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Sizing Explained: Why a Size 6 is not a 6 Across Brands

Picture this: A shopper visits one store and purchases a size 6 jeans and they don’t fit. Then that same shopper visits another store and that brand’s size 6 jeans fit like a glove. This is not a new phenomenon – every woman – and man for that matter – has struggled with finding the perfect fit due to inconsistency in sizing across brands and even across different styles from the same brand.
The number one reason for consumer hesitancy to purchase clothing and shoes digitally is still fit. There is still a major confidence gap online to purchase. This is largely driven by the fact that brands cater their sizing to who they think their core customers are and to who they expect is the average shape for their target demographic, causing significant variation in sizing across brands. Brands are also known to use vanity sizing to adjust their sizes over time to make shoppers feel like they can still wear the same size they wore back when they were more svelte.   Fit and sizing is strategic for brands, and 81% of consumers who have a positive fit experience are likely to purchase that brand again in the future (Mintel).

True Fit recently analyzed 10,000 women’s jeans styles across hundreds of brands in size 6 and proved that in fact, a size 6 is not a size 6 from one style to the next. According to our study, a size 6 waistband can vary by more than five inches, with the waistband rise also playing a factor in the dimensions. For example, the low rise styles tend to have the largest variation from the waistband size, likely because they are worn at the lower and wider part of the hips.
By analyzing the sizing and style attributes of each garment, True Fit has been able to provide retailers with insight into the variation of sizes as well as what shapes and styles will or will not work for certain consumers. The outcome is retailers and brands have better insight about the products they’re selling or producing and get strategic about optimizing assortments or patterns to result in a higher rate of successful purchases for their shoppers, which translates into increased loyalty, confidence, and long-term satisfaction. Learn more about how retailers are personalizing the consumer's fit experience.
Read this recent TODAY.com article featuring True Fit’s Co-founder Jessica Murphy and Chief Analytics Officer Chris Moore to learn more about sizing inconsistency and how True Fit can help retailers solve for this exact problem. Also, watch Vox's video to learn more about the history behind women's sizes.