As enjoyable as shopping for clothes is, it can also be frustrating, annoying, and quite frankly, not the best for one’s self-esteem. The range of sizes offered to women is not as wide as it should be (and don’t even get me started on the unflattering lighting in the fitting rooms). There is certainly room for improvement when it comes to women’s clothing sizes, but in retailers’ defense, the information they have been using is completely outdated.
The average size of an American woman was thought to be size 14. The clothing industry had taken this into account and adjusted their sizes appropriately. However, it turns out that isn’t the case anymore. A new study published in the International Journal of Fashion Design, Technology, and Education reveals, "The average size of an American woman is now between 16 to 18, which is an increase from 10-year-old data that indicated most women in the U.S. were a size 14."
Scientists have now determined that the average waist circumference has increased 2.6 inches in the past 21 years, which is why there has been an increase in clothing size. According to a report from 22 Words, “Researchers explained that this updated information is crucial for the fashion industry and for women in general, many of which have compared themselves to this inaccurate and misleading information for years.”
Hopefully many women's shopping frustrations about the fit and sizing of clothing will soon come to an end, once the fashion industry catches wind of this newfound information. With any luck, sizable changes will be made.
Next up: Check out what it’s really like to try on “plus-size” swimsuits.