Are you the same size as a clothes model?

Many of us are not the same size as the models used to sell clothes

Online clothing stores very often if not always use one sized model for all the sizes of clothes that they sell. Models on clothes retail websites are very often just one size per garment no matter how many different sizes that product is sold in. The same photos are used with the same model for 30″ trousers as for 44″ trousers. In ladies fashion, the same photos are used with again the same female model for a size 8 dress as for a size 18 dress.

This man is not a 44" waist and 33" leg. Nor am I, but that isn't my point!

This man is not a 44″ waist and 33″ leg. Nor am I, but that isn’t my point!

How clothes look on you is important

How an item of clothing looks is important so having an image that doesn’t reflect how the customer would look is a shortfall in helpfulness to that customer. More often than not, the photos shown will reflect, dare I say it, a ‘regular’ look – not overly underweight or overweight, not overly tall or short, just someone who looks good in the clothes being advertised.

Now that does seem like a good idea to those who want to see the clothes on a good looking, fit person of average height. It doesn’t help those of other sizes or heights picture how the item might look on them. This isn’t good when they may be more self-conscious about their look. This may make them feel not as good as other people due to this happening.

Different pictures for different sizes

I think it would be a great idea for clothes retailers online to picture models in the different sizes to demonstrate what the garment would look like on different sized people. If you are 6’7″ or 5’0″, clothes look very different on these two differently built people. If the model is 5’9″ then neither of these customers can accurately picture how it would look on them and they would have to guess. Especially so for the different sized waistlines, a 30″ waist on a pair of trousers looks different from a 44″ waist on a pair of trousers. Likewise for the different in the dress sizes mentioned earlier too.

It would take more time and effort for the retailers to show the different pictures but it should reduce the amount of returns due to dissatisfied customers which online clothes retailers unfortunately have to deal with.

I can't believe there is so much space in this XXL shirt I am wearing!

I can’t believe there is so much space in this XXL shirt I am wearing!

Response from a retailer

Now these screenshots have been taken from one retailer, Marks and Spencer’s, but I don’t mean to single them out specifically as I believe it is an industry wide oversight rather than a deliberate slight at differently sized people. When I contacted them to ask why they only show the same sized model for different sized items, they said that they …

“only use one size model but thanks for letting us know that this is something that you’d like to see in the future”

…and that they have shared the idea with the team for me. I appreciated them commenting and responding to my query, which shows that they at least hear what customers are saying. Watch this space to see if anything changes in the future in this area.

Customer focused

To me, it would be a fantastically innovative idea that a forward thinking, customer focused, online clothes retailer would take a look at this idea and see what they can do to cater for different sizes in the photographs of their clothes.

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