By Laura Higgins
Many women in the UK deliberately buy lingerie and clothes that are too small for them, as an incentive to slim, according to a new report by lingerie brand Bluebella.
In a survey on 1000 women, 58% of female shoppers admitted to experiencing size denial and 48% of them said they had bought an item of clothing or lingerie that was one size too small for them.
Retailers have said that size denial is one of the biggest reasons behind the return of unwanted clothes, as women either buy garments that don’t fit them, or their friends buy items for them that are too small because they are too embarrassed to buy their real size.
One reason for size denial is the uncertainty about the real size of an item of clothing or lingerie, partly caused by a lack of uniformity in the sizing of different brands, said Bluebella.
Only 1% of participants thought that all sizes were the same according to where they shopped, compared to 53% of women who found variations in sizes depending on the brand.
Half of the women questioned said they varied between two sizes and 83% said there should be firm government guidelines specifying sizes so shoppers know exactly what size they are buying.
Bluebella founder Emily Bendell said: "Women often buy the wrong size due to not being recently measured or they might be hoping they will slim down – and the huge variations in standard sizes from brand to brand have undoubtedly caused confusion."
“The thing is – size is just a number. 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."