What is size denial? Well, we think most of you probably already know if the stats quoted by lingerie brand Bluebella from its latest survey are anything to go by!
Size denial refers to buying clothes in sizes that are too small, either as an incentive to slim down, through a refusal to buy above a certain size, or as gifts from well-meaning friends who believe it is more flattering to buy a smaller size.
Retailers say this is one of the main reasons behind clothing returns, and according to Bluebella’s survey, most of us have experienced size denial at some point or other. And when you consider the fact that sizes can vary, sometimes quite drastically, between different brands and retailers, coupled with society’s pressure to conform to a certain stereotype, it’s not surprising that size denial can occur.
In fact, most shoppers say inconsistent sizing is partly to blame for this phenomenon – 83% said there should be government guidelines setting out sizes – but the survey also revealed that 58% of women have intentionally bought clothes that are too small to encourage them to slim down. Some have even bought clothes that are up to three sizes too small as an added incentive. Personally, we think this would just be discouraging!
But it goes a little deeper than that. Only around a third of women questioned said they would admit to friends if they had gone up a dress size, and 34% said they keep their size a secret.
And our friends aren’t doing us any favours either. One in five women said they had bought a gift for a friend knowing it was too small rather than buy their true size, while 22% admitted that, if asked by a friend for her size, they would tell her what she wants to hear, and 20% said they would guess a size smaller to flatter her.
Of course, our size does vary over time. Just under half of the survey respondents said they had worn at least three sizes as adults, while 50% said they vary between two sizes. And, when it comes to lingerie, of course, you have to consider an additional factor – not simply size denial, but size ignorance, as so many women don’t know their true size.
However, as Bluebella founder Emily Bendall points out, size is just a number. Or, in the case of bras, a number and a letter.’The sexiest thing about wearing a beautifully fitting set of lingerie is actually the confidence it gives you – it really doesn’t matter what is says in the label!
‘At Bluebella we create lingerie up to a dress size 26 and 40G because we want to bring our erotic chic collections to all women. And we offer a free exchange service to ensure every woman can access the perfect fit at no extra cost’
Bluebella’s provocative and playful lingerie is available via Bluebella.com, ASOS, Figleaves and Selfridges Oxford Street.
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