Shirts are a big problem for women when it comes to fit

We recently ran a survey to discover how many people do not actually return goods that do not fit and in SALE times the returns that we send back as customers, are even less. 98% of respondents said that they had, at least once, not returned an item. 65% said they regularly do not send back items. The higher the price of the item the more likely you are to send it back and also the higher the expectations of the brand. Over 50% of clothing items bought online are returned.

How come that number is so BIG 50%. Customers may choose to buy a style in several sizes to ensure they get the right fit and return the other sizes. This happens a lot in underwear and jeans. Customer may choose to buy several styles for example dresses and see which one fits, then return the others. This is common when a customer is looking for something for an occasion. What is really disappointing for the customer, is when they buy a whole host of items and the whole lot is returned. This happened to me once and I cannot express how totally disappointed and demoralised this made me feel and actually pretty depressed by the whole experience. This happened to a friend of mine recently and she sent me the photos and her comment was "I forgot to remind myself never to buy from this brand, as nothing ever fits" That brand has now lost that person as a customer for good, when I know that, that customer is absolutely where they are targeting.

What is interesting is that items bought in the SALE are less likely to fit or look right and be comfortable. This you might think is obvious, there is good reason why items go on sale. When you look at items that go into the SALE they are often difficult styles to wear, colours that are seasonal or slightly odd, products that are just not visually appealing, shapes that are not flattering, but the only way you can find out if they are reduced because they do not fit, is if you buy it and try it on. 

Recently a friend bought several items in a sale of a well known premium retailer. One item the sizing appeared wrong, far too large for the size she normally buys from this brand, another item the fit around the armhole was a very odd shape and did not sit correctly and the 3rd item came up too small for the size she usually buys. I asked her if she was returning any of it and she said she could not be bothered, that the first two items she will wear and the 3rd item she will give to her daughter.  The problem with all of this is that she will be wearing things that don't look or feel right, this will not help with self-esteem or comfort. I doubt if these items will be used long term, so will end up at the charity shop or in landfill and also what will her view of the brand be in the future? Has the brand lost some of its credibility from her a loyal customer? 

We know that up to 25% of clothing items that end up in landfill still have the swing tickets on them and we also know that items sent to developing countries by charities are starting to be rejected because the quality is so poor and the clothes just do not fit.

Whilst it is difficult to get consistent sizing and fit using all different types of fabrics and styles we at Rey House endeavour to get some consistency because we start with the fit and adjust the style to fit. So our approach to clothing is different from the conventional methods of most fashion brands. We also develop and work with fabrics that we believe are flattering and sit on and suit most bodies.   

There is an expectation, specifically amongst women that if a brand does not fit them it is deduced that it was designed with a younger, more attractive woman in mind with a more regular physique. So our immediate response is that it is me that is out of shape, not "normal" and not perhaps that the clothes are too limiting in their customer. Some brands want this and will stick to it, but a whole host of customers out there have hard earned cash that they would like to spend on looking nice and just can't find the items to fit.

July 10, 2023 — Julia Reynolds

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Comments

Connie Morby

Connie Morby said:

I want to return one of the dresses I ordered because it does not fit or look good on me. I can’t find anywhere
that tells me how to do it!

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