Elizabeth Barrette (ysabetwordsmith) wrote,
Elizabeth Barrette
ysabetwordsmith

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What's Wrong with Women's Clothes

Lots of things.

Among the worst is sizing.  By this point it is basically meaningless.  I can take a whole armload of clothes into a fitting room and 0 of them fit.  It's one of several reasons I can't shop for clothes online except for extremely simple things like T-shirts.

But there's a simple fix for that issue, and people aren't thinking of it. 

1) Require designers to print the measurements of each garment.  So numbers will fit on tags, I propose:

TOPS / FULL-BODY GARMENTS
Bust at (width / distance below neckline)
Waist at (width / distance below neckline)
Hips at (width / distance below neckline)
Length (total distance between neckline and hemline) 

BOTTOMS
Waist at (width / distance below neckline)
Hips at (width / distance below neckline)
Length (total distance between neckline and hemline) 

2) Require that sizes be accurate, permitting a fault tolerance no more than 3/8 of the size difference.  If it's a half-size bigger than the label says, it's fraud.

Designers could still print their own brand sizes (Small, Medium, Large or Aardvark, Windmill, Doorbell -- whatever) because it's convenient to have an approximate idea of range.  But with physical measurements on the garments, people would have a better idea what would fit their body without needing to drag a tape measure to the store.

An alternative is expanding the use of bodyscanners, but that has rampant privacy issues in a civilization with no real privacy protections left.  If the numbers are on the clothes and required by law to be accurate, then people can carry their measurements in the privacy of their own minds and just compare those to the tags.


EDIT 2/29/20: Various folks have suggested other measurements that determine wearability.  There are many of these.  They will not ALL fit on a tag, unless it is a full sheet of paper which is unfeasible.  A scancode is useful only to people who carry a smartphone, which is not everyone. Hence, I suggest a summary of 3-4 measurements on the tag and the rest online or a separate display instore.  For reference:

See detailed lists of measurements and how to take them for WOMEN, MEN, and CHILDREN.  If you fit none of those categories or your body is quirky, consider browsing all of them to determine which measurements seem relevant to your needs.
Tags: activism, gender studies, how to, networking, shopping
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