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Fashion misfit: women’s dissatisfaction and its implications

Kathryn Brownbridge (Manchester Fashion Institute, Manchester Metropolitan University, Manchester, UK)
Simeon Gill (School of Materials, Manchester University, Manchester, UK)
Sarah Grogan (Department of Psychology, Manchester Metropolitan University, Manchester, UK)
Sarah Kilgariff (Department of Health Psychology, Staffordshire University, Stoke-on-Trent, UK)
Amanda Whalley (Department of Health Psychology, Staffordshire University, Stoke-on-Trent, UK)

Journal of Fashion Marketing and Management

ISSN: 1361-2026

Article publication date: 30 May 2018

Issue publication date: 25 June 2018

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Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to draw attention to the link between underdeveloped and ill-informed sizing practices, fit dissatisfaction and the creation of textiles waste. The literature review identifies: issues that limit the effective development and application of sizing systems, the link between the complexities of consumer fit expectations, body image and self-esteem and maps the link between fit dissatisfaction and the creation of textiles waste.

Design/methodology/approach

Data analysis draws from a wider study designed to investigate women’s experiences of dress fit and body image. In total, 20 women aged 18-45 years were audio recorded while they tried on a number of mass-produced dresses, and were asked to select one dress, which they could keep.

Findings

All the dresses were selected except one style, which failed to satisfy any of the women’s fit requirements. The findings clearly demonstrate why this dress was considered to be unsatisfactory as well as the subsequent link between poor fit and body dissatisfaction.

Social implications

Findings support the theory that women identify with their clothes’ size and when this link is disrupted it causes discomfort and body dissatisfaction, which, in turn, contributed to rejection of the garment increasing the potential for the creation of waste.

Originality/value

This study is the first to link unsatisfactory fashion sizing practice with the production of textiles waste. The process of capturing women’s interactions with high street fashion dresses whilst trying them on enabled a detailed analysis that contributes new evidence to the debate around sizing practice, poor fit and its impact on body image and self-esteem.

Keywords

Citation

Brownbridge, K., Gill, S., Grogan, S., Kilgariff, S. and Whalley, A. (2018), "Fashion misfit: women’s dissatisfaction and its implications", Journal of Fashion Marketing and Management, Vol. 22 No. 3, pp. 438-452. https://doi.org/10.1108/JFMM-05-2017-0050

Publisher

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Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2018, Emerald Publishing Limited