Table of Contents

  • This report examines the relationship between the clothing sizes and the size labeling given in the garments, and how the consumers experience it. The research is based on three different sources: a consumer survey, clothing size measurements in shops and in-depth interviews. The data is collected from three Nordic Countries; Finland, Norway, and Sweden.

  • Are sizes different between clothes that are labeled with the same size code? Or are there differences in size labeling between clothes that are actually of identical size? Or could these just be myths? This report investigates the relationship between size labeling and clothing sizes with three different research methods. The first method is clothing size measurements in stores in Norway, Sweden and Finland, which contribute with information about the relationship between size codes and clothing measures. The second method is a consumer survey, which gives information about the relation between clothes, body and labeling, as the consumers see it. As a third method, qualitative interviews were conducted in order to get more in-depth data than what the web survey could give.

  • The report discusses the relationship between clothes and size labeling, and also how consumers experience this relationship. Clothes were until the development of the ready-to-wear (RTW) industry made to individual dimensions and fit for each individual. Today's clothing industry is based on a system where clothes are made in RTW sizes that are meant to fit most people. Size labeling is a communication system between manufacturers and consumers. The intention with the system is to make it simpler to find clothes that fit. It presupposes that the manufacturers label the sizes accurately, and that the consumers understand and trust the size labeling, but also that the clothes are fitted to the consumers' bodies. The size labeling systems can be understood as rational systems, but they still raise emotive issues. The clothes are made and labeled to fit different bodies, but as long as body sizes and figures are two fields strewn with norms this will influence the labeling itself. It is conceivable that the norms are reflected in the way consumers comprehend the size labeling, but also the manufacturers' choices in connection with which body figures they produce clothes for and how these are labeled. In order to analyze these conditions, three different types of materials were collected: size measurements of trousers in clothing stores, a consumer questionnaire and qualitative interviews. The results from these analyses are presented in this report.

  • In order to study the correlation between clothing sizes and the size code, garments have been measured in clothing stores in three Nordic countries (Norway, Sweden and Finland). For this study, trousers were selected for measurement because their form is more homogeneous than most other garments. Shirts, sweaters and other clothing for the upper body come in so many different shapes and fits that a comparison would be very difficult. Trousers are also used both by men and women, and they are easily found in most clothing stores.

  • In addition to the relationship between size labeling systems and clothing sizes, we wanted to collect information on consumers' experiences and opinions concerning clothing sizes and size labeling, as well as the perception of the body. We were interested in consumers' opinions on existing systems, and furthermore on the new proposed European size labeling system. We are going to discuss these themes in the context of consumers' shopping habits, clothing styles and body size.

  • This report discusses the relationship between clothes and size labeling, and how consumers experience this relationship. Three different types of materials were collected: size measurements of trousers in clothing stores, a consumer questionnaire and qualitative interviews. Chapters 2 and 3 presented these findings. In conclusion, we will combine and compare the results from the different sources in chapter 4.1. In the following chapter 4.2 we will discuss the size labeling system as a rational and emotive system. In chapter 4.3 we will see what the material reveals about the clothing size labeling myths that we presented in our introduction.