Tuesday, September 14, 2004

Dress sizes

For my consumer behavior class, I have assigned Why We Buy by Paco Underhill, the anthropologist turned retail consultant. In one chapter, he addresses the issue of making it easier for men to shop for clothing as gifts for their wives or girlfriends. Underhill suggests that it might be helpful for stores to offer women the opportunity to have their measurements on file so that men can shop knowing that the needed information is available.

This seems like a good idea. I realized that, even as a marketing professor, I would not know much about how dresses are measured. I recall references to dress sizes in three dimensions (specified simply in order, with the expectation that one would know what each dimension was). I decided to look up which dimensions are involved, and to my surpirse, height does not appear to be one of them!

I was surprised.

7 comments:

Justin Hou said...

Oh, you are so cute a Professor. I like you.

Billy Jones said...

I'm reminded of that old beach party movie where the surfer goes to the dress shop to buy his girlfriend-- a mirmaid who has no clothes and can't come out of the water-- a fancy dress for the party. He is forced to embrace several salesgirls until he finds one the same size.

Sorry, I can't remember the name of the movie.

PS. I love your Redneck Reindeer story.

Penny said...

I would be very interested to know if women would actually put their name, measurements and signature on a piece of paper. LOL! What does the female populace of your class think? Just curious. Just surfing.. hope you don't mind.

Anonymous said...

Assigning this book sounds like an interesting idea. However, as a marketing professor, I would be wary doing that since the book tends to give a myopic and biased view of consumer behavior.

Vishal Lala
Assistant Professor
UW-Green Bay

Anonymous said...

Men's clothes are measured based on chest size; small, medium, large and extra large equating roughly to c 38, 42, 44, 46 inches etc. Then trousers are by waist size and inside leg. Nothing to do with height. : )

Ladies' are the same. First size is bust, then waist, then hips. The only other problem you might consider is length of skirt or trouser, because the leg length varies, as with men. And sleeves can vary a lot too, but there you have to hope for the best. Or roll them up if they are too long. : )

C.

Psychic Empath said...

Ah! You hit the nail right on the head there. I'm a 5'11" woman who is constantly frustrated by the women's sizes. The fashion industry assumes that all women are 5'5" tall. When they rarely offer a tall selection, they figure that she's 5'8" to 5'9". This leaves me with cropped pants whether I like them or not. Don't get me started on panty hose. Take a look at the charts on the back of the packets. They are mapped out on a weight/height matrix. For some odd reason, as you get taller, your weight must decrease in order for most panty hose to fit. Some charts have the maximum weight for a 6' woman as 135 lbs. Get real! Lucy Lawless (Zena) is 5'10" and 150 lbs at her best weight.

Lars Perner, Ph.D. said...

It happens that I adore tall women, so I am sorry to hear how difficult it is to find clothing! I assume you are familiar with the special catalogs that are available--although these have their limitations.