Melbourne mother, Adele, says she found it “depressing” that she was labelled an extra-large in some stores on a recent shopping trip for a simple black dress.
“I am under the average Australian size, but in some shops I am labelled extra-large and that doesn’t seem right to me,” she said.
In a popular post on Facebook, Adele shared a photo of herself in a two black dresses.
The 33-year-old says at Zara she fit an extra-large dress, but in a similar Jacqui E dress she was a medium size.
“If it’s a size 12, it should measure a size 12 – so that everyone knows what size they are.”
The Melbourne mother-of-one has called for a “standardised measuring system” in all stores in Australia.
“Standardised sizing has been a topical and ongoing issue in our industry, and a point of frustration for many labels and consumers alike,” a spokesperson for the Council of Textile and Fashion said.
“As it stands, there are no mandatory sizing standards for men’s and women’s clothing in Australia – which makes it very tricky to keep sizing consistent,” they added.
Adele says the sizing dilemma is “confusing” but her main concern is for teenagers and people with body image issues.
“The average women is 71 kg and the average man is 86 kg in Australia. Both my husband and I are under these measurements but we are both ‘Extra Large’ a lot of the time when we shop,” Adele wrote on Facebook.
“How messed up is that? I’m sick of it. I am NOT an extra large person. By calling women ‘extra large’, when they are smaller than the Australian average is sending a message that they are larger than they should be.”
Jo-Ann Kellock, Chair of the Sizing Standards Committee, suggested that Australia should move to the EU CEN system based on a measurement – which cannot be manipulated in the same way that S, M and L or 8 – 14 can be moved around.
“Given the wonderful diversity of the female body and the complex online shopping issues that are emerging, I have some concerns that a one size fits all approach will address both the needs of the industry and the expectations of the consumer,” says Kellock.
She says it’s a “huge legacy issue” for fashion brands to change patterns and conform to a standard.
“It is annoying to not have standardised sizing in Australia, where you can go online and know that a size 12 is a size 12 and you buy things off the rack without trying them on, but the bigger picture is what about those people that actually have body image difficulties?” says Adele.
“They are putting on items of clothing that are projecting that they are bigger than they are.”
Mamamia has reached out for comment from Kookai, Jacqui E and Zara.
For more from Adele, visit her Facebook page, The Real Mumma.
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