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Fashion misfit: women's dissatisfaction and its implications

Brownbridge, K and Gill, S and Grogan, S and Kilgariff, S and Whalley, A (2018) Fashion misfit: women's dissatisfaction and its implications. Journal of Fashion Marketing and Management, 22 (3). pp. 438-452. ISSN 1361-2026

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Abstract

This study draws attention to the link between under-developed and ill-informed sizing practices, fit dissatisfaction and the creation of textiles waste. The literature review identifies: issues that limit the effective development and application of sizing systems, the link between the complexities of consumer fit expectations, body image and self esteem and maps the link between fit dissatisfaction and the creation of textiles waste. Data analysis draws from a wider study designed to investigate women’s experiences of dress fit and body image. 20 women aged 18-45 years were audio-recorded while they tried on a number of mass-produced dresses, and were asked to select one dress, which they could keep. All the dresses were selected except one style, which failed to satisfy any of the women’s fit requirements. The findings clearly demonstrate why this dress was considered to be unsatisfactory as well as the subsequent link between poor fit and body dissatisfaction. Findings support the theory that women identify with their clothes’ size and when this link is disrupted it causes discomfort and body dissatisfaction, which in turn contributed to rejection of the garment increasing the potential for the creation of waste. This study is the first to link unsatisfactory fashion sizing practice with the production of textiles waste. The process of capturing women's interactions with high street fashion dresses whilst trying them on, enabled a detailed analysis that contributes new evidence to the debate around sizing practice, poor fit and its impact on body image and self-esteem.

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