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Why it isn't easy to find a good fit at Retail Stores

Updated: May 14


retail store clothing

Ever experienced the sizing woe? It is a horrifying experience on your shopping spree when you try on a style only to realize that your usual size doesn't fit.  In a market sprawling with retail giants one might assume that finding the perfect-fitting garment would be a breeze. The reality, however, is far from this notion.  You are not the only one rushing out of the store, thinking you've put on a few pounds. Shoppers across the globe often find themselves grappling with the frustrating challenge of finding clothes that truly fit their unique body shapes and sizes. 

Here's why retail store apparel doesn't fit well any more:

  1. Standardization vs. Diversity: One of the primary issues lies in the industry's obsession with standardized sizing. Retail giants have reduced the choice of sizes to a standard range beginning with XS up to XXXXXL or size 4 up to 20. This approach neglects the diverse spectrum of body shapes and sizes that make up their customer base. The reality is that bodies come in all shapes and proportions, making it impossible for a single sizing chart to cater to everyone's needs. The result is a hoard of ill-fitting garments that fail to flatter individual figures.

  2. Vanity Sizing Confusion: Vanity sizing, the practice of labelling larger sizes with smaller numbers to boost customer satisfaction, adds another layer of complexity. Shoppers may find themselves swinging between sizes, unsure of which one truly fits their actual measurements. This inconsistency in sizing across brands and even within the same store results in you purchasing different sizes at different brands, never realizing your correct size.

  3. Quality vs. Quantity Dilemma: But why are brands ignoring customer convenience? The answer is simple - mass production. Pursuing mass production and low-cost manufacturing, many large retail stores compromise on the quality of materials and craftsmanship. This compromise affects the durability of the garments, the drape and the fit. 

  4. Limited In-Store Tailoring Services: While some high-end boutiques offer in-store tailoring services, most large retail stores fall short in this department. Providing tailoring services can significantly enhance the customer experience by allowing shoppers to customize their purchases to suit their unique body shapes. Unfortunately, the absence of such services in most retail chains contributes to the struggle to find clothes that fit perfectly off the rack.

 

There was a time when brands and stores recognized that different people have different shapes, and stores had diverse label divisions catering to those different shapes. To ensure a good fit, the product development process included highly skilled patternmakers and graders to check each pattern piece to calculate different sizes. Management recognized that both patternmaking and grading were near-art forms that went hand-in-hand with the design. To ensure that fit and size met the needs of different people, brands and stores opened separate retail divisions. 

The four most common size categories for women were:

  1. Ladies: The average customer: Sizes 4-18

  2. Juniors: Teenagers up to age 17: Girls: Sizes 3-17

  3. Women: Large sizes for tall women with good figures: Sizes 38-48

  4. Petits: Large sizes for short women: Sizes 14 ½ - 28 ½.

These different divisions also allowed for designs best suited for each customer group. 

Additionally, most stores offered alterations at a small charge for women but free for men.


What happened? Where did perfect fit go?

The answer is simple. Good fit went the same way as interesting design. Today's brands and stores believe neither design nor fit is worth the investment. 

However, we can still redefine the landscape of retail fashion and make elusive fit a reality. Consumers can collectively advocate for more inclusive sizing practices, demand transparency in sizing information, and support brands that prioritize quality and individualized customer experiences.


In the midst of the retail industry's struggles with sizing woes and mass production, Times Clothing, known for its quality and style, hasn't been immune. Despite its heritage of catering to diverse body shapes, pressures for standardized sizing persist. Nevertheless, Times Clothing remains committed to its values, aiming to redefine the standards of fit in retail fashion.

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