Thursday, March 22, 2012

Size Matters




I just read an article in The Wall Street Journal (Will it Fit? Yes, Say Online Retailers, by Christina Binkley) about the sizing laments of on-line clothing retailers. Many clothing retailers have sales returns based strictly on size, it just didn’t fit the customer. While the return percentages vary a lot, some say 20%, others say 40%; this is a lot of returns because of the wrong size. Part of the reason given is because different brands size things differently. Part of a brands style comes from the way they shape their clothing and this shape can have a positive or adverse effect on the customer. This is why you have a favorite brand of jeans; they fit your body best.


The interesting part is the complicated technology that is now being employed to help the consumer find the perfect fit. Apparently a group of mathematicians from Boston have developed a computer program to predict which is the best size for you in a particular garment. It is also apparent that many consumers still lie about their measurements so the program relies upon what you already own. So along with putting in your measurements, weight and height, something that we won’t even accurately admit to a computer program, we are asked to put in the sizes of existing garments. The author pointed out that she didn’t own any well fitting garments in the selection available. This would probably be my problem. It’s not that I don’t own garments that fit me well; it’s whether those garments are an option in the “True Fit” system.


This is the problem with clothing. It is also why a company like Zappos.com is so popular. Even shoes can be tricky when trying to find the perfect fit. Different brands fit a little different, some run large, and others run small. Zappos.com has free shipping both ways so there really isn’t any risk to the consumer. While shoes are a lot easier to fit, the ultimate easy to fit accessory is jewelry. I’ve never had a problem with jewelry when it comes to fit. Other than ring sizes, which are all standard, once you know the size of each finger you’re set. I know which length of necklace looks best on me and I know the size of each finger. I also know the size of my wrist and that a 7” bracelet, while it will make it around my wrist, is too tight for comfort.


Most women know what their size is when it comes to jewelry. I do admit that the beaded charm bracelets can get tricky because you have to add room for the beads, but other than that, you shouldn’t have any problems. Another great thing about jewelry is a pound or two doesn’t make it un-wearable. I had a black cocktail dress that was so tight if I gained even two pounds it became uncomfortable. Needless to say I have a different style of Little Black Dress now. So the next time you’re thinking of updating or adding something new to your wardrobe think jewelry. Jewelry is easy and fun and can have a lot of versatility and it’s usually a size that will always fit.

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