupes overweight women into buying clothes with size labels that are wildly inaccurate.
Critics say this tricks consumers into believing they do not have a weight problem and called for legislation which would force retailers to follow the standard British sizing chart.
Analysis of 12 major British retailers found sizes varied by as much as five inches on the bust, waist and hips, leaving shoppers baffled about their true size.
The study, by made-to-measure clothing company Tailored for You, was based on measurements published on retailers’ websites.
Tailored for You’s managing director Lynette Morrison, who is calling for standardised measurements to be enforced by law, criticised “irresponsible” retailers.
“This yo-yo sizing is taking all the fun out of shopping. Forget vanity sizing, this is full-blown fanta-sizing,” the Daily Mail quoted her as saying.
“Shops are cynically changing sizes to be most attractive to customers. If a woman is actually a 16 and can fit into a 14 or even a 12 then she will be delighted and more inclined to buy the clothing,” she explained.
Tailored For You uses a computerised body scanner to collate women’s exact measurements, and advises them what sizes they are in different high street shops.
“It is clear that many shops keep increasing their sizes so that an increasingly obese population can remain the same size,” psychologist Mamta Saha, director of Think Spa London, said.
“Shops are well aware of how body-conscious we are and they are playing on this,” she stated.
The BSI introduced standardised sizes in 1982, which allowed a one-and-a-half-inch leeway, but shops are not compelled to follow these guidelines.
“It is counter-productive from our point of view if people are getting larger but remaining the same size. It lulls them into a false sense of security,” Tam Fry, spokesman for the National Obesity Forum, said.
“It is undoubtedly a strategy to satisfy consumers,” Fry added.