The Size Chart Is Broken

When is the last time you looked at a size chart and said, “perfect – now I know exactly what size to buy?” There’s a good chance the answer to that question is, never. Originally developed in the 1800’s, size charts are a relic of a time where most people had previously had their clothes custom-made so they knew things like their hip circumference and arm length.

Fast forward to 2016 and we’re living in a world where most people buy ready-to-wear clothing which means that knowing specific body measurements and circumferences is incredibly unlikely. Some websites try to suggest that customers measure themselves but let’s be honest, who really has a measuring tape lying around their house? Even if you do, the average “self-measurement” is off by 2″ – 4″ which means you’re probably better off guessing.

Here’s an example of a size chart from Eddie Bauer that illustrates just how confusing size charts have become:


(Image source – Eddie Bauer)

What’s wrong with this picture? Well, to find out what size you are in a specific garment you have to measure yourself in one, two, or three different places. This means you need to have a measuring tape at home and for pants notice the fine print, there are small +1″ and -1/2″ modifications that you need to make to your measurements, you know those measurements that you’re not actually taking.

It’s a broken system and it’s the reason why apparel eCommerce sites have such high return rates. Shoppers can’t figure-out what size to wear and so they default to buying two or three and use their home as a dressing room.

At Fashion Metric we introduced the Smart Size Chart, a size chart that allows consumers to have confidence in what they purchase and reduces returns for apparel eCommerce retailers. Want to learn more, sign-up for a demo of the Virtual Sizer and see what it’s all about.

One Response to " The Size Chart Is Broken "

  1. Jake says:

    Agreed. It’s interesting to see new e-commerce brands play around with sizing. Through my blog Modern Fellows, I’ve gotten to know Hugh and Crye, a Washington, DC-based menswear brand, which has a unique sizing concept that works pretty well (for me).

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