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The inconsistent way in which clothes shops adopt their own rules on sizing has meant years of fitting room frustrations.
Many women have felt the irritation at finding they were a size 12 dress in one shop – but a 16 in another.
Avoiding a fashion fail often meant taking several sizes in to the changing room just to make sure. Soon there could be an end to the meltdowns, however, after major chains agreed to rip up their sizing rules and develop a standard measurement system.
Retailers including ASOS, Tesco’s F&F range, Next, Monsoon, New Look and River Island are backing a nationwide survey which will take measurements of 30,000 adults to create new universal size templates.
包括ASOS、特易购的F&F品牌、Next、Monsoon、New Look和River Island在内的零售商赞助的一项全国性调查将为3万名成年人测量身材，以创建新的通用尺码模板。
Inconsistent sizes have led to huge quantities of clothes bought online being returned. The Mail reported lately how a study suggested almost half – 47 percent – of all clothes bought online are sent back.
The project to standardise sizing, known as Shape GB, will map how body shapes have changed since the last such study 17 years ago. Retailers will encourage customers to take part in the survey by using a simple smartphone app to establish their Body Volume Indicator (BVI) – an update to the conventional Body Mass Index (BMI).
The BVI system will be used to measure the weight distribution in certain areas of the body – the arms, legs, chest, pelvis and abdomen. A similar scheme involving children in 2013 found youngsters were getting taller, wider and heavier. The project is being run by Select Research Ltd, whose founder Richard Barnes said: ‘There is a lack of consistency in sizing across different clothing brands and the aim of Shape GB is to use body volume as a new way of measuring body shape to help us find better ways of resolving this for the customer.’
The last national survey of adult body shapes in 2001 involved asking 11,000 women and men in 12 locations around the country to be measured in a 3D scanner.
Mr Barnes said our body shapes have changed in the past 17 years because of ‘natural evolution and lifestyle choices’.
'There does seem to be a trend over time for some men and women to have more lower-body volume, or a more pear-shaped figure, but we need the new data to know that for sure,’ he said. ‘Also, the importance of changes in height should not be underestimated as we are all getting taller.’
Alan Wragg, from Tesco, said work with Select Research on childrenswear had already resulted in a major drop in returns.
H&M has already announced it is making the size of its UK women’s clothes bigger after shoppers complained they had to buy items several sizes up to get the perfect fit.